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FBI closes 911 anthrax letters investigation

Quote:FBI closes 9/11 anthrax investigation

The FBI has decided that the US government researcher Dr Bruce Ivins acted alone in posting deadly letters containing anthrax and is closing its long-running investigation.

Published: 8:12AM GMT 20 Feb 2010

The anthrax letters were sent to US politicians and news organisations in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
A source close to the investigation told the Associated Press said the FBI was finally satisfied it had identified that Dr Irvins acted alone.

The anthrax case was one of the most vexing and costly investigations in US history until officials announced in 2008
that the lone suspect was Dr Bruce Ivins, who killed himself as authorities prepared to indict him.
After reviewing its initial findings the FBI is said to be satisfied it was right and is closing the case for good.
Laced with anthrax, the letters were sent with childish handwriting and chilling scientific expertise.
The spores killed five people: two postal workers in Washington, a New York City hospital worker, a Florida photo editor and a 94-year-old Connecticut woman who had no known contact with any of the poisoned letters. Seventeen other people fell ill.
For years, the FBI chased leads.
In 2008, they announced that the mystery had been solved, but the suspect was dead. Authorities said that in the days before the mailings, Dr Ivins had logged unusual hours alone in his laboratory at the Army Medical Research
Institute of Infectious Diseases. They also say he threw investigators off his trail by supplying false leads as he ostensibly tried to help them find the killer.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
He can't sue them like Hatfil could so he's as good a suspect as they will find though the evidence seems very vague.
There are some anthrax documents here:
And a report of the investiogation here:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Posted elsewhere here or on EF I put lots about why their 'man' is a patsy. How satisfying yet another criminal act solved (sic) by the fearless and infallible FBI. :bebored:

Case closed, Justice not served, Real criminals still at large - as with MLK, as with JFK, as with so many other FBI investigations......they bury them deep. :hmmmm:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
I'm no expert on the Anthrax letters case although I have studied it sufficiently to conclude that they were indeed part and parcel of 9/11. I've done a cursory site search and can find virtually no references to Dr Meryl Nass here. I am therefore posting this for reference purposes because, from what I have read during about 30 minutes on the site, it appears to be a comprehensive and credible demolition of the FBI case against Ivins.

Most of the more popular sites dealing with the issue make copious reference to it. Here is her latest post:
Quote: Federal Bureau of Invention: CASE CLOSED (and Ivins did it)

But FBI's report, documents and accompanying information (only pertaining to Ivins, not to the rest of the investigation) were released on Friday afternoon... which means the FBI anticipated doubt and ridicule. And the National Academies of Science (NAS) is several months away from issuing its $879,550 report on the microbial forensics, suggesting a) asking NAS to investigate the FBI's science was just a charade to placate Congress, and/or b) NAS' investigation might be uncovering things the FBI would prefer to bury, so FBI decided to preempt the NAS panel's report.

Here are today's reports from the Justice Department, AP, Washington Post and NY Times. The WaPo article ends,
The FBI's handling of the investigation has been criticized by Ivins's colleagues and by independent analysts who have pointed out multiple gaps, including a lack of hair, fiber other physical evidence directly linking Ivins to the anthrax letters. But despite long delays and false leads, Justice officials Friday expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
The evidence "established that Dr. Ivins, alone, mailed the anthrax letters," the Justice summary stated.
Actually, the 96 page FBI report is predicated on the assumption that the anthrax letters attack was carried out by a "lone nut." The FBI report fails to entertain the possibility that the letters attack could have involved more than one actor. The FBI admits that about 400 people may have had access to Ivins' RMR-1029 anthrax preparation, but asserts all were "ruled out" as lone perpetrators. FBI never tried to rule any out as part of a conspiracy, however.
That is only the first of many holes in FBI's case. Here is a sampling of some more.

  1. The report assumes Ivins manufactured, purified and dried the spore prep in the anthrax hot room at US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). His colleagues say the equipment available was insufficient to do so on the scale required.
  2. But even more important, the letter spores contained a Bacillus subtilis contaminant, and silicon to enhance dispersal. FBI has never found the Bacillus subtilis strain at USAMRIID, and it has never acknowledged finding silicon there, either. If the letters anthrax was made at USAMRIID, at least small amounts of both would be there.
  3. Drs. Perry Mikesell, Ayaad Assaad and Stephen Hatfill were 3 earlier suspects. All had circumstantial evidence linking them to the case. In Hatfill's case, especially, are hints he could have been "set up." Greendale, the return address on the letters, was a suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe where Hatfill attended medical school. Hatfill wrote an unpublished book about a biowarfare attack that bears some resemblance to the anthrax case. So the fact that abundant circumstantial evidence links Ivins to the case might be a reflection that he too was "set up" as a potential suspect, before the letters were sent.
  4. FBI fails to provide any discussion of why no autopsy was performed, nor why, with Ivins under 24/7 surveillance from the house next door, with even his garbage being combed through, the FBI failed to notice that he overdosed and went into a coma. Nor is there any discussion of why the FBI didn't immediately identify tylenol as the overdose substance, and notify the hospital, so that a well-known antidote for tylenol toxicity could be given (N-acetyl cysteine, or alternatively glutathione). These omissions support the suggestion that Ivins' suicide was a convenience for the FBI. It enabled them to conclude the anthrax case, in the absence of evidence that would satisfy the courts.
  5. The FBI's alleged motive is bogus. In 2001, Bioport's anthrax vaccine could not be (legally) relicensed due to potency failures, and its impending demise provided room for Ivins' newer anthrax vaccines to fill the gap. Ivins had nothing to do with developing Bioport's vaccine, although in addition to his duties working on newer vaccines, he was charged with assisting Bioport to get through licensure.
  6. FBI's report claims, "Those who worked for him knew that Nass was one of those topics to avoid discussing around Dr. Ivins" (page 41). The truth is we had friendly meetings at the Annapolis, Maryland international anthrax conference in June 2001, and several phone conversations after that. Bruce occasionally assisted me in my study of the safety and efficacy of Bioport's licensed anthrax vaccine, giving me advice and papers he and others had written. I wonder if I was mentioned negatively to discourage Ivins' other friends and associates from communicating with me, since they have been prohibited from speaking freely? Clever.
  7. The FBI's Summary states that "only a limited number of individuals ever had access to this specific spore preparation" and that the flask was under Ivins' sole and exclusive control. Yet the body of the report acknowledges hundreds of people who had access to the spores, and questions remain about the location of the spore prep during the period in question. FBI wordsmiths around this, claiming that no one at USAMRIID "legitimately" used spores from RMR1029 without the "authorization and knowledge" of Bruce Ivins. Of course, stealing spores to terrorize and kill is not a legitimate activity.
  8. FBI says that only a small number of labs had Ames anthrax, including only 3 foreign labs. Yet a quick Pub Med search of papers published between 1999 and 2004 revealed Ames anthrax was studied in at least Italy, France, the UK, Israel and South Korea as well as the US. By failing to identify all labs with access to Ames, the FBI managed to exclude potential domestic and foreign perpetrators.
  9. FBI claims that "drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties," therefore it would have to be performed clandestinely. Actually, the US government sponsored several programs that dried anthrax spores. Drying spores is not explicitly prohibited by the Biological Weapons Convention, though many would like it to be.
  10. The FBI report claims the anthrax letters envelopes were sold in Frederick, Md. Later it admits that millions of indistinguishable envelopes were made, with sales in Maryland and Virginia.
  11. FBI emphasizes Ivins' access to a photocopy machine, but fails to mention it was not the machine from which the notes that accompanied the spores were printed.
  12. FBI claims Ivins was able to make a spore prep of equivalent purity as the letter spores. However, Ivins had clumping in his spores, while the spores in the Daschle/Leahy letters had no clumps. Whether Ivins could make a pure dried prep is unknown, but there is no evidence he had ever done so.
  13. FBI asserts that Bioport and USAMRIID were nearly out of anthrax vaccine, to the point researchers might not have enough to vaccinate themselves. FBI further asserts this would end all anthrax research, derailing Ivins' career. In fact, USAMRIID has developed many dozens of vaccines (including those for anthrax) that were never licensed, but have been used by researchers to vaccinate themselves. There would be no vaccine shortage for researchers.
  14. Ivins certainly had mental problems. But that does not explain why the FBI accompanied Ivins' therapist, Ms. Duley (herself under charges for multiple DUIs) and assisted her to apply for a peace order against him. Nor does it explain why Duley then went into hiding, never to be heard from again.
  15. FBI obtained a voluntary collection of anthrax samples. Is that the way to conduct a multiple murder investigation: ask the scientists to supply you with the evidence to convict them? There is no report that spores were seized from anyone but Ivins, about 6 years after the attacks. This is a huge hole in the FBI's "scientific" methodology.
  16. FBI claims it investigated Bioport and others who had a financial motive for the letters attack, and ruled them out. However, FBI provides not a shred of evidence from such an investigation.
FBI gave this report its best shot. The report sounds good. It includes some new evidence. It certainly makes Ivins out to be a crazed, scary and pathetic figure. If you haven't followed this story intently, you may be convinced of his guilt.

