Skip to comments.Hatfill v. US - DOJ and FBI Statement of Facts (filed Friday)
Posted on 04/13/2008 8:20:52 AM PDT by ZacandPook
On Friday, the government filed this statement of the facts in its memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment in a civil rights and Privacy Act lawsuit brought by Dr. Steve Hatfill.
The anthrax attacks occurred in October 2001. Public officials, prominent members of the media, and ordinary citizens were targeted by this first bio-terrorist attack on American soil. Twenty-two persons were infected with anthrax; five died. At least 17 public buildings were contaminated. The attacks wreaked havoc on the U.S. postal system and disrupted government and commerce, resulting in economic losses estimated to exceed one billion dollars. The attacks spread anxiety throughout the nation already in a heightened state of alert in the wake of the attacks of September 11 and left behind a lasting sense of vulnerability to future acts of bioterrorism. Given the unprecedented nature of the attacks, the investigation received intense media attention. Journalists from virtually every news organization pursued the story, sometimes conducting their own worldwide investigation to determine the person or persons responsible for the attacks and the motive behind them.
A. Journalistic Interest In Hatfill That Predates Alleged Disclosures
Testimony has revealed that at least certain members of the media began focusing their attention upon Hatfill in early 2002 because of tips they had received from former colleagues of his who found him to be highly suspicious. Articles about Hatfill thus began to appear in the mainstream press and on internet sites as early as January of 2002, and continued until the first search of his apartment on June 25, 2002, which, in turn, led to even more intense press attention.
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a Professor at the State University of New York, for example, complained in January and February 2002 on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website of the FBIs apparent lack of progress on the investigation, and described generally the person she believed was the anthrax perpetrator. Analysis of Anthrax Attacks, Possible Portrait of the Anthrax Perpetrator (Section IV.6), Defendants Appendix , Ex. 1. Rosenberg did not identify Hatfill by name, but described him in sufficient detail: a Middle-aged American who [w]orks for a CIA contractor in Washington, DC area and [w]orked in USAMRIID laboratory in the past and [k]nows Bill Patrick and probably learned a thing or two about weaponization from him informally. Id. In his amended complaint, Hatfill states that Professor Rosenbergs Possible Portrait of the Anthrax Perpetrator . . . described [him].
In addition to her postings on the FAS website, Professor Rosenberg also presented a lecture on February 18, 2002 at Princeton Universitys Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, entitled The Anthrax Attacks and the Control of Bioterrorism. Ex. 2. During the course of her lecture, Rosenberg stated that she had draw[n] a likely portrait of the perpetrator as a former Fort Detrick scientist who is now working for a contractor in the Washington, D.C, area[.] Ex. 3. Rosenberg also commented upon Hatfills whereabouts on the date of the attacks, stating that [h]e had reason for travel to Florida, New Jersey and the United Kingdom where the attacks had been and from which the letters had been purportedly sent that [h]e grew [the anthrax], probably on a solid medium, and weaponised it at a private location where he had accumulated the equipment and the material. Id. Rosenberg also stated that the investigation had narrowed to a common suspect[,] and that [t]he FBI has questioned that person more than once[.] Id. Former White House Spokesperson, Ari Fleischer, immediately responded to Rosenbergs comments, stating that there were several suspects and the FBI had not narrowed that list down to one. Ex. 4. The FBI also issued a press release, stating that it had interviewed hundreds of persons, in some instances, more than once. It is not accurate, however, that the FBI has identified a prime suspect in this case. Id. Rosenbergs comments and writings were subsequently pursued by The New York Times (The Times). In a series of Op-Ed articles published from May through July 2002, Nicholas Kristof, a journalist with The Times, accused Hatfill of being responsible for the anthrax attacks. Kristof wrote on May 24, 2002 that the FBI was overlooking the anthrax perpetrator, noting that experts (Professor Rosenberg) point to one middle-aged American who has worked for the United States military bio-defense program and had access to the labs at Fort Detrick, Md. His anthrax vaccinations are up to date, he unquestionably had the ability to make first-rate anthrax, and he was upset at the United States government in the period preceding the anthrax attack. Ex. 5.
Hatfill first noticed the Kristof columns in May 2002. Hatfill Dep. Tran. in Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807 (E.D.Va.), Ex. 6, at 13: 3-6. According to Hatfill, [w]hen Mr. Kristofs article appeared, it was the first [time] that [he] realized that [his] name [was] in the public domain with connection with an incident of mass murder. Id. at 16:15-18. Hatfill has charged that The Times began the entire conflagration and gave every journalist out there reason to drive this thing beyond any sort of sanity. Mr. Kristof lit the fuse to a barn fire and he repeatedly kept stoking the fire. Id. at 43:19 - 44:1. In July 2004, Hatfill thus filed suit alleging that these articles libeled him by falsely accusing him of being the anthrax mailer. Complaint, Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807 (E.D.Va.), Ex. 7.
Hatfill alleges in that lawsuit that Kristof wrote his columns in such a way as to impute guilt for the anthrax letters to [him] in the minds of reasonable readers. Id. ¶ 12. The articles, Hatfill claimed, which described his background and work in the field of bio-terrorism, state or imply that [he] was the anthrax mailer. Id. ¶ 14. Hatfill specifically alleged that statements in Kristofs articles were false and defamatory, including those that stated that he: (1) unquestionably had the ability to make first-rate anthrax; (2) had the ability to send the anthrax; (3) had the access required to send the anthrax; (4) had a motive to send the anthrax; (5) was one of a handful of individuals who had the ability, access and motive to send the anthrax; (6) had access to an isolated residence in the fall of 2001, when the anthrax letters were sent; (7) gave CIPRO [an antibiotic famously used in the treatment of anthrax infection] to people who visited [the isolated residence]; (8) his anthrax vaccinations were up to date as of May 24, 2002; (9) he failed 3 successive polygraph examinations between January 2002 and August 13, 2002; (10) he was upset at the United States government in the period preceding the attack; (11) he was once caught with a girlfriend in a biohazard hot suite at Fort Detrick [where Hatfill had concedely worked] surrounded only by blushing germs. Id. ¶ 16 (brackets in original). Hatfill alleges in his lawsuit against The Times that [t]he publication of [Kristofs] repeated defamation of [him] . . .gave rise to severe notoriety gravely injurious to [him]. Id. ¶ 29. The injury, Hatfill alleged, was [made] all the more severe given the status and journalistic clout of The Times. Id. This harm was compounded, Hatfill alleged, by the fact that these articles were thereafter repeatedly published by a host of print and on-line publications and on the television and radio news in the following months. Id., ¶ 30.
The case was initially dismissed by the trial court. Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807, 2004 WL 3023003 (E.D.Va.). That decision was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 416 F.3d 320 (4th Cir. 2005). Upon remand, the trial court granted The Times summary judgment, finding that Hatfill was a public figure and public official and had failed to present evidence of malice. Hatfill v. The New York Times, 488 F. Supp. 2d 522 (E.D. Va. 2007). In arriving at that conclusion, the court considered Hatfills repeated media interviews before the attacks; the fact that he had drafted a novel, which he registered with [the] United States Copyright office, describing a scenario in which a terrorist sickens government officials with a biological agent; and had lectured on the medical effects of chemical and biological agents. Id. at 525.
Although not recited by the district court in The New York Times litigation, Hatfill also talked directly to reporters about his suspected involvement in the attacks. Brian Ross of ABC News, and his producer, Victor Walter, for example, talked separately to Hatfill on two to three occasions as early as January and February 2002, Ross Dep. Tran., Ex. 8, at 263:14 - 270:1, and continued talking to Hatfill until May of that year. Id. Ross also spoke to Hatfills friend and mentor, William Patrick, about Hatfill. Id. at 287:9 - 295:12. These meetings were prompted by discussions ABC News had in January 2002 with eight to twelve former colleagues of Hatfill at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Id. at 242:7 - 246:14. Hatfills former colleagues found him to be highly suspicious because of a number of things he had done when he worked at [USAMRIID], and this behavior was strange "and unusual and they felt that he was a likely candidate. Id. at 242: 7-17. These meetings were also prompted by ABC Newss own investigative reporting into Hatfills background; the more ABC News learned the more interested [they] became in Hatfill. Id. at 264: 14-15.
