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.
There is a 2007 GMU PhD thesis available on-line titled “An Analysis of the Potential Direct or Indirect Influence Exerted by an Al Qaeda Social Network on Future Biological Weapon Mission Planning.” I studied organizational behavior under H. Aldrich and was a big fan. He pioneered the field and now has applied it to small business ventures. I saw him recently acknowledged in some book relating to intelligence. For solving Amerithrax or avoiding the next 9/11, however, give me Rockford or Columbo anyday.
In her discussion of social network analysis, the PhD author usefully covers Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, PLO, Hezabollah and Al Qaeda. To not appreciate the Hamas connections to many of the same players would be to miss a lot. To not realize that Professor Frances Boyle, architect of a bioevangelist theory, was former counsel to PLO would miss even more. But I think to not address the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Egyptian Islamic Group separate is an unfortunate omission in the PhD given the influence of those organizations. It is, as they say, who you know that matters. Know not just enemy, but who he knew. To know who knew who, it does not help to subsume EIJ/IG within Al Qaeda because both far predate Al Qaeda.
Fitting WMD into a business model is not the road intelligence analsysis should go down. The most pertinent questions she asks get too scant attention. “Can Islam permit use of target?” “Will notification rules apply?”
We learn of Yazid Sufaat but nothing of Rauf Ahmad.
Of course, I would have preferred mention that the GMU’s DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense was housed in Discovery Hall and the man convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 was just feet from the leading anthrax scientist.
Such careful and well-done discussion (if you have an academic bent), however, is of great value to our subject and I urge Ed to link it. There are tidbits that will be entirely new to many readers, such as the passing mention of “Aris Sumarsono, alias Daud... a former biology student who replaced Hambali after arrest.” Or Abu Muhammad al Hilali who fills the role of that red-headed prolific WMD propagandist Setmarian who was captured.
There are additional names we’ll never remember (such as Wali Khan Amin Shah) but are worth reading about.
Moreover, those academically inclined always have read a lot. In studying the references she cites we might learn a lot, perhaps something very dramatic that enables to draw a connection that otherwise was missed.
Dr. Rebel, I checked out that novel you mentioned, CAMEL CLUB. The bioweapon had a drug leak from the pores of the artificial hand. I was put off Baldacci’s use of the name Mohammed al-Zawahiri right off as one of the bad guys. Reality is more interesting than fiction.
Would you agree that the first mailing to the media had clearly visible silica?
(though in the media it commonly was referred to as debris) (It did)
And that the second mailing represented a refinement — that is, a removal of the silica? Such as by repeated centrifugation or an air chamber?
If I obtain and provide you with SEMS from the first mailing showing the silica would those SEMS be inconsistent with what you’ve argued for 5 years? Or would it be consistent.
Just because you imagine a cover-up and conspiracy, doesn’t mean that you are crazy. Doesn’t the documentary evidence establish both? Note that Al-Timimi, as I recall, was charged with a conspiracy. Finding an overt act was an element of the crime. (As I recall, he met with one fellow in September and told him to carry a magazine passing through the airport and if stopped, cry like a baby and ask for his mother). Conspiracy allegations are commonly used in complaints involving terrorism. So while Ed uses the term disparagingly, in fact, it is a key quiver in any US Attorney’s bow.
This thesis totally misses the key puzzle piece that most directly bears on social network analysis that applies. Ali Al-Timimi’s infiltration of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense whose Director had a contract with USAMRIID involving Delta Ames.
An analysis of the potential direct or indirect influence exerted by an al Qaeda social network actor on future biological weapon mission planning
Baken, Denise N.. Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2007. Virginia: George Mason University; 2007. Publication Number: AAT 3284820.
The current conflict known as the “War on Terror” pits several sovereign states (United States and its Allies) against a non-state entity. This entity, al Qaeda, is a global social network with religious doctrine adherence as its declared locus. Terror experts agree that the economic and psychological damage al Qaeda inflicted on 9/11 is miniscule compared to the potential damage by a biological weapon. This dissertation is an analysis of the potential direct or indirect ability of al Qaeda members to select and use a biological weapon.
