Skip to comments.Five Years Later, Anthrax Questions Swirl Anew at FBI
Posted on 10/13/2006 3:46:10 PM PDT by Shermy
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Ed, ALL the letters were mailed in Boca Raton. Do not mistake downstream contamination in New Jersey with a "mailing".
Or, if you are 90 years old, it can take only a single spore. But you have to breath deep.
There was a trail of anthrax contamination in three postal facilities in West Palm Beach/Boca Raton. The route taken by the anthrax letter from deposit through processing to another facility where it was forwarded to a third building from which it was delivered was readily tracked (and cleanedup).
Anyone who knows postal operations couldn't have missed that particular finding ~ tells you everything you need to know about "where" the letters were "mailed".
Friday evening ~ at Boca Raton. Next day, the rest of the letters would need only to be dropped in street collection boxes to end up "lost in the mail".
It could well be the latter, plus the bonus of all the attention he apparently gets from members of the press.
The best way to get attention from the major left-wing media is to reinforce their biases and stereotypes. And in this case, we know that the media desperately wants the anthrax attacks to have been perpetrated by a conservative American type. Anyone crying out "hey media, do you think perhaps it could have been Islamist terrorists" will just simply be ignored, because it doesn't fit well with the agenda.
But personally, I'm much more interested in why elements of the government are lying than why Ed Lake is lying.
That's FUNNY! I guess it proves you can dream up any absurd story you want, and no one can prove you wrong.
But the FACTS say that the letter was most likely postmarked on September 18, just like the other media letters. It went by truck to Atlanta and then to West Palm Beach where equipment tested positive for anthrax. Other post offices tested positive due to cross-contamination: Green Acres, Blue Lake, Lake Worth and the Boca Raton main substation. Other post offices in the area were NOT contaminated. The pattern shows that the letter was most likely addressed to The National Enquirer's old address at Lantana.
The letter most likely arrived at AMI in Boca Raton on Friday, September 21, Saturday September 22 or Monday September 24. Stephanie Dailey remembers opening a letter containing a powder on or around Tuesday, September 25, when she returned from vacation. It was her job to open letter addressed to The National Enquirer. She would NOT have opened any letter addressed to the Sun.
She was on vacation when the J-Lo letter arrived and was opened and passed around, so she couldn't possibly have been contaminated by that letter. The pattern of spores in the AMI building show that the J-Lo letter couldn't have contained anthrax.
This is what the FACTS say, but obviously you are just going to believe whatever you want to believe because you know there's no way to prove you wrong.
And of course this is totally based upon your beliefs. Clearly it doesn't bother you that the letters were all postmarked in Trenton, that a mail carrier in that area contracted cutaneous anthrax, that a mailbox was found to contain spores. You can just rationalize explanations for all this in order to believe what you want to believe. But why should anyone accept your baseless beliefs?
Can we assume that you believe that anyone who doesn't agree with you is lying?
I'm inclined to agree !
I hate to break the news to you, Ed, but the FBI labs have a history of lying. You believe them because you want to believe them. What have they done recently that makes them believable? Are there any scandals at AFIP of wrongdoing in the labs? The wrongdoing list at the FBI labs is endless.
Misconduct Allegations Arise in FBI Lab Probe
Inquiry: Workers tell of pressure to lie about their scientific findings.
Two crusading journalists investigate the FBI's forensic crime lab and deliver a strong indictment against what goes on there. Federal agents regularly dupe the public into accepting "scientific" findings that aren't based upon science at all, they charge, and the lab is infected with a troubling culture where truth plays second fiddle to prosecutorial interests, with information potentially useful to defendants withheld. The book's hero is FBI-scientist-turned-whistle-blower Frederic Whitehurst, and most of the chapters focus on the crime lab's controversial role in high-profile cases involving O.J. Simpson, the World Trade Center bombing, the Unabomber, and others. The authors at times appear to have a pro-prosecution bias of their own, but their conclusions shouldn't be ignored. They probably won't be; as one attorney tells the authors, "No defense lawyer in the country is going to take what the FBI lab says at face value anymore."
No, dear child.
From your own post in this very thread, no anthrax letter was ever recovered from the Florida AMI building.
This means that the AMI building may have been contaminated via other means, and the AMI landlord of two of the 9/11 terrorists would certainly hint at tainted cash used to pay their apartment rent as being one such potential non-postal channel.