Scott Shane of the Baltimore Sun also spoke to Hatfill in February 2002. Shane also spoke to USAMRIID employees who had worked with Hatfill. Ex. 9. These employees stated that they had been questioned by the FBI and asked about a former Fort Detrick scientist Hatfill who returned a few years ago and took discarded biological safety cabinets, used for work with dangerous pathogens. Id. at 1. These employees claimed that Hatfill ha[d] expertise on weaponizing anthrax and ha[d] been vaccinated against it[.] Id. Shane also called one of Hatfills former classmates, who was plagued by questions from the Baltimore Sun and others within the media regarding Hatfills alleged involvement with the large anthrax outbreak in Zimbabwe[.] Ex. 10. According to Hatfill, this classmate was told by Shane that Hatfill was purportedly responsible for mailing the anthrax letters and also starting the [anthrax] outbreak in Zimbabwe/ Rhodesia twenty years before. Ex. 11, at AGD29SJH00014; see also e-mail to Hatfill fr. DF Andrews, dated Mar. 1, 2002, Ex. 10. Hatfill told Shane in February 2002 that he had been questioned by the FBI and that he considered the questioning to be part of a routine effort to eliminate people with the knowledge to mount [the] attack. Ex. 9. Hatfill also confirmed for Shane that he had taken an FBI polygraph. Ex. 12, at 2. In March 2002, Hatfill left Shane a frantic telephone message reportedly stating how he had been [in the bioterrorism] field for a number of years, working until 3 oclock in the morning, trying to counter this type of weapon of mass destruction and fearing that his career [was] over at [that] time. Ex. 13, at 2. According to Hatfill, Shane later Case 1:03-cv-01793-RBW Document 232-2 Filed 04/11/2008 Page 17 of 73
____ Hatfill did not sue either Shane or Rosenberg, even though Hatfill has stated that Rosenberg caused the focus on him. Ex. 14, at 10. Because Hatfill believed that the portrait Rosenberg painted at the February 2002 Princeton conference and in her website postings was so identifying and incriminating, however, Hatfill advised Rosenberg through his lawyers that before [she] get[s] close to describing him in the future, by name or otherwise, [that she] submit [her] comments for legal vetting before publishing them to anyone. Ex. 15. There is no evidence that the agency defendants bore any responsibility for the media presence. Information about FBI searches is routinely shared with a variety of state and local law enforcement authorities. Roth Dep. Tran., Ex. 16, at 163:5 -165:21; Garrett Dep. Tran. Ex. 17, at 79: 8-18. ______
compounded Hatfills problems by calling his then-employer, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and accusing Hatfill of being responsible for the anthrax attacks, Ex. 11, at AGD29SJH00014, which, according to Hatfill, cost him his job as a contractor at SAIC. Id. 1
The media frenzy surrounding Hatfill intensified upon the search of his apartment on June 25, 2002, and the search of a refrigerated mini-storage facility in Ocala, Florida on June 26, 2002. Both were witnessed by the media, and the search of his apartment was carried live on national television. In addition to the television coverage, the searches generated a slew of articles about Hatfill throughout the media, one fueling the next. The Associated Press, for example, detailed in an article, dated June 27, 2002, Hatfills (1) work as biodefense researcher, including studies he had conducted at SAIC, and the work he had done at the USAMRIID; (2) his educational background; (3) where he had previously lived; and (4) security clearances he had held and the suspension of those clearances. Ex. 18. The Hartford Courant reported these same details, and additional information regarding Hatfills purported service in the Rhodesian army. Ex. 19. The next day -- June 28, 2002 -- the Hartford Courant reported details about Hatfills background in biological warfare, his vaccinations against anthrax, questioning that purportedly had occurred among Hatfills colleagues, his educational background (including the claim that he had attended medical school in Greendale), and lectures that he had given on the process of turning biological agents into easily inhaled powders. Ex. 20. None of this information is attributed to a government source.
B. Hatfills Public Relations Offensive
In July 2002, after these reports and after the first search of Hatfills apartment on June 25, 2002, Hatfill retained Victor Glasberg as his attorney. Glasberg Dep. Tran., Ex. 21, at 12: 16-19. Glasberg believed that any number of people in the media [had] overstepped their bounds. . . . prior to July of 2002 . Id. at 141:1 - 142:6. To counter this information, Hatfill set out on a public relations offensive of his own to turn [the] tide. Id. at 138: 20-21, 178: 12-13.
Recognizing that Hatfill continue[d] [to] get killed with bad press, national as well as local[,] Hatfill drafted a statement and Glasberg forwarded that statement in July 2002 to Hatfills then-employer at Louisiana State University (LSU). Ex. 11, at 1. The statement detailed Hatfills background, including his medical training and employment history, and provided details about Hatfills involvement in the anthrax investigation, including how he had been interviewed by the FBI and had taken a polygraph examination. Id. at AGD29SJH00002-13. Hatfills statement corroborated the conversations that Hatfill reportedly had with Scott Shane of the Baltimore Sun in February 2002, and how that interaction had purportedly cost Hatfill his job at SAIC in March 2002. Id. at AGD29SJH00014.
In his July statement, Hatfill was careful not to blame DOJ or the FBI for his troubles or for any wrongdoing for the information about him that had made its way into the press. He touted the professionalism of the FBI, noting that [t]he individual FBI agents with whom [he had come] in contact during this entire process are sons and daughters of which America can be justifiably proud. They are fine men and women doing their best to protect this country. Id. at AGD29SJH00016. Hatfills objection lay with the media, whom he labeled as irresponsible[,] for trading in half-truths, innuendo and speculation, making accusations and slanting real world events . . . to gain viewer recognition, sell newspapers, and increase readership and network ratings. Id.
As the investigation proceeded, however, Glasberg publicly criticized investigators on the date of the second search of Hatfills apartment, August 1, 2002, for obtaining a search warrant rather than accepting the offer Glasberg had allegedly made to cooperate. Ex. 22. So angry was Glasberg with investigators that he wrote a letter, dated the same day as the search, to Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth C. Kohl, denouncing the fact that the search had been conducted pursuant to a search warrant. Ex. 23. Glasberg forwarded a copy of this letter to Tom Jackman of the Washington Post, and to the Associated Press, the morning of August 1st. Glasberg, Dep. Tran., Ex. 24, at 265:12 - 266:5; see also Ex. 25 (Glasberg memorandum to file, stating, among other things, that Glasberg showed Jackman Kohl letter on August 1, 2002).
On the day of the search, an FBI spokeswoman at the Bureaus Washington field office, Debra Weierman, confirmed that the search was part of the governments anthrax investigation. Ex. 25. Weierman added, however, that she was unable to confirm that [investigators were acting on a search warrant] or to provide any further information about the search. Id.
The next day August 2, 2002 Glasberg faxed the Kohl letter to members of the media. Ex. 26. In the fax transmittal sheet accompanying the Kohl letter, Glasberg also advised the media that: Dr. Hatfill was first contacted by the FBI earlier this year, as part of the Bureaus survey of several dozen scientists working in fields related to biomedical warfare. He was voluntarily debriefed and polygraphed, and voluntarily agreed to have his home, car and other property subjected to a lengthy and comprehensive search by the FBI. He and his lawyer Tom Carter were told that the results were all favorable and that he was not a suspect in the case. Id. at AGD16SJH03106. Subsequent to the fax transmittal by Glasberg, Weierman confirmed that the search had been conducted pursuant to a search warrant, but only after receiving appropriate authorization from her superiors. Weierman Dep. Tran., Ex. 27, at 93:16 - 94:14.
Hatfill had also accompanied Glasberg for his interview with Jackman the day before to address the media feeding frenzy. Ex. 28. Glasberg provided Jackman with the promise of an [e]xclusive personal statement from Hatfill and the promise of [n]o other press contacts pending publication of the article. Id. Glasberg thus provided Jackman background information about Hatfill, Rosenbergs statements, and other publications. Ex. 25. Hatfill reportedly complained to the Washington Post in the interview about the media feeding frenzy, and about how his friends are bombarded with press inquiries. Ex. 29, at 1. Hatfill also complained about the [p]hone calls at night. Trespassing. Beating on my door. For the sheer purpose of selling newspapers and television. Id.
C. Attorney General Ashcrofts Person of Interest Statements
Following this media frenzy, not to mention the two searches of Hatfills apartment, former Attorney General John Ashcroft was asked on August 6, 2002 (at an event addressing the subject of missing and exploited children) about Hatfills involvement in the investigation. Jane Clayson of CBS News asked General Ashcroft about the searches and whether Hatfill was a suspect in the investigation. Ex. 30, at 2. General Ashcroft responded that Hatfill was a person of interest. General Ashcroft cautioned, however, that he was not prepared to say any more at [that] time other than the fact that he is an individual of interest. Id. At the same media event, Matt Lauer of NBC News also asked General Ashcroft whether Hatfill was a suspect in the investigation. Ex. 31. General Ashcroft responded that Hatfill was a person that that the FBIs been interested in. Id. at 2. General Ashcroft cautioned that he was not prepared to make a . . . comment about whether a person is officially a . . . suspect or not. Id.
General Ashcroft made the same comments at a news conference in Newark, New Jersey on August 22, 2002, stating that Hatfill was a person of interest to the Department of Justice, and we continue the investigation. Ex. 32, at 1. As in his previous statements, General Ashcroft refused to provide further comment. Id. When asked upon deposition why he referred to Hatfill as a person of interest in the anthrax investigation in response to these media inquiries, General Ashcroft testified that he did so in an attempt to correct the record presented by the media that he was a suspect in the investigation, which he believed served a necessary law enforcement purpose. Ashcroft Dep. Tran., Ex. 33, at 81: 5-12; 103:18; 108: 9-13; 138: 5-7; 125: 18-21; 134:22 - 136:8. Prior to making these statements, General Ashcroft did not review or otherwise consult any investigative record, id. at 128:14 - 129:12, much less any record pertaining to Hatfill.
