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
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Now let’s consider Ed’s argument against my theory. He wrote:
“October 31, 2004 - While the presidental candidates seem unwilling to speculate on the significance of Osama bin Laden’s recent message, at least one person who truly believed al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks has decided to give up and remove himself from the Internet debates.”
Ed was mistaken.
“It simply made no sense to him that Osama would take credit for 9-11 but not the anthrax attacks - unless al Qaeda had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks.”
Ed was mistaken. Al Qaeda denied responsibility for the anthrax attacks (until it became impossible to deny). Moreover, the reason to deny the anthrax is because the “anthrax weapons suspect” had just been indicted for sedition the month before. The reason I temporarily took down my website was I knew the FBI suspected Ali of involvement and I always take it down during critical legal moments to allow a defendant to have their day in court.
“And that realization came as a second blow after Judge Walton’s comment on the 21st: “There are some very unique things the government is doing at this time. If ... this were to be known to the perpetrator, it could have an adverse impact on the investigation.” There is just no way the FBI would be concerned about tipping off some al Qaeda member. If some al Qaeda member was a suspect, the FBI would make an arrest first and do the investigation afterward.”
This is because Ed thinks that Al Qaeda supporters are “bogey men” who live in caves in Afghanistan. When, in fact, the man written about in the 911 Commission report and known as the “911 imam” (Ali’s friend Aulaqi) is one of the most well-spoken and well-liked people you’ll meet.
” Of course, others continue to believe al Qaeda did it. To them, the fact that Osama failed to mention the anthrax attacks is part of some sinister plot.”
In addition to denying the anthrax mailings, Zawahiri denied the 1998 embassy bombings. Hint: Ayman thinks deception is part of warfare (and he’s right).
“And they see the fact that the FBI seems to be concentrating on some American scientist as proof that the FBI is incompetent.”
Although Ed did not know it, they were concentrating on an American scientist. Ali Al-Timimi. They had just indicted him. His lawyer has explained that the FBI has long known of his connections to Al Qaeda’s network.
“To them, if the FBI hasn’t found evidence that al Qaeda as behind the anthrax attacks, it just means that the FBI hasn’t been looking hard enough.”
Actually, not. I’ve always said the FBI and CIA was kicking butt. I explained in an article posted on FreeRepublic in 2004 that most of the anthrax plotters had been captured or killed. I had to be circumspect in talking about Ali while he had his day in court and those not yet arrested because, as Director Mueller has said, there is a risk of flight among other things.
But Ed always imagines what those making the opposing argument think rather than addressing their argument on their merits. That’s because he has no argument in reponses — and he’s too lazy and unskilled at analysis to even read the argument supporting the other side.
Here's the spectrum they released:
The image on the left shows particles of silica, NO SPORES. The text under the image says, "Silicon Dioxide (Silica), as it appears through energy dispersive X-ray analysis."
REPEAT: The spectrum they released was NOT a spectrum of the attack anthrax.
The argument you cite is about that spectrum, NOT about a spectrum of the attack anthrax.
What we both see is (1) a drawing of a totally fictional process of gluing silica to spores with "polymerized glass" and (2) a spore covered with bits of crushed fumed silica.
If van der Waals forces were a concern here, those forces would be defeated by the total irregularity of the coated spore. There's simply not enough flat surface area where one such coated spore can significantly touch another such coated spore (the same effect that the evenly spaced bits would accomplish).
The Duway example seems to be irregular bits of crushed fumed silica piled upon other crushed bits. There appears to be silica attached to silica. And the silica bits appear to be fused together. That's VERY different from the evenly spaced, glued-on silica particles in the fantasy drawing.
The Dugway example results from MIXING fumed silica with spores and then pounding them and running them through filters. The silica bits aren't glued on. They could be either stuck to the spore as a result of static electricity or some effect of pounding the silica into the outer coating of the spore.
The co-author who wrote me yesterday suggested that "physical bridging caused by water in the air" [i.e., capillary action] could have had some effect on interparticle bonding. But, he said there was disagreement among the co-authors as to what holds the particles together.
If the "experts" at Dugway can't agree on what is doing the bonding, I don't think we should just ASSUME it's something that fits some belief.
The silica could be fixed to the spores by the pounding action of the ball mill. The bits of silica could be pounded into the latice-like outer coating on the exosporium. Think of it being like sticking a tennis ball into a chain-link fence.
I'm not saying that's the explanation, but it certainly seems to fit VERY well. Water would soften and expand the exosporium, releasing the silica.
