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Peter Lemkin
03-25-2010, 09:45 AM
"The Anthrax Attacks and the System That Perpetrated Them"
Guns and Butter http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/59639


Attorney Barry Kissin discusses the anthrax atacks of September 2001 and the perpetrators; Amerithrax, the FBI's investigation into the anthrax attacks and its cover-up of these events; the FBI case against the late Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick; the US biowarfare military industrial intelligence complex; government sponsored bio-weapons research in private military contractor laboratories; Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio; the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah; the weaponization of anthrax; the new biowarfare arms race. He is the author of a 22-page memorandum to Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey, "The Truth About the Anthrax Attacks and Its Cover-Up."

David Guyatt
03-25-2010, 09:53 AM
A good one Pete. I always find Guns and Butter worth listening to.

Peter Lemkin
03-27-2010, 05:21 AM
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ANTHRAX ATTACKS AND ITS COVER-UP

By Barry Kissin

I. INTRODUCTION – THE SMOKING GUN

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. Salon.com 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.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/usamriid-rmr-records-flask-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.

II. BRIEF HISTORY RELEVANT TO THE ANTHRAX ATTACKS

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 . . .

“[I]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. . . . [I]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 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/audiovideo/programmes/newsnight/archive/1873368.stm, both Patrick and the CIA denied the existence of this report.]

III. MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT THE TRUTH BEFORE
COVER-UP PREVAILS

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.

IV. THE COVER-UP

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 http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dc3wqmd7_33d2tjs5ct 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?

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: It was high.

QUESTION: It was high?

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Yes.

[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.

[Laughter.]

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

DR. MAJIDI: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- how many labs?

DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Is it one?

DR. MAJIDI: It's more than one.

[Laughter.]

DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Can we keep guessing?

[Laughter.]

QUESTION: Two?

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 http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2009/01/critique-of-chemical-signature.html

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).

V. CONCLUSION

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

301-698-0688

fax 301-694-8771

barrykissin@hotmail.com

Magda Hassan
03-27-2010, 06:30 AM
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.

That is quite amazing that they have been permitted, by and large, to get away with such a BC statement.

Peter Lemkin
03-27-2010, 10:47 AM
If it weren't an 'anti-matter' [truth doesn't matter] deep political universe, the Anthrax attacks ALONE would and should bring down the secret PTB...but, sadly, we do live in that anti-truth-matters deep political 'universe' with controlled media and deep pocket propaganda and best four polity estates that big money can buy. More on the phony FBI lie. [Not the FBI's - Fib Bureau of Invention - first lie]

Friday, February 19, 2010 http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2010/02/fbi-case-closed-and-ivins-did-it.html
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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

1. Ivins cannot be placed at the Princeton mailbox at either of the two times he would have to have been there.
2. There are additional hoax letters that have not been discussed by FBI in the information released Wednesday; may we assume Ivins could not be placed at those mailbox locations during the requisite windows of opportunity?
3. No official evidence has come forward indicating the nature of the Daschle/Leahy spore preparation, nor whether Ivins possessed the knowledge regarding its production, or access to the necessary equipment.
4. No convincing motive has been presented, although a variety of implausible motives have been suggested.
5. Although many other people with a strong motive can be identified, there is no evidence they were investigated by FBI and exculpated
6. "The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks." However, details about the microbial forensic analysis have not been released, and may not be available for months or years pending publication. Scientists doubt that any forensic analysis can do more than identify the precise strain of anthrax.
7. The pre-franked envelopes could not be identified as coming from Ivins' post office, as initially claimed, but were instead sold in multiple post offices, none of which was definitely in Frederick.
8. Ivins was not the "sole custodian" of the RMR-1029 strain; over 100 people had access to it and they may have shared it with others. How was Ivins selected as a suspect and the others exonerated?
9. Handwriting analysis has not linked him to the crime.
10. He could not be linked to the Quantico letter that fingered Dr. Assaad. He could not be linked to any efforts to finger Dr. Hatfill.
11. No physical evidence links him to the crime: this includes the tape on the letters, fibers, human DNA, spores in his car, home or personal effects, evidence of any kind he travelled to the areas where the letters were mailed, including purchasing enough gasoline for a 7 hour trip to Princeton, twice.
12. He passed two polygraph examinations at Fort Detrick.
13. Since the FBI has been unable to build a convincing case against any one individual in the 7 years since the letters were sent, why didn't it focus on identifying a conspiracy of individuals who together may have been able to perform the complex actions required to send the anthrax letters and hoax letters?
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 9:45 AM
--------------------------------
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Building on 'Outstanding Questions'
The FBI has completed its disclosures, and the media, bloggers and scientists have spent a month discussing the anthrax letters case and putative guilt of Bruce Ivins. Where does the case stand, and what remains to be answered?

Hoax Letters Remain a Mystery
At least one hoax letter was apparently thought by the FBI to have been sent by the anthrax perpetrator (it was sent from England while Steven Hatfill was training there, and was considered, at least by some, to be part of the case against him). Judith Miller at the NY Times received a hoax letter, and Tom Brokaw received both a hoax letter and an anthrax letter around the same time. Anthrax hoax letters were sent from Florida and possibly other places. It is critical that all these letters be publicly revealed, and that information on fingerprints, handwriting analysis, identification of the envelopes, identification of the tape used (if any) and the ink is compared to the true anthrax letters. If any came from the same source, then the anthrax perpetrator(s) must be able to be placed where they were mailed, in the appropriate time frame. Can any of the (now 200 plus--see Sept. 6 NY Times article) persons who had access to the spores from Ivins' flask be placed in New Jersey and the other locations at the right times? If not, the crime involves more than one person.

Sept. 3 note: Thanks to Ed Lake for pointing out that the Malaysia letter was mistakenly thought to contain anthrax, and was not a hoax letter. He also noted that a letter mailed in Florida had its image included in this article in the Saint Petersburg Times.

Allegations Against Dr. Ayaad Assaad May be Important Evidence
Although the letter sent to the FBI at Quantico suggesting former USAMRIID researcher Dr. Ayaad Assaad was a bioterrorist arrived just before the anthrax cases came to light, that is no guarantee it came from an anthrax perpetrator. But it certainly might have, so its provenance is important, as are other details such as the text of the letter (which allegedly contained details about Assaad that few people would know, suggesting a former coworker was the author), where it was posted, and the type of envelope, stationary, ink, possible saliva, fingerprints, etc. Why has the FBI been so secretive about this letter? Unless it is part of an ongoing criminal proceeding, it should be revealed to Congress and the public. On Sept. 7, Assaad told more of his story.

The Princeton Mailbox May Not be the Original Site Where the Letters Were Mailed
Were the letters originally mailed from the designated Princeton mailbox? The mailbox was not investigated for almost a year after the letters were sent, according to Congressman Rush Holt, whose district included the mailbox location. It has been reported that the mailbox that tested positive for anthrax was also used as a box to store bags of mail, in addition to being a box for mailing letters. Thus conceivably the box was cross-contaminated from mail being stored there, and the letters were originally mailed elsewhere. Learning the concentrations of anthrax found at various boxes and post offices might help support whether the Princeton box was the original site at which the letters were mailed.

Was the question of cross contamination, raised by local authorities in 2002, ignored once the Kappa Kappa Gamma storeroom was discovered near this mailbox?

The perpetrator(s) almost certainly lacked awareness that the spores could freely leave the envelopes. (The edges were taped because the perpetrator thought that was where leakage might occur.) So the perp could have been relatively careless about which mailbox was used, on the mistaken assumption it could not be traced. Seeking a suspect for whom this mailbox would be convenient thus makes a lot of sense, but only if the letter was mailed there, and not if the mailbox was only subject to cross-contamination.

Weaponized Spore Preparation of Senate Letters
A vast amount of contradictory information has been provided to the media regarding the "weaponization" of the anthrax spores in the Daschle/Leahy letters. It is critical that the actual weaponization process be identified and compared with what is known of weaponization techniques explored by US and foreign programs. This part of the investigation will need to be discussed in a top secret venue in order for a complete accounting of the facts to be made. Exploration of this topic must include an accurate description of the spore preparation when the Daschle letter was first opened, by those who first evaluated it, discussion of how it could have been produced (and whether FBI or others have successfully re-engineered the exact preparation) and discussion of the materials and equipment required to produce it. Who had knowledge of this process, access to necessary materials and equipment, and a Biosafety 3 or 4 laboratory, to safely produce at least 14 grams of product to fill at least 7 envelopes? (It is accepted that some of the envelopes contained a simpler, unweaponized form of anthrax, but total production was an estimated 14 grams.)