General Ashcrofts initial statements on August 6, 2002 were followed, on August 11, 2002, by the first of Hatfills two nationally televised press conferences. Ex. 34. During his press conference, Hatfill lashed out at Rosenberg and other journalists and columnists who he believed wrote a series of defamatory speculation and innuendo about [him]. Id. at 3. In apparent response to the person of interest statements, by contrast, he stated that he did not object to being considered a subject of interest because of [his] knowledge and background in the field of biological warfare. Id. at 4. This was consistent with Hatfills statement to ABC News earlier in 2002 in which he stated that his background and comments made him a logical subject of the investigation. Ex. 35. As noted, moreover, Glasberg told the media -- almost a week before the first of General Ashcrofts statements -- that Hatfill was first contacted by the FBI [earlier that] year, as part of the Bureaus survey of several dozen scientists working in fields related to biomedical warfare. He was voluntarily debriefed and polygraphed, and voluntarily agreed to have his home, car and other property subjected to a lengthy and comprehensive search by the FBI. Ex. 26.
Hatfills second press conference was held on August 25, 2002. In the flyer publicizing the conference, Hatfill identified himself to the media -- in bold lettering -- as the person of interest at the center of the federal Governments [anthrax] investigation. DA, Exhibit 36.
D. Clawsons Sunshine Policy
Patrick Clawson joined the Hatfill team in early August 2002 as spokesperson and fielded hundreds of inquiries from members of the press worldwide regarding Dr. Hatfill[.] Ex. 12, at 13. Clawson believed it best to employ a media strategy that would, in his words, let it all hang out. Id. at 50:10. Clawson felt that permitting maximum sunshine into . . . Hatfills existence would do both him and the public the best good. Clawson Dep. Tran., Ex. 37, at 50:16-18.
The majority of Clawsons communications with the press regarding this case have been oral and by telephone and he did not keep a press log or any other regular record of such contacts with the press. Ex. 12, at 13. Clawson nonetheless admitted upon deposition that he revealed numerous details about Hatfills personal and professional background to members of the press (Clawson Dep. Tran., Ex. 37, at 101:9 - 105:21), including Hatfills professional expertise (id. at 103:10 - 105:21), use of Cipro (id. at 123:16 - 130:11, 248: 8-13), whereabouts on the days of the attacks (id. at 148:12 - 158:10, 361:15 - 362:3), expertise in working with anthrax (id. at 194:13 - 195:8), former service in the Rhodesian Army (id. at 210:9 - 211:10), and drunk driving arrest (id. at 795: 7-9, 798: 4-6). Clawson also told reporters what had been purportedly removed from Hatfills apartment during the two searches of his apartment on June 25, 2002 and August 1, 2002 (including medical books and a jar of bacillus thuringiensis (BT)) (id. at 121: 6-12, 131:2 - 131:12, 14:8 - 147:3, 313: 3-10). Clawson also freely relayed to the press that bloodhounds had been presented to Hatfill during the investigation (id. at 200: 15-19); that Hatfill had been the subject of surveillance (id. at 123:12-15, 428: 19-21); that Hatfill had taken polygraphs (id. at 135:16 - 137:17); and that he had submitted to blood tests (id. at 137:18-138:5, 347: 6-10).
In furtherance of Clawsons sunshine policy, Hatfill, Clawson, and Glasberg, together, provided countless on-the-record, on-background (i.e., for use, but not for attribution), and off-the-record (i.e., not for attribution or use) interviews to counter misinformation. Although Hatfill repeatedly claimed upon deposition not to remember what he said during these interviews, he acknowledged in his responses to the Agency Defendants interrogatories having such conversations with, in addition to Mr. Jackman, Judith Miller of The New York Times, Jeremy Cherkis of the City Paper, Guy Gugliotta of the Washington Post, David Kestenbaum of National Public Radio, Rick Schmidt of the LA Times, Rob Buchanan of NBC Dateline, Jim Popkin of NBC News, Dee Ann David and Nick Horrock of UPI, Gary Matsumato of Fox TV, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, and David Tell of the Weekly Standard. Ex. 12, at 3-4. With respect to the Matsumato interview, Glasberg warned Hatfill before the interview that he should not be quoted, nor should Matsumato say or imply that he spoke with him. Ex. 38, at 1. Glasberg warned Hatfill that Matsumato must be willing to go to jail rather than reveal word one of anything [he] says on deep background. Id.
All of these disclosures became too much even for Glasberg, who attempted to put a stop to them. In August, when Jackman aired his exclusive interview with Glasberg and Hatfill, Glasberg heralded the success of his public relations strategy noting that Rosenberg, Shane and Kristof are, [each] of them, in varying stages of sulking, licking their wounds, reacting defensively and changing their tune. Ex. 39. Slowly Glasberg advised both Hatfill and Glasberg to observe the rule of COMPLETE SILENCE regarding anything and everything about the case[.] Ex. 40 (emphasis in original). Ultimately, in September 2002, Glasberg ordered Clawson to stand down, noting [w]hat you know, you know, and you have put virtually all of that into the public record. Fine. That is where we are, and for good or ill we can and will deal with it. But we must put a full stop to any further conveyance of substantive data about ANYTHING from Steve to anyone [but his attorneys]. Ex. 41 (emphasis in original). To no avail. On October 5, 2002, Hatfill and Clawson appeared together at an Accuracy in Media Conference. Hatfill was asked about the reaction of bloodhounds, and stated, Im not supposed to answer things against . . . but let me tell you something. They brought this good-looking dog in. I mean, this was the best-fed dog I have seen in a long time. They brought him in and he walked around the room. By the way, I could have left at anytime but I volunteered while they were raiding my apartment the second time, I volunteered to talk with them. The dog came around and I petted him. And the dog walked out. So animals like me (laughter). Ex. 42, at 2.
Disclosures from the Hatfill camp to the media continued. For example, between late 2002 and May 8, 2003, Hatfills current attorney, Tom Connolly, and CBS News reporter James Stewart had multiple telephone conversations and two lunch meetings. Ex. 43. According to Stewart, Connolly told Stewart that the investigation was focusing on Hatfill, and detailed at great length the FBIs surveillance of Hatfill. In virtually every one of these conversations, Connolly encouraged Stewart to report on these subjects. Id. at 96.
E. Louisiana State Universitys Decision To Terminate Hatfill
At the time of the second search of his apartment in August 2002, Hatfill was working as a contract employee at the Louisiana State University (LSU) on a program to train first responders in the event of a biological attack. This program was funded by the Department of Justices Office of Justice Programs (OJP) as part of a cooperative agreement. Ex. 44. Under the terms of the cooperative agreement, OJP maintain[ed] managerial oversight and control of the program. Id. at 2. Following the second search of Hatfills apartment on August 1, 2002, Timothy Beres, Acting Director of OJPs Office of Domestic Preparedness, directed that LSU cease and desist from utilizing the subject-matter expert and course instructor duties of Steven J. Hatfill on all Department of Justice funded programs. Ex. 45. LSU, meanwhile, had independently hired Hatfill to serve as Associate Director of its Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education. Following the second search, LSU placed Hatfill on administrative leave. Ex. 46. LSU then requested a background check of Hatfill. Ex. 47. During the course of that investigation, the University became concerned that Hatfill had forged a diploma for a Ph.D that he claimed to have received from Rhodes University in South Africa. Hatfill explained to Stephen L. Guillott, Jr., who was the Director of the Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education at LSU, that [h]e assumed the degree had, in fact been awarded since neither his [thesis advisor] nor Rhodes University advised him to the contrary. Ex. 48. LSUs Chancellor, Mark A. Emmert, made an internal decision to terminate [LSUs] relationship with Dr. Hatfill quite independent of [the DOJ e-mail] communication. Ex. 51.
Hatfill has now testified that in fact he created a fraudulent diploma with the assistance of someone he met in a bar who boasted that he could make a fraudulent diploma. Hatfill Dep. Tran., Ex. 49 at 19:20 - 20:12. Glasberg, moreover, has stated under oath that Hatfills earlier attempted explanation was untrue. Glasberg, Dep. Tran., Ex. 21, at 314:10 - 317:2. In a nationally televised 60 Minutes episode that aired in March 2007, Connolly confirmed that Hatfill forged the diploma for the Ph.D from Rhodes University. Ex. 50, at 3.
F. Hatfills Amended Complaint
Hatfill claims lost wages and other emotional damages resulting from General Ashcrofts person of interest statements and other for-attribution statements by DOJ and FBI officials. He also seeks to recover for certain other alleged leaks by DOJ and FBI officials. Hatfill additionally asserts that the defendants violated the Act by purportedly failing to (1) maintain an accurate accounting of such disclosures, which he asserts is required by section 552a(c) of the Act; (2) establish appropriate safeguards to insure the security and confidentiality of the records that were purportedly disclosed, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(10); (3) correct information that was disseminated about him that was inaccurate or incomplete, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(5); and (4) establish adequate rules of conduct, procedures, and penalties for noncompliance, or to train employees in the requirements of the Act, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(9). Defendants are entitled to summary judgment.
I cannot discuss the article in detail until I've read it. But we've seen how you and TrebelRebel can distort things, so until proven otherwise, I think it's safe to assume you are distorting things found in this report, too.