On the other hand, there are reasons why a conspiracy makes better sense. If the FBI really had the goods, they would not be overreaching to pin the crime on a lone nut.

JFK, RFK, George Wallace, Martin Luther King, all felled by lone nuts. Even Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin was a lone nut. Now Bruce Ivins. The American public is supposed to believe that all these crimes required no assistance and no funds.

Does the FBI stand for the Federal Bureau of Invention?

Older information on this blog, germane to analysis of the FBI's case, includes the following:

Posts of mine that go into detail about these and other problems with the FBI's claims are here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Science magazine had additional questions. Vanity Fair published a fascinating article by Donald Foster that brings up more material the FBI ignored, here. Here I speculated on the emotional strain Bruce might have faced as a result of his knowledge of problems with the safety and effectiveness of currently used anthrax vaccines. Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 7:38 PM
The comments are worth a look too.
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn


By Barry Kissin


On September 16 and 17, 2008, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees respectively, conducted “Amerithrax oversight” hearings consisting of questioning FBI Director Robert Mueller. Despite widespread concern about the integrity of Amerithrax, the colloquy during these hearings was largely feeble. Congressman Nadler did manage to ask the $64,000 question. journalist Glen Greenwald recounted this as follows:

“Nadler asked one of the most central questions in the anthrax case: he pointed out that the facilities that (unlike Ft. Detrick) actually have the equipment and personnel to prepare dry, silica-coated anthrax are the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground and the Battelle Corporation, the private CIA contractor that conducts substantial research into highly complex strains of anthrax. Nadler asked how the FBI had eliminated those institutions as the culprits behind the attack. After invoking generalities to assure Nadler that the FBI had traced the anthrax back to Ivins' vial (which didn’t answer the question), Mueller's response was this: I don't know the answers to those questions as to how we eliminated Dugway and Battelle. I'll have to get back to you at some point.

“Nadler then pleaded: please try to get back to us with the answer quickly. Mueller replied: ‘Oh, absolutely Congressman.’”

Shortly thereafter, Nadler’s question was put into writing and sent to the FBI with other questions from the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler’s question read:

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

Seven months went by before the FBI responded. Its response read:

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

On its face, the FBI’s response is absurd. The response literally says that after identifying “two facilities” that received samples of anthrax from the USAMRIID (Bruce Ivins’) flask, these facilities were excluded as possible sources of the attack anthrax because they “never received” anthrax from said flask.

One of the purposes of this memorandum is to make clear why Nadler’s question is the “most central” question to be asked about Amerithrax. This will serve to put in perspective Robert Mueller’s professed inability to answer the question on Sept. 16, 2008, the period of seven months it took for the FBI to fashion a response, and the disingenuousness of the response.

The FBI’s response is not only absurd; it is, to the extent it states anything at all, demonstrably false. Only a few months ago, Bruce Ivins’ “Reference Material Receipt Record” with respect to the anthrax designated RMR-1029 was posted on the internet, now accessible at http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpres...lask-1029/

The original copy of said record is in the custody of the FBI. Said record documents that during the summer of 2001, Bruce Ivins sent samples of RMR-1029 to both Battelle and Dugway. Practically all of the science underlying Amerithrax now being reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences is about matching the genetic fingerprint of the attack anthrax to that of RMR-1029. Given that both Battelle and Dugway had RMR-1029, Battelle and Dugway are no less incriminated than Bruce Ivins by the science underlying Amerithrax.

That the FBI has engaged in cover-up in its Amerithrax investigation is readily apparent. This memorandum addresses the urgent matter of what it is that is being covered up.

So far, Congress has failed in its oversight role with respect to Amerithrax. An important example of this failure is the absence of any reaction on the part of Congressman Nadler or any other member of Congress to the miserable FBI response highlighted in this Introduction.


At the Senate Judiciary Committee “Amerithrax oversight” hearing mentioned in the Introduction, Chairman Patrick Leahy (himself a target of one of the anthrax letters) made specific reference to an article entitled “U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits” that appeared in the New York Times on September 4, 2001.

Excerpts from said article follow:

“Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons . . .

“The projects, which have not been previously disclosed, were begun under President Clinton and have been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.

“Earlier this year, administration officials said, the Pentagon drew up plans to engineer genetically a potentially more potent variant of the bacterium that causes anthrax, a deadly disease ideal for germ warfare . . .

“A senior Bush administration official said all the projects were 'fully consistent' with the treaty banning biological weapons and were needed to protect Americans against a growing danger. ‘This administration will pursue defenses against the full spectrum of biological threats,’ the official said . . .

“Some Clinton administration officials worried, however, that the project violated the pact. And others expressed concern that the experiments, if disclosed, might be misunderstood as a clandestine effort to resume work on a class of weapons that President Nixon had relinquished in 1969 . . .

[My comment: In 1975, it was discovered that the CIA had disobeyed the 1969 Presidential order to destroy all US BW stocks, and had retained a large catalogue of pathogens and toxins for its own use. Volume 1: Unauthorized Storage of Toxic Agents of the Church Committee Reports (1975) documented the unauthorized and illegal storage of toxic agents by the CIA for 5 years after their destruction was ordered by President Nixon. These toxins, stored at the Army’s Fort Detrick in Maryland, included anthrax and tuberculosis bacteria, the encephalitus virus, salmonella, shellfish toxin, the smallpox virus, and various other poisons and biological warfare agents.]

“Administration officials said the 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, which has been signed by 143 nations . . .

[My comment: The “draft agreement” referred to was for a protocol that would provide for international inspections and verification measures, which agreement was supported by practically all of the other signatories to the international treaty known as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). In the past, the U.S. had repeatedly taken the position that enforceability of international arms control treaties depended on inspections and verification. The rejection by the Bush administration of inspections and verification (which has yet to be revisited by the Obama administration) was mirrored on October 23, 2002, when the UN Disarmament Committee adopted a resolution reaffirming the 1925 Geneva Protocol “prohibiting the use of poisonous gases and bacteriological methods of warfare.” The resolution passed unanimously with two abstentions: the U.S. and Israel. US abstention amounted to a veto, effectively preventing the resolution from being reported.]

“Among the facilities likely to be open to inspection under the draft agreement would [have been] the West Jefferson, Ohio, laboratory of the Battelle Memorial Institute, a military contractor that has been selected to create the genetically altered anthrax . . .

“Several officials who served in senior posts in the Clinton administration acknowledged that the secretive efforts were so poorly coordinated that even the White House was unaware of their full scope . . .

“n 1997, the [CIA] embarked on [Project] Clear Vision, which focused on weapons systems that would deliver the germs . . . A model was constructed and the agency conducted two sets of tests at Battelle, the military contractor. The experiments measured dissemination characteristics and how the model performed under different atmospheric conditions, intelligence officials said . . .

“In the 1990's, government officials also grew increasingly worried about the possibility that scientists could use the widely available techniques of gene-splicing to create even more deadly weapons . . .

“Eventually the C.I.A. drew up plans . . . but intelligence officials said the agency hesitated because there was no specific report that an adversary was attempting to turn [an anthrax] superbug into a weapon.

“This year, officials said, the project was taken over by the Pentagon's intelligence arm, the Defense Intelligence Agency . . . Officials said the research would be part of Project Jefferson, yet another government effort to track the dangers posed by germ weapons.

“A spokesman for Defense Intelligence, Lt. Cmdr. James Brooks, declined comment. Asked about the precautions at Battelle, which is to create the enhanced anthrax, Commander Brooks said security was ‘entirely suitable for all work already conducted and planned for Project Jefferson.’”

At the end of this Sept. 4, 2001 New York Times article, it is stated that the article is based on material gathered for the about-to-be published book, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War.

Excerpts from Germs Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (2002: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster) follow:

“The CIA, [George Tenet] said, was looking for bold, imaginative solutions -- something that would 'break the back' of biological terrorism. . . . [T]he CIA and the Pentagon had been working separately for nearly three years on several highly classified projects to develop a better understanding of germ weapons and delivery systems . . . The programs were among the government's most closely held secrets, their code names known to only a handful of officials. . . . Officials privately acknowledged another reason for their sensitivity: the projects were bringing America much closer to the limits set by the 1972 treaty banning biological weapons. . . . n the late 1980s, Senator John Glenn's investigation and hearing prompted much tighter limits on germ research. In the years that followed, scientists at Fort Detrick scrupulously confined their work . . . It was a different story at the CIA . . . A project took shape. CIA officials named it Clear Vision -- an attempt to see into the future of biological warfare . . . The [CIA] went ahead without asking the White House for approval . . . White House officials say that President Clinton was never told of the program . . . In the ensuing months, Battelle, a military contractor in Columbus, Ohio, with sophisticated laboratories, conducted at least two sets of tests . . . The program had become controversial, one senior intelligence official acknowledged, because 'it was pressing how far you go before you do something illegal or immoral.' . . . The State Department representative argued that the treaty ruled out any tests involving weapons. The CIA did not back down. Projects like Clear Vision, the agency argued, were a response to specific intelligence about a possible adversary. . . . By early 2001 . . . although some at the agency continued to defend the project's value, nevertheless, the program was out of money. . . . Senior Clinton officials had been briefed only on what a top official called 'one part of the iceberg that threatened to collide with the germ treaty.' (Pages 287-299).