The idea of silica sticking to the latice-like exosporium just popped out of the blue because arguments from others didn't make complete scientific sense. Maybe I'm wrong, but bits of silica being pounded into the latice-like exosporium and sticking there seems to make PERFECT sense.
I contacted the co-author of the Aerosol science article to see what he and the other authors think.
You seem to keep forgetting that TrebleRebel is an expert at coating with silica. That’s his day job. He did contract work for DARPA. Your day job is looking at nude celebrity photos.
So as to the reason nanosilica particles bind, and the underlying principles at work, he is the relevant expert.
The life scientists don’t need to know the science between what they observe. Similarly, if on a faked photo, Sandra Bullocks nipples stand erect, you don’t need to understand the science of the capillary action behind that.
Now, TrebelRebel, we need to get you reading something other than SEMs.
Before you and Dany now have us bombing Iran or Syria, start with the new edition of “Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner’s Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities.” It is Malcolm Nance. 480 pages. ISBN 978-1420071832. Said to be the definitive text on terrorist recognition. The main theme of the book, says one reviewer, as detailed in chapter 1 is critical awareness. The book notes that criminal investigators spend years studying criminal behavior to better understand and counter crime. Nance writes that the field of terrorism is no different as it is a specialized subject that requires serious study and requires that those in the front line of defense be as knowledge as possible. Those more interested in Sandra’s booty should keep their hands of the keyboard.
In a later chapter, Nance gives the Iraq war as an example of a group of leaders that were not as knowledge as possible and ignored the advice of those that were as knowledgeable as possible. Had the Bush administration consulted Nance, a trillion dollars and thousands of lives could have been saved in the Iraq debacle says the reviewer.
The book is divided into 5 sections comprising 21 heavily-detailed chapters. Each chapter is a progression in detailing, understanding and identifying terrorists. In chapter after chapter, the book details every aspect of terrorism and indentifies all of the various elements. The various aspects of different guns, explosives, and other elements are described and categorized in detail.
In the section on suicide bombers, an important point the book makes is that contrary to popular belief, suicide bombers are rarely insane or the “bogey men” that Ed imagines. They are most often intelligent, rational individuals with beliefs that those in the West finds difficult to comprehend. Nance does not for a second rationalize the actions of such groups and individuals. But notes that it is critical to understand why they do it in order to prevent future attacks. Similarly, you need to walk in their shoes in profiling the motive of the anthrax perp(s).
Chapter 8 is quite valuable in that it provides a comprehensive overview of how terrorist cells operate and are organized. While the cell is the fundamental unit of a terrorist group; cell operations and their members are the least understood part of terrorism. Their operations are always secret and never seen, until they attack. The chapter details the many types of terrorist cells, operative membership pools, and how cells and leadership communicate. The document found on Ali Mohammed’s computer after the 1998 embassy bombings, when FBI agents secretly swarmed his apartment pursuant to a FISA warrant, detail those principles very possibly followed in Amerithrax well.
Chapter 19 is a fascinating primer on al-Qaeda and the global extremist insurgency. The chapter details how al-Qaeda divides its enemies into two categories: Far Enemies and Near Enemies. The terms are taken from the Islamic concept of the community and those who oppose it. While the far enemies of al-Qaeda are the USA, Australia, UK, Europe and Israel, the near enemies are those Moslem’s or nations that al-Qaeda sees as corrupted governments or apostate rules. These include the governments of over 20 countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh, India and many more comprising billions of people. In the anthrax planning, Ayman prevailed in the debate whether to attack the near versus far enemies. The motive was to deter the invasion of Afghanistan.
While the post-9/11 attacks from coalition forces have indeed hurt al-Qaeda and killed many of its top leaders, Nance notes that al-Qaeda now acts a terror strategy consultancy. This transformation of al-Qaeda is in response to the loss of its base of operations in Afghanistan and the displacement of its leadership to the Pakistani border. The most significant changes were a shift of operational responsibility from the regional terror commanders, who executed a long awaited plan for jihad operations, to a more radical and difficult to detect posture: jihadist who were self-starting and worked independently from al-Qaeda.
The most significant changes al-Qaeda’s structure occurred when it was able to co-opt the Jordanian Salafist group Tawhed Wal Jihad and organize the foreign fighters into al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI changed the structure of the military committee’s roles dramatically and Iraq would become the cornerstone of al-Qaeda’s global operations. Much of the invasion of Iraq was premised on a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. There was never such a link, but the war turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, as al-Qaeda is now a mainstay in Iraq. Similarly, the Shoham/Jacobsen did a great disservice along these lines perpetuating the myth that Iraq was involved in the anthrax mailings.