How Many Letters Were There?
Seven envelopes arrived at or were addressed to the following seven locations: the AMI building (The National Enquirer and several other tabloids were located here), FL; the NY Post, NY; ABC News, NY: NBC News, NY; CBS News, NY; Senator Tom Daschle, Washington, DC; Senator Pat Leahy, Washington, DC. Media outlets from which no letters were found had anthrax cases in employees or visitors. There could have been additional letters sent elsewhere that did not cause diagnosed anthrax infections, and were never found.

How Were Letter Recipients Selected?
The most likely explanation for sending letters to the media was to obtain publicity. Isn't it obvious that an anthrax letter would be worth its weight in gold to a tabloid? The National Enquirer produced a multi-page spread about the anthrax letter it received. I was interviewed for the story. I was also queried about what the AMI employees should be doing to prevent illness. How could you get better publicity than by having the story stare at customers from every supermarket checkout counter in the country? The NY Post was probably chosen for a similar reason: the fact it would be unlikely to suppress a story about an attack on itself. The other NYC media outlets were probably chosen because they are the sources of national TV news.

The Letters Weren't Meant to Kill, Though a Few Deaths Enhanced the Effect. What Were They Meant to Do?
Both the choice of recipients, and the letters' warnings, are the reasons I believe the letters were sent to create a major effect--but not to kill. If you wanted to kill, you would not tell the recipient the letter contains anthrax, and to take penicillin. In the absence of those warnings, there would have been a longer delay before recipients received lifesaving antibiotics, and many more deaths.

If you wanted to kill, you would put the anthrax into the ventilation system of a Congressional or other building (in those days there was no BioWatch system) and wait for the deaths to pile up. The anthrax letters were a "best case" scenario for bioterrorism, designed to give the US Congress and public a taste (and only a taste) of a biological Armageddon.

Why? The logical answer is that the second set of letters were designed to scare Congress members to death. This would induce them and the Administration to spend more money on bioterrorism, and pass legislation that appeared to reduce the likelihood of future biological terrorism or its impact. Examples of affected legislation included the Project Bioshield Act and the Patriot Act. DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson purchased about a billion dollars' worth of Cipro and smallpox vaccine within weeks of the attack, and insisted on getting the moribund anthrax vaccine manufacturer re-approved and producing. Thompson, now a civilian, continues to reap the benefits through commercial interests in a variety of companies providing bioterrorism services to the government. But other government officials have reaped similar benefits; several are on the board of the anthrax vaccine manufacturer now, including a former Secretary of DHHS, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and a former Assistant Secretary at DHHS.

The letters' messages were a crude attempt to direct blame at the Muslim community. The text, along with the general knowledge that Saddam Hussein possessed anthrax, is likely to have bolstered support in the US for war against Iraq, despite a lack of evidence that Iraq was involved with Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks. (In marketing, perception is everything.)

Spore Virulence and Repulsion
With respect to the actual "weaponized" (or not) spore preparation in the Daschle and Leahy letters, a little more needs to be said. In factories contaminated by dry spores (such as 4 goat hair mills in the Eastern US in the 1940s and 1950s) virtually no one developed inhalation anthrax (prior to a suspicious vaccine trial) although there reliably occurred one cutaneous anthrax case per hundred person-years in factory employees. There were also subclinical infections in employees that led to immunity, as determined serologically. Inhalation anthrax was extremely hard to acquire, despite a study showing that spores were present in the factories' ambient air, and that hundreds were inhaled daily.

Reasons postulated for the lack of inhalation cases include the fact that spores readily adhere to things in the environment. They become subsumed in particles larger than 5 microns, which stick to the walls of the airways and are excreted. A very high spore count, or very impaired immunity, is usually required to overwhelm the lungs' defenses.

Was silicon, found in an elemental analysis of the spores, a natural occurrence or was it added? How much was found? This too is critical in pinning down the nature of the spore preparation.

Description of the first examination of the Daschle anthrax noted its tendency to repel other particles, rather than stick to them. If a charge were added to the spores, the charge would be expected to dissipate over days or weeks; thus the characteristics of the anthrax could have changed when inspected later. Furthermore, Dr. John Ezzell initially evaluated this anthrax in a high containment lab at USAMRIID. It was later processed before sharing with some other labs, to reduce its lethality. This processing likely changed other characteristics as well.

A charge could also lead spores to re-aerosolize after landing on surfaces, increasing virulence considerably. A UN official, Dr. Kay Mereish, reported that the letter anthrax had in fact been prepared with a charge, according to a 2006 lecture at a CBRN meeting by D. Small, who had worked with the anthrax. Marilyn Thompson reported that the US administration had USAMRIID "tone down" its description of the Daschle anthrax as "weaponized."

So there is reason to question the current FBI assertion that no special weaponization process of the spores was performed, beyond washing. How can a Congressional hearing arrive at the truth of this critical piece of information?

Knowing how the spores were weaponized to produce the Daschle product is essential to finding the perpetrator(s) of the crime. Only a small number of people will have knowledge of any spore weaponization processes, and an even smaller number will know how to prepare spores identical to those in Daschle's letter.

Whether the letter anthrax was made using a US or foreign process, such production (and even development of the process) might be considered to contravene the legal limits of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, to which the US and most nations are party. Thus secrecy and/or disinformation might have resulted from the perceived need to protect an illegal US or foreign program.

Getting to the bottom of the letters' weaponization will yield a very small number of suspects, and at least one will be a guilty party.


Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 3:05 PM
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday's Briefing
I did not attend either FBI briefing, and the comments below relate to multiple news reports of the briefing.

1. Either one flask or two contained the specific anthrax strain in the letters--it was reported both ways in different newspapers, and apparently there was disagreement at the meeting.
2. Two labs had this strain, but the name of the other lab is still a secret. Why? Was it a lab that manufactures anthrax in powder form, and thus might be easier to link to the crime than the USAMRIID lab, which officially uses liquid anthrax only?
3. Yes, 100 people did have access to the strain--but FBI ruled every one of them out, leaving Ivins as the sole suspect.
4. FBI says it did re-engineer the powder, and it had the same properties as the anthrax found in the Leahy/Daschle letters--but the easily produced, engineered powder did not contain extra silicon, as reported by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for the letter anthrax. No explanation was provided, making the FBI claim questionable.
5. No one reported on the mix of B. cereus and B. anthracis that was previously said to provide evidence of where the anthrax came from.

Analysis:

The additional scientific information reported fails to clarify any of the persisting questions in the case. Many other people had access to this strain, and the science is unable to pin it on any one individual.

Maybe the FBI unequivocably ruled out 100 people as the lone suspect, by an inability to place them at the mailing sites, for example. But despite two lame attempts last week to make it appear Ivins could possibly have mailed the letters in Princeton (the first claim putting him at the mailbox too early for the postmark), there has still been no evidence presented establishing he made such a trip.

However, if you concede that the letter attacks are much more likely to have been the work of more than one individual, then the 100 people "ruled out" by FBI (using unreleased criteria) jump back in as suspects. Because perhaps all one of them had to do was to supply a tiny amount of anthrax to someone else who produced the final product. It would be very hard to rule that out.

Furthermore, we know how readily the spores leaked out of envelopes. The person who mailed the Daschle/Leahy letters had to have contaminated themself, simply by the act of placing the letters in a mailbox. This contamination should have extended to their vehicle (unless they showered and changed clothes before driving off), so the lack of contamination is a serious problem in the case against Ivins as sole suspect. Dr. CJ Peters was asked about this issue, and confirmed this point in an August 20 article here.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 6:15 AM
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Friday, August 8, 2008
Investigating the FBI
Just for fun, let's investigate some facets of the FBI's case:

1. Leaks last weekend claimed that Ivins was about to be charged with committing the anthrax crime. Turns out, FBI had not yet brought its evidence against Ivins to a grand jury. And one of his attorneys denies that he was told he was to be charged: "It had never been made clear to him nor to us that he was 'the suspect,'" says DeGonia, Ivins' co-counsel.

2. The FBI said it couldn't produce its case till after the victims and their families were briefed, which took until 8 days after Ivins' death. This gave FBI time to create the story and select the evidence it wanted to present.

3. After Ivins died, FBI agents scrambled to obtain two computers Ivins had used a few days earlier, from a Frederick public library. Only this week did they obtain the search warrant normally required.

4. Remember how this story began one week ago? The following were released: pictures and audio from the hearing where a "Peace Order" had been issued against Ivins a week earlier. The order had been obtained by his substance abuse therapist, herself a recovering multi-substance abuser. But the therapist was on probation for substance abuse (DUI's) and had had an FBI agent suggest she get the order, as well as coach her in the crimes that were about to be laid at Ivins' feet. Could she be interviewed directly? No--she had retreated to an undisclosed location, where she apparently remains.