“In the last days of the Clinton administration, the Pentagon gingerly moved toward doing its own recombinant work on pathogens. . . . To make the genetically modified anthrax, the DIA turned to Battelle, its contractor which had also worked on Clear Vision, the CIA project. . . . [This] secret project was to be done as part of Project Jefferson. (Pages 308-309).

“In fact, federal investigators found that the anthrax Daschle received was virtually indistinguishable from the kind William Patrick had made in the old U.S. program -- up to one trillion spores per gram . . . Fort Detrick had shipped a sample of its Ames strain to the Dugway Proving Grounds in the Utah desert, an army facility. Dugway subsequently made powdered anthrax . . . One year's experiments, the army said, did not involve the Ames strain. But it was silent on whether the potent variety had been used in other years.” (Pages 330-331).

[My comment: In 1999, William Patrick, the original inventor of anthrax weaponization, was commissioned to do an analysis of a hypothetical anthrax attack through the mail for the CIA. Ultimately, this classified document was leaked to the media. In his report entitled “Risk Assessment,” Patrick explained that 2.5 grams is the amount that can be placed into a standard envelope without detection. (The anthrax letters addressed to the Senators contained about 2 grams of anthrax.) In a footnote, Patrick noted that the U.S. had refined "weaponized" anthrax powder to the unprecedented extent of a trillion spores per gram. This degree of refinement corresponds with the extraordinary purity of the anthrax in the letters addressed to the Senators. According to a BBC program Newsnight that aired on March 14, 2002, accessible at, both Patrick and the CIA denied the existence of this report.]


Baltimore Sun, December 12, 2001

“Anthrax matches Army spores: Organisms made at a military laboratory in Utah are genetically identical to those mailed to members of Congress” by Scott Shane:

“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, government sources say. . . . Anthrax is also grown at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick . . . [b]ut that medical program uses a wet aerosol fog of anthrax rather than the dry powder used in the attacks . . . 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. Scientists familiar with the anthrax program at Dugway described it to The Sun on the condition that they not be named. . . .Scientists estimate that the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle originally contained about 2 grams of anthrax, about one-sixteenth of an ounce, or the weight of a dime. But its extraordinary concentration - in the range of 1 trillion spores per gram - meant that the letter could have contained 200 million times the average dose necessary to kill a person. Dugway's weapons-grade anthrax has been milled to achieve a similar concentration, according to one person familiar with the program. The concentration exceeds that of weapons anthrax produced by the old U.S. offensive program or the Soviet biowarfare program, according to Dr. Richard O. Spertzel, who worked at Detrick for 18 years and later served as a United Nations bioweapons inspector in Iraq

. . . [M]any bioterrorism experts argue that the quality of the mailed anthrax is such that it could have been produced only in a weapons program or using information from such a program. . . .”

Washington Post, December 16, 2001.

“Capitol Hill Anthrax Matches Army's Stocks: 5 Labs Can Trace Spores to Ft. Detrick”

by Rick Weiss and Susan Schmidt:

“The FBI's investigation into the anthrax attacks is increasingly focusing on whether U.S. government bioweapons research programs, including one conducted by the CIA, may have been the source of deadly anthrax powder sent through the mail, according to sources with knowledge of the probe. The results of the genetic tests strengthen that possibility. The FBI is focusing on a contractor that worked with the CIA, one source said. . . .The scientists are still planning to do genetic testing on anthrax bacteria from the Defense Research Establishment Suffield, a Canadian military research facility, the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, a government contractor doing research on anthrax vaccines. Those are the only other facilities [besides Dugway] known to have received samples from USAMRIID . . . The CIA's biowarfare program . . . involved the use of small amounts of Ames strain, an agency spokesman said yesterday. The CIA declined to say where its Ames strain material came from . . . Nevertheless, the FBI has turned its attention to learning more about the CIA's work with anthrax, which investigators were told about by the agency within the past few weeks, government officials said . . . The anthrax contained in the letters under investigation ‘absolutely did not’ come from CIA labs, the spokesman said . . . Law enforcement sources, however, said the FBI remains extremely interested in the CIA's work with anthrax, with one official calling it the best lead they have at this point. The sources said FBI investigators do not yet know much about the CIA program.”

Miami Herald (Knight Ridder), December 21, 2001

“Anthrax investigators focusing on strain from military facility” by David Kidwell:

“Federal anthrax researchers are attempting to match the strain that killed a Boca Raton man and four others to a weaponized strain secretly manufactured at a U.S. military facility in the Utah desert, according to sources familiar with the probe. Agents are examining lab workers and researchers who had access to the weaponized, powdered anthrax grown at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Grounds and later supplied to Battelle Memorial Institute, a military research company based in Columbus, Ohio . . . It is clear that a strong theory has emerged that the refined powder used in the anthrax attacks bears striking similarities to U.S. military grade anthrax manufactured only at Dugway . . .‘The anthrax at Dugway is the only known sample they intend to check right now. The investigation is clearly focused on the Dugway anthrax,’ said Dr. Ronald Atlas, dean of the University of Louisville Biology Department, and incoming president of the American Society of Microbiology. ‘The word in the scientific community is that they are very close to something.’ Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said Thursday the FBI has ‘winnowed’ the field of its investigation . . .”

Nevertheless, on December 21, 2001 (the same day that the above-cited Miami Herald article was published), The Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio reported that FBI Director Robert Mueller had assured Ohio Republican Senator Mike DeWine that “no one with or formerly with Battelle is a suspect.”

To recapitulate, Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) was not only doing the lab work in its own labs in West Jefferson, Ohio for the CIA’s weaponization project, it was also doing the lab work at the Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah for the DIA’s anthrax weaponization project.

Battelle has a “national security division” offering the services of a team of “engineers, chemists, microbiologists, and aerosol scientists supported by state-of-the-art laboratories to conduct research in the fields of bioaerosol science and technology.” On its Web site, Battelle called this research group “one-of-a-kind.” Battelle also makes one of the world’s most advanced medicinal powders. Battelle’s pharmaceutical division, BattellePharma, in Columbus, has developed electrostatically charged aerosols for inhalation. BattellePharma’s Web site boasted that the company’s new “electrohydrodynamic” aerosol “reliably delivers more than 80% of the drug to the lungs in a soft (isokinetic) cloud of uniformly sized particles.” Other powders, boasted the Web site, only achieve 20% or less.


In order to cover-up the evident connection between our secret anthrax weaponization projects and the attack anthrax, it would be necessary to negate the fact that the attack anthrax (particularly in the letters to the Senators) was weaponized.

This aspect of the cover-up is described in “Anthrax Powder: State of the Art?” by Gary Matsumoto, that appeared in the November, 2003 edition (Vol 32) of Science Magazine:

“Early in the investigation, the consensus among biodefense specialists working for the government and the military [was that] . . . the powder mailed to the Senate . . . was a diabolical advance in biological weapons technology . . . 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) . . . [But] 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. . . . 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 . . . That’s what they’re saying now, and that radically contradicts everything we were told during the first year of this investigation.’”

Of course, once the DOJ/FBI arrived at its formulation that Bruce Ivins was the lone culprit, it became that much more necessary to portray the attack anthrax as other than “weapons-grade.” Richard Spertzel, quoted in the above-cited Science Magazine, was not only a chief UNSCOM inspector, he also worked at Fort Detrick for 18 years, and served as Deputy Commander of USAMRIID. On August 5, 2008 (one week after the death of Bruce Ivins), the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Mr. Spertzel entitled “Bruce Ivins Wasn’t the Anthrax Culprit.” Excerpts follow:

“Let's start with the anthrax in the letters to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The spores could not have been produced at USAMRIID where Ivins worked, without many other people being aware of it. Furthermore, the equipment to make such a product does not exist at the Institute. Information released by the FBI over the past seven years indicates a product of exceptional quality. The product contained essentially pure spores. The particle size was 1.5 to 3 microns in diameter . . . What's more, they were also tailored to make them potentially more dangerous. According to a FBI news release from November 2001, the particles were coated by a ‘product not seen previously to be used in this fashion before.’ 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 UNSCOM) by the FBI to the German Foreign Ministry at the time . . . The multiple disciplines and technologies required to make the anthrax in this case do not exist at USAMRIID. Inhalation studies are conducted at the Institute, but they are done using liquid preparations, not powdered products. 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.”

On August 18, 2008 (three weeks after the death of Bruce Ivins), FBI scientists and their consultants conducted a briefing for journalists with “well-respected scientific journals.” The transcription of the entire briefing accessible at should be reviewed. The briefing is rife with evident evasions, contradictions and clumsy contrivances. Several excerpts (somewhat rearranged according to subject matter) follow:

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: . . . Leading today's discussion is Dr. Vahid Majidi and Dr. Chris Hassell of the FBI. . . .

