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Five Years Later, Anthrax Questions Swirl Anew at FBI
Newhouse ^ | October 13, 2006 | Kevin Coughlin

Posted on 10/13/2006 3:46:10 PM PDT by Shermy

Nobody has been arrested for the anthrax mailings of 2001, but many people have paid for the crime.

Five died and at least 17 others got sick.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been frustrated. Careers have crumbled. Taxpayers have gotten socked for billions of dollars to shore up bioterror defenses that some experts say still fall short.

Now, an analysis from the FBI itself, buried in a microbiology journal, is raising more questions about the investigation.

In the August issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, FBI scientist Douglas Beecher sought to set the record straight. Anthrax spores mailed to politicians and journalists in September and October 2001, Beecher wrote, were not prepared using advanced techniques and additives to make them more lethal, contrary to "a widely circulated misconception."

The notion the anthrax spores were "weaponized" had fueled conjecture that only a government insider could have carried out the operation.

Beecher's article suggested a much wider universe of potential suspects -- who showed they could kill without highly refined spores.

"A clever high school student" could make such a preparation, according to Ronald Atlas, former president of the American Society for Microbiology and co-director of the Center for Health Hazards Preparedness at the University of Louisville.

The Beecher paper has left Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., wondering if the killings, which further shook a nation already reeling from the Sept. 11 terror attacks, will ever be solved. He blames the FBI for "botching" the case.

Agents spun their wheels chasing a small circle of weapons experts, Holt said.

In the anthrax attacks, Steven Hatfill, a virologist who had worked for the government, landed in the cross-hairs. Labeled a "person of interest" by officials but never charged, the scientist claims the public probe has made him unemployable. He is suing the government and media outlets.

Kenneth Berry's career also unraveled after the FBI searched a Dover Township, N.J., summer home he was visiting in 2004. Berry was a doctor from upstate New York who started an organization for training emergency workers to deal with biochemical attacks. He never was charged, either.

Holt also chides authorities for taking nearly a year to discover anthrax traces in a mailbox near Princeton University. That mailbox, where letters laced with anthrax bacteria may have begun their journey in 2001, is on a route that feeds the Hamilton Township postal center where anthrax letters were processed.

In a letter to Holt, FBI Assistant Director Eleni Kalisch declined to give a closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee. Kalisch claimed sensitive information was leaked from classified briefings more than three years ago, and described the anthrax case as a criminal matter not subject to the committee's oversight.

Some cases take time to crack, Kalisch wrote. Seventeen FBI agents and 10 postal inspectors remain on the "Amerithrax" beat. The FBI said the anthrax investigation has spanned six continents and generated more than 9,100 interviews, 67 searches and 6,000 subpoenas.

Early on, the FBI hoped that analysis of the spores would point to the lab that prepared them. But Beecher's article underscores difficulties of such microscopic sleuthing. Particle sizes, for instance, may not yield as many clues as some expected.

Over time, after being handled and exposed to different conditions, particles "may not resemble the initial product," Beecher wrote.

Yet the FBI is confident, and has forged scientific ties and advances to help prevent future biological attacks, said Joseph Persichini Jr., acting assistant director in charge of the Washington field office, on the FBI's Web site.

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University microbiologist, still thinks the anthrax attacks were an inside job because they used a virulent form of the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis, which only a few biodefense- or intelligence-related labs were thought to possess.

"Whoever did it is an insider," said Ayaad Assaad, a toxicologist with the Environmental Protection Agency, who formerly worked at an Army biodefense center at Fort Detrick, Md. "It started with anthrax. Now it's ricin, and God knows what's coming."

Ed Lake has tracked the case closely, self-publishing a book, "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks, The First Three Years" and moderating a Web site. Lake is convinced the FBI knows the perpetrator but lacks evidence to prosecute. He believes the killer is a scientist from central New Jersey who wanted America to gird for an al-Qaida bioterror attack in the wake of Sept. 11.

"So he sent a warning to the media, saying this is next, there's a biological attack coming next, and be prepared: Take penicillin," said Lake, referring to hand-printed letters, bearing New Jersey postmarks, sent to NBC and the New York Post.

Leon Harris retired last year from the Hamilton Township postal center. He too suspects the bad guys are home-grown and will be caught.

"I don't care if it takes 10 years," the Air Force veteran said. "They're going to find them."

Ernesto Blanco agreed. He survived inhalational anthrax that killed his friend Bob Stevens, a colleague at a tabloid in Florida, five years ago this month. Blanco, now 79, returned to his mailroom job at American Media Inc. in 2002.

"I am positive they will catch them," Blanco said. "I have faith in what they are doing."

TIMELINE

Key dates in the 5-year-old investigation of the anthrax attacks:

2001:

Sept. 18: Postal facility in Hamilton Township, N.J., processes anthrax-laced letters to NBC News in New York and the New York Post.

Oct. 5: Bob Stevens, photo editor at Florida tabloid the Sun dies from inhalational anthrax.

Oct. 9: Hamilton Township facility processes anthrax letters to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Patrick Leahy. Both letters have return address of fictitious "Greendale School" in Franklin Park, N.J.

Oct. 16: U.S. Senate closes; employees are tested for exposure to anthrax microbes.

Oct. 17: The House shuts down.

Oct. 18: Hamilton Township facility is closed.

Oct. 21: Washington postal worker Thomas Morris Jr. dies from anthrax.

Oct. 22: Washington postal worker Joseph Curseen dies from anthrax.

Oct. 31: Kathy Nguyen, who worked in a New York City hospital supply room, dies from anthrax.

Nov. 21: Ottilie Lundgren, 94, of Oxford, Conn., dies from anthrax. Authorities suspect her mail was contaminated by other mail.