5. Video of a crazed, estranged older brother named Tom Ivins hit the TV screens, though he had not seen Bruce in 23 years. This guy indicated Bruce thought he was God, had been coddled by their mother, and wasn't a real man, as Tom was. Brother Tom was really scary, but the national media were only too happy to put him in front of the cameras to cast aspersions on Bruce.

6. Only two months ago, the Justice Department had settled with "person of interest" Steven Hatfill, for 5.8 million dollars--but they wouldn't exonerate him or admit liability. Suddenly today (after I mentioned how odd it was that FBI refused to acknowledge Hatfill's innocence, given its claim to have an airtight case against Ivins) the formal exoneration appears.

What is the logical conclusion?

FBI was not ready to prosecute a case against Ivins when he fortuitously killed himself the Tuesday before last. If the evidence of Ivins' guilt had been unequivocal, Hatfill would have been cleared a lot earlier. Looks like the FBI was still hanging onto Hatfill as a possible fallback guy, if they couldn't pin the deed on someone else. You know how the line would go: 'the judge made us pay him off, but he's guilty in our book.'

The FBI then scrambled to come up with enough juicy dirt to clinch the case in the media: producing a mad scientist, fixated on women, poisoning people even before the anthrax letters, thinking he's omnipotent. Even though the two people who were used in this audio-video dog and pony show were themselves highly flawed, the media bit: hook, line and sinker. (Looks like the FBI can play the media a lot better than it plays gumshoe.)

Then, when a few folks, followed by the media, pointed out the profusion of fallacy, fluff and absence of hard evidence during 3 days of successive leaks, the FBI started scrambling to find some evidence--quick--and plug some holes. They are still at it.

Looks like Ivins' death was a precondition for FBI to "close the case."
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 7:25 PM
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Thursday, August 7, 2008
FBI Subjectivity and Disinformation
If the FBI cannot place Ivins at the scene of the crime (the Princeton mailbox) on the required dates, then who cares what sorority houses might be near the mailbox? The sorority angle becomes irrelevant, since he did not mail the letters in Princeton.

Remember, this is one of the most complex, expensive cases in the FBI's history. So after spending hundreds of thousands of man-hours on the case, you can be sure the FBI has also figured out that the sorority angle leads nowhere. Yet the documents the FBI released yesterday place great emphasis on Ivins' obsession with kappa kappa gamma sorority. The only explanation is the FBI's desire to publicly sully Ivins' character, not solve the case.

The FBI has been unable to provide a sensible explanation for how Ivins' testing for anthrax contamination outside the biosafety suites implicates him, when they found not a spore in his home or car. Fort Detrick has a long history of anthrax contamination (which led to the death of an electrician, Joel E. Willard, 50 years ago). Many anthrax samples were brought to Detrick for testing after the letters were sent. Why weren't the halls and other areas formally tested for contamination after all that traffic? The FBI spent a lot of time showing Ivins to be an obsessive guy: but when his obsessive testing of the Detrick facility found contamination, the FBI blamed him for producing it, rather than for detecting it. And Ivins' testing and cleaning occurred many months after the letters were sent.

The FBI claims that Ivins deliberately gave them improper samples, tried to put the blame on another scientist, gave them scads of false information. But we have only their word on this. Why wasn't the polygraph evidence released?

Why has the special preparation of the spores become such an area of confusion and disinformation? Because there was no way Ivins could have obtained the recipe, and the FBI is doing its darnedest to plug the holes in its case?

For an FBI desperate to get this case closed; an FBI that told Ivins' children their dad was a mass murderer and offered his son a $2.5 million reward to turn his dad in; an FBI that may have deliberately hounded Ivins because he looked like he would crack, thus obligingly closing their case; it's the objective evidence that's missing. Can we trust the FBI's morass of subjectivity?
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 5:31 AM
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor said at a Justice Department news conference, "We regret that we will not have the opportunity to present evidence to the jury."

Everybody else regrets it too--since what came out today was another pastiche of innuendo and circumstantial evidence, with an awful lot of holes. Time for the FBI to present all of what it has to the court of public opinion, don't you think? A major benefit for the FBI of sharing its case would be restoration of confidence in the US' system of justice, the Justice Department and its FBI.

I worked all day at the hospital, but want to get something out tonight, in a hurry, regarding the strength of some of the evidence presented today. I'll no doubt have more to say once I have read the rest of the "evidence".

Here goes:

1. Ivins had just been immunized against anthrax. He was required to have yearly immunizations, and some anthrax scientists have chosen to be vaccinated every six months for safety, since the vaccine's efficacy is weak--and Ivins had proven its weakness in several animal models. In his career he had probably received about 33 separate anthrax vaccinations.

2. Earlier, we heard the envelopes came from the specific post office he frequented. Today the affidavit states it is "reasonable to conclude" they were purchased in Maryland or Virginia.

3. Choosing a strain that would direct suspicion at Ivins. The perpetrator(s) were tremendously careful to leave no clues vis a vis the envelopes. For example, block lettering was used, which is the hardest to identify with handwriting analysis. Second, stamped envelopes were chosen to avoid using saliva. Third, there were no fingerprints on anything.

Why would the person(s) who took such care select an anthrax strain that would focus suspicion on himself? In 2001, strain analysis was possible. It had been discussed many times as a forensic tool for biowarfare, including in a paper I wrote in 1992, which Ivins had read, and in which I thanked him for his contributions.

4. Ivins was the "sole custodian" of the strain. But the strain was grown in 1997, and many people had access to it over that four year period. Having received a sample, or obtained it surreptitiously, they would be "custodians" of it too.

5. Ivins was in the lab alone at night for prolonged periods--much more so than at other times. Perhaps so. But the document states he spent exactly the same amount of time in the biosafety suite each night for 3 nights running just when the first letters were sent (September 14-16): 2 hours and 15 minutes, each time. That is a funny coincidence, when he spent variable amounts of time in the building. To me it suggests a clerical error.

Between September 11, 2001 and the first anthrax letter being found, there was a LOT of talk about a biological attack being next. I was deluged with queries about this at the time. So if Ivins was trying to work harder under the cloud of an impending attack, it makes sense to me, because I was working harder.

6. If the motive is that he was mentally disturbed, agitated, out of control, then the care he took with those envelopes is paradoxical.

7. He was under pressure to help Bioport with its substandard anthrax vaccine. So he wanted to help Bioport by creating an attack? That doesn't make sense. He had proven Bioport's vaccine had limited efficacy. He knew about the safety data implicating the vaccine in chronic illnesses, particularly autoimmune illnesses. His colleague at Detrick, Phil Pittman, MD, took the possibility the adjuvant was causing illness seriously, and had published on this. Bruce told me he thought he might have a blood illness due to the anthrax vaccinations he had received.

But most critically, Bruce had created new anthrax vaccines designed to replace Bioport's (now Emergent Biosolutions') vaccine. Why would he want to do Bioport a favor?

And the vaccine that was used after the attack was Bioport's (licensed in 1970, when Ivins was still in school) not Ivins', since Ivins' vaccines were not licensed or fully tested.

8. The affidavit carefully wordsmiths around Ivins' lack of knowledge for making weaponized anthrax, by emphasizing that he might have known some of the things needed to make such a product. The statement is this: "Dr. Ivins was adept at manipulating anthrax production and purification variables to maximize sporulation and improve the quality of anthrax spore preparations. He also understood anthrax aerosolization dosage rates and the importance of purity, consistency and spore particle size due to his responsibility for providing liquid anthrax spore preparations for animal anthrax spore challenges." After 28 years making anthrax, it would be odd if he weren't expert in all these areas.

9. We still need to know about the finished spore preparation in the letters. I am one who tends to believe the first reports in contrast to the later ones: the ones that come out before someone decides the story needs to be shaped. So it is logical to conclude that a very small amount of an additive, or a special treatment, was used to prepare the Daschle/Leahy letter spores in order to make the spores repel one another. This was multiply reported by scientists who had first crack at the sample. Later, other scientist who got to study the spores may have said there was no additive. But were they given the same spores? Had the effect worn off? The 2006 Beecher (FBI) paper claimed there was no additive, but curiously cited no research to back up this claim. To me, this was written by FBI in a crude attempt to shape the story, and was soon disputed by a UN official, Dr. Mereish. If you can show me what the real preparation was, and how Ivins could have learned to make it, I would find the story a lot more convincing.

10. The Naval Medical Research Center held all the samples, under contract to FBI. This is a trivial point, but the Army and Navy are longstanding competitors.

11. Mental health. If Ivins was so out of control, so scary, why was he allowed to keep working in a high containment lab with access to some of the world's deadliest pathogens for so long? Is it true, as has been reported, that it was an FBI agent who suggested Ms. Duley ask for a protection order? The wording on the order suggests she was coached by the FBI; how else would she know Ivins was to be charged with capital murder? More information on her finances and pre-existing legal troubles, and whether they had been remedied recently, is needed.