DR. MAJIDI: . . . After nearly seven years of investigation, we have developed a body of powerful evidence that allows us to conclude that we have identified the origin and the perpetrator of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis mailing. . . .

“DR. MAJIDI: . . . We have obviously done a number of other analyses [of the attack anthrax], elemental characterization, that drove us to conclude that there were no additives.

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: . . . [The silica] was on the inside of the spore and not on the outside of the spore. . . .

DR. MAJIDI: . . . That's what the whole concept or methodology of weaponization comes from, is to weaponize. That's really -- that's an ambiguous word, but what people mean by weaponize is that postproduction of the spores was silica added to it to make it more disbursable . . . So one last time. No additive was added to the sample to make it more disbursable.

. . . . So is the material being so easily dispersible really unusual? The answer is no.

DR. MICHAEL: The spore coat is a layer, as I understand it, that's within the spore and it's not the outermost layer of the spore. So the spore had sequestered silicon and oxygen in the same location on the spore coat. We found no additives; no exogenous material on the outside of the spores. We did have the opportunity to look at weaponized material to compare it to the letter material and they were very different. And the weaponized material the additives appear on the outside of the spore. Again, in the letter materials the silicon and oxygen were co-located on the spore coat, within the spore.

QUESTION: Did you develop any theories on where the silicon and oxygen came from, and do you think it played any role in making the spores super buoyant?

DR. MAJIDI: If I can actually pass that question to Dr. Burans, because he's our expert on processing.

DR. BURANS: In essence, as Dr. Michael described, the silicon associated with oxygen that was found within the spore, not on the surface of the spore, being present within the spore coat, which is covered by something called an exosporia, the silicon would not have contributed to the fluid-like qualities of the Anthrax powders.

[My comment: From where did Dr. Michael obtain his “weaponized material”? That question aside, additives on the outside of the exosporium is pre-1969 technology. The current technology involving polyglass made of tightly bound hydrophilic silica referred to by Richard Spertzel (see above) is located in the spore coat.]

QUESTION: And as to where it came from?

DR. BURANS: It's known that Bacilli are capable of mineralizing different types of elements including silicon, so as early as 1982 Bacilli species have been shown to localize silica within their spore coat.

QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up?

DR. MAJIDI: It could have been within the growth media. It could have been within --

DR. BURANS: It was a natural occurrence.

DR. MAJIDI: -- natural occurrence, yes.

QUESTION: Can you tell us what the dry weight percentage was on the silicon and the oxygen?

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: There was no exogenous silicon in the spores.

QUESTION: I appreciate that, but can you please tell me what the dry weight percentage was of the silicon?


QUESTION: It was high?


[My comment: The claim that spores could contain a “high” percentage of silicon as the result of a “natural occurrence” is absurd.]

QUESTION: But we still need to know the weight, because that tells you how this stuff was weaponized.

DR. MAJIDI: Just wait a second. Wait a second. You know, there is -- this -- I don't understand what -- you are using the term, “weaponized” -- no one -- when you look at weaponization, there is a clear definition. That is you have an anthrax spore; you do specific preparation to make it suitable for use as a biological weapon. The material that we recovered did not have any additives added to it to make it in any more easily dispersible. They material we have is pure spores . . .

DR. MAJIDI: So again, I don't want to get wrapped around the issue of how was a sample processed. The critical issue --

QUESTION: Isn't that part -- an important part of the evidence, though?

DR. MAJIDI: Well, no. The important part of the evidence is that the materials of the letter with the genetic mutations could exclusively be related only to RMR-1029. . . .

DR. MAJIDI: It would have been easy to make these samples at USAMRIID. . . .

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: There is a misconception going around this room that very simple spore preparation, simply spores washed in water, when dried, are not dangerous and friable. That is a misconception. We have seen many biological preparations that when just washed with water and dried are extremely friable. . . .

QUESTION: Can you tell me in your preparations how long it took you to make a spore like this as of the SI enhancer or whatever -- the drying, et cetera? How long did that take?

DR. BURANS: Basically, it would take somewhere between three and seven days.

QUESTION: That's all? How many people did it take to do that to that; to --

DR. BURANS: One person can perform the operation. . . .

DR. MAJIDI: Those locations [from where RMR-1029 was submitted] -- it is not eight laboratories. I got to be clear about that. They came from different locations. A good number of them came from USAMRIID itself. And we're not disclosing the [other] location.

QUESTION: How many were outside of the United States, and how many were non-governmental labs?

DR. MAJIDI: None outside the United States.

QUESTION: Were they all government labs?

DR. MAJIDI: There's a fine distinction there and I don't know really what we call government and what we call quasi-governmental, so we're going just going to leave that as is. . . .

QUESTION: So I've seen different estimates. How many people at Detrick or anyone else actually have access to RMR-1029?

DR. MAJIDI: The total body -- the total universe of people at some point were associated with RMR-1029 -- I'll qualify that. Roughly, about 100-plus.

QUESTION: Hundred-plus. Were those all at Detrick, or other labs --

DR. MAJIDI: No, they were at Detrick and other labs.

QUESTION: Can you just tell us, of the eight samples that the letters matched to, how many places were they at? You were sort of vague earlier.

DR. MAJIDI: Sure. Let's just say they're definitely not at eight places.

QUESTION: But can you just give us the number? Why can't you give us the number?

DR. MAJIDI: Because if I provide you with the exact number -- well, there's a number of reasons, I'll just give you a generic one. We don't want you to bug those laboratories.

QUESTION: Well, don't give us the names, just tell us how many.


QUESTION: You've already told us a hundred people; right? So --


QUESTION: -- how many labs?

DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Is it one?

DR. MAJIDI: It's more than one.


DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Can we keep guessing?



QUESTION: Is it ten?

DR. MAJIDI: Okay, it's total two laboratories.

QUESTION: Total two. Including USAMRIID? Or --

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Two institutions.

DR. MAJIDI: Two institutions . . . that means USAMRIID and one other institution.

Of course, the other institution, the “quasi-governmental” lab, is Battelle. It bears pointing out that throughout the entire Amerithrax investigation, no one from either the FBI or the DOJ ever publicly mentions the name Battelle.

James Burans identified above as the FBI’s “expert on processing” is introduced at the beginning of the briefing by FBI Lab Director Hassell as “the associate laboratory director of the National Bioforensic Analysis Center.” Later in the briefing when Dr. Burans introduces himself, he says he is “from the U.S. Naval biodefense community,” that he “became a scientific consultant to the FBI in the early stages of the Anthrax investigation,” and that he “helped to establish the National Bioforensic Analysis Center . . . to support Homeland Security and the FBI.” What is never revealed is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security contracted with Battelle to manage and operate the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, and that James Burans is a Battelle employee.

One last excerpt from this briefing:

QUESTION: . . . you know, there are so many suspicions about the way [Amerithrax] has been handled.

DR. MAJIDI: I don't think, number one, we were ever going to put the suspicions to bed. There is always going to be a spore on the grassy knoll . . .

I will cite one other venue in which the FBI/DOJ Amerithrax cover-up has been promoted, namely, the New York Times. On January 4, 2009, the Times published on its front page an article by Scott Shane which Shane introduced as the product of “the deepest look so far at the [Amerithrax] investigation.” Excerpts follow:

“The Times review found that the F.B.I. had disproved the assertion, widespread among scientists who believe Dr. Ivins was innocent, that the anthrax might have come from military and intelligence research programs in Utah or Ohio. By 2004, secret scientific testing established that the mailed anthrax had been grown somewhere near Fort Detrick . . . By early 2004, F.B.I. scientists had discovered that out of 60 domestic and foreign water samples, only water from Frederick, Md., had the same chemical signature as the water used to grow the mailed anthrax.”

About two months later, this nonsense about water testing establishing that the attack anthrax was grown near Fort Detrick was retracted on the New York Times website as follows:

“Postscript: February 28, 2009 (by Scott Shane)
A front-page article on Jan. 4 about Bruce E. Ivins, the late Army scientist who the Federal Bureau of Investigation says was responsible for the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, reported that F.B.I. scientists had concluded in 2004 that out of 60 domestic and foreign water samples, only water from near Fort Detrick, Md., where Dr. Ivins worked, had the same chemical signature as the water that had been used to grow the mailed anthrax. That information, provided by a former senior law enforcement official who did not want to be named in the article, suggested that the anthrax could not have come from military and intelligence research programs in Utah and Ohio, as some defenders of Dr. Ivins’s innocence had speculated. . . .

On Tuesday at an American Society for Microbiology conference in Baltimore, an F.B.I. scientist, Jason D. Bannan, said the water research ultimately was inconclusive about where the anthrax was grown. An F.B.I. spokeswoman, Ann Todd, said on Wednesday that the bureau ‘stands by the statements’ of Dr. Bannan.”

