Skip to comments.(anthrax) The forensic guy from the FBI
Posted on 07/17/2008 7:20:04 PM PDT by ZACKandPOOK
Dr Bruce Budowle has been in the FBI for over 20 years, heading one of its forensic laboratories. He looks back to the mysterious and still unsolved case of the anthrax envelopes which followed 9/11 and which moved bioterrorism combat to a new level. ***
Robyn Williams: The shape of sleuthing to come, Angela van Daal at Bond University in Southern Queensland. She has been looking after Bruce Budowle, an FBI veteran of 20 years who's head of their lab in Virginia and is sometimes called the FBI's top scientist. He's not only involved in forensics but also in the Bureau's extensive efforts in counter terrorism.
Robyn Williams: Bruce Budowle, could you take us back to a few years ago when there were mysterious envelopes arriving on desks in the United States that seemed to contain a strange powderthe anthrax mystery. Could you tell us what happened and what happened next?
Bruce Budowle: Well you've got to remember 9/11 had just occurred and the World Trade Center had collapsed and so of course we were already on high alert about terrorism and the issues and security risks that we had at the moment. And subsequent to that there were letters mailed through the postal service containing the bacterium called Bacillus anthraces which is the micro-organism that causes the disease in anthrax. And it was sent through the mail which became a rather effective way of disseminating the material to various news media and politicians' offices.
Robyn Williams: And then it was analysed, was it?
Bruce Budowle: Well there's a couple of things in it, the first person exposed to it there was no letters ever found, that was Robert Stevens in the AMI Building in Florida, he was discovered as having the disease by an astute physician who did a very good differential diagnosis and determined he had anthrax. After that, then people started to look into the building and did some searching and found spores, at the same time then the letters became apparent and very quickly identified as Bacillus anthraces.
Robyn Williams: Of what particular originbecause is it possible to look at the sort of anthrax you've got and then to trace back to see what its origins might have been?
Bruce Budowle: Well there's a lot of different things that can be done with micro-organisms in general, sometimes if you know the strain, although we talk about anthrax there are different strains and one strain may be found in one part of the country or one part of the world and another strain and spore may be something that is used in a weapons program in the past maybe 30/40 years ago and that can give you some suggestions of where to look.
Robyn Williams: And this can be done by analysing the sort of anthrax you've got, the DNA fingerprint if you like.
Bruce Budowle: Something like that, if you look into the DNA there are genetic signatures that can help identify the particular strain, that's very well established for many years.
Robyn Williams: Now as a matter of general interest that happened, as you said, some years ago. Was anyone ever arrested as a result of that inquiry?
Bruce Budowle: Well it's an ongoing investigation so I can't comment any further on it at this point.
*** Robyn Williams: Fair enough, Professor Budowle, you're in charge of a major laboratory in the FBI in the United States looking at a whole range of investigations, give us an idea of the sorts of things that you are doing now, some years after anthrax, the way that the field has developed by 2008.
Bruce Budowle: Well what we did is we developed this field called microbial forensics, a field that's specific to looking at evidence that might come in from a bioterrorism or bio-crime act and try to develop all the kinds of tools and practices that could be used to help characterise that evidence to give investigative leads to the police and law enforcement FBI for people to identify those who perpetrate the crime. We also are building an infrastructure so that if there's another event we can rapidly mobilise and address the crime scene and analyse the evidence in a much more rapid manner than we ever could before.
Robyn Williams: And in what connection with bioterrorism?
Bruce Budowle: Well again, bioterrorism is using a micro organism, a toxin or other related products, or even material that's innoxious in the manner of a hoax to commit a crime. And when that occurs we use whatever evidence is found at the crime scene to be able to characterise it to hope to identify the person who committed that crime. So if there's a microbe, we have two types of situations, we can have an overt attack or a covert attack. An overt attack would be something like a package is found in a train station and written on it is the word anthrax, or there's a powder in it and people are concerned it may be real, it may not, we want to of course address those.
The other one is the covert attack where you don't know that it's been perpetrated and yet some people, animals, plants have become ill or dying and you wonder first if it's a natural disease, or if it's an intentional attack, we have to figure those things out. And then, same thing, can we use any of that evidence that the micro organism has, or the package or whatever it may be to help trace back to the one who committed that crime.
