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.
That sample isn't vital to the case. It's just PART of the evidence.
"Why was the FBIs sample destroyed, while an identical sample was considered adequate to be sent to Keim in Arizona?"
The FBI's sample was destroyed because wasn't properly created to be used as evidence in court. It was worthless for legal purposes. Ivins knew the rules, but he didn't follow the rules when creating the sample.
Paul Keim kept his sample because he wasn't concerned about courtroom procedures. He was only concerned about the DNA of the sample and how it matched samples in his anthrax archives.
"And if the sample was destroyed, as claimed, because it would never stand up to scientific or legal scrutiny then why was Keims (identical) sample used by FBI?"
Keim's sample was used to show that it was improperly prepared by Ivins. That's different evidence.
The two samples Ivins improperly prepared in February of 2002 were from flask RMR-1029. As you say, later the FBI confiscated flask RMR-1029 and tested the material in it for themselves. Thus, the samples Ivins prepared in February of 2002 were no longer needed to show what was in flask RMR-1029. They were only evidence that Ivins attempted to mislead the investigation by preparing evidence that could not be used in court - even though he had many years of experience in preparing such samples.
"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?"
Ivins was asked to prepare samples from flask RMR-1029. What options did he have? Do you think he should have destroyed flask RMR-1029? Do you think that would have been a better idea? It would have be a DELIBERATE act to destroy evidence. Ivins chose to prepare samples that could not be used against him in court. The only other option he had was to FAKE a sample and tell everyone that it was from flask RMR-1029. That's what he did when the FBI asked for another sample in April because the sample from February was improperly prepared.
"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?"
What other options did he have? To refuse to participate? To refuse to give the FBI any samples? Do you think that would have kept him from becoming a suspect?
You seem to be arguing that because Ivins did things that incriminated him, that must mean he was framed, because criminals don't do things that incriminate themselves - particularly smart criminals. That may be true on some other planet, but not on this planet.
Maybe you are fantasizing that Ivins could have kept flask RMR-1029 a secret and not even let the FBI know it existed.
That wasn't an option. Flask RMR-1029 was created in 1997 at great expense after getting approvals for the time and money, and agreement with Dugway. It was Ivins' personal stock for years. Everyone knew about it. Ivins wrote about it in countless emails. It was identified in various lab records.
There's no way Ivins could have pretended it didn't exist. If he had tried, it would have been evidence that he tried to mislead the investigation by hiding evidence.
He was mistaken. The Ames strain was actually a RARE strain used mainly by USAMRIID.
It was the BIG error by Ivins that eventually led to him being identified as the anthrax killer. His other incriminating acts were all the result of things he had to do because he made that first mistake.
He also believed incorrectly that the "single colony pick" method he used when preparing samples prevented the creating of mutations. It didn't. It almost guaranteed that there would be LOTS of mutations. That was the second error he made that helped the FBI make their case against him.
See my page about this HERE.
Smart people sometimes make very STUPID mistakes.