The author of this memorandum had something to do with this retraction being made. I composed a detailed critique of the N.Y. Times article, and Dr. Meryl Nass decided to post it on her website. I also attended the American Society for Microbiology conference in Baltimore referred to in the retraction, and was the individual who asked FBI scientist Bannan to comment about the “water research.” My critique is accessible at

Another passage in this same New York Times article that warrants retractions is as follows:

“Though a public debate had raged for years over whether the mailed anthrax had been ‘weaponized’ with sophisticated chemical additives, the F.B.I. had concluded early on that it was not. Dr. Ezzell agreed, as did Jeff Mohr, an expert on anthrax and other pathogens at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Without giving an opinion of Dr. Ivins’s guilt or innocence, both Dr. Ezzell and Dr. Mohr said they believed that any experienced microbiologist could have grown and dried the anthrax using equipment Dr. Ivins had in his laboratory.”

Previous statements by Drs. Mohr and Ezzell contradicted the view attributed to them in the N.Y. Times article. Dr. Mohr was interviewed for a recently released documentary entitled Anthrax War, (which documentary was co-produced by Congressman Nadler’s brother, Eric Nadler). In the documentary, Dr. Mohr is heard to plainly say that Dugway weaponizes anthrax. He also openly reveals that “a bunch of” scientists at Dugway worked with the FBI on Amerithrax, thus learned the “ins and outs” with respect to the characteristics of the attack anthrax, that the particles of attack anthrax were in the range of 1 micron in size, that size is only “one of the reasons it was so dangerous,” but that he has to be careful about what he reveals, because he (and the other Dugway scientists) signed statements promising not to talk about what the attack anthrax looked like.

Dr. Ezzell gave his original account of the attack anthrax to Marilyn Thompson, which account was reported in her book, The Killer Strain (HarperCollins: 2003):

“The FBI called Ezzell on October 15 [2001] to alert him that evidence would be brought from the Daschle crime scene straight to USAMRIID for testing. . . . [A]s Ezzell worked, he noticed a bit of white powder tucked into one of the letter's folds. Almost as soon as he saw it, the powder dispersed, spreading invisibly through the safety cabinet. After years of researching anthrax, he had never seen the bacteria in its weaponized form -- . . . a material that could blanket a city or annihilate an enemy. This was a powder so virulent that normal laboratory rules did not apply. Both he and his team could be at risk despite their precautions. . . . 'After all these years of looking, here it is. This is the real thing, in the right form,' he recalled. . . . To protect himself, Ezzell started antibiotics to guard against infection. He also took another precaution. Ezzell went to a sink and mixed a solution of diluted bleach. Bracing himself, he lifted it to his nose and took a deep snort. The pain that surged through his sinuses almost knocked him to the ground . . . Later in one of the regular interagency conference calls, Ezzell described what he had seen when he looked into the Daschle letter. He used the term weaponized anthrax. That night a friend who worked for the CIA woke him from a deep sleep to tell him that his assessment of 'weaponized' anthrax in the Daschle letter had been passed on to the President of the United States.” (Pages 116-118).

There is one other book that reports observations of the attack anthrax made during the first examinations of the Daschle anthrax. The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston (Oct. 2002, Random House) also reveals the seeds of the cover-up:

“October 16, 2001

On the morning of the 16th, the day after it was delivered to USAMRIID, the powder in the letter mailed to Senator Daschle was being studied by John Ezzell, the civilian microbiologist who accepted it from the agents of the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit [HMRU]. But, Jahrling wanted Tom Geisbert to get the sample under an electron microscope… [Geisbert] shoved it into one of the electron microscopes, a transmission scope, which is eight feet tall. The scope cost a quarter-million dollars. Geisbert sat down at the eye pieces and focused. The view was wall-to-wall anthrax spores. . . .The material seemed to be absolutely pure spores. . . [USAMRMC Chief] General Parker and Peter Jahrling went by the office of the USAMRIID Commander, Colonel Ed Eitzen, then the three men went upstairs to the scope room, where Tom Geisbert was staring at the anthrax. ‘It’s okay, I used to run an electron microscopy lab,’ Parker said. Parker sat down at the scope and looked. Pure spores. That was all he needed to see. He went out into the hallway and started issuing instructions to Eitzen and Jahrling in a rapid fire way: ‘We’re going to put USAMRIID into emergency operations . . .’

“October 17, 2001

. . . Major General John Parker went to the US Senate, where he met with a caucus of the Senate leadership and their staff. He told them that he looked at the anthrax himself in the microscope and that it was essentially pure spores. He would later say, ‘The letter was a missile …’ The FBI decided, sensibly, to get a second opinion on the Daschle anthrax. The HMRU dispatched a Huey to Fort Detrick…The helicopter took off with the sample and thupped westward over Maryland. It touched down in West Jefferson, Ohio near Columbus at the Hazardous Materials Research Center of the Batelle Memorial Institute. Batelle scientists took the [sample] into the lab. . . . Their tests showed that the anthrax was not nearly as refined or powerful as the Army people believed.

“October 18, 2001

. . . [During an Interagency Conference Call with individuals from National Security Council, FBI, CDC, and Army], Peter Jahrling replied that USAMRIID’s data indicated that the Daschle anthrax was ten times more concentrated and potent than any form of anthrax that had been made by the old American bio-warfare program at Fort Detrick in the 1960s. He said that the anthrax consisted of pure spores, and that it was ‘highly aerogenic’ . . . The spores of anthrax went straight through the paper of the Daschle envelope and other anthrax envelopes full of ultra-fine powder that were mailed, though they had been sealed tightly with tape.

“October 19, 2001

. . . Before dawn on Friday morning, four days after the Daschle letter was opened, Peter Jahrling put on a space suit and went into the Submarine and got a tiny sample of live, dry Daschle anthrax. He gave the sample to Tom Geisbert so that he could look at the dry anthrax in a scanning electron microscope. Geisbert carried the tube of dry anthrax into his microscope lab . . . [Geisbert] stared at the bone-colored particles. Now he saw them climbing the wall of the tube, dancing along the wall of the tube heading upward. His assistant, Denise Braun, was working near by. ‘Denise, you’ll never believe this.’ The anthrax was like jumping beans; it seemed to have a life of its own. He began preparing a sample for the scope. He opened the tube and tapped a little bit of the anthrax onto a piece of sticky black tape that would hold the powder in place. But the anthrax bounced off the tape. The particles wouldn’t stick. Eighty percent of the Daschle particles flittered away in air currents up into the hood. That was when he understood that the Hart Building was utterly contaminated . . . [Geisbert] had a national-security clearance, and he knew something about anthrax, but he could not imagine how this weapon had been made. It looked extremely sinister. He started feeling shaky. He called Jahrling. ‘Pete, I’m in the scope room. Can you come up here, like right now?’ Jahrling ran upstairs, closed the door, and stared at the skull anthrax for a long time. He didn’t say much. Geisbert’s security clearance was rated secret, and the details of how this material could have been made might be more highly classified. Not long afterward, Jahrling apparently went to the Secure Room and had the classified safe opened. He studied a document or documents with red-slashed borders that would appear to contain exact technical formulas for various kinds of weapons-grade anthrax. … Jahrling refers to the secret of scull anthrax as the Anthrax Trick although he won’t discuss it . . . [Geisbert] was afraid that his findings about the skull quality of the anthrax meant that it had come from a military biowarfare lab . . . Meanwhile in Washington , the FBI laboratory was trying to evaluate the anthrax. On the same day that the two Brentwood workers died, a meeting was held at FBI headquarters involving the FBI laboratory, scientists from the Battelle Memorial Institute and scientists from the Army. Battelle and the Army people were doing what scientists do best; disagreeing totally with one another. The Army scientists were telling the FBI that the powder was extremely refined and dangerous. While a Battelle scientist named Michael Kuhlman was allegedly saying that the anthrax was ten to fifty times less potent than the Army was claiming . . . The Department of Health and Human Services was not getting briefed about the anthrax to its satisfaction by the FBI. An HHS official who was close to the situation but who did not want her name used had this to say about the Battelle analysis of the Daschle anthrax: ‘It was one of the most screwed-up situations I’ve ever heard of. The people at Battelle took the anthrax and heated it in an autoclave, and this caused the material to clump up, and then they told the FBI it looked like puppy chow. It was like a used- car dealer offering a car for sale that’s been in an accident and is covered with dents, and the dealer is trying to claim this is the way the car looked when it was new.’

“October 24, 2001

Early in the morning, nine days after the Daschle letter was opened, Major General John Parker got a call from Tommy Thompson at Health and Human Services. Thompson had been hearing rumors that the Daschle anthrax was really bad stuff, but he still hadn’t heard much about it from the FBI laboratory . . . [At the White House, that evening:] John Ashcroft led off the meeting. He didn’t mince words. There was an obvious lack of communication between the Army, the FBI, and the CDC, he said, and the purpose of this meeting was to determine why the CDC hadn’t realized that the anthrax was weapons--grade material and hadn’t taken action faster on the Brentwood mail facility . . . Ashcroft was Robert Mueller’s boss and he looked straight at the FBI director. Mueller turned his gaze to General Parker. Mueller thanked the Army for bringing the nature of the anthrax to the FBI’s attention. He said that the FBI had received conflicting data on the anthrax. The FBI had been trying to sort this issue through, but Mueller now acknowledged that the Army had been right: the Daschle anthrax was a weapon.