[snip - more at link]


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amerithrax; anthrax; antraz; assaad; ayaadassaad; beecher; berry; dougbeecher; douglasbeecher; elenikalisch; hatfill; islamothrax; kennethberry; stevenhatfill; terrorism
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To: muawiyah
"Let's put it this way ~ the anthrax appears to aerosolize readily ~ that does not necessary demonstrate the preparer's intent or capability."

I would argue the other way around. You don't get weaponized aerosolization via mere happenstance.

201 posted on 10/18/2006 6:22:40 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Whatever "weaponized" really means ~


202 posted on 10/18/2006 6:25:15 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah; Southack
Anthrax in it's natural form...say right off the fleece of a sheep that died from it...and they do shear those sheep and goats too....is clumpy...dirty...definitely more than one spore. It could be refined to the point where one spore equaled one CFU.(Colony forming unit)

That is why it is not that easy to get it even in a mill that sorts or cards wool or mohair. Your nose hairs and mucus from the nasal passages will trap it, or your skin will protect you as long as you do not have a break in it.

What I am reading from this last release of info from the FBI (Beecher) is that there was little or no debris in the Daschle envelope. Little to clump or make it fall to the ground.



Me thinks we need to look at the source. The statement that there were more places that had it I think is misinformation.
203 posted on 10/18/2006 6:54:50 PM PDT by Battle Axe (Repent for the coming of the Lord is nigh!)
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To: Battle Axe
I'm not real concerned with the whostruckjohns concerning the anthrax. I went right to the question of how the postal system would normally behave and how that resulted in the sort of attack that we saw.

It all points back to the terrorist crowd in Boca Raton.

204 posted on 10/18/2006 7:02:09 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
"It all points back to the terrorist crowd in Boca Raton."

Without question.


They had a direct connection to the AMI building (the landlord who leased them their apartment). The Boca Raton postal facility was contaminated. They were seen by a doctor and treated for anthrax symptoms. The letters that were recovered were written in a style compatible with English as a 2nd language.

...And Bob Stevens October 5th death points to an attack originating prior to 9/11/2001.

Moreover, the anthrax from the recovered letters was weaponized and had only a single non-anthrax component: silica...whichs points to a professional clean-room lab operation.

So timing, motive, the weapon itself, personal connections, handwriting evidence, geography, processes involved...it all points to the 9/11 attackers as being behind the anthrax attacks.

205 posted on 10/18/2006 7:53:50 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
The silica also points to the envelopes having been filled by the terrorists outdoors on a slightly windy day, most likely at a picnic table in Sugar Sand park in Boca Raton.

Remember, it wasn't a uniform mixture ~ different samples had different silica content.

Simply cleaning the bacterial mat of debris and producing spores "weaponizes" anthrax quite nicely.

206 posted on 10/19/2006 3:02:30 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

I don't think sugar sand is entirely composed of silica... most of it is ground up calcium since it's made of coral, not minerals from the mountains like say, the sand in Virginia. You'd need to dissolve it in some acid to remove the calcium and that may still leave other minerals.


207 posted on 10/19/2006 3:22:19 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa

If it were just blowing around on a beach there would be pollen too.


208 posted on 10/19/2006 3:24:41 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Shermy

Do you recall the Egyptian that died on the cargo ship off the Canadian coast, presumably from a briefcase full of anthrax? It wasn't too long after the anthrax attacks.


209 posted on 10/19/2006 3:35:29 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Motto of the Democrat party: If we can't rule America, we fully intend to ruin America.)
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To: muawiyah
OCTOBER 2001 : (FORMER BIOPREPARAT EMPLOYEE KEN ALIBEK aka KANAJAN ALIBEKOV, SAYS ANTHRAX SPORES DISCOVERED IN THE US HAD BEEN PRODUCED AT A FACTORY IN STEPNOGORSK, IN KAZAKHSTAN) A former Biopreparat factory employee, Ken Alibek, alias Kanajan Alibekov, claimed that anthrax spores discovered in the United States had been produced at a factory in Kazakhstan, at Stepnogorsk.- "Central Asia/Russia: Moscow shrugs off anthrax claims," By Sergei Blagov, Asia Times Online, October 24, 2001
210 posted on 10/19/2006 3:40:08 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: EdLake

I was just wondering if you have a particular NJ scientist in mind....or just speculating in general about that part?

thanks in advance


211 posted on 10/19/2006 3:41:23 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Motto of the Democrat party: If we can't rule America, we fully intend to ruin America.)
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To: muawiyah; Southack
OCTOBER 22, 2001 : (BIOPREPARAT DEPUTY DIRECTOR YEVSTIGNEYEV DENIES ALLEGATIONS BY FORMER BIOPREPARAT EMPLOYEE KEN ALIBEK THAT ANTHRAX SPORES FOUND IN THE US HAD BEEN PRODUCED AT A FACTORY IN KAZAHKSTAN) Denying the claims, Biopreparat factory deputy director Valentin Yevstigneyev told Kazakh state-run television on October 22 that his facility had no connection whatsoever with anthrax spores discovered in the US. "Alibekov, a former Biopreparat employee, is either uninformed or is making deliberately libellous allegations," he said. Yevstigneyev said there had been projects to develop biological weapons in Stepnogorsk but the projects were shut down after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. By embarking on the project, the Soviet Union had violated the Biological Weapons Convention that it signed in 1972.------- "Central Asia/Russia: Moscow shrugs off anthrax claims," By Sergei Blagov, Asia Times Online, October 24, 2001
212 posted on 10/19/2006 3:48:49 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa

