Although it is not airtight, the FBI ‘case’ against Ivins is pretty strong. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence.
The methods used to culture and extract the spores are the stuff of standard microbiology and available in the scientific literature. I don’t know what ‘specialized’ equipment the DOJ alleges was needed, and that Ivins didn’t (according to their brief) have access to. Probably a spray dryer and a jet mill, maybe a freeze-dryer. None of which is necessary equipment - but it is nice-to-have equipment (from the terrorist’s perpective). Anthrax can kill things without any help from humans. That is its nature.
I suspect what happened here is that some tool of a liability lawyer was doing what lawyer tools do - throw up a BS defense and see if it sticks.
“Oh, well he would have needed special equipment, which of course he wouldn’t have access to in the normal course of his employment as an unsupervised, unaccountable rogue homicidally psychotic stalker of a microbiologist at the nation’s premier biological weapons research laboratory. No siree, we’re SURE of THAT. Nope, couldn’t be the Government’s fault. So if the Court please, dismiss this frivolous lawsuit by the grieving widow alleging negligence on our part for allowing a certifiably insane biological weapons researcher whose own psychiatrist took out a restraining order on him to continue working, unaccompanied and without supervision, on BSL 3 Category A biological agents late at night.”
Everyone in that chain of command at Detrick and USAMRIID ought to be in Levenworth making little ones out of big ones just for the sheer stupidity of letting this guy have access to that lab. And what the hell happened to the ‘no lone’ rule for special weapons? It used to be a prison offense, or worse, if you were caught violating it.
Why not just post it here?