“October 25, 2001

Tom Geisbert drove his beat-up station wagon to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, in northwest Washington, carrying a whiff of sterilized dry Daschle anthrax mounted in special cassette. He spent the day with a group of technicians running tests with an X-ray machine to find out if the powder contained any metals or elements. By lunchtime, the machine had shown that there were two extra elements in the spores, silicone and oxygen. Silicone oxide. Silicone dioxide is glass . . . The glass was slippery and smooth, and it may have been treated so that it would repel water. It caused the spores to crumble apart, to pass more easily through the holes in the envelopes, and fly everywhere, filling the Hart Senate Office Building and the Brentwood and Hamilton mail-sorting facilities like a gas.”

(Pages 200-234).

“One day, I [author Richard Preston] spoke with a scientist who is an expert in forensic evidence, knows a lot about biology, and until recently was an influential executive in the FBI. ‘We just don’t know who these perpetrators are, and it could be years before we get a break. I’m saying ‘they.’ I personally find it hard to believe it was done by only one person . . . If I wanted to keep tight operational security…I would do it with opsec. Opsec—operational security. It’s a standard security approach for making yourself as invisible as possible. There is a leader who organizes and directs an operation, and a different person carries it out.’ The person who does the operation is expendable.”

(Pages 246-247).


In 1961, in his “Farewell Address,” President Eisenhower warned of the emerging power of the “military-industrial complex.” In the ensuing almost fifty years, that warning has gone unheeded, and we have been engaged in what Gore Vidal calls “perpetual war.” Our military and so-called “national security” expenditures exceed the total of what the entire rest of the world spends.

We by far export more weapons than any other country. We maintain at least 750 military bases around the world. We are what Martin Luther King called the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” So much of what we now do in the name of national security (including our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) actually undermines our security, not only by multiplying our enemies, bankrupting our treasury, and instigating international arms races, but by perpetuating massive delusion.

The insanity of our course is exemplified in the system surrounding the anthrax letters of 2001. This, the only bio-attack in our history, is an officially acknowledged “inside job,” one that we know originated from our own so-called “biodefense” program. No, the anthrax letters were not the work of a “lone nut.” They were the work of our military-industrial-intelligence complex, a complex of revolving participants that manufactures weapons and war for power and profits.

The decision in early 2001 to unilaterally reject inspections and verification as a part of international bioweapons arms control (precisely to avoid inspections of our secret weaponization projects) was the choice to pursue arms race over arms control. The anthrax letters that soon followed served and fulfilled two purposes. As a “false flag operation,” with language in the letters that read “Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is Great,” the anthrax attacks played a major role in the run-up to the Iraq war. As a stimulator of fear of bio-threat, the anthrax attacks served as the pretext for a massive expansion of our so-called biodefense program, with expenditures on this program quickly becoming twenty times what they were before the attacks.

I am a longtime resident of Frederick, Maryland, home of Fort Detrick. Fort Detrick has been headquarters for our biowarfare/biodefense programs ever since their inception in 1943. The plan is to make Detrick the site of a National Inter-agency Biodefense Campus (NIBC). Construction of two of the NIBC’s facilities is already completed, one an NIH facility called the Integrated Research Facility (IRF), the other a Homeland Security (DHS) facility called the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). Both NIH and DHS have already entered into contracts worth $750 million with the same private company for the management and operation of these facilities – the name of that company is Battelle. DHS is also entrusted with constructing the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a 500,000 square foot facility, which will have within its walls more BSL-4 laboratory space than three times the total amount of BSL-4 space in the entire country as of 2004. All indications are that DHS will be contracting with Battelle to manage and operate this facility as well.

Just the week before this memorandum is being submitted, there were three separate Congressional committees conducting hearings about the massive proliferation of high-security bio-laboratories being built across the country. In the first such hearings that took place back in October, 2007, Keith Rhodes of the GAO testified: “High-risk labs have health risks for individual lab workers as well as the surrounding community . . . [E]ven labs within sophisticated biological research programs, including those most extensively regulated, have had and will continue to have safety failures." Only massive delusion can explain how in all of these hearings, no one except the GAO is seriously questioning the need for, the rationale behind this proliferation. The multitude of government-sponsored advisory panels, like the National Research Council committee that just issued a 161-page report, practically all appear to begin with the assumption that this proliferation is essential to national security. Only massive delusion can explain how we could assume that the necessary response to the only bioattack in our history is to massively expand the program that itself generated that attack.

The operation of our military-industrial-intelligence complex is impervious to changes in Federal administration. Though the anthrax attacks and the design of the new “biodefense” program happened under the Bush administration, the Obama administration’s appointment of Tara O’Toole as the head of DHS’s Science and Technology division illustrates the nature of our system. Tara O’Toole was the CEO and Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to improving the country’s resilience to major biological threats.”

According to their web site, The Alliance for Biosecurity is “a collaboration among the Center for Biosecurity and 13 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies whose mission is to work in the public interest to improve prevention and treatment of severe infectious diseases -- particularly those diseases that present global security challenges.” Alliance partners include Emergent BioSolutions (manufacturer of the only vaccine licensed by the FDA for the prevention of anthrax infection), Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (that recently received a $1.8 billion contract to help the government stockpile anti-anthrax antibodies, whose directors include Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy and a national security advisor to President Obama), and Battelle.

O’Toole was the principal designer of two bioterror preparedness drills, the 2001 “Dark Winter” exercise and the 2005 “Atlantic Storm” drill. According to a U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute publication by Milton Leitenburg, these drills were based on a bundle of lies and misinformation including a claimed terrorist capability of making a bio-weapon that state-run programs do not possess, and exaggerated transmission rates of disease employed to exaggerate the resultant calamity. The drills were fraudulently designed so as to frame the threat of bioterrorism as a rationalization for the increased expenditure of public funds.

Well-respected Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University stated: “Tara O’Toole supported every flawed decision and counterproductive policy on biodefense, biosafety, and biosecurity during the Bush Administration . . . She was the single most extreme person, either in or out of government, advocating for a massive biodefense expansion and relaxation of provisions for safety and security.”

Respectfully submitted on October 2, 2009,


Barry J.C. Kissin, Esq.

148 West Patrick Street

Frederick, MD 21701


fax 301-694-8771
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
After years of questioning the conclusion and methods of an FBI investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened dozens of others, Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) announced yesterday that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is opening an inquiry into the matter.
Holt, along with a handful of other legislators, had sent a letter to the GAO in May requesting an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the case. The FBI officially closed the case in February after concluding in 2008 that Dr. Bruce Ivins, a former biodefense scientist, was the sole culprit in the attacks.
Ivins, a resident of Frederick, Md., committed suicide shortly before government investigators planned to formally file charges against him.
“In the wake of the bungled FBI investigation, all of us — but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks — deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case is really closed,” Holt said in a statement yesterday.
Holt has charged in the past that the FBI investigation failed to address basic questions including Ivins’ motive and his connections with the local area.
Investigators determined that at least one of the letters was sent from a mailbox on Nassau Street in Princeton Borough. The letters were sorted at a postal service facility on Route 130 in Hamilton, where several employees became ill.
“The American people need credible answers to many questions raised by the original attack and the subsequent FBI handling of the case,” Holt said. “I’m pleased the GAO has responded to our request and will look into the scientific methods used by the FBI.”
The GAO’s investigation will look to address a handful of specific questions as requested by Holt.
He asked the agency to identify and judge the quality of the microbial and technical forensics methods employed by the FBI in concluding Ivins was responsible for the attack. He asked what, if any, scientific concerns and uncertainties remain after the closure of the official investigation. Finally, he wanted to determine what agencies are responsible for monitoring high containment laboratories.
However, officials with the GAO, in accepting Holt’s request for an inquiry, admitted that its efforts may be hampered by lack of access to classified material.
“Please know that we may encounter challenges to our access to sensitive and classified information from the FBI and the intelligence agencies,” Ralph Dawn Jr., managing director of congressional relations for the GAO, said in a letter to Holt last month.
In 2008, the FBI commissioned its own inquiry from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) into the results of its investigation. The results of the NAS report are expected to be released later this year.
Holt has also introduced legislation calling for a formal congressional commission to investigate the attacks. Similar to the 9/11 Commission, the panel would hold hearings and be granted subpoena power.
Officials with the Obama administration earlier this year said the president would veto any such legislation, saying it would be redundant in the wake of the FBI and NAS investigations.
Contact Matt Fair at or at (609) 989-5707.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Quote: “Please know that we may encounter challenges to our access to sensitive and classified information from the FBI and the intelligence agencies,” Ralph Dawn Jr., managing director of congressional relations for the GAO, said in a letter to Holt last month.