But whatever the route taken, you can't claim to know the postmark. No letter was found there. The contamination may not have been delivered via the post office.
What you are doing is pushing a theory regardless of facts. Your theory demands a September 18th postmark, so that's what you will push from here on out even though no fact in hand supports such a view.
No letter was found, after all.
Bob Stevens, photo editor at The Sun died on October 5, 2001 from inhalational anthrax. In your imagination, you've got him coming into contact with airborn anthrax, getting infected, and dying in *less* than 11 days (Sept 25 to Oct 5).
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the incubation period of anthrax which can be as long as 2 months or as short as 4 days (NOTE: always longer for males in every stage).
The median incubation period is 10 days: http://www.bepress.com/jhubiostat/paper22/
After the incubation period you then have 1 to 5 days of low-grade symptoms followed by 1 to 3 days of improvement. This is followed by the onset of high fever and death within 1 to 2 days of non-treatment.
All the letters were mailed in the same place by the same folks. That place is Boca Raton. In fact, with respect to one of the letters the complete track from the point of entry to delivery was found, including a "backtrack" in the route necessitated by way of the fact National Enquirer had changed their address.
There was anthrax the whole way. However, the envelope's had just then been filled, so they weren't leaking as bad as they would be a month later when they hit New Jersey and DC.
Your concern with where the letters were postmarked (which applies ONLY to those letters which were recovered) means nothing when it comes to single-piece rate First-Class letter Mail being sent by an individual using a handwritten address to another individual who is not a utility nor a creditor.
These letters were exceedingly rare types in the modern postal system.
The USPS handles such mail poorly. In fact, if these pieces were mailed anytime from 6 PM Friday, September 7 to 9 PM, Sunday, September 9, they would be just about the only mailpiedes in the collection boxes were they were dropped. If we but assume for a moment that the folks who carried out the attack sought to "hide" what these pieces were by dropping them in individual street collection boxes, the letters would, in fact, constitute the ONLY mailpieces in each collection box. That is, they'd be nearly alone, and readily missed due to the way the MVS or collection route drivers pick up mail during that Friday thru Sunday "dead zone".
The driver stops, opens the box, pulls out the flat tray into which all the mail has dropped, puts in another, empty flat tray, and returns to his vehicle placing the flat tray from the box in the back of his vehicle. At the end of his route he will have several such trays stacked up.
If he didn't see any mail (handling this in the dark can be a problem you know), and a single piece being readily overlooked, these trays will be stacked together and thought of as EMPTY.
When the collection vehicle returns to the post office the trays will be dropped at the backdock for later disposition.
If it looks like there's a stack of empty trays neatly nestled into each other, there's a good chance they will be categorized as empty equipment and end up stacked with others, wrapped in plastic, and dispatched on an empty star route (Highway Contract Route) for transportation North to someplace that generates mail. In this case, they'd go to Philadelphia from West Palm Beach, and from there they'd be sent to major commercial mailers in Eastern Pennsylvania and Central New Jersey.
Once the pieces were discovered in the trays at the mailer's letter shop, they'd be set aside for separate entry in a letter tray. This happens every day at every major mailer's operations ~ there's always live mail (a piece here and there) found in empty equipment. Mailers complain about it constantly.
In New Jersey there was no contamination of the equipment used to separate collection mail by size, so that meant this stuff entered into the 010 operation in a tray all prepared for cancelation.
Now, remember those trays that these letters sat in during their long trip by truck from Florida? They contaminated the trays which, after being used to transport the commercial mailer's mailings to the post office for further distribution, were then sent into other operations for further use. At least one of them ended up in a collection box near a New Jersey university. The contamination was detected. Another was sent over to a carrier route at Trenton, possibly a direct from the commercial mailer to that route. She got contact anthrax from handling the contaminated tray.
BTW, my "belief" is based on 38 years of virtually full time examination and evaluation of postal operations and the preparation of regulations for use by postal employees and the general public for proper use of the postal system in this country. If it's "my belief" it's a pretty good one, and much more educated than that of a mere layman such as yourself.
Inasmuch as my thoughts on the matter are far from baseless, may I encourage you to pay attention to them since they explain every particular from the attack in Florida to the attack in New York, to the attack in DC.
BTW, when USPS left contaminated equipment in the system, a letter or two got contaminated and ended up infecting a lady in Connecticut who died.