DECEMBER 9, 2001 : (NEWSWEEK REPORTS THAT RENEGADE RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS HAD BEEN ASSISTING AL QAEDA IN DEVELOPING ANTHRAX AND A SUPPLY OF THE STUFF MAY HAVE BEEN STOCKPILED) The war in Afghanistan has produced a hodgepodge of disturbing intelligence that investigators are still trying to sift and analyze. Perhaps the most alarming evidence gathered so far concerns Al Qaeda efforts to develop biological weapons. According to intelligence sources, U.S. operatives in Afghanistan have collected information that one or more Russian scientists were working inside Afghanistan with Al Qaeda operatives. One well-placed source tells Newsweek that evidence from the scene indicates that the renegade Russians were helping Al Qaeda to develop anthrax, and that spores of the deadly disease may actually have been stockpiled by the terrorist group. While intelligence sources say they believe any such stockpiles were destroyed in U.S. bombing raids, it is not known how much, if any, of the anthrax ever made it out of Afghanistan. And the infamous Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's closest lieutenant and considered the brains behind Al Qaeda, may have been directly involved in the biological program. Al-Zawahiri, may have been hit by U.S. bombs last week, according to unconfirmed British intelligence reports. ------- "A U.S.-Based Al Qaeda 'Sleeper Cell' Was Poised to Launch a Post-Sept. 11 Attack on a Major Washington Target; Would-Be Terrorists Went Underground or Fled U.S. ," Newsweek, December 9, 2001


213 posted on 10/19/2006 3:55:53 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: prairiebreeze

I can rememer that - I'll see if I can find it

OCTOBER 26, 2001 : (PAKISTANI JOURNALIST CLAIMS THAT PAKISTANI AUTHORITIES HANDED YEMENI MICROBIOLOGIST JAMIL QASIM SAEED MOHAMMED OVER TO THE US- CIA PLANE ALLEGEDLY USED TO TAKE HIM AWAY) The CIA's plane secret began to unravel less than six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
On Oct. 26, 2001, Masood Anwar, a Pakistani journalist with the News in Islamabad, broke a story asserting that Pakistani intelligence officers had handed over to U.S. authorities a Yemeni microbiologist, Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, who was wanted in connection with the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.
The report noted that an aircraft bearing tail number N379P, and parked in a remote area of a little-used terminal at the Karachi airport, had whisked Mohammed away about 2:40 a.m. Oct. 23. The tail number was also obtained by The Post's correspondent in Pakistan but not published.---- "CIA's private jet an open secret in terror war Amateur spyhunters zero in on agency's secret airline," By Dana Priest Updated: 1:43 a.m. ET Dec. 27, 2004 , msnbc/washpo


OCTOBER 25, 2001 : (COLUMBIA : IRA TERRORISTS REPORTEDLY TRIED TO BUY COCAINE; PLANNED TO MIX ANTHRAX WITH COCAINE) On October 25,2001, Univision’s Spanish T.V., "Primer Impacto' and in the late nightly international news, it was reported from Colombia that the IRA terrorists arrested this month in Colombia had their headquarters in Cuba and tried to buy 1,500 kilograms of cocaine in order to be mixed with anthrax for further distribution in the U.S. Although the Spanish TV channel interviewed the DEA agent who exposed the operation, the American media censored this important news that brings forward Castro’s involvement in bio-terrorism. - "CASTRO AND THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, A CHRONOLOGY," by Eugene Pons with a foreword by Jaime Suchlicki , Institute for Cuban &Cuban-American Studies, Occasional Paper Series, September 2001


214 posted on 10/19/2006 3:58:35 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: All

MISCELLANEOUS

9/11 Hijacker sought treatment for red hands (anthrax).
October 11, 2001. Palm Beach Post.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/546116/posts

Tabloid Editor rented apartment to two 9/11 hijackers. The tabloid lost a worker to anthrax.
October 15, 2001. Miami Herald.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/548061/posts

Hijackers linked to anthrax.
October 15, 2001. St. Petersburg Times.
http://www.sptimes.com/News/101501/Worldandnation/Hijackers_linked_to_t.shtml

9/11 Hijackers treated for anthrax.
March 23, 2002. The New York Times.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/652000/posts

Remember Anthrax?
April 20, 2002. The Weekly Standard.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/669487/posts
9/24/01. ABC.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/531023/posts

Hijacker treated for anthrax.
May 9, 2002. The Wall Street Journal.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/682921/posts

Atta tried to buy a cropduster.
June 6, 2002. ABC.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/695924/posts

Analysis of anthrax letters.
June 19, 2002. Instapundit.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703075/posts?page=44#44

Freeper My Identity research on anthrax letters. Post #44.
6/20/02.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703075/posts?page=44#44

The silica used in the anthrax attacks traced to Iraq.
October 28, 2002. The Washington Post.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A28334-2002Oct27&notFound=true

Freeper polemikos list of links to investigations regarding anthrax.
December 26, 2003.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1047022/posts

Evidence Iraq behind anthrax attacks.
January 1, 2004. Accuracy in Media
http://www.aim.org/publications/media_monitor/2004/01/01.html

Saddam behind anthrax attacks and 9/11 attacks.
Independent website.
http://www.spiritoftruth.org/iraqlinks.htm


215 posted on 10/19/2006 5:15:29 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
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To: Peach; aristeides; Shermy; muawiyah
Speaking of red hands ... Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman's "secret dove" Lynne Stewart had the same problem and blamed it on someone putting acid on her steering wheel.

And as we know, she is associated with this guy:

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 or later : (SATTAR IS TRANSFERRED FROM A JOB THAT INCLUDED PICKING UP MAIL FROM JFK AIRPORT TO A DESK JOB AT A REMOTE BRANCH OFFICE ON STATEN ISLAND) Until 1997, Sattar had government clearance as a paralegal to visit Abdel-Rahman in federal prisons. Even as the government was tapping his phone, Sattar, a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, was drawing a $40,000 salary for a job with the main post office on Staten Island that included picking up priority mail from secure areas of John F. Kennedy International Airport. That job ended when he was abruptly transferred to a desk job at a remote branch on Staten Island after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sattar had the same job at the Staten Island post office that the first postal worker to come down with anthrax had at the Brentwood postal facility in D.C. The D.C. guy transferred mail between Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the Brentwood facility. 9 posted on 05/13/2002 7:37:47 AM PDT by aristeides

216 posted on 10/19/2006 5:22:26 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa

I didn't know that about Lynne Stewart.