The Empire depends on this truth never seeing the light of day!

Breaking open the Anthrax case would open up the door to what really happened on 9-11 and why and who rolled out the unPatriot Act and all of its sequellae and wars.....etc. It would even get to the recent bankster op....and more....:ahhhhh:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011

Anthrax "Conviction" Falls Apart

Silicon and Tin Added to Weaponize Anthrax

McClatchy noted yesterday:

Buried in FBI laboratory reports about the anthrax mail attacks that killed five people in 2001 is data suggesting that a chemical may have been added to try to heighten the powder's potency, a move that some experts say exceeded the expertise of the presumed killer.

The lab data, contained in more than 9,000 pages of files that emerged a year after the Justice Department closed its inquiry and condemned the late Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator, shows unusual levels of silicon and tin in anthrax powder from two of the five letters.

Those elements are found in compounds that could be used to weaponize the anthrax, enabling the lethal spores to float easily so they could be readily inhaled by the intended victims, scientists say.

The existence of the silicon-tin chemical signature offered investigators the possibility of tracing purchases of the more than 100 such chemical products available before the attacks, which might have produced hard evidence against Ivins or led the agency to the real culprit.

But the FBI lab reports released in late February give no hint that bureau agents tried to find the buyers of additives such as tin-catalyzed silicone polymers.

The apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose.

A McClatchy analysis of the records also shows that other key scientific questions were left unresolved and conflicting data wasn't sorted out when the FBI declared Ivins the killer shortly after his July 29, 2008, suicide.

One chemist at a national laboratory told McClatchy that the tin-silicone findings and the contradictory data should prompt a new round of testing on the anthrax powder.

A senior federal law enforcement official, who was made available only on the condition of anonymity, said the FBI had ordered exhaustive tests on the possible sources of silicon in the anthrax and concluded that it wasn't added. Instead, the lab found that it's common for anthrax spores to incorporate environmental silicon and oxygen into their coatings as a "natural phenomenon" that doesn't affect the spores' behavior, the official said.

To arrive at that position, however, the FBI had to discount its own bulk testing results showing that silicon composed an extraordinary 10.8 percent of a sample from a mailing to the New York Post and as much as 1.8 percent of the anthrax from a letter sent to Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, far more than the occasional trace contamination. Tin not usually seen in anthrax powder at all was measured at 0.65 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in those letters.


Several scientists and former colleagues of Ivins argue that he was a career biologist who probably lacked the chemistry knowledge and skills to concoct a silicon-based additive.

"There's no way that an individual scientist can invent a new way of making anthrax using silicon and tin," said Stuart Jacobsen, a Texas-based analytical chemist for an electronics company who's closely studied the FBI lab results. "It requires an institutional effort to do this, such as at a military lab."

Martin Hugh-Jones, a world-renowned anthrax expert who teaches veterinary medicine at Louisiana State University, called it "just bizarre" that the labs found both tin which can be toxic to bacteria such as anthrax during lab culturing and silicon.

"You have two elements at abnormally high levels," Hugh-Jones said. "That reduces your probability to a very small number that it's an accident."


The FBI guarded its laboratory's finding of 10.8 percent silicon in the Post letter for years. New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler asked FBI Director Robert Mueller how much silicon was in the Post and Leahy letters at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in September 2008. The Justice Department responded seven months later that silicon made up 1.4 percent of the Leahy powder (without disclosing the 1.8 percent reading) and that "a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible" for the Post letter.


During the FBI's seven-year hunt, the Department of Homeland Security commissioned a team of chemists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to grow anthrax-like spores under varying conditions to see how much silicon would end up naturally in the final product.

They found little, if any, silicon in most cases, far less than was in the New York Post letter, said Stephan Velsko, one of the two researchers. He called the tin readings from the FBI's anthrax data "baffling."

Peter Weber, Velsko's co-researcher, said the academy panel's focus on the conflicting data "raises a big question," and "it'd be really helpful for closure of this case if that was resolved."


In a chapter in a recently updated book, "Microbial Forensics," Velsko wrote that the anthrax "must have indeed been produced under an unusual set of conditions" to create such high silicon counts. That scenario, he cautioned, might not be "consistent with the prosecution narrative in this case."


Mike Wilson, a chemist for another silicone products maker, SiVance, in Gainesville, Fla., said that numerous silicon products could be used to make spores or other particles water-repellent. He also said that the ratios of silicon to tin found in the Post and Leahy samples would be "about right" if a tin-catalyzed silicone had been added to the spores.

Jacobsen, a Scottish-born and -educated chemist who once experimented with silicon coatings on dust particles, said he got interested in the spore chemistry after hearing rumors in late 2001 that a U.S. military facility had made the killer potions. He called it "outrageous" that the scientific issues haven't been addressed.

"America, the most advanced country in the world, and the FBI have every resource available to them," he said. "And yet they have no compelling explanation for not properly analyzing the biggest forensic clue in the most important investigation the FBI labs had ever gotten in their history."

As a result of Ivins' death and the unanswered scientific issues, Congress' investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, is investigating the FBI's handling of the anthrax inquiry.

By way of background, I pointed out in 2008 that some of the top anthrax experts in the world say that the killer anthrax was weaponized.

I reported the same year:

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)."

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, had there been any), 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 anthrax spores with anti-clumping agents

I wrote in 2009:

The publisher of the prestigious scientific journal Nature writes:

At a biodefence meeting on 24 February, Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, presented analyses of three letters sent to the New York Post and to the offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael. Bacteria from Ivins' RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.

Two cultures of the same anthrax strain grown using similar processes one from Ivins' lab, the other from a US Army facility in Utah showed the silicon-oxygen signature but did not contain tin or iron. Michael presented the analyses at the American Society for Microbiology's Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

I noted last year:

Edward Epstein writes in a must-read article in Wall Street Journal's Opinion section:

Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax. Through an elaborate process, anthrax spores were coated with the substance to prevent them from clinging together so as to create a lethal aerosol. But since weaponization was banned by international treaties, research anthrax no longer contains silicon, and the flask at Fort Detrick contained none.


Yet the anthrax grown from it had silicon, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol. If so, then somehow silicon was added to the anthrax. But Ivins, no matter how weird he may have been, had neither the set of skills nor the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores.

At a minimum, such a process would require highly specialized equipment that did not exist in Ivins's labor, for that matter, anywhere at the Fort Detrick facility. As Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins, explained in a private briefing on Jan. 7, 2009, the lab didn't even deal with anthrax in powdered form, adding, "I don't think there's anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it." So while Ivins's death provided a convenient fall guy, the silicon content still needed to be explained.

The FBI's answer was that the anthrax contained only traces of silicon, and those, it theorized, could have been accidently absorbed by the spores from the water and nutrient in which they were grown. No such nutrients were ever found in Ivins's lab, nor, for that matter, did anyone ever see Ivins attempt to produce any unauthorized anthrax (a process which would have involved him using scores of flasks.) But since no one knew what nutrients had been used to grow the attack anthrax, it was at least possible that they had traces of silicon in them that accidently contaminated the anthrax.

Natural contamination was an elegant theory that ran into problems after Congressman Jerry Nadler pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller in September 2008 to provide the House Judiciary Committee with a missing piece of data: the precise percentage of silicon contained in the anthrax used in the attacks.

The answer came seven months later on April 17, 2009. According to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the powder in the Leahy letter was silicon. "This is a shockingly high proportion," explained Stuart Jacobson, an expert in small particle chemistry. "It is a number one would expect from the deliberate weaponization of anthrax, but not from any conceivable accidental contamination."

Nevertheless, in an attempt to back up its theory, the FBI contracted scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California to conduct experiments in which anthrax is accidently absorbed from a media heavily laced with silicon. When the results were revealed to the National Academy Of Science in September 2009, they effectively blew the FBI's theory out of the water.

The Livermore scientists had tried 56 times to replicate the high silicon content without any success. Even though they added increasingly high amounts of silicon to the media, they never even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of magnitude lower, with some as low as .001%.

What these tests inadvertently demonstrated is that the anthrax spores could not have been accidently contaminated by the nutrients in the media. "If there is that much silicon, it had to have been added," Jeffrey Adamovicz, who supervised Ivins's work at Fort Detrick, wrote to me last month. He added that the silicon in the attack anthrax could have been added via a large fermentorwhich Battelle and other labs use" but "we did not use a fermentor to grow anthrax at USAMRIID . . . [and] We did not have the capability to add silicon compounds to anthrax spores"...

When I asked a FBI spokesman this month about the Livermore findings, he said the FBI was not commenting on any specifics of the case, other than those discussed in the 2008 briefing (which was about a year before Livermore disclosed its results). He stated: "The Justice Department and the FBI continue working to conclude the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks. We anticipate closing the case in the near future."

So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still openand, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.