When Osama bin Laden issued his August 23, 1996 Declaration of Jihad Against the United States and its Allies (Appendix A), he alleged that US/Western secular influences were detrimental to all Muslims and therefore a threat to Islam itself. While he made other points, including a need to create Muslim states governed by Islamic values and principles, his major thrust was to declare war on the West and its way of life.”
Comment: The Declaration of War prominently referenced al-Hawali, Al-Timimi’s religious mentor, who was on the telephone with him (according to Ali’s own lawyer) September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001. Ali Al-Timimi was on the phone discussing recruiting young men with Bin Laden’s sheik 5 days after the US had been attacked and 3,000 innocent civilians had been killed in an attack.
“Osama bin Laden is not the first to declare religious war on a value system
purportedly challenging the Islamic way of life. Twentieth century attempts to reclaim the governments of Middle East countries for Islam were recorded as early as 1928 when Hassan al-Banna started the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan wanted to reduce the secular influences that proliferated in Egypt after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. He felt Islam was the appropriate counter to this European polity.
Comment: Indeed, Jaballah in Canada had EIJ military commander Mabruk he had recruited two Muslim Brotherhood members for operations.
“2.1.1 Muslim Brotherhood
To inculcate his message into Egyptian society, al Banna started schools that
taught the principles of Islam to the youth of Egypt. The Brotherhood then created charitable organizations and social clubs to reach all those who influence these youth. From these initiatives al Banna quickly moved to developing factories and building mosques to disseminate his message. It is in this latter organization, the mosques, that al Banna and the Brotherhood had their greatest success. Through the mosques, the Brotherhood influenced a cross-section of the population without interference from the
state because the mosques were deemed sanctuaries.”
She cites one of my favorite authors on these subjects.
Aboul-Enein, Youssef. (2007) Part III: Radical Theories on Defending Muslim Land through Jihad. West Point, NY http://www.ctc.usma.edu/Guest/Azzam_part_3.pdf
She points researchers to some possible sources of material:
“Terrorism data collection centers accessed included the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, the Air Force Counter Proliferation Center, and the University of Michigan’s Library Document Center. The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA), the Council for Foreign Relations, the Hudson Institute and the Center, the International Institute for Counterterrorism provided interdisciplinary research information. Online magazines like
Kvali, and Islam Online offered additional perspective. The internet library Internet Archive offered limited access to al Qaeda videos, speeches and publications. It also provided access to significant historical Islamic texts. Additional sources of information were provided by referrals from individuals familiar with my research topic. One referral introduced me to the Mid-East Realities and Allaahuakbar.net.
“Social network analysis is a computational tool that maps and measures the
relationships and information flows between people, groups, and organizations that constitute an information or knowledge processing system. Social network methods provide both visual and mathematical analysis of human relationships. Visualized as a
graphical network of nodes, this analysis tool illustrates connections through which individuals and groups operate in order to achieve their goals. Social network analysis merges aspects of sociology, anthropology and social psychology into organizational theory.”
Table 2. Network Meta-Matrix38
Individuals Information/Capability Assets Assignment
Individuals Ties between agents;
chain of command information
Who knows what information and who has what capability
Who has what asset available for mission
Who is assigned what duty to accomplish mission
Capabilities Matching Training to use assets appropriately
Training to use assets appropriately
Asset What assetscomplement each other
Assets needed to accomplish mission
Assignment Order and priority of missions
But she fails to address the most important aspect of any AQ WMD social network analysis — the one that begins with a picture showing Al-Timimi’s officein is not much more than 15 feet away from Ken and Charles. Sometimes a picture is worth the next 100,000 words.
The one circle in the picture above somewhere in this thread is Al-Timimi. The other circle is Dr. Bailey, former deputy commander (and for a couple months, Acting Commander) of USAMRIID. The lighter adjacent circle in the middle is Ken Alibek. I call that proximity analysis. One form of proximity analysis would involve the distance between the people. The other form would involve the distance to the hard drives containing key biochemistry information. Where did Dr. A and Dr. B keep such information? On their bookshelf? On their computer? At another secure location? Was their a vault such as there was at Ft. Detrick? Did they lock their door at night? Who did Ali know with drying expertise?