TrebelRebel endlessly tries to claim that because scientists at Lawrence Livermore coated SOME spores with silica when doing tests described in the book "Microbial Forensics," that somehow proves the attack spores of 2001 were coated with silica.
In reality, a February 15, 2005 article by S.P. Velsko of Lawrence Livermore Labs titled "Physical and Analytical Analysis: A key component of Bioforensics" explains WHY they coated some spores with silica:
The knowledge base that is required to deduce process associations from measurement data consists of two basic components. The first is a systematic understanding of the many different possible recipes for generating agents. While much current expertise in this area centers around archival knowledge generated by the historical U.S. biological weapons program (and to a lesser extent, knowledge about foreign BW programs) it is important to recognize that would-be bio-terrorists are likely to utilize information from a broader range of sources, including open scientific literature, the internet, underground cookbooks, and information that has, unfortunately, been divulged to the news media in recent years. There is no necessary presumption that this information is always accurate or leads to an effective biological weapon. But only by collecting and organizing this information (and keeping it up-to-date) can we hope to recognize the recipe used to make an agent in the widest variety of possible incidents.
In other words, they created some samples just so people would know what such things look like, even though they wouldn't necessarily make an "effective biological weapon."
What are you trying to prove? What do you believe these pictures show? Do you really believe the attack spores of 2001 were coated this way and NO ONE NOTICED? Or are you trying to say they were coated this way and thousands of people CONSPIRED to keep it a secret?
We KNOW that scientists have coated spores in all sorts of screwball ways since the anthrax attacks, because the screwball ways were described in the media and some idiot might actually try to use a screwball technique described in the media. So, scientists have to know what such things look like.
Out of context, all these pictures show is that it is POSSIBLE to coat spores with silica in all sorts of screwball ways.
“What are you trying to prove?”
I’m not TRYING to prove anything. I’m demonstrating with FACTS that Alibek is wrong. There is, obviously, a principle to coating anthrax spores. It’s how they’ve been weaponized for decades. For Alibek to say otherwise questions everything else he has ever said about powder bioweapons.
You’ve been had.
Actually the spores in that picture were made FORTY years ago. And, yes, they are WEAPONIZED simulants. They are simulants for BIOWARFARE AGENTS. And they are COATED, COATED, COATED,
But keep pretending that is not so.
Well, I'll have to read the paper before I can adequately respond to that. Can we assume that you haven't sent it to me because you don't want me to see it, you just want to tell people on this forum what you want them to believe about it?
I'm going to have to take a break for an hour or so do do some chores.
Re Operation Frog Soup
Ed is posting in red and large font. Should we wait until he goes to red caps?
Come on, Treble, post the first image also.
The first one shows that Ken’s desk was not much more than 15 feet from Ali’s.
It’s silly to debate this scientific stuff in a vacuum.
Ed’s favorite entry from his playbook is to endlessly repeat “none of the experts who examined the pictures of the spores actually saw any additives”. He must have repeated this line around 10,000 times over the years. Naturally, it’s not true.
The material’s light, fine texture and a brown ring around each spore suggest an additive had been introduced to prevent clumping.
General Parker - October 25, 2001
Well, first of all, your question is complex, and I’d like to say that, although we may see some things on the microscopic field that may look like foreign elements, we don’t know that they’re additives, we don’t know what they are, and we’re continuing to do research to find out what they possible could be. They’re unknowns to us at this present time.
General Parker - October 29, 2001 (4 days later)
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.
Compare Ed’s discussion of the science about how silica is not used to coat spores.
Here is Ed’s discussion on the scientist which he just pulls out his ass without having read any of the peer-reviewed literature on the subject.
Now compare it with the discussion by the Dugway scientists who make anthrax simulant for a living. I was always relying on a consulting military scientist who makes anthrax simulant for a living for a different military branch but Ed ignored that expert advice also.
I don’t mind that Ed doesn’t do research.
I only mind he does not make corrections when mistakes are pointed out.
Now do me a favor and post that graphic (I would but I don’t know how).
I only added a label for Charles but Ken is the third circle.
Both Charles and Ken, I would emphasize, are just victims of the theft of biochemistry information. They are in no way complicitous. Not in the least.
The FBI would know this because they understand how infiltration works.
Hatfill included some lengthy discussion on the CIA spy Aldrich Ames and the FBI spy Hansen (sp?) among his exhibits. But you won’t find Ed linking those babies either.
They're just repeating nonsense from The Washington Post. That information was "discredited" by a letter to the editor explaining that images of the attack anthrax indicated it did NOT contain fumed silica. And the spores were certainly NOT COATED with fumed silica.
That Washington Post article by Gary Matsumoto and Guy Gugliotta was preceeded by another article involving Gary Matsumoto which said,
Four well-placed and separate sources told ABCNEWS that initial tests detected bentonite, though the White House initially said the chemical was not found.
The first battery of tests, conducted at Ft. Detrick, Md., and elsewhere, discovered the anthrax spores were treated with the substance, which keeps the tiny particles floating in the air by preventing them from sticking together making it more likely that they could be inhaled.
That ABC report was totally "discredited" AND disproven by the fact that aluminum was not found in the attack anthrax, and therefore it could not contain bentonite -- even though Gary Matsumoto briefly tried to convince people that it may have been "aluminum-free bentonite."
And then, of course, there was another article in Science magazine where Gary Matsumoto reported that the attack anthrax contained something else:
About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U.S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense officials that this additive was polymerized glass.
Yet, AFIP evidently never noticed the "polymerized glass," since they neglected to mention it. I've asked you before, but you've never answered this question:
Was Gary Matsumoto writing nonsense when he said there was "polymerized glass" in the attack anthrax, or did AFIP totally screw up when they failed to notice it?
It IS true. And you are proving me right.
The materials light, fine texture and a brown ring around each spore suggest an additive
In other words, THEY SAW NO ADDITIVE, but a "brown ring" on a test suggested there might be one.
we dont know that theyre additives
How could anyone in their right mind claim this statement says they saw additive? It says THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WERE SEEING AND DETECTING.
They had DETECTED silicon and oxygen, and Geisbert had seen some "goop" ooze out of the spores when they were heated under a high-intensity beam, but THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE SEEING. General Parker said they were inexperienced with viewing powders.
We do know that we found silica in the samples. Now, we dont know what that motive would be, or why it would be there, or anything.
They detected silicon and oxygen in the spores. They assumed it was in the form of silica. That does NOT mean that they SAW silica. It does not say they SAW silica. The statement clearly says they don't know "why it would be there." They WOULD know if it was an additive used to weaponize the anthrax.
You have shown once again what I've been saying: they did NOT see any additive in the attack anthrax.
I only mind he does not make corrections when mistakes are pointed out.
I don't make corrections because you BELIEVE something. You claim to rely on experts, but the facts show you DO NOT UNDERSTAND EXPERTS and DO NOT RELY ON EXPERTS. All you do is look for words and phrases which you can twist to fit your beliefs.
Earlier in this thread, you claimed to be relying on experts who said that Ken Alibek's patent had something to do with coating spores. It did not.
In another thread, you told us how you talked with people at Texas A&M who told you that they sent the Ames strain directly to USAMRIID, and you've talked with people at the University of Iowa at Ames who said they did not have the Ames strain, yet you prefer to rely on the the report by a FREEPER who claims that some postal inspectors told her that the Ames strain DID go to a lab in Ames. And that is the "expert" who you want EVERYONE to believe.
If you "mind" that I do not run my web site the way you think it should be run, please explain to us what you plan to do about it?
I'd like to know, because in yet another thread, someone said this about you:
Nothing personal...but you sound a little bit on the obsessive side, and not completely coherent. Are you surprised that people might ask to have you banned? Besides the obvious trespass of registering under a new name after being banned, you have the sound of someone who might drive halfway across the country to find someone who offended you in a post.
Source: Message #87 at THIS LOCATION.
TrebleRebel had written in an earlier thread:
“Lake claims that weaponized anthrax spores (and weaponized simulants) are NOT coated with silica.”
“I don’t claim it. I state it as a FACT.”
“The idea of coating spores to make them more “flyable” is absolute and total nonsense. It’s beyond that. It’s ridiculous and absurd. It’s just plain STUPID. *** coating spores makes them HEAVIER, and therefore LESS FLYABLE.
Silica is not used to COAT spores”
Ed, all I’m suggesting is that you rely on the published literature by the military scientists who publish studies in the journals relating to aerosol science that contradict what you say. A little less red ink. A little less capitalizing your imagined “facts”. A little more scientific approach. If you are stating a scientific proposition, cite the authority. You needn’t take it personally — or seek to personalize it. I’m just suggesting that the Dugway scientists who make anthrax simulants for a living are expert on the issue and you are not. Your argument that the idea of coating spores to make them more flyable was stupid, ridiculous and absurd, was in fact the specious statement, contradicted by the peer reviewed literature to you at any library.
Your legal commentary also lacks credibility but there you have the self-awareness to not presume to be giving expert commentary. In areas relating to science, you are under the mistaken understanding that you are qualified to address the issue. You’ve done an excellent job of making the Hatfill exhibits available to everyone and everyone is very appreciative of your time and attention to organization.