12. Ivins cursed about giving journalist Gary Matsumoto information requested in a Freedom of Information Act request. Matsumoto is a most peculiar journalist. We had a number of conversations. He would not get off the phone, sometimes staying on for an hour or more. He would harass me, in an attempt to shape the story. He worked very hard, trying to force me to say that the only problem with anthrax vaccine was its squalene adjuvant, although there were many reasons to question that assertion. I hung up on him more than once, exasperated, and no doubt I used some foul language describing our conversations to others.

13. The anthrax attacker MUST be able to be placed at the scene of the mailboxes, at the times the letters were mailed. Surely the FBI sought information on these dates and places from everyone with anthrax access in the US and probably abroad, shortly after the letter attacks. Either Ivins had an alibi or he didn't. Put up or shut up: this is the most critical evidence in this case. If Ivins cannot be placed in New Jersey on those dates, he is not the attacker, or he did not act alone.

Furthermore, there were other letters. Some contained other powders. Some were said to contain some anthrax in contemporaneous news reports. Some were warnings. These were mailed from other places, on other dates. The FBI has sat on this collateral evidence. If these envelopes, ink or block print were the same, the attacker would have to be placed at the scene when those letters were mailed. What happened to this evidence? Pony up.

14. The anthrax letters were sent for effect, not to kill. (See my 2002 article for more on this.) Here are the effects that resulted, at least in part, from the letters:
A. The Patriot Act
B. War against Iraq
C. A new bioterrorism industry, worth over $50 Billion so far, was created
D. The moribund Anthrax Vaccine Program was resurrected
Who benefited? Ivins was no beneficiary. (Had the Bioport vaccine been killed, as planned, maybe Ivins' vaccine would have taken its place.)

You know who benefited:
The bioevangelists, who have made a ton of bucks on the threat
The Neocons, looking for an excuse to attack Iraq. The Iraqis may not have attacked the World Trade Center, but by golly, everyone knew they had anthrax!
Those seeking to consolidate more power in the executive branch, increase the surveillance of Americans, get rid of Habeus Corpus, and on and on.
The anthrax vaccine manufacturer, Bioport. Guess what? Its CEO, Fuad El-Hibri and his company Intervac bought Bioport in 1998 with $3 Million down. The day before he bought it, the Army agreed to indemnify it for him, for free. Then contracts totalling hundreds of millions of dollars started rolling in.
Correction: Twice last week, one day after Ivins went into the hospital with an overdose, and one day after Ivins died, El Hibri sold some of his shares in the company. Did he think the company would get some extra scrutiny and its share price plummet? Although the shares were reportedly sold "automatically," if you review the price fluctuations, that would appear unlikely. Since mid July 2008, the sales totalled about $3 million.
I am still waiting to hear about how the FBI eliminated from consideration those with a real motive.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 7:14 PM
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The vial the FBI destroyed, or why there will always be a spore on a grassy knoll
Does this case hinge on the first samples Ivins gave to the FBI, of which one was sent to Dr. Paul Keim in Arizona? Why does that sample matter, if the flask the FBI later confiscated had the same strain and genetic variability?

Furthermore, if Keim's sample is critical to the case, one must ask, "was Keim its sole custodian?" -- i.e., was it definitely the sample Ivins provided? Is there a bulletproof chain of custody?

Why was the FBI's sample destroyed, while an identical sample was considered adequate to be sent to Keim in Arizona? And if the sample was destroyed, as claimed, because it "would never stand up to scientific or legal scrutiny" then why was Keim's (identical) sample used by FBI?

If, as stated, Ivins helped design the protocol for sample submission, it is bizarre that he would have submitted a sample improperly. Might someone have told him to submit it in a special way? Might he have been misdirected regarding sample submission, in an attempt to set him up as a potential suspect?

And why would Ivins send the FBI a first sample that would help to incriminate himself? And then change the sample to further incriminate himself? He had a security clearance, worked in a high-profile, specialized government biodefense lab, and could have lost his job and reputation if he submitted false samples for the investigation.

The story has now changed: CNN reports that, "They (FBI) at first viewed the change as "deceptive" but said they now consider it as simply "questionable." What??!

I am looking for a solution to this case that has a semblance of rationality. The FBI's WMD Directorate's Assistant Director, Majidi, implies in his "grassy knoll" remark that no matter how much evidence the FBI releases, some people will always suspect a cover-up. I found his remark a very smooth put-down of those who are unsatisfied with the FBI's story. But the holes in this case keep multiplying, despite the brilliant PR.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 8:14 PM

Peter Lemkin
03-27-2010, 11:17 AM
FBI Sweeps Anthrax Under the Rug
[Don't miss the last paragraph!]
Anthrax letters

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

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

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

Jeff Taylor stated:

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

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

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

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

Why the killer anthrax was so deadly

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

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

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

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

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

The source of the anthrax was clear in 2001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scientists doubt FBI’s story

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

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

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

Abundant evidence that Ivins is innocent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruce Ivins: juggler, Red Cross volunteer, pianist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who had the expertise to weaponize anthrax?

William C. Patrick III, and Ken Alibek.

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

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

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

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

Who can control the FBI, DOJ and the media?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other words, he doesn’t answer.

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

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



Sheila Casey is a DC based journalist. Her work has appeared in The Denver Post, Buzz Flash, Common Dreams and Dissident Voice. She blogs at http://www.sheilacasey.com Barry Kissin is an attorney/peace activist based in Frederick, MD, home of Fort Detrick.

Magda Hassan
03-27-2010, 11:56 AM
It is true there seems no functioning government there. The only thing they seem capable of organising is a war and even that looks like going through the motions of war because there seems no plan to win one just waging one. They can't even organise an memorial to the victims of the 911 events. How many years now and there is still just a hole in the ground? How much infrastructure was built in the depression there? Plenty. Now, everything is just collapsing, rust belts. Even with regards to war it only took 5 years (for those in it from the start) to defeat the Nazi (militarily at least) and it was all over. The US is still in Iraq and Afghanistan. after all these years. No sign of leaving. More theaters of war coming to a place near you soon.

Peter Lemkin
03-28-2010, 09:24 AM
some interesting comments on her blog http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2008/08/vial-fbi-destroyed-or-why-there-will.html :
:captain:
Anonymous said...
In February 2002, even before his subpoena arrived, Ivins submitted a sample that violated the protocol, the officials said. And because FBI officials concluded that the protocol violation would make Ivins’ sample inadmissible in court, the bureau destroyed it. In April 2002, Ivins gave the FBI a second sample, which did not match the RMR 1029 parent strain.'

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-anthrax19-2008aug19,0,7146651.story

So there was a casual request first for samples. There is nothing here to say he was first here notified about the "protocol". He probably prepared it the previously established manner.

The fact that he gave the FBI the correct strain at first, then a different one, is not the sign of guilt, but innocence. A guilty man would not have supplied the correct strain. Furthermore a guilty man would not compound attracting attention to himself by then substituting a different strain at the second request. With deep irony the FBI charges Ivins with trying to confuse them.

Maybe Ivins made a mistake. Maybe the FBI did, they have a clear record on that, esp. in this case. Maybe it isn't so clear that the two "strains" are so different, and the genetics isn't so solid.

The FBI seized the flask we are told. Isn't it interesting that we hear over and over that the "first sample" sent to Arizona matched the attack anthrax, but nothing like "we confirmed it with tests on germs from the seized flask."

Perhaps it mutates over time.

Anyway, downgrade to "questionable" because once the Feds get out of their mindset, tell the world, and the world tells them back their scenario makes Ivins look more innocent not more guilty, they have to make a quick retreat. And that's why this scenario will be discarded, even criticized and withdrawn by the FBI itself, because it makes Ivins look innocent and they won't be able to close the case, what they want more than anything else.

Also consider in light of the "number or flasks" dispute whether there were ten or twenty flasks. More? Surely Detrick had more than one "blend" or substrain of Ames. This enhances the possibilities for confusions or mistakes.
August 19, 2008 10:41 PM

Does it make any sense that they couldn't use the first sample to convict anyone of the anthrax attacts, but they're using the back up sample from that same strain to convict Ivins? Maybe I'm missing something here, but that's how it appears to my untrained eye.
----------------------------------
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The FBI Admits It Has No Case Against Ivins


The FBI has admitted that it has no case against Ivins.

As summarized in an article today in the Washington Post:
The FBI has had a difficult time making its case to a skeptical public and scientific community. A hair sample snagged from a Princeton, N.J., mailbox linked to the attacks turned out not to match that of Ivins.

Some Congressional critics have questioned whether one man could really have carried out the elaborate attacks.

But FBI officials continue to press their case.

"I don't think we're ever going to be able to put the suspicions to bed," said Vahid Majidi of the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. "There's always going to be a spore on the grassy knoll."