Isn’t the most pressing relevant “social network analysis” that needed to be done concern who was down the hallway? How was it okay for Ken to tell me in 2003 that he didn’t know anything about the charity background or Ali’s charity acquaintances? Wasn’t that precisely the mission and reason for existence of the US-taxpayer-funded Center? Wasn’t it the Center’s job to do this social network analysis in screening people who then would have close social network proximity with the Hadron and ATCC people? Finally, did both Dr. Bailey and Al-Timimi work at SRA International in 1999? If so, what did they do? Ali did mathematical support work for the Navy. What did it concern?
No, I would not agree that the first mailing contained silica.
The "debris" in the first mailing consisted of dead bacteria which failed to sporulate, the carcasses of the bacteria which DID sporulate, and possibly other typical debris such as dried nutrients. The debris is routine debris which will be present in ANY sporulation run.
A typical sporulation run will produce 90 percent sporulation debris and 10 percent spores. That is exactly what was in the media mailing.
There is absolutely NO reason for silica to be in the media mailing. The idea is preposterous.
And that the second mailing represented a refinement that is, a removal of the silica? Such as by repeated centrifugation or an air chamber?
The second mailing represented the removal of the sporulation debris by filtering and centrifugation.
If there was silica in the first mailing, it would be totally INCONSISTENT with what I've been saying for 6 years.
The idea that the first mailing could have consisted of 10 percent spores and 90 percent silica without anyone ever mentioning it is crazy beyond belief.
If you have pictures of what was in the first mailing, I'd certainly like to see them. And I'd like to know how you determined that the "debris" was silica.
Forget quantification of the silica in the media mailing. But the unreported AFIP reports re the EDX for the media mailing show massive spikes for silica. Much bigger than in the Daschle/Leahy mailing. The AFIP apparently was being thorough in checking their findings.
(Much of the “debris” would have been growth debris.)
It seems that the reasonable inference is that in later processing the silica was removed.
As for percentages, one might be talking about the difference between 10%-20% and %1.
BTW, my source is a deep, deep, deep insider.
Makes Professor Meselson look like a tourist visiting the new crime museum in DC.
Hey, GMU! Now THAT’S pertinent “social network analysis” relating to bioweapons!
Sure. I may have forgotten to add two eggs in making Betty Crocker brownies this morning, but I have a complete box set of Rockford Files and have spent more time in the GMU library than these PhD candidates.
What are "unreported AFIP reports"? There's no report that AFIP ever touched the media anthrax. Preston's book only mentions them testing the Daschle anthrax.
Since there has been no report of exactly where the silicon and oxygen AFIP detected came from, I suppose it's quite possible that the silicon and oxygen that were detected in the Daschle anthrax could also be in the media anthrax.
But, it wouldn't be debris. It would be just like in the Daschle anthrax -- something absorbed into the spores AND possibly into the "growth debris" (i.e. the dead bacteria) during the fermentation or sporulation process.
It seems that the reasonable inference is that in later processing the silica was removed.
It seems more reasonable that when the sporulation debris was removed, the remaining spores had a different percentage of silicon and oxygen than the original "crude powder." That would indicate that the silicon and oxygen came from equipment used during the germination and sporulation processes, NOT from the washing, filtering and centrifuging processes done after the spores were formed.
As for percentages, one might be talking about the difference between 10%-20% and %1.
Whatever the percentage, it's meaningless without knowing where it came from. If it was in the "crude powder," that makes it a virtual certainty that it wasn't anything added to "weaponize" the spores.
Unfortunately, if everything he says has to be filtered through you, that makes it extremely unreliable. You're going to distort it to make it fit your beliefs, just as you always do.
As for percentages, one might be talking about the difference between 10%-20% and %1.
If any of this can be verified, it would be VERY interesting if the media powder had more silicon and oxygen than the Daschle powder.
As said before, it would make it a virtual certainty that the silicon and oxygen had NOTHING to do with weaponization.
It would probably mean that the "lab contamination" occurs in the fermenting step. The silicon and oxygen would be absorbed from the glass container (or it came already absorbed in the nutrients).
This would be VERY important "microbial forensics" evidence. Presumably, that kind of "lab contamination" is fairly rare, and it could pinpoint the exact type of equipment (or nutrients) used.
I hope you don't just continue to feed us information you have selected because you can twist it to fit your beliefs. There could be something very important in this, IF it can be shown to be reliable.