The book explains that it is important to note that contrary to popular belief, al-Qaeda is not a single terrorist group, rather a collection of like-minded organizations that cooperate and receive funds, advice and orders from Osama bin Laden and his supporters. Al-Qaeda has transformed itself from a physical chain of terrorist training camps to a virtual network that uses the Internet to create a network centric information and advisory body. Nance therefore notes that al-Qaeda has transformed itself from a global terrorism operation into a terrorism management consultancy. The 6 main aspects of this consultancy are that al-Qaeda: provides inspiration, contributes finances, shares collective knowledge, provides weapons resource and contacts, accepts responsibility and releases video propaganda. So unlike Ed’s simple and uninformed view of Al Qaeda, an “Al Qaeda Theory” was never limited to AQ proper but extended to supporters of the Salafist-Jihadis in the US. Even many in EIJ or IG think Ayman is a fanatic and disagree with his tactics.
The Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner’s Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities voids all of the hype, politics and bias that inflects Ed’s thinking. He simply focuses on its task at hand, to be a field guide for anti-terrorist and counter-terrorist professionals to use to prevent attacks.
The Terrorist Recognition Handbook is a must-read for anyone tasked with or interested in profiling the anthrax crimes. One would hope that Ed gets a copy of this, pores over it for every little bit of commentary on Amerithrax.
The author should send a copy to Jim Fitzgerald at Quantico who might then realize it truly was quite irrelevant that Leahy and Daschle were democrats.
Exactly. And Meselon claimed the sepectrum they released showed only a silicon peak. The ONLY sepctrum they released is the one you show. It is the silica reference sample.
You asked me to point out mistakes Meselson made concerning the 2001 anthrax attacks - this claim that they relased a spectrum of only silicon is one of many.
Figure 7a shows a particle potentially containing a single BG spore; since no uncoated single spores were observed, this suggests that virtually all single spores remained coated with silica. The coating apparently solidified from exposure to water in the air over the years of sample storage and use. However, multiple spores or clumps were found frequently and these were often largely uncoated as indicated in Figure 7b. The reason for the difference in coating adherence to different sized particles is unclear.
Pounding silica particles into the exosporium isn't possible without breaking up the clumps into single spores. Either something prevented the clumps from being broken up, or there's something about the larger object that exceeds some kind of threshold for adherence.
Here's Figure 7b:
Looking at the scale on Figure 7b, I notice that the spores in the clump are smaller than the 1 micron by 1.5 micron size of a typical Bacillus spore. The spores seem to be about .5 micron in diameter and 1 micron in length. That could mean they're lighter than other spores and somehow float near the top of the silica/spore mixture and don't get pounded through the mesh until the very last. Or, because they're smaller than other spores, they go through the mesh most easily and get less pounding.
Whatever the explanation, there doesn't seem to be ANY explanation for van der Waals forces binding silica to single spores but NOT to the spores in the clumps.
Or, of course, you could just take the time to read the article I posted yesterday. The one that shows that the silica nanoparticles adhere to large particles of powder by van der Waals forces.
Then you wouldn’t need to go into your own private fantasies about chunks of silica being pounded into spore surfaces.
He may be an expert at coating NON-LIVING objects with silica, but he's shown again and again that he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to spores.
Experts outside of their specific area of expertise are very often the dumbest of the dumb.
What did you think the link I provided indicating DARPA planned on using the same coating process that TrebleRebel used with phosphors (discussed in that article) with organic material? It was the one that used the pictures that TrebleRebel always posts.
Now the question to ask: who did DARPA fund to coat organic material with silica nanoparticles? And what was the purpose of such work?
The link is here:
The only issues you and TrebleRebel are able to address relate to the exceedingly narrow issue you two have fruitlessly posted on now for a half decade. TrebleRebel might have better spent his time making simulant. And if he thinks it would take him a year, well, I’ve got news for him, the USG already can make the product that looks like the Daschle product and it is not at all beyond AQ’s ability.
1. The device that USAMRIID thought was used to weaponize the anthrax was the bioreactor when actually it was the DOD-funded Microbial Vac.
2. The Microbial Vac can be used to concentrate and sequentially filter the anthrax. It can be used to weaponize anthrax on a small scale.
3. TrebleRebel thinks the silica coating technology that was used was a DARPA/DOD technique.
See silica coating pictures at the URL below.
Microbial-Vac was going to work with the Navy under the SBIR program but then it did not move forward formally.
A top military scientist thinks siliconized solution was used. Who is right? Are both right?
4. Ali had a high security clearance in the late 1990s for work with the Navy.
5. A scientist was arrested the day Alis residence was searched who regularly mixed with silica. He was a food researcher.
