Skip to comments.Reporters told to testify in leak case (Who leaked details about scientist in 2001 anthrax attacks?)
Posted on 08/13/2007 8:54:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - Five journalists must identify the government officials who leaked them details about a scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks, a federal judge said Monday.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the reporters to cooperate with Steven J. Hatfill, who accused the Justice Department and FBI of violating the federal Privacy Act by giving the media information about the FBI's investigation of him.
The reporters named in the opinion are Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek, Allan Lengel of The Washington Post, Toni Locy, formerly of USA Today, and James Stewart, formerly of CBS News.
Walton denied Hatfill's request to demand information from the media companies ABC, The Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS, The Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times.
Hatfill's attorneys want the reporters to reveal the identities of law enforcement officials who were cited anonymously in stories about the investigation. The journalists gave depositions under a court order but refused to reveal their sources, arguing that the First Amendment and a federal common-law privilege shield them from having to disclose the names.
Walton disagreed. He said District of Columbia federal courts have historically denied a common-law reporter's privilege and said he would not "bring into being such a privilege."
Creating such a privilege in this case would have the "perverse effect" of handicapping a plaintiff whose good name was destroyed by government leaks, Walton said. The reporters' fear that testifying would chill the flow of information, Walton said, is outweighed by the Privacy Act lawsuit.
Five people were killed and 17 sickened by anthrax that was mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Hatfill, who worked at the Army's infectious diseases laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., from 1997 to 1999, was publicly identified as "a person of interest" in the investigation by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The case remains unsolved.
There's a First Amendment "right" to engage in espionage and breach national security?
This was a domestic terrorist attack, whether it was the work of a lone many or larger group.
Wow, was just going to shut down the computer and go to bed when I saw this.
Thought you would want to see it ping.
It will be interesting to find out who did the deed.
Can I say I hate these people? Is that a hate crime?
ARMITAGE!! not really, but he does have a HUGE mouth.
Moreso than prosecution of the media workers, the so called law enforcement agents who disclosed this information should be in prison for their actions.
Sorry, Isikoff can’t testify. He’s sitting on the toilet, reading his pristine, unflushed copy of the Koran.
FWIW here is the full-text of the opinion (although all the newspaper articles summarize it nicely).
On the merits of the investigation, there were always two squads. One pursued an Al Qaeda theory while one pursued a bioevangelist and/or financial or other motive.
A hardline Salafist colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey (a prolific Ames strain researcher), has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in prison plus 70 years. He worked in a program co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection. He had access to ATCC facilities, as well as facilities of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University. The bionformatics grad student, Ali Al-Timimi, worked with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawalli and drafted a letter from al-Hawali that he had hand-delivered to all Congressional members on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailing to Senators Daschle and Leahy. Dr. Al-Timimi once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy while employed by beltway contractor SRA. See generally, “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” Washington Post, September 3, 2006 (reporting FBI’s suspicion)
It’s a very complicated investigation. But here is a summary of the merits of the investigation as gleaned from public source records:
I. ANTHRAX AND THE VANGUARDS OF CONQUEST
II. MEANS: AL QAEDA’S BIOCHEM PROGRAM CODENAMED YOGURT
a. The 1999 Announcement of Zawahiri’s Quest to Weaponize Anthrax
b. Zawahiri’s April/May 1999 Emails To Al Qaeda’s Military Commander Atef and His Interest in Anthrax and Pesticides
c. “I successfully achieved the targets”: Pakistan Scientist Rauf Ahmad’s Assistance in 1999 and 2000
d. “You are dead! Bang”: Ayman’s Plan To Use Charities And Universities As Cover
e. Al Qaeda’s 2001 Threat To Use Mailed Anthrax In Connection With Jailed EIJ Leader And Former Bin Laden Farm Manager Mahmoud Mahjoub
f. Taliban’s Interest In The Anthrax Vaccine Laboratory
g. Hambali, Anthrax Lab Tech Yazid Sufaat, and Ayman’s Anthrax Bomb Maker
h. March 2003 Seizure of Anthrax Production Documents On KSM’s Laptop and Arrest of Bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qudus Khan
i. 2003 Capture of Hambali and Sufaat’s Assistants, and the Seizure of “Extremely Virulent” (But Unweaponized) Anthrax
j. Unconfirmed Claim: 2007 Capture of Taliban Spokesman With Anthrax Packets Intended For Mailing To Government Officials
k. Access to the Ames Strain
l. Made in the USA: The Cell Culture
III. MOTIVE: REASON SENATORS LEAHY AND DASCHLE AND THE US MEDIA WERE TARGETED
a. The Anthrax Letters: “Written In Language You Can Understand”
b. Profile of an Angry Man: Ayman
c. FBI Director Mueller: Remember 9/11. Remember Oklahoma City.