BTW, congratulations regarding your mention in David Horowitz's book The Shadow Party. You're one of the best researchers on the web and Free Republic.


217 posted on 10/19/2006 5:25:15 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
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To: Peach

Thank you.


218 posted on 10/19/2006 5:33:30 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa; All

Post # 216 very important.


219 posted on 10/19/2006 6:21:01 AM PDT by Battle Axe (Repent for the coming of the Lord is nigh!)
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To: TrebleRebel
There are signs that AFIP might soon be forced to explain why they wrote what they wrote.

really? something else you made up? Your opinion presented as fact?

You know as well as I that the media has been looking for some explanation why AFIP said what they did when Dr. Beecher AND THE FACTS say just the opposite. That's a question that demands an answer. But AFIP isn't talking to the media -- at the moment.

You also know from our off-forum discussions that a representative of AFIP has made some unofficial comments about Beecher's report which do not disagree with Beecher's report.

Dr. Beecher's report indicates that the FBI is looking to clear up public misconceptions about the attack anthrax. Whatever information they release about the anthrax powder will dispute what AFIP said, so eventually AFIP will have to explain their newsletter, and General Parker and others who initially believed the detection of silicon and oxygen indicated that there was silica in the anthrax will have to acknowledge that they were just making assumptions.

Ed

220 posted on 10/19/2006 8:54:14 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: muawiyah
Let's put it this way ~ the anthrax appears to aerosolize readily ~ that does not necessary demonstrate the preparer's intent or capability.

Very well stated. Free-floating anthrax spores have been killing people for countless centuries. It was a regular epidemic in wool-sorting mills during the Industrial Revolution. Free-floating anthrax spores killed a guy in Scotland just a few weeks ago.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, dry spores will float about with any need for additives or coatings. In fact, since spores would be lighter if they didn't have anything attached, they'll float best when it's just a single free-floating spore.

Ed

221 posted on 10/19/2006 9:07:08 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: prairiebreeze
I was just wondering if you have a particular NJ scientist in mind....or just speculating in general about that part?

An analysis is NOT speculation. Analysis involves examining the FACTS to see what the FACTS indicate.

I know, however, that I probably don't have ALL the facts. But that doesn't mean I'm speculating. It just means I'm working only with the facts I DO have.

The facts I do have point to a specific scientist (or scientists) who lives and works in Central New Jersey. But, because I know I don't have ALL the facts, the facts which I DO have just indicate who MOST LIKELY sent the anthrax letters. I've talked with the FBI, but, since I could be wrong, I'm not about to publicly point the finger at someone who could be totally innocent.

Ed

www.anthraxinvestigation.com

222 posted on 10/19/2006 9:19:37 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake
Dr. Beecher's report indicates that the FBI is looking to clear up public misconceptions about the attack anthrax.

On the contrary, all it did was raise more questions. Even you have got to admit that the way this one done was bizarre. If the FBI had really wanted to clear things up they would have published a paper full of details about SEM/EDX of spore surfaces and how intitial testing created the false impression that the spores were weaponized with silica. All of this would (and should) have been brought out into the open. Indeed, this would have been vital information for any future attacks - if there are well documented reports on how intial SEM/EDX studies can fool first responders into believing spores are highyl weaponized when they are not, then obviously this is information that has to be dessimanted to the parties that will be responsible for future attacks.

You would make much more effective arguments if, instead of stating your opinions as fact, you actually analyzed what was going on and asked questions like why is this happening the way it is? Why have they not released the spore data.

Instead, you reveal your true agenda of trying to muddy the waters when you make ridiculous statments like "She's confirming that she was MAKING AN ASSUMPTION by making a general statment and implying it was true for the attack anthrax." and trying to reconcile that with:

When US Army investigators at Ft Detrick, Md, examined anthrax found in a letter sent to Sen. Thomas Daschle last fall, they discovered that the highly refined spores floated in the air, making them much easier for potential victims to inhale. What made this anthrax so easily aerosolized?

Thus you muddy the waters by pretending Mullick was IMPLYING something in general terms. She was not implying it. She was stating as a fact that silica was "What made THIS anthrax so easily aerosolized?"
223 posted on 10/19/2006 9:32:11 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: prairiebreeze
Do you recall the Egyptian that died on the cargo ship off the Canadian coast, presumably from a briefcase full of anthrax? It wasn't too long after the anthrax attacks.

That incident occurred in April of 2003, more than a year and a half after the anthrax attacks. I have many newspaper reports on my web site about that incident, and the article found HERE says that it was finally determined that the Egyptian sailor did NOT die of anthrax.

Ed

224 posted on 10/19/2006 9:38:02 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: TrebleRebel
You would make much more effective arguments if, instead of stating your opinions as fact, you actually analyzed what was going on and asked questions like why is this happening the way it is? Why have they not released the spore data.

In reality, that is exactly what I'm doing. Unlike you, however, I do not always assume some ulterior motive by the FBI. The facts indicate that the FBI does not wish to discuss evidence out of fear of harming whatever legal case they can put together.

I've complained for years that all those misconceptions about coatings and additives could be cleared up without making public any critical evidence. But, I can also see that if the FBI releases one statement, it will just generate a thousand questions -- the way Beecher's report did.

Once you start answering questions from a mob of conspiracy theorists, there's no easy way to stop. You're just giving them information they can twist to support their conspiracy theories. And, if they can't twist it, they'll just ignore it and say it's a lie.