I'll be back again tomorrow morning.
By the phrase “unreported AFIP reports,” I meant to say internal scientific reports by AFIP that were not addressed in the write-up in the newsletter account. That newsletter, as you say, did not report on the testing done on the media anthrax (but which in fact was tested by AFIP).
Ed, can you link this excerpt on Amerithrax from the new Preston book? Thanks.
Security at USAMRIID was extremely tight. Even so, it was not as tight as it would become. That day in the commander’s office was some nine years before the anthrax terror attacks of the autumn of 2001, shortly after 9/11. The anthrax attacks came to be known as the Amerithrax terror event, after the FBI’s name for the case. Small quantities of pure, powdered spores of anthraxa natural bacterium that has been developed into a very powerful bioweaponwere placed in envelopes and mailed to several media organizations and to the offices of two United States senators. Five people died after inhaling the spores, while others became critically ill; some of the survivors have never fully recovered. For the most part the victims, including African-Americans and recent immigrants to the United States, were low-level employees of the post of?ce who were just doing their jobs. No one has been charged with the Amerithrax crimes. The evidence suggests they were done by a serial killer or killers who intended to murder people and may have taken pleasure in causing the deaths while escaping punishment. The case remains open.
Officials at the United States Department of Justice named Steven Jay Hatfill, a former researcher at USAMRIID, as a “person of interest” in the case. Hatfill has never been charged with involvement in the crimes, though. At the same time, there was speculation in the news media that the exact strain of anthrax used in the attacks might have come out of an Army lab, even possibly from USAMRIID itself, where defensive medical research in anthrax had been going on for years. (The precise results of the FBI’s analysis of the anthrax strain have not been disclosed by the government, as of this writing.) USAMRIID scientists, in fact, played a key role in the forensic analysis of the anthrax that was collected from the envelopes.
Following the Amerithrax terror event, security at USAMRIID became astronomically tight. After that, it would have been useless for a journalist to ask to go into the space-suit labs. Back at the time when I was researching The Hot Zone, though, there was a slight amount of flexibility in the policy. On certain occasions, the Army had allowed untrained or inexperienced visitors to go into hot zones at USAMRIID. Unfortunately, as the commander explained to me, some of these visits had ended badly. People who were not familiar with space-suit work with hot agents had a tendency to panic in Level 4, he said.
Presumably, the testing of the media anthrax was done MUCH later, long after the clamp-down on giving information about evidence to the media.
Done. Not because you asked me, because the excerpt contains this interesting opinion from Preston:
No one has been charged with the Amerithrax crimes. The evidence suggests they were done by a serial killer or killers who intended to murder people and may have taken pleasure in causing the deaths while escaping punishment. The case remains open.
Since the evidence seems to suggest just the opposite, I thought that was an interesting thing for him to write.
No, the media anthrax was also analyzed at AFIP, just as Ross says. In their Newsletter they only talked about the silica they found in the Daschle sample. However, they also found silica in the media sample. Much more silica, in fact.
Did I say otherwise?
When Tom Geisbert visited AFIP on October 25, 2001, he took along ONLY a sample of the Daschle anthrax. If and when AFIP tested a media sample, it would have been later. Since there's no information about it, it could have been a day later or even a couple months later.
Presumably, however, they didn't SEE any "silica" in the media anthrax, either. They just DETECTED silicon and oxygen via their EDX.
If there was silicon and oxygen in the "crude powder" sent to the media, that almost certainly indicates that the silicon and oxygen came from some part of the fermenting process. It means it had NOTHING to do with weaponization.
I believe it was done at the same time as part of their desire to be thorough and confirm their results.
The polyglass binder has been confirmed by the FBI, according to Richard Spertzel and the addition of like-charges was confirmed by sources within the investigation, according to Richard Spertzel.
These techniques are not unique to bioweapons programs.
It appears you have read neither Preston’s book nor McClellan’s book.
As usual, your beliefs do not agree with the facts.
Preston's book is very specific about what happened on the 25th of October.
What difference does it make WHEN they checked the media anthrax? The only thing that is important is that it also contained silicon and oxygen. And since it was just a "crude powder," that means the silicon and oxygen most likely came from lab contamination during the fermenting process. It had NOTHING to do with weaponization.
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