The mailing tray into which it was tossed, or maybe a piece of mail in that tray, was then contamined by one of the primary anthrax letters.
Remember, the secondary contamination of postal equipment was more deadly than any primary contact with the letters. Most of the letters got trapped. Only the stationary equipment that got contaminated was stopped in place. Hundreds of thousands of letter and flat trays that were potentially contaminated managed to get back out into the postal system before the anthrax attack was known to have happened.
"IF the anthrax arrived at AMI other than the US mail, why then would Stephanie Daily and Ernesto Blanco be the only two other persons who tested positive."
Hard to argue with that. And the concentration of spores found in the mailroom area too.
Ed has interesting idea about spread by vacuum, but how about shoes? And did successive vacuuming clean up some of the spread, and were all the floors cleaned as much? And what were there surfaces, carpet, flooring, etc. Many variables.
My idea on a possible "two letter" solution depends on the Ms. Dailey. It is reported that it was her duty to open mail addressed to the National Enquirer. OK, who opens mail addressed to the other publications? Isn't it plausible that the perp went two letters, one to the National Enquirer, one to say, The Sun, and the Sun one was opened first, the Enquirer later when Dailey returned from vacation?
As to the mailer (not necessarily producer) being a sophisticated scientist, wouldn't that kind of person more likely target The New York Times and Newsweek rather than the New York Post and National Enquirer?
I think your ideas about the trays and cross-contamination are very interesting. However I'm not quite following you about the postmarking. Are you saying that mail with pre-printed stamps are handled differently, I presume, than other letters would? If one mailed a letter from Florida with a pre-printed stamp to New York or D.C. addresses it would not be post-marked in Florida but in Trenton NJ?
I don't strongly endorse that idea. In fact, my original take was that they'd made up one letter (to AMI) and decided to trot down to the Boca Raton post office to buy another packet of 6 letters to send to the other addresses.
BTW, these people were normally very frugal in their behavior so they didn't have a large box of envelopes or a sheet of postage stamps. Instead, they could buy embossed envelopes as needed at the post office and avoid waste.
That's why the AMI letter took one route while the others simply got "lost in the mail" until they were discovered in supposedly empty equipment in New Jersey (and on different days no less demonstrating they were in different containers, and in a size where the commercial mailer only needed a few per week).
Now, why the AMI letter? This gets to the heart of why a letter went to the New York Post as well, and none went to Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post and so forth.
These guys are from the Middle East. There the premier newspapers are TABLOID SIZE. Same with India, Pakistan, China, etc., etc. The THIRD WORLD lives on tabloids.
In America the premier newspapers (if you think tabloids are "it") are sold at grocery store checkout lines. AMI dominates the racks.
To an outsider with a limited command of English, and limited time to read newspapers, these tabloid newspapers stand out as "the thing" to read. And, in the Middle Eastern mind they really must be considered to be America's foremost newspapers.
They are everywhere. Everyone knows what they are. People who've never seen a NYTimes have read Star.
If you want to make a truly massive biological attack on America's news media, it's pretty obvious to me that you'd attack AMI itself, and there it was, conveniently located right where they lived in Boca Raton!!!!!
I really do wonder if any of these guys had any idea what the NYTimes is.
The letter directed to Tom Brokaw, if mailed in Florida, would be routed through a major airport and main post office for the financial capital of the world. The letter directed to the two Senators would be routed through a major airport and the main post office supporting mail service for the entire United States government (insofar as headquarters/cabinet operations were concerned), and into the Congress itself.
In sort, the attack went after the major media (AMI), the center of world Capitalist enterprise, and the capital of the United States.
Makes a lot of sense.
And to the funny little foreign guys, the New York Times means nothing whatsoever. they can't read it easily, it has no cartoons, and they never publish any pictures of scantily clad women.
A little harder question is "why Leahy, Daschle and Brokaw"?
Here the answer is remarkably simple. A few weeks before the attack a website called "www.jewsforlife.org" ran a newsletter type piece that had their names and addresses in them, and in the same format those addresses were used in the attack letters.
I think the terrorists wanted us to believe that "the Jews did it".
You will find one or more such boxes in every commercial district. No one is watching them after hours. Besides, no one is going to be concerned if a carload of Arabs pulls up to a street collection box and drops in a letter (before 9/11).