The Dugway authors explain:
“The focus of the work presented here was to develop a system to prepare multiple samples in a chamber, which allowed predictable concentrations of aerosolized spores (CLOSELY SIMULATING THE TYPE OF SPORES USED IN THE ACTUAL ATTACK) to settle on at least two types of surfaces and at concentrations that tested the limits of detection of the sampling and analytical methods. The second part of the study, to be reported elsewhere, produced a range of low concentration surface loadings on stainless steel and carpet surfaces, sampled the surfaces using several techniques, and analyzed the samples using multiple laboratories.”
You are arguing with a religious fanatic. He believes everything Alibek says like the word of a divine entity.
It doesnn’t matter that 7 authors from the CDC and the US Army at Dugway have just published a paper where they simulated the spores used in the 2001 anthrax attack by COATING anthrax spores with silica. Not does it matter that they published SEM pictures of BG spores made 40 years ago as biowarfare simulants - all COATED with silica. Nor does it matter that the authors REPEATEDLY state throughout the article that aerosol enabling spores for biowarfare are COATED with silica.
If Alibek says (especially when he’s laughing) that there’s no principle to coating then that means coatings have no utility in weapons. Ed obviously knows better than everyone - why do you think he’s sold so many books?
He believes everything Alibek says like the word of a divine entity.
ZacandPook writes (in message #258):
To clarify Kens theory, he theorizes that Jdey mailed the anthrax letters after making the martyrdom video.
TrebelRebel says I accept every word Ken Alibek says as if it were gospel. And ZacandPook says I'm not listening to Ken Alibek and should pay attention to what Alibek says.
You guys need to get your acts together. Together you might make one good clown act.
The reality is: I don't accept anyone's beliefs as gospel. I only talked with Ken Alibek because I wanted to confirm certain aspects of the SCIENCE involved in working with anthrax spores. He did that. He also told me -- even though I didn't ask -- he believed the anthrax was sent by Muslims. Am I supposed to believe that's true because he's some kind of "expert?" Or am I supposed to believe that everything he says is a lie because TrebelRebel seems to mindlessly hate him?
Ken Alibek told me that there is no principle for coating anthrax.
You guys have found an article which you claim shows that Dugway did coat anthrax with silica spores many years ago. Does that mean there's a "principle" for it?
The images show the whole thing is NUTS. The images in the book "Microbial Forensics" show the same thing --- the idea is NUTS.
The first of these new images show what appears to be a spore coated with a kazillion tiny particles of silica. And ZacandPook says I'm wrong in believing that that would make the spore less effective as a bioweapon. How can it not? What possible purpose can it serve to coat a spore that way? It makes the spore heavier, it reduces the ability of the spore to germinate, and there is NO OFFSETTING BENEFIT.
The second image you're showing us appears to be a CLUMP of spores fused together by some process of coating spores with silica. Is creating CLUMPS of spores suppose to be some kind of technological breakthrough? The scale indicates the CLUMP is less than 5 microns across, but the scale also indicates that the spores are somewhat smaller than typical anthrax spores.
You show these images and pick sentences out of context in an attempt to prove something. All you are proving is that you have to take things out of context to make anything fit your screwball beliefs.
One minute you're telling us the coated spores were created fifty years ago. The next minute you're telling us the coated spores were created to simulate what was used in the attacks of 2001? Which is it?
Picking sentences out of context and trying to prove they mean something just shows that the article doesn't really say anything significant about the anthrax attacks. You have to SPIN things to make the words seem to mean something.
“One minute you’re telling us the coated spores were created fifty years ago. The next minute you’re telling us the coated spores were created to simulate what was used in the attacks of 2001? Which is it?”
It’s both. They looked at BG spores coated with silica that were made 40 years ago. Then they made Bacillus Anthracis dry spore powder (Sterne strain) and worked it up with silica - COATING the spores. It was the silica COATED Sterne anthrax spores that simulated the ACTUAL attack powder.
They referenced Beecher’s paper but apparently they weren;t impressed with his unsupported conclusion that the attack anthrax had no additives. Guess they have better sources than Beecher - which is not surprising since it was the ARMY that analyzed the anthrax for the FBI.
But it is hilarious watching your house of cards collapsing round about you.
You haven't shown me any mistakes. You've just shown that you BELIEVE you have found mistakes. But all you are doing is SPINNING things and taking things out of context.
While mildly interesting, it's something you've done countless times over the years, so it's really nothing new.
My work day is over. I'll be back tomorrow.
“The images show the whole thing is NUTS.”
I suggest you write a paper in a peer reviewed journal if you want anyone to take you seriously. The Dugway and CDC scientists clearly demonstrate it is Alibek that is nuts. Of course, you are also - but we’ve all known that for years.
Weaponized spores are COATED, COATED, COATED.
These are the FACTS.
Let us know when you’re submitting your peer reviwed article, we all need a laugh.
These are the FACTS.
Then why do NONE of the pictures of coated spores we've found in the past few years look anything like what Tom Geisbert says the attack spores looked like? Here's an image that Geisbert says shows spores "similar in character" to what was in the Daschle letter:
How come ALL the pictures of coated spores we've seen show that it would be STUPID, STUPID, STUPID to coat spores the way shown in the pictures?
Is that new picture of a fused clump of spores supposed to show that coating spores with silica prevents clumping?
Is that new picture of a spore coated with silica until it looks like a snowball supposed to show that such a coating won't add to the weight of the spore or reduced its ability to germinate?
A copy of the Aerosol Science article showed up in my inbox overnight. I'll be reading it after I do some chores. I'll be back then.
At the bottom of page 169 it says,
This means that if the spore particle is completely coated with silica, it may not have sufficient contact with the growth medium to grow and be detected as a CFU [Colony Forming Unit].
There's so much else in the article that seems totally bizarre for any attempt to simulate the attack anthrax of 2001 that I can't comment further until I've really had the chance to study the article in detail and to (hopefully) talk with at least one of the authors -- or some other expert on the subject. (Not to find someone to believe, but to find someone to clarify some things.)
This means that if the spore particle is completely coated with silica, it may not have sufficient contact with the growth medium to grow and be detected as a CFU. However, when the spore does grow, only a single CFU is detected for a particle even when the particle contains more than one spore. With the misting technique, the deposited particles are coated with a liquid layer that either washes off the coating from the spore or provides better contact between the spore and the growth medium.
As I suspected you take one sentence out of context to pervert the message of the entire article. What might happen on a settled agar plate is completely different to what happens inside a moist lung. The spores are ALL COATED - ALL WEAPONIZED spores ARE COATED with silica. That’s because only COATED spores can form effective aerosols.
He believes everything Alibek says like the word of a divine entity.
ZacandPook writes (in message #258):
To clarify Kens theory, he theorizes that Jdey mailed the anthrax letters after making the martyrdom video.
Going through ZacandPook's endlessly long and numerous postings is so totally tedious for me that I failed to notice which "Ken" he was talking about in that particular quote. He was evidently referring to Ken Dillon, not Ken Alibek.
But, no matter. It's just a simple switch to go back to message #169 where ZacandPook wrote:
Ken is very responsive and straight-forward. You should email him and ask them to clarify any of the scientific matters.
That "Ken" is definitely Ken Alibek, since we were discussing Ken Alibek's patent, and ZacandPook suggests I contact him for scientific answers.
Meanwhile, of course, TrebelRebel claims I believe "everything Alibek says like the word of a divine entity" and evidently wants me to disbelieve Alibek because TrebelRebel hates him so much.
So, the clown act might still work. And it might be even funnier if it involved multiple people named "Ken."
My point exactly. An agar plate is designed to allow anthrax spores to germinate easily. A lung is not. Therefore, the test doesn't seem to reflect the real world.
The spores are ALL COATED - ALL WEAPONIZED spores ARE COATED with silica. Thats because only COATED spores can form effective aerosols.
Yes, we understand that is your fantasy. Yet the picture provided by Tom Geisbert shows spores which are NOT coated. And that is what he says the attack spores looked like.
And you have NEVER been able to find ANY pictures of coated spores that look anything like the UNCOATED spores in Geisbert's photo.
And every picture you have found shows coatings that no one could possibly interpret as being "pure spores."
The FACTS say beyond any doubt that the attack anthrax spores were NOT coated. The spores DID however contain the elements silicon and oxygen in some form that could NOT BE SEEN under a scanning electron microscope. So, whatever form the silicon and oxygen was in in the attack anthrax, it has NOTHING to do with the process used in the tests done by these folks from the CDC and Dugway.