This is very telling.

The FBI could have said "we will prove to Congress, the scientific community and the public that only Ivins could have done it".

But they didn't.

Instead, the FBI is trying to discredit the many top anthrax scientists who question the government's case against Ivins by using the "grassy knoll" conspiracy-theory smear.
If they had a case against Ivins, they would have presented it, instead of resorting to Bill O'Reilly style smear tactics.

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

- Glenn Greenwald

Peter Lemkin
03-28-2010, 10:00 AM
I think we are in trouble when the FBI has a section called [no joke!] the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate 2010 or 1984?

The DIRECTORATE speaks and you WILL listen!:

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 http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dc3wqmd7_33d2tjs5ct 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?

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: It was high.

QUESTION: It was high?

BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Yes.

[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.

[Laughter.]

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

DR. MAJIDI: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- how many labs?

DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Is it one?

DR. MAJIDI: It's more than one.

[Laughter.]

DR. MAJIDI: Hmm --

QUESTION: Can we keep guessing?

[Laughter.]

QUESTION: Two?

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 . . . :marchmellow:

Peter Lemkin
03-28-2010, 10:20 AM
From 9/11 Encyclopedia:

Battelle, connected with The Battelle Memorial Institute, (according to William Broad and Judith Miller in the New York Times, Thursday, Dec. 13) provides services as "a military contractor in [West Jefferson] Ohio," and "has experience making powdered germs. . . .
Battelle participated in a secret CIA program, code-named Clear Vision that began in 1997, that used allegedly benign substances similar to anthrax.

Battelle, as a CIA contractor, partnered with Bioport for America's sole anthrax vaccine production. Bioport-largely owned by Britain's top secret biowarfare consortium PortonDown, bin Laden family associate Faud El Hibri, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others (including, according to some investigators, the multinational investment firm and defense contractor, the Carlyle Management Group, that managed bin Laden family millions prior to 9-11, directed by past CIA director Frank Carlucci, James Baker III (->), and Past President George H.W. Bush); [My comment: 'say no more, say no more'.......]

"Project Jefferson" was ongoing around the same time American anthrax ace William C. Patrick III (See Usamriid), was contracted by Battelle Memorial Institute to develop a report on the ramifications of mailing powdered anthrax, much the same as what occurred in the wake of the October anthrax mailings. ...William C. Patrick III and Russian defector Kanatjan Alibekov (alias, "Ken Alibek" ->)-the world's two leading anthrax experts-were very "close friends!" Both men held classified consulting contracts with the CIA and Battelle, Alibekov was on the CIA's payroll at that time, according to Preston, and he was fully employed by the Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI). ...
Thus, the government "contractor" for whom anthrax expert William C. Patrick III wrote his mailed anthrax aerosol dispersal assessment could have only been Battelle for whom "Ken Alibek" worked; Robert Myers, Bioport's Chief Operating Officer affiliated; and Jerome Hauer in New York's emergency management helped facilitate tests In addition to Batelle's voluminous research, development, and testing activities, this private institute co-manages America's most secret enterprises including the DoE's Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge Laboratory, and fully manages several others including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory .
------------------------------------
Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) was a participant or observer in the following events:
September 18-28, 2001: Scientist Briefly Investigated over Anthrax Threat

On September 18, 2001, a scientist in Milwaukee tells police that he is building an anthrax delivery system in his basement. The unnamed scientist is drunk and having a dispute with a neighbor when he makes the comments to the police. On September 28, FBI agents arrive with a search warrant but find no anthrax or any sign of an anthrax delivery system. The man is said to work in a bowling alley, but had worked as a senior research scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute, a private contractor working with the US government on bioweapons programs including anthrax. He was fired from Battelle in 1996 and again in 1999. He is said to have specialties “in the areas of radio chemistry, military ordnance and munitions, and decontamination.” After being fired in 1999, his house was searched and chemicals were found in his basement that were not illegal to possess but which could have been used to make a lethal concoction. The story will first be reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on October 5, 2001, right when the real anthrax attacks are first becoming public (see October 4, 2001 and Shortly Afterwards). [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/5/2001] ABC News will revive the story on December 20, 2001, and say the unnamed scientist is under investigation for a role in the anthrax attacks. ABC will claim the FBI did find suspicious chemicals in his basement, but not anthrax. [ABC News, 12/20/2001] However, the next day it will be reported that the ABC story was wrong. US Senator Mike DeWine (R) will say he talked to FBI Director Robert Mueller after hearing the ABC New report, and Mueller “said the ABC News report was not true, that ‘The network did not check with us, we have no investigation and no one with or formerly with Battelle is a suspect.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 12/21/2001]

Entity Tags: Battelle Memorial Institute, Robert S. Mueller III, Mike DeWine, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Timeline Tags: 2001 Anthrax Attacks

December 21, 2001: FBI Investigating Profit Motive for Anthrax Attacks

The FBI is now investigating “whether potential profit from the sale of anthrax medications or cleanup efforts may have motivated” the anthrax attacks (see October 5-November 21, 2001). Battelle, a company doing anthrax work for the CIA, mostly at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio, is the company most discussed in a Washington Post story about this. Dozens of scientists at Battelle have been interviewed by the FBI already because it is one of only a few places where weaponized anthrax has been made. [Washington Post, 12/21/2001] The story comes one day after ABC News reported a Battelle scientist is under investigation for the anthrax attacks, but that story is quickly denied (see September 18-28, 2001).

Entity Tags: Battelle, Battelle Memorial Institute, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Timeline Tags: 2001 Anthrax Attacks

Late October 2002: Anthrax Attacks Suspect Drinks Himself to Death

In 2002, microbiologist Perry Mikesell came under suspicion as the anthrax attacker. Mikesell is an anthrax specialist who worked with Bruce Ivins and others at USAMRIID, the US Army’s top bioweapons laboratory, in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, he had worked at the Battelle Memorial Institute, a private contractor in Ohio working on classified government bioweapons programs. According to family members, he begins drinking heavily after the FBI starts suspecting him, consuming up to a fifth of hard liquor a day. One relative will later say, “It was a shock that all of a sudden he’s a raging alcoholic.” He dies in late October 2002. The relative will say, “He drank himself to death.” His connection to the anthrax investigation will not be revealed until 2008, and it still is completely unknown why the FBI was focusing on him. Two weeks before his suicide (see July 29, 2008), Ivins will liken the pressure he is facing from the FBI to the pressure that had been put on Mikesell. He will reportedly tell a colleague, “Perry [Mikesell] drank himself to death.” [New York Times, 8/9/2008]

Entity Tags: United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Battelle Memorial Institute, Bruce Ivins, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Perry Mikesell

Timeline Tags: 2001 Anthrax Attacks

October 5, 2006: New Evidence Suggests Anthrax Used in 2001 Attacks Came from Northeast US

NBC Nightly News reports: “Investigators tell NBC News that the water used to make [the anthrax spores] came from a northeastern US, not a foreign, source. Traces of chemicals found inside the spores revealed the materials used to grow them. And scientists have also mapped the entire DNA chain of the anthrax hoping to narrow down the laboratories where it came from. But one possible clue evaporated. The FBI concluded the spores were not coated with any chemical to make them hang longer in the air.” [MSNBC, 10/5/2006]
[My note: this is an outright untruth to misdirect everyone. The spores in fact were both coated in a MOST sophisticated way, but ALSO electostaticly charged and virtually flew out and about from whatever they were contained in!] :itsme: :damnmate:
Later in the year, Rutgers University microbiologist Richard Ebright says, “This information [about the water], if correct, would appear to narrow the field” of laboratories that the anthrax used in the 2001 anthrax attacks (see October 5-November 21, 2001) could have come from. Ebright knows of only three labs in the Northeast US that had seed cultures of the Ames strain prior to the attacks:
-USAMRIID, the US Army’s top bioweapons lab in Frederick, Maryland.
-The University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania. A scientist there had been conducting bioweapons research of interest to the US military.
-Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Battelle does classified biological research for the US military. [my note: and CIA, likely others of that ilk] [Chemical and Engineering News, 12/4/2006]

Entity Tags: United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Battelle Memorial Institute, Richard Ebright

Peter Lemkin
03-28-2010, 08:54 PM
Coen and Nadler’s Anthrax War Documentary: A must see

Source: TrTeam59’s | Youtube Channel & Anthrax-War| By Eric Nadler and Bob Coen| Transformer Films

About the Documentary:

For filmmaker Bob Coen, who was raised in Zimbabwe where the former white regime has been accused of unleashing anthrax against the black population, biological weapons have a deep personal meaning. He embarks on a journey that raises troubling questions about the FBI’s investigation of the 21st century’s first act of biological terrorism.