The Freeper you refer to was probably The Great Satan.
Personally, I think he may have been right. He got a lot of opposition for his ideas on FR, and eventually might have lost his temper over it. I never read the posts that got him banned, but I thought he brought a lot interesting ideas to the table.
The FBI (and the U.S. government as a whole) would certainly not have wanted to panic the U.S. population, so they would have had a motive to insist it was a home grown source.
The best argument AGAINST Saddam's involvement is that the spores were supposedly not that difficult to make. The FBI seems to have reversed itself and now says it was "simple", so the odds that it was "home grown" have gone up (unless you believe the FBI is lying). But even if it was "simple", it does not rule out Saddam. I remain skeptical.
Plus, major mail generation (and mail collection) operations occur BEFORE 7 PM Friday evening. USPS doesn't even process mail on Sunday although it does fly it around the country, or dispatch it on trucks.
People do not mail much stuff on the weekends. It's easy for the handful of pieces entered late on a Friday evening (after last prayers at the mosque) to get lost for a few days ~ in fact, the system is virtually designed to ensure that this happens!
My thesis is that everything happened normally, and that the terrorists could not possibly have anticipated things going down this way.
Blanco worked the mailroom. Stephanie opened some letters. But Bob Stevens had nothing to do with the mailroom. It's Stevens that the letter theory doesn't fit.
Sure, the anthrax *could* have been sent via a letter (though no such letter was ever found), but it could also have come in through tainted cash.
Cash follows funny paths that could easily have crossed by all three AMI employees.
Provided he had access to a BL4 lab.
1. NOT America's most important newspapers, and
2. They ARE, on the other hand, extremely influential, particularly with people with limited skills in English.
It's not even a class thing ~ more cultural.
Don't sniff the mail.
But regardless of whether or not I'm right about this, from the beginning it never made one iota of sense that a sophisticated American scientist who presumably lives and/or works somewhere in the northeast corridor would for some strange reason choose THAT place to send an anthrax letter to, along with Congress and some major media outlets.
It only makes sense for an attack to be made on AMI inc. if you are a funny little foreign guy who has noticed that his copy of Star was published by AMI.
"But regardless of whether or not I'm right about this, from the beginning it never made one iota of sense that a sophisticated American scientist who presumably lives and/or works somewhere in the northeast corridor would for some strange reason choose THAT place to send an anthrax letter to, along with Congress and some major media outlets."
I'm with you right there. Why on earth choose tabloids that run stories about Dolly Parton giving birth to aliens to send your anthrax powder to? A US scientist or insider just doesn't do that. And then there's the JLo letter - beyond bizarre! Why choose to write JLo's name on a letter full of anthrax? Of course, Ed Lake simply denies that the JLo letter did contain anthrax. But what are the chances of a letter containing pink colored powder to arrive at AMI the same week as another real anthrax letter? Note PINK colored powder, not white. Guess what color anthrax powder is often described as being?
The anthrax buried on Vozrozhdeniye Island is a pink powder that was designed specifically to infect humans.
And there was a person, not sure if he was a hijacker, or a friend of the hijackers that had a subscription to one of their publications in SPANISH.
I can see them checking the wrong box.
But you are right....lots of pictures, maybe they even learned some English from reading the thing.
The lone male American scientist would only think of the NYT and the AMI building if he used darts on encyclopedias.
I don't "simply deny" it. I provide the facts and evidence which clearly says that J-Lo letter did NOT contain anthrax:
1. According to AMI's #1 newspaper, The National Enquirer, the J-Lo letter was opened on the third floor. According to the CDC, the third floor is the least contaminated floor in the building. The link to their report is HERE.
2. Bobby Bender, who is the person who opened the J-Lo letter, was not one of those contaminated by anthrax.
3. Bender carried the opened J-Lo letter all around the third floor, yet that floor was the least contaminated floor and he was not contaminated.
4. Stephanie Dailey, the person who opened the REAL anthrax letter and was contaminated by the REAL anthrax letter, was on vacation when the J-Lo letter was opened, so she could not have been contaminated by the J-Lo letter.
5. The area where Stephanie Daily opened the REAL anthrax letter was the MOST contaminated area in the AMI building.
For anyone to believe the J-Lo letter contained anthrax, they must totally ignore the FACTS.