A manufacturer of specialized anthrax equipment said:

"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 U.N. biologist mentioned above also said that the equipment to make such high-tech anthrax does not exist at Fort Detrick, where Ivins worked. People who work at Fort Detrick have confirmed this. In other words, a lone scientist couldn't have done it without the support of a whole government laboratory. And Fort Detrick was not one such potential laboratory.
Vaccine expert Dr. Meryl Nass has also criticized the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins:

The letter spores contained a Bacillus subtilis contaminant, and silicon to enhance dispersal. FBI has never found the Bacillus subtilis strain at USAMRIID, and it has never acknowledged finding silicon there, either. If the letters anthrax was made at USAMRIID, at least small amounts of both would be there.


Does the FBI stand for the Federal Bureau of Invention?
Yesterday's McClatchy post also points out:
The silicon-tin connection wasn't the only lead left open in one of the biggest investigations in FBI history, an inquiry that took the bureau to the cutting edge of laboratory science. In April, McClatchy reported that after locking in on Ivins in 2007, the bureau stopped searching for a match to a unique genetic bacterial strain scientists had found in the anthrax that was mailed to the Post and to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, although a senior bureau official had characterized it as the hottest clue to date.
Ivins' Bosses Say Under Oath that He Couldn't Have Done It

And as AP notes, two of Bruce Ivins' bosses testified - under oath - that Ivins couldn't have done it:

The widow of a Florida tabloid photo editor who died in the 2001 anthrax mailings is casting fresh doubt on the FBI's conclusion that a lone federal scientist staged the attacks, according to new documents filed in her lawsuit against the government.


Sworn statements made by two of the scientist's superiors who said they don't believe Bruce Ivins was solely to blame for the attacks ...

The statements raising questions about the FBI's conclusions were made in depositions earlier this year by W. Russell Byrne and Gerard Andrews, who oversaw Ivins' work at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. Byrne was chief of bacteriology at the biodefense lab from 1998 to early 2000 and Andrews held the post from 2000 to 2003.

According to court documents, Byrne told Stevens' attorneys that Ivins "did not have the lab skills to make the fine powdered anthrax used in the letters" and that it would have been difficult for Ivins to do the work at night undetected. Byrne said others would have noticed the unusual use of equipment and supplies because of the hazardous microbes involved in their work.

"They pay attention to things because your lack of observation could cost you your life," Byrne said, according to the documents.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Byrne said he knew Ivins for 15 years and remains unconvinced he was capable of such crimes.

"It just wasn't the Bruce Ivins that I knew," said Byrne, who retired in 2003 and still lives in Frederick.

Andrews, the other superior, told lawyers it would have taken Ivins six months to a year to refine the anthrax spores used in the deadly mailings, instead of the roughly 20 hours the FBI found he spent at night in the lab. [One of the handful of people who actually can produce the kind of high-tech weaponized anthrax used in the attacks previously said, "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."]

Andrews also said Ivins did not have the expertise to do the work and some of the necessary equipment wasn't available at Fort Detrick at the time.

Andrews added that in the 16 years he knew Ivins, there was no indication "that he understood the weaponization technology of anthrax spores, nor did any of his colleagues ever talk to me about his interest or understanding" of the processes required.

"Dr. Andrews stated in his opinion, it would take more than one person to achieve this attack because of the unusual physical characteristics of the powders," the court document said.

He's Guilty Because He Was Odd

So what evidence does the FBI have against Ivins?

As Anthrax expert Dr. Nass notes, all of the FBI's "circumstantial" evidence falls apart the minute it is looked at closely.

At the end of the day, the FBI literally hinges its case on the fact that Ivins was "odd". Based on that criteria, the FBI could convict anyone it chose based on mere character assassination.

As always, "George"'s work comes with multiple embedded links at the original link above.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
The FBI's Anthrax 'investigation' had the same rigor and deep political neutrality as did their investigation of the JFK assassination, MLK assassination, RFK assassination and a long list of other events. :angeldevil:The never get the right man [or woman]! They are false-flag and patsy masters. Pirate:unclesam::captain:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
New Documents Cast Doubt on Federal Anthrax Case

by Mike Wiser, FRONTLINE; Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers; and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica

[Image: 20110718daschle.jpg]
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago.
Shortly after Ivins committed suicide in 2008, federal investigators announced that they had identified him as the mass murderer who sent the letters to members of Congress and the media. The case was circumstantial, with federal officials arguing that the scientist had the means, motive and opportunity to make the deadly powder at a U.S. Army research facility at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md.
On July 15, however, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins' lab -- the so-called hot suite -- did not contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.
The government said it continues to believe that Ivins was "more likely than not" the killer. But the filing in a Florida court did not explain where or how Ivins could have made the powder, saying only that the lab "did not have the specialized equipment" in Ivins' secure lab "that would be required to prepare the dried spore preparations that were used in the letters."
The government's statements deepen the questions about the case against Ivins, who killed himself before he was charged with a crime. Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores, and the FBI's eight-year, $100 million investigation never proved he mailed the letters or identified another location where he might have secretly dried the anthrax into an easily inhaled powder.
Earlier this year, a report by the National Academy of Science questioned the genetic analysis that had linked a flask of anthrax stored in Ivins' office to the anthrax contained in the letters.
The court papers were uncovered by a reporter for the PBS program FRONTLINE which is working on a forthcoming documentary on the case with McClatchy Newspapers and ProPublica, the investigative newsroom.
They were filed by lawyers in the Justice Department's Civil Division who are defending the government against a wrongful death suit brought by the family of Robert Stevens, a photo editor at the Sun. Stevens was the first to die from a tainted letter and his family has accused federal officials of lax procedures that allowed someone to make a germ weapon using anthrax from a government laboratory.
In asserting that Ivins was culprit, criminal investigators pointed to his access to the specialized equipment at the laboratory. Officials drew up elaborate charts showing that Ivins' time in the hot suites spiked in the weeks before the letters were mailed. But Ivins' colleagues have said in depositions for the Stevens case that the powder could not have been made in the lab without sickening lab technicians and others who had not been vaccinated against anthrax.
A Justice Department spokesman Monday shed little light on the seeming shift in positions, saying that investigators still believe Ivins produced the anthrax at Fort Detrick and are unaware of evidence that he did so elsewhere.
The Justice Department filed the papers in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla., last week. The lawyers were attempting to counter allegations by the Stevens family of negligence at Fort Detrick, including inadequate controls over anthrax controls, by arguing that the anthrax in the letters wasn't produced there.
Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, said Monday that the court filing did not contradict the government's conclusion that Ivins sent the letters. Rather, he said, the lawyers merely argued that "actions were not foreseeable to his supervisors" because he did not have equipment to dry the spores in his containment laboratory. Boyd said this meant the United States should not be held liable for his actions.
"To clarify, this statement was intended to relate to the specific containment laboratory" where Ivins kept a flask of liquid anthrax with genetic markers similar to those found in the letters, Boyd said.
In excerpts from one of more than a dozen depositions made public in the case last week, the current chief of of the Bacteriology Division at the Army laboratory, Patricia Worsham, said it lacked the facilities in 2001 to make the kind of spores in the letters.
Two of the five letters, those sent to Democratic U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Thomas Daschle of South Dakota, were especially deadly, because they were so buoyant as to float with the slightest wisp of air.
Worsham said that the lab's equipment for drying the spores, a machine the size of a refrigerator, was not in containment.
"If someone had used that to dry down that preparation, I would have expected that area to be very, very contaminated, and we had non-immunized personnel in that area, and I would have expected some of them to become ill," she said.
In its statement of facts, the government lawyers also said that producing the volume of anthrax in the letters would have required 2.8 to 53 liters of the solution used to grow the spores or 463 to 1,250 Petri dishes. Colleagues of Ivins at the lab have asserted that he couldn't have grown all that anthrax without their noticing it.
The government's own summary of the case against Ivins, released early last year when the Justice Department formally closed its investigation, noted that "drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties," and "overt use of any of these methods, if noticed, would have raised considerable alarm and scrutiny."
Paul Kemp, Ivins' lead defense attorney, said Monday that the department's concession that the equipment wasn't available "is at direct variance to the assertions of the government on July 29, 2008," the day Ivins died, thus "invalidating one of the chief theories of their prosecution case."
Kemp said that government officials told him and a colleague, Tom DeGonia, that the FBI could "prove that Dr. Ivins manufactured the dried spores used in the anthrax attacks, and would prove this by the records of his presence in the hot suites in August and September.
Anthrax is one of the deadliest biological weapons. Once inhaled, the tiny spores germinate inside the human body, producing rapidly multiplying, highly toxic bacteria that, if untreated, typically kill a person within days.
The anthrax mailings came as a second shock to the nation just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. Beginning Sept. 18, 2001, the perpetrator sent at least five letters containing anthrax powder to three media outlets and to the offices of Sens. Leahy and Daschle. Two postal workers, a nurse and an elderly woman in Connecticut also died, some 32,000 Americans took long-term antibiotic treatments and teams wearing moon suits spent months cleansing a Senate office building and large postal facility of the deadly spores.

Read more:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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