NASA was thinking about putting out a pamphlet answering all the questions from conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landings were just some hoax. But they decided against it, because it just gives the conspiracy theorists some credibility when NASA responds to them.

Has the government published any official response to all the conspiracy theories about how the World Trade Center was brought down by explosives planted by the CIA, and how the Pentagon was hit by a missile instead of an aircraft?

Let's look at some FACTS about the first examinations of the Daschle anthrax:

When Tom Geisbert first examined the Daschle anthrax, he was looking at spores which had been soaking in chemicals used by the HazMat team which handled the letter. Geisbert then made sure the spores were dead by dipping them in chemicals before putting them into the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). When the spores were in the TEM, he turned up the power to get a close look to see if there were any smallpox viruses mixed with the spores, and he saw some "goop" oozing out of the spores. He thought it was an additive. He took Polaroids of the "goop". He and Peter Jahrling were still thinking the "goop" was an "additive" ten days later when Jahrling briefed the FBI, CIA and others at the White House.

As a result of that White House briefing, someone leaked the story to The New York Times that an "additive" had been found in the Daschle anthrax. The New York Times reporter talked with some scientists about what it meant to have an "additive" in the spores, and the scientists speculated on what it meant. The New York Times story was headlined "Contradicting Some U.S. Officials, 3 Scientists Call Anthrax Powder High-Grade -- Two Experts say the anthrax was altered to produce a more deadly weapon".

It was speculation using false information. As a result of some conference calls, everyone at USAMRIID evidently realized within the next few days that the "goop" was the result of putting "hydrated" spores in the TEM. In a statement to a Congressional Committee on October 31, General Parker from USAMRIID said this:

On the afternoon of 15 October, USAMRIID received samples from the FBI and the Capitol Police, which included letters addressed to Senator Daschle. The initial observation of the material in one of the letters, performed under biosafety level 3 containment conditions, revealed a fine, light tan powder that was easily dispersed into the air. Preliminary laboratory results including polymerase chain reaction and fluorescent antibody stain indicated Bacillus anthracis spores. USAMRIID reported to the FBI on the afternoon of the 15th the preliminary results indicating that the material was anthrax spores. Further, one of our technicians/scientists made a statement that this material grossly had some attributes consistent with “weaponized” anthrax. On the evening of 15 October, USAMRIID completed the initial battery of confirmatory tests verifying positive results for anthrax. This additional information was relayed to the FBI that evening and was subsequently re-iterated to the FBI and others in an interagency conference call the morning of 16 October. At that time, USAMRIID revisited the term “weaponized” and decided the terms “professionally done” and “energetic” as more appropriate descriptions in lieu of any real familiarity with weaponized materials.

On 16 October, USAMRIID began to examine the samples further via transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Initial TEM analysis was performed on hydrated powder. This study revealed that the material was comprised solely of a high concentration of spores without debris or vegetative forms, suggesting this material was refined or processed.

USAMRIID participated in an interagency conference call on the morning of 17 October, updating participants on the results of the antibiotic susceptibility profile. Statistical analyses for the spore dimensions from the TEM micrographs were begun on the 17th. On the same day, USAMRIID provided the FBI samples of the powder from the Daschle letter to send to another laboratory for analysis of the material. The results from TEM of the hydrated powder were reported to the interagency phone conference by the 18th.

On 17 October, I briefed the full Senate Caucus, Senator Daschle’s staff and the assembled Senate staff, in addition to participating in a news conference with Senators Daschle and Lott, on preliminary characterization of the sample.

USAMRIID next began investigating the dry powder on 18 October by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This method revealed particle aggregates of varying sizes comprised solely of spores without a visible binding matrix. The material seen under SEM ranged in size from single spores to aggregates of spores up to 100 microns or more. The spores within the aggregate were uniform in appearance. The aggregates had a propensity to pulverize. We first relayed these observations to our customer, the FBI, on the evening of 19 October. A written progress report was hand-carried to the FBI on 22 October for a discussion of USAMRIID data in comparison with that of other laboratories contributing to the ongoing analysis and investigation. USAMRIID’s data were briefed to the Secretary, HHS, on 23 October, at his request.

They were making ASSUMPTIONS and MISTAKES from the very beginning, and they soon had the problem of correcting their errors without making themselves look incompetent. They initially ASSUMED the spores were "weaponized", but they quickly decided that was NOT the proper term and "professionally done" was more appropriate.

They made the mistake of examining "hydrated" spores in the TEM, and didn't realize that could result in "goop" oozing out of the spores under high-power magnification, which would heat up the interior of the spores. The "additive" they saw was the "additive" THEY put into the spore themselves when they killed them with CHEMICALS instead of killing them with radiation.

And that was just the beginning. They went to AFIP to see what that "goop" was, and AFIP detected silicon and oxygen. More ASSUMPTIONS were made. There were more leaks to the media. The media found more scientists willing to speculate. And the snowball rolled downhill from there.

Correcting mistakes is seen as a cover up of the "facts" by conspiracy theorists if the facts do not support their beliefs. But even competent people do sometimes make mistakes. You have to look at ALL the data to sort out reality from false assumptions.

The spores in the Daschle letter were PURE. No additives. The "additives" reported in the media were initially the result of a MISTAKE, and then from FALSE ASSUMPTIONS. That's what the FACTS say.

You can believe the FALSE ASSUMPTIONS if you want, but believing won't turn FALSE ASSUMPTIONS into facts.

Ed

www.anthraxinvestigation.com

225 posted on 10/19/2006 10:43:38 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake

Actually, you just published your list of assumptions. Yet again. Apparently you cannot understand that they are assumptions.


226 posted on 10/19/2006 11:37:22 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: EdLake
but, since I could be wrong, I'm not about to publicly point the finger at someone who could be totally innocent.

Obviously not, nor should you. I was merely curious if you had somebody specific in mind or if it was more of a theory.