Coen’s investigation takes him from the U.S. to the U.K. and from the edge of Siberia to the tip of Africa. In a rare interview, Coen confronts “Doctor Death” Wouter Basson, who headed Project Coast, the South African apartheid-era bio-warfare program. Project Coast used germ warfare against select targets within the country’s black population.

Anthrax War also investigates the mysterious deaths of some of the world’s leading anthrax scientists, including Dr. David Kelly, the UK’s top military microbiologist, the Soviet defector Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, and Dr. Bruce Ivins. The FBI claims – despite the doubts of highly ranked U.S. officials – that Ivins was the only person behind the U.S. anthrax murders.

In tracing the 2001 bio-terror attacks in the U.S. to the heart of the U.S. bio-defense program, this film raises an alarm. These attacks that helped prepare a country for war have also spawned a multi-billion dollar bio-defense boom. The line between bio-offense and bio-defense is becoming extremely thin. Biological weapons research is now being conducted by corporations and private labs without effective government oversight. The international treaty prohibiting the development of offensive bio-weapons may no longer be sufficient to keep the world from drifting towards the unthinkable biological warfare.

One aspect of this film hits home; right here in North Carolina, thanks to Richard Burr (R-NC) who as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness crafted legislation dubbed Project Bioshield aka Bio-Shield, BARDA and others. Pay close attention to what is disclosed about the legislation in the film and then think about the H1N1 vaccine.

One last thing, everyone who was involved in stopping the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) from coming to Butner should find the contents of this film chilling. Furthermore, you deserve a pat on the back (insert pat here), the prospects of a post-NBAF town to me is unimaginable, especially after watching this film.

Here is Anthrax War, presented in 6 parts. [Watch 'em all!]
http://butnerblogspot.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/coen-and-nadlers-anthrax-war-documentary-a-must-see/

Magda Hassan
03-29-2010, 07:21 AM
Slightly off topic as this is in regards to the Israeli military but in many ways still applies.
Discharged soldiers sue for millions over Anthrax experiment

Dozens of soldiers who took part in experiment in early 1990s aimed at determining efficacy of Anthrax vaccine demand $80,000 each in damages. 'Physical harm was passed down to our children,' plaintiff says Vered Luvitch Published: 03.28.10, 20:34 / Israel News (http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3082,00.html)

P{margin:0;} UL{margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;margin-right: 16; padding-right:0;} OL{margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;margin-right: 32; padding-right:0;} H3.pHeader {margin-bottom:3px;COLOR: #192862;font-size: 16px;font-weight: bold;margin-top:0px;} P.pHeader {margin-bottom:3px;COLOR: #192862;font-size: 16px;font-weight: bold;} Sixty-four former IDF soldiers are suing the Defense Ministry for NIS 18 million ($4.8 million) over what they claim is damage caused to them during Anthrax vaccine experiments (http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3692344,00.html) in the early 1990s.

The experiments, which were meant to determine the efficacy of an Anthrax vaccine, were carried out in light of what was then defined at the time as the "strategic threat of a surprise biological attack facing Israel."
Nicknamed "Omer 2," the experiments included 716 IDF soldiers picked out of a pool of 4,000.
The lawsuit, filed with the Petah Tikva District Court, is based on the principle according to which anyone who decides to take part in an experiment must do so willingly and after considering the risks involved.
As part of the lawsuit the soldiers are demanding that the state reveal the ingredients of the serum that was given to them, in addition to NIS 300,000 (about $80,000) in damages to each plaintiff for mental anguish and emotional distress resulting from the involuntary use of one's body and medical negligence.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs cited an Israel Medical Association (IMA) report according to which the experiments were unjustifiable.
The report revealed that even while the experiment was taking place Israel already had a stock of vaccines. "An accelerated effort to produce large quantities of the vaccine was underway a year prior to the experiment, and by the time the experiments were launched, Israel had enough vaccines to cover the civilian concerns," the report said.
"No scientific justification was found for the experiment, scientific background was lacking, the experiment's design and execution did not suit its goals, and no result would have justified those goals. Also, conventional guidelines were not followed, risks and possible side effects were not thoroughly investigated, and a follow-up mechanism to keep track of participating soldiers was not set up," it said.




Dorit Tahan, one of the plaintiffs, said, "In light of the security establishment's lack of respect for human life, we have no choice but to turn to the court in order to teach the IDF a lesson in responsibility."
"We now know that the physical harm caused to the soldiers was also passed down to their children," she said.

Jan Klimkowski
03-29-2010, 04:13 PM
Slightly off topic as this is in regards to the Israeli military but in many ways still applies.
Discharged soldiers sue for millions over Anthrax experiment

Dozens of soldiers who took part in experiment in early 1990s aimed at determining efficacy of Anthrax vaccine demand $80,000 each in damages. 'Physical harm was passed down to our children,' plaintiff says

This has direct relevance for at least some cases of what became known as "Gulf War Syndrome".

James Lewis
04-05-2010, 03:09 PM
One of the surest signs that 9/11 was an inside job was the anthrax attacks. If you remember, the envelopes were ONLY mailed to those Democratic senators/congressmen who were opposed to the Patriot Act. Also, remember this...the Bush cabinet and White House staff were all vacinnated for anthrax...the week BEFORE the anthrax attacks.

Peter Lemkin
04-05-2010, 03:35 PM
One of the surest signs that 9/11 was an inside job was the anthrax attacks. If you remember, the envelopes were ONLY mailed to those Democratic senators/congressmen who were opposed to the Patriot Act. Also, remember this...the Bush cabinet and White House staff were all vacinnated for anthrax...the week BEFORE the anthrax attacks.

Some people just don't see 'coincidences', when they are so obvious! :dancing2:
:captain:

James Lewis
04-05-2010, 03:56 PM
One of the surest signs that 9/11 was an inside job was the anthrax attacks. If you remember, the envelopes were ONLY mailed to those Democratic senators/congressmen who were opposed to the Patriot Act. Also, remember this...the Bush cabinet and White House staff were all vacinnated for anthrax...the week BEFORE the anthrax attacks.

Some people just don't see 'coincidences', when they are so obvious! :dancing2:
:captain:

Coincidence only happens when people are too lazy/dumb to look for the truth. Of course, the one thing Americans fear more than anything else is waking up one morning and finding that EVERYTHING THEY KNOW IS WRONG!! :dancing:

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 09:52 PM
http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2010/05/01/podcast-show-28/
Professor Francis Boyle discusses the October 2001 anthrax attack, the technology behind the letter to Senator Daschle, and assesses the case based on his years of expertise with America’s bio-weapons programs, and as an expert who was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. He discusses possible motivations behind the anthrax attacks, including those held by criminal elements within the US government to foment a police state, and the investigation that never was. Professor Boyle talks about Israel war crimes as crimes against humanity, and more.


Francis Boyle is a human rights lawyer and professor of law at the University of Illinois. As an internationally recognized expert, Professor Boyle serves as counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine. He is the author of several books, including The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence published by Clarity Press.

http://www.911blogger.com/blog/161

Peter Lemkin
10-12-2010, 08:01 AM
Obit.: William C. Patrick III, Ft. Detrick Biowarfare Scientist
7th October 2010

One of world’s top experts on biological warfare

By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post | October 5, 2010

William C. Patrick III, 84, one of the chief scientists at the Army Biological Warfare Laboratories at Fort Detrick and who was responsible for overseeing the military’s top-secret weaponization of some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including anthrax and tularemia, died of bladder cancer Oct. 1 at Citizens Nursing Home in Frederick.

Mr. Patrick held five classified U.S. patents for the process of weaponizing anthrax. He was chief of the development program at Fort Detrick in Frederick for much of the Cold War.

In the 1960s, Mr. Patrick led the highly classified weaponization of tularemia, a disease he considered superior to anthrax as a biological agent because of its potency.

Under Mr. Patrick’s direction, scientists at Fort Detrick developed a tularemia agent that, if disseminated by airplane, could cause casualties and sickness over thousands of square miles, according to tests carried out by the U.S. government.

Some experts believed that the research showed biological weapons could be as devastating as a nuclear blast. In a 10,000-square-mile range, the biological weapon had a 90 percent casualty rate and 50 percent fatality rate, capable of killing its hosts within hours of infection.

The Fort Detrick biowarfare program was started in the early 1940s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the Allies received intelligence reports that the Germans and Japanese were pursuing biological weapons.
His staff also devoted attention to anthrax because of its speed in poisoning its host. … His business card was adorned with a skull and crossbones. …

Mr. Patrick joined the effort in 1951 and became chief of the development program in 1965. His team explored the world’s deadliest diseases, including Q fever, plague and Venezuelan equine encephalitis. His staff also devoted attention to anthrax because of its speed in poisoning its host.