I didn’t give you the article so you could sally forth and mangle more science. For years, you’ve been arguing that silica is not used to weaponize anthrax. When, in fact, for years, as Gary Matsumoto explained, that is how Dugway has been creating their anthrax simulants. Your argument that it was absurd that silica would be used to coat (fluidize) spores was mistaken. Now we’ve heard your strident, capitalized and red-lettered insistence on the point for over 5 years now. Gary Matsumoto wrote his article in SCIENCE after speaking with military scientists. If you had taken the time to do the same, by so much as an email, or just credited the written accounts that Dr. Rebel regularly provided you, you would not have been so confused about the use of silica in this regard. Now whether the weight silica was 10%, 20%, or some figure such as the 2% proposed by TrebleRebel - who is an expert in working with silica (and has done work for the military in this connection) — doesn’t need to be considered by lay people in a public forum. Nor need the particulars of such a process be speculated about. But the fact you need to understand is that AFIP detected silica. The fact that TrebleRebel needs to understand is that Ken and Professor M. did not see it on the particular SEMS they were shown. (And given that the expert government scientists could just as easily read the same SEMS, Alibek and Meselson would have just been reporting what they saw). The two data points are entirely consistent with the work being done by the Dugway authors, their analysis and their conclusions.
As another example of how you don’t correct mistakes, above you suggested that I had said that Ken Alibek had the theory that Jdey was the mailer. (Jdey was part of the planes operation and was trained in biology — he disappeared in October 2001) In one post, I just referred to Dr. Dillon as “Ken”, but in a series of closely preceding posts I had referred to him by his full name. He is a former history PhD who is a former State Department analyst. He has served abroad. He is as cautious in his reasoning as he is unfailingly polite. Now for you to err is human and unimportant. I’m not faulting you for making the mistake in rushing through posts. But I’m faulting you for not correcting the error. Moreover, if you don’t even know Ken’s last name, then for sure you are not in a position to rebut his cautious analysis (available at Amazon) or online.
Post your scientific analysis if you like. But why should anyone pay attention to you if you didn’t even know this most basic proposition about silica’s use?
Dr. Rebel, could you post a picture of the BG spores without a coating? Ed has a good question pending to you — why does the picture of “pure spores” (suggested to be a close approximation of the anthrax attack look unlike the images coated with silica)? The answer is found in the means used to increase the spore concentration. The snow ball effect is caused by Vander Waals forces. But a silica coating allows greater concentration and leads to the picture posted by Ed. Think of the biochemistry info available to be accessed by Ali as a way of smushing a bunch of snow balls together leading to product as pure as fluffy snow. Separately, in 2001, you had a radical reduction in particle size in the commercial silica powders available.
Mr. Lake, I’m glad I could be of service to you in providing this study and explaining how it bears. I have lots more from the authoritative literature that I’ll pass on as time permits. Moreover, it was my honor and pleasure to provide you with the 202 Hatfill exhibits. At your service, Pook
Actually, I've been arguing that silica was not used to COAT anthrax. I've repeated said it was MIXED with anthrax to create bioweapons. Ken Alibek explained to me the exact process the Russians used. And Bill Patrick has described how they used silica when MILLING anthrax spores back during the Cold War. Plus, there is plenty of literature which shows that they MIX spores with silica to keep them from absorbing moisture.
This new report says that they used BG spores that were forty years old. It also suggests that they used fumed silica that was equally old. You can't tell from the way it's written if the coated spores were created 40 years ago or if they used 40 year old ingredients to create the samples used for the tests.
So, we're talking about some process developed over 40 years ago, NOT some new super-sophisticated process like what Gary Matsumoto wrote about.
But the main point here is: This process has nothing to do with what was in the anthrax letters of 2001. The picture from Tom Geisbert above shows what those spores looked like. They looked NOTHING like what would come from the process described in the article.
As another example of how you dont correct mistakes, above you suggested that I had said that Ken Alibek had the theory that Jdey was the mailer.
I DID correct that mistake. I just waited until after I read the article to do it. Check back a few messages.
Mr. Lake, Im glad I could be of service to you in providing this study
Thanks for providing it. You can interpret it to fit your beliefs, but the FACT is that that process does NOT produce spores which looked the way the attack anthrax spores looked. So, the main question is: Of what value is that report to any argument about the attack anthrax of 2001?
“Actually, I’ve been arguing that silica was not used to COAT anthrax.”
Well - now you know it IS used to COAT anthrax.
So, you coat spores to increase concentration? You better explain that, since coating the spores makes the BIGGER particles and would therefore REDUCE concentration.
Are you saying van der Waals forces cause the silica to bind to the spores? Hmm. In Gary Matsumoto's article he said the silica particles were glued into place by "polymerized glass." (That stuff that AFIP never detected.)
... a technique used to anchor silica nano-particles to the surface of spores. About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U. S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense officials that this additive was "polymerized glass."
But you raise a good question. What causes the silica to bind to the spores? Presumably, based upon the description of the coating process, it was static electricity. But I imagine that presumption would get a lot of arguments.
Well, it certainly coated the spores in this report. I acknowedge that. But what that has to do with the anthrax powder from 2001 is the real question. The anthrax powder of 2001 did not include coated spores.
And we really don't know why they coated the spores this way at Dugway. The process they describe doesn't seem to match the manufacturing process used back then to make bioweapons. It seems to be a process for creating test materials.
That’s fascinating if the Dugway authors were using 40 year old fumed silica. Do you have a sentence in support? If true, that seems to suggest that authorities suspect that the perp used 40 year old fumed silica.
Can you post the picture where the old BG are gathered in groups, snuggling together in a big snowball? Overcoming the VanderWaals forces is what allows them to assume the look of the Geisbert picture. I’ve uploaded it to my table of contents page but I don’t know how to post it from there to here.
Note that the second phase involves testing the anthrax they made to duplicate the anthrax attack by multiple labs. If there is testing at multiple labs and they are attempting to duplicate the attack anthrax, then the second phase is going to be very significant indeed.
Gentlemen, sometimes I oftentimes think that the difference between the two of you is semantical. Folks are too hung up on the word “coating.” One man’s coat is another man’s residue. When you take a chicken breast and put it in breaded crumbs, if you have dipped the chicken breast in milk beforehand, a residue of crumbs will remain on the chicken breast. Or if you like, it will be coated.
In connection with the Canadian experiment done after the anthrax threat relating to the Vanguards of Conquest #2 detained in Canada (and after the February 2001 PDB on that anthrax threat), Gary and TrebleRebel always admitted that the “coating” could not have been done AFTER the mixing the silica at the dairy processor in Wisconsin. And so no special coating was put on at Dugway after processing. A key “trick” in processing occurred prior to mixing. (see, e.g., Rauf Ahmad correspondence to Ayman about his consulting with [redacted] on some tricks relating to weaponization.
In the Canadian experiment, the simulant used was made at Dugway, but it was made at the Wisconsin dairy processor. It was tweaked at Dugway but that might have just been either sequential filtering (or possibly a unipolar charge being added). The performance parameters of the simulant used in the Canada experiment (reported 9/10) was the same as the Daschle product.
Ali had access to all this info. He shared a fax with the two men consulting with Battelle. Charles was the #1 guy for Defense Threat Reduction Agency/DIA advising on biological threats. Both Ali and Ayman followed the rule that the koran/hadiths required that you use the weapon of your enemy. That’s what they did.
But I’m skeptical Jdey was the mailer although Dr. Dillon’s logic is compelling. Given Ed’s spectacular performance in demolishing a Hatfill Theory, I need Ed’s help showing Jdey was not a mailer (without the polemics and empty “belief/conspiracy theory etc. rhetoric) .
(It would be nice if he also made sure the Zack Theory was put to rest by emailing them the news he remained a practicing Catholic). They likely are not keeping up-to-date and so will need to be emailed.
I had to run some errands, and while doing that I thought a lot about what this article says about the way they made anthrax bioweapons back during the Cold War.
The article CERTAINLY has NOTHING to do with the attack anthrax of 2001, but it might answer some other questions -- including one I never bothered to ask.
Somewhere there's an article which says that back during the Cold War the U.S. used silica to eliminate or reduce the static charge that would build up in spores as they were MILLED. I never really dug into HOW that was accomplished. This article seems to answer that.
Bill Patrick always refused to discuss the subject of silica. This article might explain why. What Patrick WOULD discuss was the fact that the processes from the Cold War didn't match what was in the anthrax letters. He said repeatedly what was in the anthrax letters wasn't from a MANUFACTURING process. It was small quantity lab stuff.
Ken Alibek said there was no principle for coating anthrax. I don't know if he was aware of this kind of detail about how AMERICA made anthrax bioweapons. It certainly doesn't seem to have anything to do with the way RUSSIA did things.
I'm more than willing to go back and modify my web site as soon as I can figure out exactly how this information changes what.
Near the bottom of page 167:
The coating apparently solidified from exposure to water in the air over the years of sample storage and use.
If true, that seems to suggest that authorities suspect that the perp used 40 year old fumed silica.
No, it doesn't suggest that at all. Dugway used 40 year old spores AND, evidently, 40 year old fumed silica. (It MAY have been 40 year old spores already coated with 40 year old silica. The sentence isn't clear.) That information says absolutely NOTHING about what the anthrax mailer did.
We know from numerous news reports that the spores in the letters were no more that 2 years old. And we also know that there was no fumed silica in the attack anthrax, because experts said they couldn't see any.
Sorry, that's all yours. I have nothing to do with it and want nothing to do with it. Since you say he was not a mailer, why should I even bring it up? No one but YOU has ever mentioned it to me.
(It would be nice if he also made sure the Zack Theory was put to rest by emailing them the news he remained a practicing Catholic). They likely are not keeping up-to-date and so will need to be emailed.