d. Significance of Mailing Dates: Camp David Accord and Sadat’s Assassination
e. “Leahy Law” and Appropriations to Military and Security Units
f. Zawahiri’s View of the “Lies” of the Secular Media
g. “Release Him”: Retaliation for Detention of the Blind Sheikh and Other Detainees
h. “The Far Enemy”: Zawahiri’s Victory in the EIJ Debate Whether to Target US
i. Despots and Democracy
j. Islambouli: The Ghost Of Sadat’s Assassin Visits the United States
IV. MODUS OPERANDI: “POURING MUSK ON BARREN LANDS”
a. Related 1996 Letter Bombs to DC and New York Papers and Symbolic Targets
b. Targeted Assassination of Individuals in Symbolic Positions
c. Requirement Under Laws of Jihad of Warning Before Using Nonconventional Weapons
d. Continuing Practice of Sending Poisonous Letters as Threats
e. Use of Code:
Jennifer Lopez Letter and Atta’s Jenny Code
“In the Hearts of Green Birds” (Inside Green Birds)
KSM and Clouds (Al-Sahab)
Allusion to Atta and Genomic Sequencing of the Ames Strain
f. Summer 2001 Inquiries About Cropdusters and Helicopters
g. Choice of the Mailbox at 10 Nassau St. in Princeton
h. KSM’s Plan to Poison A Reservoir
i Al Qaeda’s Spymaster on Amerithrax
j. Poisoned Penpal: The Murder of Chechen Rebel Leader Ibn Khattab
V. OPPORTUNITY: TRACKING POTENTIAL AL QAEDA OR EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD OR ISLAMIC GROUP SUPPORTERS
a. Fall 2001 Greenlight of Biological Attack By US-Based Operatives
b. Know Not Just Your Enemy, But Who He Knew
c. Hani and Nawaf on the Straight Path: Connecting the Kuala Lumpur, Falls Church and New Jersey Dots
d. Kandahar Souvenir: Hijacker Ahmed’s Blackened Leg Lesion in June 2001
e. Astonishing Aafia
f. Marri: Will it Play in Peoria?
g. The Undisclosed Possible Connection Between Ohio and Amerithrax: the Egyptian Scientist In The Library Researching Contaminants in Drinking Water
h. The Sympathizer Who Was A HVAC Technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab
i. Hoax Letters That May Fly As Real Thing
j. Biochemist Magdy Al-Nashar: Functionalized Polymers and Degrees of Separation
VI. THE SHEIKS, THE BIOWEAPONEERS, AND DARPA
a. Hardball Tactics In An Era of Threats
b. The Education of Ali Al-Timimi
c. “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots
d. GMU Center for Biodefense: Discovery Hall
e. Ali and The Islamic Ruling On The Peace Process
f. The 2006 Arrest Of Former Falls Church Imam And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi
g. The Ability of Intelligence to Prevent Domestic Bioterrorism
Nope, Occam's Razor suggests that it was exactly what it appeared to be, a followup Islamist terror attack right on the heels of 9/11.
I think reality is even more interesting than fiction. But this new bioterror novel is interesting because the fellow was in the business and had access to classified information. So the plot perhaps is more plausible than the recent “The Other Abraham.” My favorite bioterror novel for beach reading is THE FAITHFUL SPY, by a NYT correspondent. It was riveting.
Here is are excerpts from an article on the new book put out by Penguin.
August 12, 2007, The Age (Australia)
Reality, fiction collide as terror comes to town
When dHage (Darj to his mates) was head of military security for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it was his job to think up horror scenarios - and find ways to stop them. He had also dealt with the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA and the top echelons of the NSW police, enjoying access to top-secret documents that would have made ideal source material for a fictional terror plot.
The book begins with a warning from fictional al-Qaeda operative Dr Khalid Kadeer, a microbiologist and member of the persecuted Uighur Muslim Chinese minority. The terrorist hints at the location of the first of three warning attacks that, if ignored, will precede a cataclysm that will destroy Western civilisation.
The cesium poisoning of an Australian citys water supply is one of many catastrophic events in The Beijing Conspiracy. The book begins with a warning from fictional al-Qaeda operative Dr Khalid Kadeer, a microbiologist and member of the persecuted Uighur Muslim Chinese minority. The terrorist hints at the location of the first of three warning attacks that, if ignored, will precede a cataclysm that will destroy Western civilisation.
The novels fundamentalist Christian US president Denver Harrison threatens, a la George Bush, to smoke the terrorists out of their hideouts. But the more subtle task of working out the details of Kadeers threat is taken up by CIA agent and bioterrorism expert Curtis OConnor and Australian-born microbiologist Dr Kate Braithwaite, who is working on a US secret weapons program to mix smallpox with the even deadlier Ebola and Marburg viruses. The pair discover that Kadeers scientists are only one of two groups planning to unleash an Ebolapox supervirus at the Beijing Olympics. And so begins a desperate chase to prevent the death of millions.
Revelations about the Soviet weaponisation of smallpox and anthrax, made by defecting former Soviet scientist Dr Ken Alibek, were also on his mind.
LOL— notice who the judge is, though. It’s Reggie Walton again.
What a tiny place DC really is.
And, of course one of the only connections to that “other” case is the word “leak”. Let’s see how vociferous the MSM will be about these “leakers”.
I must disagree with your assessment that the anthrax releases were in fact terrorist attacks , the scale was entirely to small & the carpet pilots/anybody else haven’t made a credible claim of responsibility .
What we saw with the anthrax releases were in fact a weapon component function test, Period nothing more.
Dr. Hatfill has a bone to pick with the US Justice Dept. for literally screwing his life over & not getting good info on who is doing the germ warfare incidents.
Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats - August 15, 2007
a. Amerithrax: The Other “Person of Interest ....
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