There's one problem with that theory. The diagrams of the three floors of the AMI building do not show any place for printing presses. It seems pretty clear that the actual newspapers were printed elsewhere.
No anthrax letter was ever recovered from Stephanie's mail, or Bob Steven's mail, or from any AMI mail.
It is therefore **undetermined** if the AMI infections were from the mail. Infections can come from other sources (e.g. cash, contact with the terrorists, etc.).
There was and is no known "real anthrax letter" sent to AMI.
Unknown. Stevens could have made change for someone inside the AMI building. Or lost a bet. Or paid a debt. Or handed out cash for someone to go grab donuts for the Office. Or any of a thousand different ways for his tainted cash to have crossed several AMI employees' hands.
Incredible, you cite the CDC article as your authority that the JLo letter didn't contain anthrax, and yet that article concludes it DID contain anthrax! You should work for the FBI. I seem to remember they recently published a paper citing an article in Science magazine as authority that the spores contained no additives, when the Science article actually stated the spores DID contain additives. And we all know the FBI lab's reputation for honesty and integrity.
The index patients infection most likely occurred from inhalation of B. anthracis spores following a primary aerosolization, i.e., spores released into the air after opening a spore-containing letter. This scenario is consistent with co-workers recollections that the index patient held a letter containing powder over his computer keyboard, as well as environmental samples showing contamination at his keyboard, an incoming-mail desk near his workspace, and his mailroom mailbox.
Did you happen to be paying attention to the news several days ago when the Yankees pitcher crashed his airplane into the building?
I know this may seem like a ridiculous question from out of the blue, but bear with me here for a moment, I'm asking for a serious reason.
I looked at ALL the evidence. The evidence doesn't support the CDC's "conclusions".
It appears that the CDC is simply reporting on testimony without actually evaluating what was said. They had lots of testimony about the J-Lo letter. But that doesn't mean it contained anthrax. It just means a lot more people remembered that letter than the actual anthrax letter.
It appears to be another false bureaucratic assumption, just like AFIP's false assumption that detecting silicon and oxygen in the attack anthrax meant the powder had been "weaponized" with silica.
If conclusions are NOT supported by the facts, I look for a different explanation which IS supported by the facts. I don't blindly accept any bureaucrat's word about anything.
It was the lead news story for days. How could anyone not know about it?
Oh yeah, I forgot. You know more than a team of CDC scientists, a team of scientists from AFIP, Detrick, you know more than John Parker, Ari Fleischer.
You know that, in spite of the FBI Lab's demonstrated track record of wrongdoing, with scientists admitting under oath they had published false results, that THIS time they didn't.
"I don't blindly accept any bureaucrat's word about anything."
Except an FBI lab scientist who publishes a paper with a bogus reference for his assertion, and doesn't provide a shred of evidence. That, you do accept, naturally.
I don't know that the CDC still believes (or ever believed) the J-Lo letter contained anthrax. I just know the facts say that letter did NOT contain anthrax.
General Parker realized that USAMRIID had made a mistake in viewing chemical-saturated anthrax under the TEM, and he corrected that mistake as best he could in his briefings on October 31. He also made it very clear that there were a lot of things about the powder that still weren't fully understood at that time.
Like everyone else, Ari Fleischer may have made false assumptions in the early days of the investigation, but when he wrote his book "Taking The Heat" years later, he made it clear that AFIP only detected silicon and oxygen. He doesn't say anything in his book about there being silica in the anthrax. He wrote,
I dug deep into the story. I spoke not only to officials at the NSC but to researchers themselves at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology [AFIP]. They told me the Daschle anthrax contained silicon and oxygen but not aluminum.
Except an FBI lab scientist who publishes a paper with a bogus reference for his assertion, and doesn't provide a shred of evidence. That, you do accept, naturally.
What he said is supported by the facts. I didn't just accept what he wrote. What he wrote confirmed what I wrote in March 2005 in my book. And what I wrote in my book is what the FACTS indicate.
Oh, I see, so your authority is your own book. Gee, it must be true then if you wrote it in your book.
My point is that you want to be very careful about claiming that people's recollections about what they did, where they were, what they saw, and what they said are indisputable, rock-solid FACTS. This is particularly true when you're talking about an event that happened days or weeks ago. People are very often wrong in their recollections, even when they're honestly sure that they're right. This can be true even if they're recalling something that happened mere minutes before in a stressful situation.