227 posted on 10/19/2006 1:52:45 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Motto of the Democrat party: If we can't rule America, we fully intend to ruin America.)
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To: TrebleRebel
Apparently you cannot understand that they are assumptions.

No, it's you who clearly doesn't understand the difference between facts and assumptions. Which of these facts is an assumption, and why do you believe it is an assumption?

FACT #1: When Tom Geisbert first examined the Daschle anthrax, he was looking at spores which had been soaking in chemicals used by the HazMat team which handled the letter.

FACT #2: Geisbert then made sure the spores were dead by dipping them in chemicals before putting them into the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).

FACT #3: When the spores were in the TEM, he turned up the power to get a close look to see if there were any smallpox viruses mixed with the spores, and he saw some "goop" oozing out of the spores.

FACT #4: He thought it was an additive.

FACT #5: He took Polaroids of the "goop".

FACT #6: He and Peter Jahrling were still thinking the "goop" was an "additive" ten days later when Jahrling briefed the FBI, CIA and others at the White House.

FACT #7: As a result of that White House briefing, someone leaked the story to The New York Times that an "additive" had been found in the Daschle anthrax.

FACT #8: The New York Times reporter talked with some scientists about what it meant to have an "additive" in the spores, and the scientists speculated on what it meant.

FACT #9: It was speculation using false information.

FACT #10: As a result of some conference calls, everyone at USAMRIID evidently realized within the next few days that the "goop" was the result of putting "hydrated" spores in the TEM.

FACT #11: In a statement to a Congressional Committee on October 31, General Parker from USAMRIID explained how some errors had been made.

FACT #12: General Parker said, "... one of our technicians/scientists made a statement that this material grossly had some attributes consistent with “weaponized” anthrax.

FACT #13: General Parker said, "USAMRIID revisited the term 'weaponized' and decided the terms 'professionally done' and 'energetic' as more appropriate descriptions in lieu of any real familiarity with weaponized materials."

FACT #14: General Parker said, "On 16 October, USAMRIID began to examine the samples further via transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Initial TEM analysis was performed on hydrated powder.

FACT #15: General Parker said, "This study revealed that the material was comprised solely of a high concentration of spores without debris or vegetative forms

FACT #16: General Parker said, "USAMRIID next began investigating the dry powder on 18 October by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This method revealed particle aggregates of varying sizes comprised solely of spores without a visible binding matrix. The material seen under SEM ranged in size from single spores to aggregates of spores up to 100 microns or more. The spores within the aggregate were uniform in appearance. The aggregates had a propensity to pulverize.

Do you believe that these FACTS are assumptions just because these FACTS do not agree with your beliefs?

Ed

www.anthraxinvestigation.com

228 posted on 10/19/2006 2:41:59 PM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake
These are your assumptions. The facts are that AFIP said:

When US Army investigators at Ft Detrick, Md, examined anthrax found in a letter sent to Sen. Thomas Daschle last fall, they discovered that the highly refined spores floated in the air, making them much easier for potential victims to inhale. What made this anthrax so easily aerosolized?

.......to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica. "This was a key component," Mullick said. "Silica prevents the anthrax from aggregating, making it easier to aerosolize.
229 posted on 10/19/2006 3:53:16 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
These are your assumptions. The facts are that AFIP said

Ah! I see. All the statements and facts which contradict AFIP are just assumptions, and only what AFIP said is gospel.

Or to put it another way: All the statements and facts which contradict your beliefs are just assumptions, and only what you believe is gospel. And what you believe is that only AFIP speaketh the gospel truth.

I guess you simply do not understand that when there are contradictory viewpoints, you have to evaluate ALL the data to see which viewpoint is most likely correct. Instead, you just pick the one which you like best (because it matches your conspiracy theories) and ignore everything else.

Thanks for making that absolutely clear.

Ed

www.anthraxinvestigation.com

230 posted on 10/20/2006 8:59:51 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake

The FACTS are that AFIP said silica was used to weaponize the Daschle anthrax. Your ASSUMPTIONS are just ASSUMPTIONS.


231 posted on 10/20/2006 9:11:26 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
The FACTS are that AFIP said silica was used to weaponize the Daschle anthrax. Your ASSUMPTIONS are just ASSUMPTIONS.

Yes, I think everyone understands what you believe: AFIP speaketh the gospel. Everything else is false "assumptions."

The FBI's top scientist said that it is a "misconception" that "the spores were produced using additives" but, in your mind that must be false because it contradicts the gospel in which you believe.

General Parker said the term "weaponized" was not appropriate for the attack anthrax, and that "professionally done" was more appropriate, but that must be false because it contradicts the gospel in which you believe.

General Parker also said that the Daschle powder "was comprised solely of a high concentration of spores without debris or vegetative forms" but that must be false because it contradicts the gospel in which you believe.

Other experts have viewed images of the Daschle anthrax and have stated that it contained no additives that they could see, but that must be false because it contradicts the gospel in which you believe.

Thanks for making your beliefs absolutely clear.

Ed

www.anthraxinvestigation.com

232 posted on 10/20/2006 9:49:20 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake

The FACTS are that General Parker said the anthrax contained silica.


233 posted on 10/20/2006 10:16:32 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
The FACTS are that General Parker said the anthrax contained silica.

Yes, General Parker said that, but that wasn't all he said. Here's what he said IN CONTEXT during that news briefing on October 29, 2001 after ABC News falsely reported that there was bentonite in the Daschle anthrax:

Major General Parker: Good morning. I won't go through what we already know. There seems to be a lot of questions about bentonite. I'm not sure where they're coming from, or their importance. But if you ask what is bentonite, it's a volcanic clay. And one of its principle ingredients is aluminum. And it varies in percentage of aluminum. And we have subjected the New York Post sample and the Daschle sample to very high energy x-ray studies, and I will say to you that we see no aluminum presence in the sample.