6. As I recall, The USAMRIID scientist who collected Ames went to work with Navy in Bethesda and actually that is where the Ames file was retrieved.
7. A prototype of the Microbial Vac was at ISU a professor at the ISU microbiology department had it.
8. The fellow who inherited Al-Timimis telephone number is expert in electrospray and electrostatic, electromagnetic control of anthrax particles.
9. And so the main reason for The Hatfill Theory is just that he was the best candidate for POI from that squad. They acted in good faith. Hatfill continued to lie about material things (e..g, re the PhD even after federal investigation) in applying for a federally-funded job in biodefense.
10. But Al-Timimi and his associates were the best candidate(s) for the other squad.
11. Al-Timimi does not have hands-on skill. Hes a numbers guy. He is neither the processor nor mailer.
12. Vigorously pursuing alternative hypotheses is what we would want from the investigation. Except for not effectively dealing with leaks in 2002 and thereby avoiding the continuing leaks by Seikaly in 2003 the FBI has done very well. It was Seikalys senior position and the fact he was in the US Attorneys Office that prevented the FBI Task Force shutting the leaks down in 2002.
13. The massive press was due in part to Hatfills massive solicitation of press such as by the August 2 fax (which the fax transmittal sheet shows was to every major media outlet), press conference etc. . If he had followed Berrys approach we might not remember Hatfills name. The Hatfill civil litigation, including the libel, civil rights and reporters issues are just an unfortunate distraction from the solution to the Amerithrax crime.
14. But a Hatfill Theory was fueled and greatly exacerbated by the leak of Mr. Seikaly whose daughter now represents Al-Timimi pro bono. Mr. Seikalys leaks likely were just motivated by a personal concern that too often people jump to the conclusion that Arabs are responsible for terrorism. His sister-in-law and brother are active on this issue and spoke and wrote on this issue in 2001/2002. But we all have our biases and political orientation. Its part of being human. The human mind is an imperfect tool.
15. There is an embarrassment to be sure that there is this connection to DARPA-funded projects. Alis defenders have thrown in the fact that Ali worked for 2 months for Andy Card when he was DOT secretary just to confound things and provide material for more conspiracy theories.
16. Ayman Zawahiri thought it was a religious duty to use the weapons of your enemy and thats what his supporters did.
17. But the embarrassment is no greater than that of the US Army, CIA or FBI in being duped by the Al Qaeda operative Ali Mohammed. We all will trust. We all sometimes will have our trust betrayed.
18. Former CIA analyst Stan Bedlingtons point about Greendale, though, was just mistaken he perhaps did not know Ayman was using school as code for EIJ in May 2001 correspondence. He knew Hatfill and so may have been influenced by Dr. Hatfills history of saying things that were not true. Having left the CIA, he may have not have known that Saif Adel used Green Team for the EIJ contingent that went to Somalia etc.
19. The press is in the business of news, not analysis. When presented with the Hatfill legal team extensively promoting these issues and Seikaly whose position made him a great source for any reporter it is not all surprising that the press evolved the way it did.
20. We only have the great work by USG and foreign forces in capturing KSM, Hambali, Sufaat, Ahmad, Barq, Wahdan and others to thank for the information that then inexorably led to abandonment of The Hatfill Theory.
21. Perps never run when they should. For example, Roger Von Bergendorff should have snuck out of the hospital.
You've shown that article to me so many times over the years I sometimes think you are a mindless robot who doesn't even think about what he's doing.
The title of the article says it all: "Dry particle coating for improving the flowability of cohesive powders."
But then there's also the first sentence of the abstract:
Several dry processing techniques are used to coat cohesive cornstarch powder with different size silica particles.
What does this have to do with non-cohesive powders like spore powders?
Or don't you understand the definition of "cohesive?" Here's the definition of cohesion:
Cohesion; the act or condition of cohering; tendency to stick together.
Maybe that definition should include: the way syrup made from corn starch sticks together.
If we're talking about the same article, it was NOT about coating organic materials. In fact, the last step in the process was to heat up the end-results to BURN AWAY all organic material.
If it WAS about coating organic material, what was the organic material and was it alive?
Oh Jeeze. You're not going to try to argue that if something was reported in the media it MUST be true, are you?
Then why not begin with the ABC stories that there was bentonite in the anthrax?
Take up your theory that spores don’t clump with an appropriate science journal and go through the peer reviewed process.
Meantime, the aerosol specialists will continue to coat their spore simulants with silica. And their DPI drugs, and their cornstarch particles.
We all look forward to reading your published work :)))))
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.
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