That's also your baby. I haven't been putting information on my web site about Zack for two reasons: (1) I didn't want to help the Neo-Nazis point the finger at him by making more people aware of what they were saying. (2) Dealing with Neo-Nazis is a distasteful business. If you disagree with them they attack you with a hundred times the ferocity that you and TrebelRebel attack me. I don't want to have ANY contact with them at all. So, I'm not about to start emailing them with stuff they will not like.
Notice that I do not even mention Zack's name in my comment about him. That's because I do not want Google or Yahoo! to come to my site for information about Zack. The way I wrote the comment ONLY informs the readers of my web site -- a few of whom might be Neo-Nazis, since they occasionally to write me if I say something Neo-Nazis do not like.
“Test materials” are simulants.
Simulants are simulants of bioweapons.
Simulants are intended to be the same as the actual bioweapon but not lethal (so that they can work with it).
On the face of the article, the Dugway authors have sought to make it as close as possible to the attack anthrax.
If the simulant were not the same (except for lethality) then you wouldn’t be developing an effective detection, decontamination or whatever.
I didn’t say Jdey was not the mailer. I said the argument was very powerful. I know of no reason not to credit it as the solution. So I’m not the one to give it a robust challenge. Given the FBI issued the BOLO along with two others, Aafia and Jafar the Pilot, associated with anthrax/WMD etc., it looks like Dillon has hit it out of the park and is running around the bases unnoticed. But the USG is so secretive about Jdey that there all sorts of gaps in information about him and his connections.
But let’s turn to Ed’s “bioevangelist” theory given that it all he ever talks about to anyone.
Let’s consider how Ed aka The Fake Detective would have fared with his “bioevangelist theory” in 1915 during WW I. We will merge the Ft. Detrick archives with the annals of the Fake Detective to see what we get.
From Ft. Detrick’s history:
From 1915 through 1918, Germany had a state-sponsored offensive BW program to sabotage suppliers to the Allies directed at draft, cavalry, and military livestock. The biological sabotage program was directed by the German army general staff and implemented despite official German army doctrine prohibiting such activities. Germany’s plans to spread a wheat fungus and contaminate food produced at ‘meat factories’ were dropped. One 1916 German plan never carried out proposed to drop vats of plague cultures from Zeppelins over England.
In April 1915, German-American physician Anton Dilger returned to the United States from Germany with cultures of Burkholderia mallei and Bacillus anthracis. His intent was to infect horses and mules then being shipped from the United States to France and England for use in cavalry and transport. These cultures were propagated and tested for virulence using guinea pigs in the basement of a house (known as ‘Tony’s Lab’) rented by Anton and his brother Carl, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, DC. From the summer of 1915 through the fall of 1916, the cultures were used on horses and mules in holding pens in the docks at the ports of Baltimore, Maryland; Newport News, Virginia; Norfolk, Virginia; and New York, New York. Stevedores working for German steamships were recruited and given 2-inch, cork-stoppered glass vials containing the cultures, in which a hollow steel needle had been placed. These stevedores were instructed to wear rubber gloves while jabbing the animals with the needle. These cultures were also spread to the animals by pouring them into the animal feed and drinking water.
From the annals of the Fake Detective.
The Fake Detective is given correspondence between a colleague of the German physician Dilger and Adolf Hitler discussing his plan to infect the horses with anthrax. Hitler’s lawyer had announced that they were going to use anthrax against US targets. The physician himself is in regular contact with Himmler and Goebbels. He writes Himmler about his attendance at horse races and conferences on anthrax. He takes a job at the stables as a veterinary assistant. A film is discovered in Germany in which they test a poison on horses and the film records the horses dropping dead. Lab equipment is found in Germany related to the production of anthrax. The German doctor in Maryland is charged with sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years. The Fake Detective, however, remains convinced a drunk bowler did it to sound the alarm that the Germans might use bioweapons against livestock and that 95% of all First Graders like to ride ponies.
TrebleRebel remains convinced that the good doctor is using a really long needle.
From Ft. Detrick history -
Smallpox - Aralsk, Kazakhstan, 1971
An outbreak of smallpox occurred as a result of a
field test at a Soviet biological weapons facility in 1971,
largely unknown to the outside world until 2002.
Vozrozhdeniya (Renaissance) Island lies in the Aral
Sea, and belongs jointly to the post-Soviet republics
of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In 1954 a biological
weapons test site (Aralsk-7) was built on this island
and on neighboring Komsomolskiy Island. The Soviet
Ministry of Defense also established a field scientific research
laboratory to conduct biological experiments on
According to Soviet General Pyotr Burgasov, field
testing of 400 g of smallpox caused this outbreak at
Renaissance Island on July 30, 1971. Ten persons contracted
smallpox, and three unvaccinated individuals (a
woman and two children) died from the hemorrhagic
form of the disease.
A massive public health response to the smallpox
cases in Aralsk ensued once the disease was recognized.
In less than 2 weeks, approximately 50,000
residents of Aralsk were vaccinated. Household quarantine
of potentially exposed individuals was enacted,
and hundreds were isolated in a makeshift facility at
the edge of the city. All traffic in and out of the city
was stopped, and approximately 54,000 square feet
of living space and 18 metric tons of household goods
were decontaminated by health officials.
The high ratio of hemorrhagic smallpox cases
in this outbreak, combined with the rate of infectivity and
the testimony of General Pyotr Burgasov (former Soviet
vice-minister of health), has led to the understanding that an
enhanced weaponized strain of smallpox virus was released
from Aralsk-7 in 1971. It may never be known whether the
release was purposeful, but the Lev Berg inadvertently traveled
into the plume of this bioweapons release, initiating the
smallpox outbreak in Aralsk.
Lessons Learned: The Aralsk-7 BW facility had a history
of association with mass deaths of fish, various regional
plague outbreaks, a saiga antelope die-off, and individual
cases of infectious disease among visitors to Renaissance
Island. These events present a timely warning for BW defense
researchers working with biological agents that have
the potential for infecting not only the laboratory workers, but
also their family members and the surrounding community.
The epidemiological lesson learned is that when unusual BT-related
illnesses occur, a laboratory accident or open air testing of
a BW program may have occurred.
From the annals of the Fake Detective:
In 2001, the captured military commander and his senior colleague
say that Ayman Zawahiri is planning on using anthrax against US targets.
The lawyer of his spiritual leader concurs. A senior militant says he met
with those planning the anthrax attacks and says that the motive was
to deter invasion of Afghanistan. Another spokesman says that the
greenlight has been given for the attack by people with access to UK
and US biodefense information. Anthrax is then used after Ayman
Zawahiri kills 3,000 to protest US policies. The letters follow the same
pattern — to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic position —
as earlier letters by the same group.
The CIA Director says the anthrax planning was done in parallel with the
planes attack The FBI Director says as the motive: “Think 9/11. Think Oklahoma City.”
The Fake Detective advertises the book where he argues that 95% chance a
child wrote the letters because his Dad wanted to draw his attention to biological warfare and had a friend who watched Bill O’Reilly.
TrebleRebel thinks that Soviet General Pyotr Burgasov was a bad man.
The Fake Detective asks Soviet General Burgasov whether he thinks the British gave the Indians blankets contaminated with small pox to make coats and he says that there is no principle for coating.
From Ft. Detrick history -
In late October 1996, 12 clinical laboratory workers at the St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas developed severe acute diarrheal illness. Shigella dysenteriae type 2 was cultured from the stool of eight of these cases. This strain of shigella is uncommon and, before this outbreak, had last been reported as the source of an outbreak in the United States in 1983.
During the subsequent epidemiological investigation, 45 laboratory employees who had worked during the first or third shifts, when the ill employees had worked, were interviewed. The employees stated that an unsigned email sent from a supervisor’s computer invited recipients to take pastries available iin the laboratory break room. The supervisor was away from the office when the email was sent, and the break room could only be accessed using a numeric security code.
An examination of the hospital laboratory storage freezer revealed tampering of reference cultures of dysenteriae type 2.
On August 28, 1997, a laboratory technician who had access to the laboratory culture stocks and a history of purposeful use of biological agents against a boyfriend, was indicted on three charges of tampering with a food product, and accused of infecting 12 coworkers with 2 dysenteriae type 2. She was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison.
From the Annals of the Fake Detective-
Director Mueller in July 2004 announces a drop-dead date of October 1, 2004 to bring a prosecution in Amerithrax that will stand up in court.
In late September 2004, the microbiologist whose desk had been 15 from the leading anthrax scientist and 15 feet from the former deputy commander Bailey is indicted for sedition. (Both had recently consulted for Battelle, world renown for making aerosols, and had a multi-million dollar contract with Ft. Detrick involving Delta Ames supplied by NIH). The Fake Detective does not notice the connection to Director Mueller’s indictment in late September 2004 because he never reads any story having to do with Al Qaeda or its US-based supporters. When he sees the FBI is focused on a microbiologist, a leading anthrax scientist and a former deputy commander of USAMRIID, he does not bother to consider who fits the description.