And, therefore, if you go back to the definition, MERK Index, the Internet, and geology centers all over this country, we can say that there is no bentonite in the New York Post sample or the Daschle sample.

Question: To follow up, what does that say about the level of sophistication, and obviously connected to that, the level of expertise needed to -- for something like this, if it doesn't have --

Major General Parker: Bentonite is a lubricant. That's all I know about it by reading, just like you read. It's a hydroscopic compound. I don't know what its significance is, and I've been asked to study the samples thoroughly, from A to Z, to know what's in the sample, what's the character of that anthrax, what its family lineage is, and what it's antibiotic sensitivities are. And I feel very strongly that the scientific data that I'm giving to you this morning is all I know.

Question: Does that suggest then that there was no additive, there's been nothing in the spores to make them more -- or nothing added to the spores to make them more easily aerosolized?

[AND HERE'S THE STATEMENT IN CONTEX:]

Major General Parker: Complicated question. We do know that we found silica in the samples. Now, we don't know what that motive would be, or why it would be there, or anything. But there is silica in the samples. And that led us to be absolutely sure that there was no aluminum in the sample, because the combination of a silicate, plus aluminum, is sort of the major ingredients of bentonite.

But the significance is -- I don't know what the significance is.

Question: Is silica negatively charged, do you know?

Major General Parker: I don't know that. It would depend on what form it would be in. I suppose you could do all sorts of things with it.

Question: Sir, is there anything other than bentonite that can make anthrax less inclined to clump together and more able to float freely?

Major General Parker: Not to my knowledge -- and that's very limited, of course. You understand that, I'm not the expert. I hope there are people that could probably answer your question much more articulately.

Question: John, you've told us a bit about what's not in the Daschle anthrax. From your briefing the other day, could you update us on what you do know about the characteristics of this anthrax?

Major General Parker: May I repeat what I said? The Daschle sample is very fine and powdery. It appears that -- and I'm talking gross, looking at the specimen grossly, not under the microscope. The New York Post sample is very granular, by comparison. And when you look at the two samples under the microscope, the Daschle sample is very pure and densely compact with spores. And so is the New York Post sample, but not quite as dense -- I'm talking magnitudes of, you know, times 10 difference, maybe, between the density of the two samples. Both samples are densely populated with anthrax spores.

Question: I just thought in four days, you would have found out something new about it?

Major General Parker: There's not much more to learn about anthrax. You know, the spore, itself, has been around a long, long time. It dates back into biblical times; we know it's not a good organism to have in your body.

Question: Would further tests show whether bentonite was there? Ari earlier suggested there may be other tests would identify it. Does this, what you're doing rule out bentonite, in your opinion?

Major General Parker: Sir, in my opinion, it rules it out. If I can't find aluminum, I can't say it's bentonite.

Question: Will there be other ways to look for the composition of this additive? Are there other ways, aside from high energy x-rays, to go about looking for --

Major General Parker: The scientists are pursuing that, they're discussing it and are trying to characterize this right down to the point where we know everything about these samples. But you have to know that we don't have much sample, and so doing comparison is very, very difficult and people have to think about it before we destroy more sample to maybe run down a wrong road. So there's a lot of discussion about what is needed.

Question: And in that discussion, is there essentially a debate as to whether or not this additive indicates a foreign source, or whether or not this additive indicates a domestic --

Major General Parker: Sir, I'm not aware of a debate. I'm not aware of a debate.

So, IN CONTEXT, General Parker said, "Complicated question. We do know that we found silica in the samples. Now, we don't know what that motive would be, or why it would be there, or anything."

That directly contradicts AFIP, which had somehow divined what the motive was and why it was there.

General Parker indicated that all they really knew was what the EDX graphs showed them: "But there is silica in the samples. And that led us to be absolutely sure that there was no aluminum in the sample, because the combination of a silicate, plus aluminum, is sort of the major ingredients of bentonite."

If AFIP "knew" silica had been put into the anthrax to aerosolize it, and General Parker at USAMRIID did NOT know that, how did AFIP divine their knowledge? AFIP only had the anthrax in their possession for a few hours, while USAMRIID had it for weeks.

But, I imagine such questions are not allowed when only BELIEFS can be considered "the truth". Correct?

Ed

234 posted on 10/20/2006 11:30:22 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake
We do know that we found silica in the samples.
235 posted on 10/20/2006 11:40:07 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel; EdLake

Something tells me that in this particular debate, ne'er the twain shall meet. :)


236 posted on 10/20/2006 12:47:21 PM PDT by jpl (Victorious warriors win first, then go to war; defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win.)
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To: jpl
Something tells me that in this particular debate, ne'er the twain shall meet. :)

Yes, it's been going on for years, most of it outside of this forum. His belief that AFIP is infallible is absolute. No facts can change his mind. As we've seen, he considers facts to be "assumptions". And only AFIP knows the facts.

Ed

237 posted on 10/20/2006 2:41:46 PM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake
They detected ATOMS of silicon and oxygen in the anthrax Are you speaking of Silicon Dioxide?
238 posted on 10/20/2006 3:45:50 PM PDT by razorback-bert (I met Bill Clinton once but he didnít really talk ó he was hitting on my wife)
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To: EdLake; Southack
What about manufactured glass? What about quartz? How did they know the graph didn't represent traces of manufactured glass absorbed from a Petri dish? Silica is used as a raw material feedstock for the production of glass where it is mixed with lime and soda and quartz has it own signature in a spectrometer, because of impurities.

A high purity grade of silica, fused silica (which is around 99.4-99.9% SiO2) is produced by carbon arc, plasma arc, gas fired continual extrusion or carbon electrode fusion.

My point is if a lab says it is Silica, bet your bibby on it.