In interviews over the years, Mr. Patrick said his development program tested more than 20 anthrax strains to discern the most lethal variety. The deadly spores engineered at Fort Detrick were capable of wafting more than a mile through the air – rendering concrete barriers and other modern military defenses useless against attack.

To disseminate the biological agents, the Fort Detrick scientists hid them in aerosol spray systems inside fountain pens, walking sticks, light bulbs and even in the exhaust pipes of a 1953 Mercury.

They conducted mock attacks in places bustling with people, including the New York subway system and Washington National Airport, in the latter case releasing anthrax simulants hidden in suitcases.

Fort Detrick’s biological offensive program ended in 1969, when President Richard M. Nixon renounced biological weapons, most of which were later destroyed. In 1972, the United States signed an international treaty outlawing biological weapons.

Afterward, Mr. Patrick focused on defense against biological weapons, helping to find ways to neutralize the agents he once produced.

William Capers Patrick III was born July 24, 1926, in Ridgeland, S.C., and grew up in Furman, S.C.

He served in the Army during World War II and became fascinated with penicillin, a newly produced drug given to soldiers to prevent infection. This led to a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina in 1948 and a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Tennessee in 1949.

After working for an Indiana company that produced antibiotics, Mr. Patrick was recruited to the Army’s biowarfare efforts by a former professor at Tennessee.

Mr. Patrick’s first marriage, to the former Sara McCoy Ayer, ended in divorce. Survivors include his second wife, Virginia Howsare Patrick of Frederick, whom he married in 1972; two sons from his first marriage, William T. Patrick and Mark E. Patrick, both of Rockville; and two stepchildren, Theresa Bedoya of Baltimore and Martin Lynch of Nashville.

After retiring in 1986, Mr. Patrick remained one of the world’s foremost experts on biological warfare and defense and served as a consultant to the CIA, FBI and U.S. military. His business card was adorned with a skull and crossbones.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Patrick led the debriefing of Soviet defector Ken Alibek, who as Kanatjan Alibekov was the deputy chief of the Soviet biowarfare program.

In the mid-2000s, the FBI sought Mr. Patrick’s biological weapons expertise for the investigation of the anthrax attacks along the East Coast. A few years earlier, he had been commissioned to write a report on the effectiveness of an anthrax attack spread through the mail system. In the report, Mr. Patrick described how an envelope laced with 2.5 grams of anthrax could do significant harm by direct and indirect contact.

The anthrax attacker – who authorities claimed might have studied Mr. Patrick’s report as a “blueprint” – used about the same amount to kill five people and sicken 13 others.

Mr. Patrick was often called on to provide testimony for hearings involving bioterrorism, and was known to participate with zeal. In a 1999 appearance before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he pulled out a small plastic bottle filled with 7.5 grams of an inert anthrax simulant.

“I’ve been through all the major airports and the security systems of the State Department, the Pentagon, even the CIA, and nobody has stopped me,” Mr. Patrick said, noting that if his simulant had been real anthrax, it could “take care of the Rayburn building and all the people in it.”

As one of fewer than 100 Americans with operational knowledge of biological agent production, Mr. Patrick was sent to Iraq in 1994 as a U.N. weapons inspector to look into Saddam Hussein’s alleged covert germ laboratories.

Despite the macabre nature of his work at Fort Detrick, Mr. Patrick spoke about how vital his profession was to national security.

“We did not sit around talking about the moral implications of what we were doing,” he told the Baltimore Sun in 2004. “We were problem-solving.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/04/AR2010100406670_2.html

Carsten Wiethoff
12-09-2010, 08:21 AM
http://911blogger.com/news/2010-12-08/bruce-ivinss-lawyer-colleague-share-details-fbi-left-out



As part of his comments, Ezzell spoke in detail about how to turn wet anthrax samples, such as the kind Ivins worked with, into the dry powder used in the attack letters. He said the wet anthrax would first have to be put in a centrifuge, which turns the spores into a pellet that is dark brown on the bottom, tan in the middle and white on top.
"The upper part, which is white, is almost pure spores," Ezzell said. "So when you're purifying spores out of a material like (Ivins'), you use the centrifuge, you only remove the upper portion of that, and then you wash it and discard the bottom two colors."
From there, Ezzell said a scientist would have to carefully dry the spores with a lyophillizer or a speed vacuum. The tough part about that process is that either method will cause the pellet to blow apart. Ezzell said that, based on his knowledge of anthrax production and the specifics of the anthrax used in the attacks, he believes the spores were under high centrifugation while being dried with a speed vacuum, the combination of which would dry the anthrax while keeping it in pellet form. From there, a razor blade could chop up the pellet into the form it was found in in the first two letters, which were of poorer quality than the more uniformly colored and textured anthrax in the second two letters.
'Snow white' or pepper-like?
Ezzell surprised the crowd Monday when he said the anthrax in the first two letters, addressed to TV newsman Tom Brokaw and the New York Post, resembled pepper more than the white fluffy powder everyone imagined. The anthrax in the second group of letters, sent to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were of noticeably better quality but still not nearly as pure as what Ezzell was producing in his lab.
"The spores that were prepared in my lab were snow white, whereas the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, and the material that went to Tom Brokaw's office and the New York Post were very granular and multicolored," Ezzell said. Whoever produced the anthrax in the first two letters likely chopped up the entire anthrax pellet instead of just the white section with pure anthrax spores.
"The material in the Daschle and Leahy letters, I don't think that was quite as pure as people think it is," Ezzell said, adding he disagreed with the FBI's assertion that those samples resembled the spores he produced.
Also about his death by overdose of sleeping pills:


Ivins overdosed on Tylenol PM on July 26, 2008, and died on July 29. But Nass said, medically speaking, the outcome of his overdose should have been different. Ivins was brought to Frederick Memorial Hospital by an ambulance early on the morning of July 27. He was under constant surveillance, and Nass said the FBI agents watching him could have, but didn't, inform the doctors that he had purchased two bottles of Tylenol PM a few days earlier.
Nass said there is no evidence that the FBI agents helped get Ivins medical attention quicker or let anyone know about the Tylenol purchase.
"It takes from two to several days for liver failure to occur after ingesting a large dose of Tylenol," according to a document Nass handed out at the seminar. She said there is an effective antidote, called N-acetyl cysteine, that helps the body detoxify the substance created as the liver metabolizes the Tylenol. Nass said death rates from a Tylenol overdose is "extremely rare when this safe, easily available treatment is given in a timely manner."

Peter Lemkin
12-13-2010, 06:28 PM
:listen:
By SCOTT SHANE
Published: December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested a last-minute delay in the release of a report on the bureau’s anthrax investigation by the National Academy of Sciences, prompting a congressman to say that the bureau “may be seeking to try to steer or otherwise pressure” the academy’s scientific panel “to reach a conclusion desired by the bureau.”
Related
Times Topics: Bruce E. Ivins | Anthrax

Representative Rush D. Holt, a Democrat of New Jersey and a physicist who has often been critical of the investigation, made the remarks in a letter Thursday to the F.B.I.’s director, Robert S. Mueller III, saying that he found the bureau’s request for a delay “disturbing.” The F.B.I. has told the committee that it wants to turn over an additional 500 pages of investigative documents not provided previously despite the committee’s request for all relevant material when it began the review in April 2009.

“If these new documents were relevant to the N.A.S.’s review why were they previously undisclosed and withheld?” Mr. Holt wrote. The anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in 2001 were sent from a mailbox in Princeton in his district.

Michael Kortan, an F.B.I. spokesman, declined to respond to Mr. Holt’s remarks. But he said, using the bureau’s name for the investigation, that the F.B.I. “continues to work with the National Academy of Sciences to support their ongoing review of the scientific approaches employed in the Amerithrax investigation.”

The seven-year inquiry, by some measures the largest and most complex in F.B.I. history, concluded that Bruce E. Ivins, a microbiologist at the Army’s bio-defense research center in Maryland, prepared the deadly powder and mailed it to two senators and several media organizations. The F.B.I. has made public its circumstantial case against Dr. Ivins, including genetic fingerprinting linking the mailed anthrax to a supply in his laboratory and his late hours in the lab in the days before the two mailings.

Dr. Ivins killed himself in 2008 and was never criminally charged. Some of his colleagues at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases say they do not believe he was guilty. The F.B.I. had already paid another former Army scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, a settlement worth $4.6 million to drop a lawsuit saying the bureau had falsely accused him of being the anthrax mailer.

E. William Colglazier, the academy’s executive officer, said the F.B.I.’s request was a surprise and came after the bureau saw the panel’s peer-reviewed final report, which was scheduled for release in November. He said that the committee’s 15 members, top scientists who serve as volunteers, were “exhausted,” but that the panel had agreed to extend the study and consider revising the report in return for an additional fee, probably about $50,000, beyond the $879,550 the F.B.I. has already paid for the study.