Al-Timimi is sentenced to life plus 70 years but his conviction is reversed to explore the nature of the electronic interceptions that occurred in 2002. His executive assistant was sentenced to 15 years last Friday for arranging to help buy equipment related to a UAV and have it shipped to Pakistan. Al-Timimi’s lawyer on remand explains that the government has considered his client an “anthrax weapons suspect” and has long known of his close connections to and support Al Qaeda. Ali spoke with Bin Laden’s sheik on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001 and urged young men to go and fight jihad. Ali coordinated with the “911 imam” to arrange a letter (in the name of Bin Laden’s sheik) hand-delivered to every member of Congress warning of the dire consequences of invading Iraq.
TrebleRebel starts a correspondence with the jailed lab technician charged with serving tainted muffins.
“And we really don’t know why they coated the spores this way at Dugway.”
They coated the spores to make them aerosolize. Uncoated spores clump. Coated spores do not clump.
Alibek’s statement that “there is no principle to coatings” is plain wrong. He deceived you.
Anthrax is weaponized by coatings.
Surely you must have read about that before?
American Medical Association:
Spores can also be COATED with an electrostatic powder so that they do not clump easily and fall to the ground quickly; these spores would then be more easily aerosolized (dispersed into the air).
Christopher Grace, MD (Univ of Vermont):
Anthrax spores that have been weaponized are finley milled to <5um diameter and COATED to prevent clumping.
``The amount of energy needed to disperse the spores [by merely opening an envelope] was trivial, which is virtually diagnostic of achieving the appropriate coating.’’
EDVOTEK (The Biology of Baterial Sporation):
The spores may also be COATED or mixed with silica.................
DuPont presonal prtotection (technical bulletin):
Inhalation exposure is enhanced when anthrax spores are artificially COATED to reduce clumping.
Weaponizing anthrax: Basic approach is to COAT the spores with a fine silica.
Further “weaponization” can be accomplished by processing of the spores such that the tendency for individual spores to clump together is reduced and penetration deep into the distal airways is facilitated. This process results in a detectable COATING of the spore that was seen in oragnisms recovered during the 2001 attack.
Ed’s newest comment-
April 20, 2008-
“The article contains a lot of information about how Dugway evidently produced anthrax bioweapons back during the Cold War. The process described seems to result in spores coated with silica. While it has nothing to do with the anthrax attacks of 2001, I’ll have to figure exactly what is being said in the article and whether or not there is something on this web site about “weaponizing anthrax” that I need to change. “
errata- April 20 should be April 30.
If the floor is open for nominations, I would put a correction in a box explaining that this comment is in error. You wrote:
“December 25, 2005 - The methodology of the conspiracy theorists who believe the attack anthrax spores were coated with silica became a bit more clear during the past week.
When bioweapons experts and microbiologists told them their basic premise was false and that there was no need to coat anthrax spores, the reporters simply went looking for “experts” who would tell them what they wanted to hear. They found “experts” who knew nothing about bioweapons or microbiology or spores. They found “experts” who knew only about coatings - primarily chemical engineers who routinely coat chemical substances. The application of coatings to tiny particles is routine in the manufacturing of medicines. Since chemical engineers know how to coat tiny particles of lactose (or phosphors), for example, the conspiracy theorists and their “experts” just falsely assumed the same technology could be applied to coating spores.
All they had to do was ignore the fact that a spore is a living entity. It is not a chemical substance like lactose. A spore can be killed if it isn’t handled properly.
One reason for coating chemical substances like lactose is because van der Waals forces will cause the tiny lactose particles to bind together if they are not coated. That will make it difficult to use the tiny particles of lactose in nasal and throat sprays.
The best example of reporters using this conspiracy theory methodology was in The Washington Post’s October 28, 2002, article “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted”. Instead of talking with people who know about spores, like bioweapons experts or microbiologists, the reporters used as their “experts” 3 chemical engineers, a “pharmaceutical chemist”, a manufacturer of spray dryers and a biologist who openly admitted he knew nothing about coating spores and would need a year and a team of technicians to help him figure out how to do it. ”
You might now note that 3 Dugway authors have explained that Dugway has been doing this for quite some time.
Your comment continued:
“One group, comprised mostly of microbiologists and molecular biologists, argues that this material could have been a do-it-yourself job, made by someone knowledgeable but with run-of-the-mill lab equipment on a modest budget. “
“The other faction thinks that the powder mailed to the Senate (widely reported to be more refined than the one mailed to the TV networks in New York) was a diabolical advance in biological weapons technology. This diverse group includes scientists who specialize in biodefense for the Pentagon and other federal agencies, private-sector scientists who make small particles for use in pharmaceutical powders***.”
“It’s really a dispute between experts who know all the key facts and non-experts who just imagine what the facts are.”
Actually, not, Ed. The latter faction included Dugway scientists who make anthrax simulants for a living. Your entire argument is inside-out. You were relying on an expert 15 feet from the scientist working with Bin Laden’s sheik who the FBI considered an anthrax weapons suspect. Matsumoto and TrebleRebel, in contrast, were communicating the view of the scientists at Dugway and elsewhere working on simulating the attack anthrax, with the benefit of years of experience of making such simulants in aerosol experiments.
By the way, the FBI sought the health records of the expert in pharmaceutical powders in Raleigh, North Carolina by National Security Letter. He had provided the keys to the flat to the 7/7 bombers in London. He was an expert in polymerization. You might want to note that Al-Timimi’s small DC-based group had a branch in North Carolina. His co-founder of that group was Vice-President of the group here. 100 federal agents came here on the day and minute and simultaneously interviewed 150 people. Ed’s mistake on silica coating is clear. What the FBI suspects, right or wrong, is clear. See October 1, 2004 deadline for indictment and indictment of Al-Timimi in late September 2004. See also recently unsealed filing by Al-Timimi’s counsel explaining the FBI has suspected him as an anthrax weapons suspect.
Ed closes his comment with:
“And that poses a question once asked by comic strip character Dilbert: ‘when did ignorance become a point of view?’”
Ed, you were right that Hatfill didn’t do it. Let that be your legacy and be proud of it. But don’t hesitate in correcting was a core mistake in your argument about silica and coating. To err is human. Correcting mistakes only adds to the quality of your analysis. You might, as a general matter, cut down on the scientific discussion (like discussion of polarity that I’ve snipped from your December 2005 comment) as it is not your field. For matters of science, it is best to rely on treatises such as Ft. Detrick’s new MEDICAL ASPECTS OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE. It is unclassified and has a wealth of material.
There was a time (December 13, 2003) when Ed was basically right about silica was used.
Science/investigative journalist Gary M. wrote:
“When the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) analyzed this alleged additive, it got a signature. According to AFIP, the signature was silica.”
“Okay. So, we’ve got some kind of substance containing silica oozing out of the spores. NO silica coatings. It appears that the spores were soaked in some silica solution and then spray dried. But, after doing that and under the right conditions, some of the soaking material will ooze out of the spore coatings. That makes a great deal of sense, since the silica would definitely help keep the spores from clogging the nozzle of the spray drier. We’re getting dangerously close to telling people how anthrax was made, but I can also see how most of the silica was removed from the spores during the spraying process, leaving only what had been absorbed into the spores’ natural coatings. Very interesting.”
“A large number of government officials and scientists all have stated, on-the-record, that the Senate anthrax powder contained silica. They have never recanted their statements. Nearly two years after AFIPs elemental analysis of the Daschle powder showed the presence of silica on the anthrax spores, an AFIP spokesman says the institute stands by its findings. A spokesperson at Fort Detrick says USAMRIID does not dispute anything in Prestons account.”
“You keep creating a “straw man argument” by implying that someone stated that there was NO silica in the anthrax. Who ever said that? Everyone agrees that there was silica present. The dispute is over the form of the silica. You say it must be a coating on the spores. Others suggest that it could be from natural sources or from some drying process - or from both natural sources and a drying process. From what you write and from what I now know, it definitely looks very likely that it came from some liquid substance used to aid drying the spores via a spray dryer.”
“WHY, UNLIKE FORT DETRICKS GEISBERT AND JAHRLING, DRS. MESELSON AND ALIBEK DIDNT SEE SILICA NANOPARTICLES ON THE SENATE SPORES
I have no definitive answer for this. I only know that Fort Detrick’s account conflicts with that of Drs. Meselson and Alibek.”
“The answer seems quite evident now. The silica is there - absorbed inside the spores - in small amounts - and is only visible under the right conditions.”
Ed was correct in the passages above (except the silica was only in the exosporium (the outermost layer). But then came to be wrong when he changed his view.
By personalizing his approach — and by calling scientists like the Dugway scientists “conspiracy theorists” — he allowed his ad hominem style of argument to cause him stray far expert opinion and to engage in extended scientific discussion for which he was not qualified. As Ed explains, “Ignorance Is Not A Point Of View.” Anyone who disagrees with his view that a drunk bowler is responsible for the mailed anthrax is labeled a “conspiracy theorist” or “true believer.” His empty rhetoric belies the fact that Ed doesn’t know what he is talking about and has no training in science and does not take the time to explore alternative hypotheses. He demonstrates what he calls “cognitive rigidity” — wedded to his belief that you should suspect the person with the perfect alibi and that a First Grader wrote the letters.
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