239 posted on 10/20/2006 4:26:14 PM PDT by razorback-bert (I met Bill Clinton once but he didnít really talk ó he was hitting on my wife)
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To: razorback-bert; EdLake
"My point is if a lab says it is Silica, bet your bibby on it."

Ed Lake doesn't know and Ed Lake doesn't care. Heck, Ed Lake doesn't even know that Silicon and Oxygen, when seen together, are Silica.

Ed Lake has posts at the beginning of this very thread in which he clearly tries to say that since only silicon and oxygen were found, that Silica was not there...as if silica was something else.

Thus, Ed Lake is an uneducated rube who is pushing his own agenda, facts be hung.

For instance, in one post on this thread he claimed that AFIP was lacking the hardware required for analysis. On another post in this thread, Ed Lake admits that AFIP has the necessary equipment...but he doesn't realize that is what he is admitting because he doesn't know the equipment that he named.

In other posts on this thread Ed Lake fails to understand how our postal system functions. Other errors on his part include failing to comprehend anthrax incubation periods.

On and on Ed Lake goes, spouting whatever he can to make the bone-headed FBI look somewhat competent (in contrast, anyway).

I'm only surprised that someone so completely ignorant yet arrogant has managed to not win himself a Darwin Award quite yet...but no doubt he's got himself in the competition.

240 posted on 10/20/2006 5:38:11 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Battle Axe
Early on in the Amerithrax investigation, The FBI
erred at a fork in the road. Domestic or Foreign?
They committed themselves too deeply into the
"Super-Patriot" theory. The notion that a right-
winged, domestic insider was the perpetrator.
That this lunatic believed he was ultimately
doing his country a favor by alerting it with
a small scale BIO-attack before it was actually
struck with a full scale and debilitating attack.

This overcommitment by the Bureau, at the expense
of nearly all other possibilities, has cost us all
nearly five years and huge sums of money, in a
fruitless investigation.

Yes, the Bureau has given itself one big science
lesson in biology and its' potential for terror,
but it has come no closer to discovering who the
actual culpritS were. It has so overly-committed
itself to the Domestic theory, that it continues
to spin it wheels trying to prove its' flawed
assumptions. They have also destroyed the good
names of some scientists in the process. Seems
they have only been successful in highlighting
those who are NOT guilty of this crime.

In those hurried day after September 11th, the
Bureau was inundated, overwhelmed and besieged by
the investigation task at hand. The FBI's terror
unit, then only a small division, promptly had
over 50% of the Bureau's resources working on
the 9/11 terror attacks. Much was missed or
remains unknown. Even the 9/11 REPORT has large
gaps and unknowns within when it come to activities
of the hijackers and their associates.

"We have some planes"

"We have this Anthrax"

Such subtle, but haunting links are ignored at
our peril.
On Tuesday, September the 11th, and on the dates
of the Anthrax mailings, Al-Qaeda use the American
System against itself:

They trained terrorist hijackers and they brewed-
up batches of Anthrax. Airline tickets were
purchased as well as prepaid postage envelopes.
The hijackers boarded the planes and the germ
was sealed in the envelopes. The planes took off
and the letters were placed in that Princeton mail
box. Our airline service and our postal service
were now the delivery systems for terror. The only
alterations that were made to those systems were that
lethal agents of disruption and destructing were
added to the vessels. Bin Laden and company must
find it extra humorous that M. Atta and his ilk,
were actually flight trained in our schools and
that the Bacteria used was of American origin.
241 posted on 10/23/2006 8:56:47 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61
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To: Battle Axe
Early on in the Amerithrax investigation, The FBI
erred at a fork in the road. Domestic or Foreign?
They committed themselves too deeply into the
"Super-Patriot" theory. The notion that a right-
winged, domestic insider was the perpetrator.
That this lunatic believed he was ultimately
doing his country a favor by alerting it with
a small scale BIO-attack before it was actually
struck with a full scale and debilitating attack.

This overcommitment by the Bureau, at the expense
of nearly all other possibilities, has cost us all
nearly five years and huge sums of money, in a
fruitless investigation.

Yes, the Bureau has given itself one big science
lesson in biology and its' potential for terror,
but it has come no closer to discovering who the
actual culpritS were. It has so overly-committed
itself to the Domestic theory, that it continues
to spin it wheels trying to prove its' flawed
assumptions. They have also destroyed the good
names of some scientists in the process. Seems
they have only been successful in highlighting
those who are NOT guilty of this crime.

In those hurried day after September 11th, the
Bureau was inundated, overwhelmed and besieged by
the investigation task at hand. The FBI's terror
unit, then only a small division, promptly had
over 50% of the Bureau's resources working on
the 9/11 terror attacks. Much was missed or
remains unknown. Even the 9/11 REPORT has large
gaps and unknowns within when it come to activities
of the hijackers and their associates.

"We have some planes"

"We have this Anthrax"

Such subtle, but haunting links are ignored at
our peril.
On Tuesday, September the 11th, and on the dates
of the Anthrax mailings, Al-Qaeda use the American
System against itself:

They trained terrorist hijackers and they brewed-
up batches of Anthrax. Airline tickets were
purchased as well as prepaid postage envelopes.
The hijackers boarded the planes and the germ
was sealed in the envelopes. The planes took off
and the letters were placed in that Princeton mail
box. Our airline service and our postal service
were now the delivery systems for terror. The only
alterations that were made to those systems were that
lethal agents of disruption and destructing were
added to the vessels. Bin Laden and company must
find it extra humorous that M. Atta and his ilk,
were actually flight trained in our schools and
that the Bacteria used was of American origin.
242 posted on 10/23/2006 9:07:46 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61
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To: EdLake
Please excuse the double posting; i'm new here, and
the posting should have been addressed to Mr. Lake
and not Battle Axe.
243 posted on 10/23/2006 9:24:16 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61
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