Dr. Colglazier declined to say if the report was critical of the F.B.I.’s work but said it was “very direct.” The report sticks to science and does not offer an opinion on whether Dr. Ivins carried out the anthrax attacks, he said.

In September, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, agreed to conduct its own review of the F.B.I.’s anthrax investigation, with a broader approach that also covers security measures at biolabs.

Peter Lemkin
04-26-2011, 06:35 AM
McClatchy Points Out Key FBI Failure in Amerithrax Investigation
23rd April 2011

By Jim White
FireDogLake | April 21, 2011

The infamous RMR-1029 flask. Where is the B. subtilis flask?

In an article published Wednesday evening on their website, McClatchy points out yet another failing in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. The article focuses on the fact that the FBI was able to get a clear genetic fingerprint of a bacterial contaminant that was found in the attack material mailed to the New York Post and to Tom Brokaw (but not to either Senator Daschle or Senator Leahy). This contaminant, Bacillus subtilis, is used in some cases by weapons laboratories as an anthrax simulant, because its behavior in culture and in drying the spores is very similar to Bacillus anthracis but it is easier to handle because it is not pathogenic. I covered the FBI’s failure to link this B. subtilis contaminant to Ivins in this diary in February of 2010.

A key finding in the McClatchy article comes from an FBI memo they obtained:

One senior FBI official wrote in March 2007, in a recently declassified memo, that the potential clue “may be the most resolving signature found in the evidence to date.”

The genetic fingerprint of the B. subtilis contaminant, in other words, was a very definitive clue that needed to be traced to the culprit. The problem, as McClatchy points out, is that the FBI never got a match to materials from Ivins or from anyone else:

Yet once FBI agents concluded that the likely culprit was Bruce Ivins — a mentally troubled, but widely regarded Army microbiologist — they stopped looking for the contaminant, after testing only a few work spaces of the scores of researchers using the anthrax strain found in the letters. They quit searching, despite finding no traces of the substance in hundreds of environmental samples from Ivins’ lab, office, car and home.

LSU anthrax researcher Martin Hugh-Jones makes the key point in his discussion with McClatchy, in response to being informed the government tested thousands of samples for a match to the B. subtilis contaminant, “But were they thousands of the right samples?”

The significance of B. subtilis being present in some of the attack material cannot be overstated, especially when the FBI admits that they were able to obtain a unique DNA fingerprint of the strain that was present. As I wrote last year, I suspect that Defense Department personnel at either Dugway or Batelle cultured the material used in the attacks and noted personnel there have worked with both anthrax and B. sublitlis:

Even though Ivins can’t be linked to the particular B. subtilis strain used, there is a documented case of B. subtilis being used as a B. anthracis simulant at another facility where we already know that much of the material that went into RMR-1029 was produced. Recall from this diary that I analyzed the available information about the amount of B. anthracis used in the attacks and found it highly unlikely that Ivins could have cultured the large amount of spores used in the attacks with the equipment and time he had available. Much of the material in RMR-1029 was produced at Dugway.

On December 13, 2001, Judith Miller published an article in the New York Times, where she disclosed that “government officials have acknowledged that Army scientists in recent years have made anthrax in a powdered form that could be used as a weapon.” She further pointed out that this work occurred at Dugway in 1998. It should be noted that the anthrax produced at Dugway for Ivins that went into RMR-1029 was cultured in 1997.

The Miller article then goes on to quote scientist William C. Patrick on how he coached scientists at Dugway in drying a pound of highly purified anthrax spores in 1998. Miller quotes a Dugway spokesperson as saying a strain different from Ames (the parent of RMR-1029) was used in the drying experiments. Note that a pound of spores is enough dried spores to produce hundreds of letters with the one to two grams of dried spores thought to be in each letter. But in a further bit from the Dugway spokesperson, we have this:

She said Dugway did make one- pound quantities of Bacillus subtilis, a benign germ sometimes used to simulate anthrax.

We know that the key anthrax work at Dugway and Batelle was carried out by the Defense Intelligence Agency. I find it highly unlikely that this agency would be completely forthcoming with the FBI in sharing samples of all of the B. anthracis or B. subtilis strains in its collection, so Hugh-Jones was right to question whether the FBI tested the right samples for a match to the key B. subtilis contaminant. The fact that all of Ivins’ materials were available to the FBI, and that the FBI was able to carry out extensive environmental sampling (albeit several years after the preparation of the attack materials) where Ivins worked and lived comes very close to excluding Ivins as a suspect since the contaminant was not found in association with him.

Buried in the McClatchy article is an admission from a source close to the investigation that seems to shed some light on why the FBI continues to insist that Ivins was the sole attacker, even going so far as to concoct an after-the-fact “forensic psychiatric profile” in an effort to bolster their case:

“If they ever had any doubts, once he committed suicide, they had to unite,” this person said. “Otherwise, you’ve driven an innocent man to suicide. And that’s a terrible thing.”

Yes, driving a man to suicide is a terrible thing. But is it any less terrible to continue to insist on the guilt of a man who cannot conclusively be proven to have carried out these horrendous attacks ten years ago?

http://my.firedoglake.com/jimwhite/2011/04/21/mcclatchy-points-out-key-fbi-failure-in-amerithrax-investigation/

Albert Doyle
11-02-2011, 04:41 AM
Interesting that the PBS program I just watched on this suggests Ivins might not have been guilty but then fails to mention a high tech DNA sample from the virus showed it came from a US lab Ivins could not have accessed therefore exonerating him. Why would PBS omit this information?

Peter Lemkin
11-02-2011, 07:21 AM
Interesting that the PBS program I just watched on this suggests Ivins might not have been guilty but then fails to mention a high tech DNA sample from the virus showed it came from a US lab Ivins could not have accessed therefore exonerating him. Why would PBS omit this information?

Why?! If they had 'gone there' it wouldn't have been broadcast - or produced. PBS is funded by the oil companies and a few other big corporations, i.e. the Oligarchy.

Albert Doyle
11-02-2011, 03:38 PM
Interesting that the PBS program I just watched on this suggests Ivins might not have been guilty but then fails to mention a high tech DNA sample from the virus showed it came from a US lab Ivins could not have accessed therefore exonerating him. Why would PBS omit this information?

Why?! If they had 'gone there' it wouldn't have been broadcast - or produced. PBS is funded by the oil companies and a few other big corporations, i.e. the Oligarchy.



Agreed. What kills me about American media is the pretense of faked journalism as if they were genuinely seeking-out the truth. I've come to realize American journalism is pure lip service designed to pass along the bad news to the public so they can get used to it.

The Unspeakable.

Peter Lemkin
11-02-2011, 05:28 PM
Interesting that the PBS program I just watched on this suggests Ivins might not have been guilty but then fails to mention a high tech DNA sample from the virus showed it came from a US lab Ivins could not have accessed therefore exonerating him. Why would PBS omit this information?

Why?! If they had 'gone there' it wouldn't have been broadcast - or produced. PBS is funded by the oil companies and a few other big corporations, i.e. the Oligarchy.



Agreed. What kills me about American media is the pretense of faked journalism as if they were genuinely seeking-out the truth. I've come to realize American journalism is pure lip service designed to pass along the bad news to the public so they can get used to it.

The Unspeakable.

As I'm sure Jan could speak more eloquently on than I, there are multiple methods used at different times and at different 'news' orgs. Sometimes the reporters and researchers do decent work and then find [to their surprise] someone has edited out those parts offending to TPTB; other times there is self-censorship, the crew knowing what will get them a bonus v. what will get them loosing their jobs; yet other times the team is behind the idea of presenting a Potemkin Village view of reality. The end result in the aggregate is the same - an uninformed Public who think they are the best informed in the World [as poles endless show Americans think they are - when in fact the opposite is true] :shock:

Albert Doyle
11-04-2011, 04:21 AM
We should have a "free" media channel dedicated solely to exposing what the other channels are weaseling out of.

Ed Jewett
12-01-2011, 06:58 AM
U.S. Settles Suit Over Anthrax Attacks (http://cryptogon.com/?p=26267)November 30th, 2011Via: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/us/anthrax-victims-family-to-receive-2-5-million-in-settlement.html):
The federal government has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the widow and children of the first person killed in the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, settling a lawsuit claiming that the Army did not adequately secure its supply of the deadly pathogen.
The settlement with the family of Robert Stevens, a tabloid photo editor in Florida, follows an eight-year legal battle that exposed slack rules and sloppy recordkeeping at the Army’s biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md. As part of the agreement, Justice Department lawyers are seeking to have many documents that were uncovered in the litigation kept under court seal or destroyed.
Posted in Covert Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=27), Dictatorship (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=22), False Flag Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=14), Perception Management (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=7), Social Engineering (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=10)