Robyn Williams: It's been interesting in recent times that with all the attacks that there have been using fairly conventional weapons there's been very little using bio weapons, presumably because they are so hard to control and may be you effect your own people, residents and so on, the general public over a longer time. Have you been surprised at how little this sort of weaponry has been used?
Bruce Budowle: Well being somewhat of a scientist, and scientists are somewhat historians as well if you look back over history, there's actually many examples of micro-organisms being used as bioweapons. As far back as the ancient Abyssinians to current day countries and individuals in the 20th and 21st century. So it's not the first time that we've heard this, and there's many examples of these; one-on-ones to large numbers of individuals being attacked. However, I do think that there's something about bioweapons that most scientists have an aversion too and that they do not have this desire to use them in that kind of manner. I think we're all trained with certain science ethics and such that it seems to be that people don't want to help do that, they look at it more as a use to make good not bad and therefore I think we are not going to see as much.
But your points about also is they may be easy to grow but they may be actually hard to disseminate and so that limits their use as well.
Robyn Williams: Absolutely, mind you, you still have to be vigilant and therefore you still have to have the equipment to go in on the mysterious package and find out fairly quickly, or if there is a disease in some town to check out whether this happens to be something that may have been perpetrated. I suppose it's fairly difficulty to tell on the face of it whether an outbreak is a natural one or something that's been planted by some villain.
Bruce Budowle: You're absolutely right and it depends on the situation. Some would be obvious for instance if there was an outbreak of smallpox no one would consider it being a natural outbreak today because it has been eradicated, it would automatically be thought of as a terrorist act. Others may be more difficult, they may look like the natural background and that's why it's so important for the government agencies to work together. For instance the FBI and our centres for disease control have a memorandum of understanding, we work these cases together so that if something starts out as a public health incident it may have been a true attack we're read into it immediately as they are into our works so that everybody knows what's happening so the best decisions can be made. If you only have your public health looking at things then they only treat it as a public health incident if you only have law enforcement looking at it you only treat it as looking as law enforcement. You need to two to work together to actually get the best effective interpretation of what may have happened.
Robyn Williams: You mentioned smallpox just now, and that goes back to a decision that was taken a few years ago as to whether to eliminate it from the face of the earthand I think two stores remain; one in Russia and one in the United States.
Bruce Budowle: Yes, that's true.
Robyn Williams: Just to be able to identify something should it turn up later. Now there was a rumour that the Russians were unfortunately thinking of using the store to develop some sort of weaponryis there any more information on that and the progress in 2008 as to whether they've done so or not?
Bruce Budowle: I actually don't know anything about that rumour so I couldn't comment on that, but it does bring up an interesting point. Prior to 2001 there was a projected date that these stores were going to be destroyed because there was no need for them any more. And because of the now concern about bioterrorism that has been put on halt for a while because we would need these materials potentially to produce a therapeutic or vaccine that would be used to prevent spread of disease. So climates change and you know dynamics change as events occur so it's another one of those areas of the effect of what happened in one event in recent years.
Robyn Williams: Professor Angela van Daal, you're with Professor Budowle and you're from Bond University, and you're his host, listening to these rather disturbing topics about terrorism and subterfuge and so on, how much relevance does that have to the Australian scene?
Angela van Daal: I think it does have relevance, obviously this is a global issue and one of the things that Bruce has mentioned I think it really important in this context, I think it's very important that we at an international level as well as domestic levels work together and Australia in fact has MOUs, for example, with the Department of Homeland Security and I think these things are important. We have micro-organisms here in Australia that are not present in other countries which potentially can be used for a bio-terrorism attack and so it's important for all of us to work together in being as prepared as we can for hopefully what won't happen. But yeah, I do believe that interaction internationally is a very important part of science now.
Robyn Williams: And your sharing techniques, you're sharing approaches are you?
Angela van Daal: Yes, we have a number of collaborations we are working on.
Robyn Williams: With the FBI?
Angela van Daal: Yes, we are specifically working on some aspects of the human DNR identification part of forensics with the FBI and with academic colleagues in the United States.
Robyn Williams: And during the time that Professor Budowle is here, what sorts of things will you be examining together?
Angela van Daal: We're actually looking at developing further interactions, so for example we have visited the Australian Federal Police in Canberra and talked about biosecurity issues with the relevant departments there. We've talked about some of the issues associated with the human DNA identification fieldyou talked about the backlogs that exist and the databases. Bruce has advised the Australian people here on some of those issues and helped them in developing our database
Robyn Williams: And of course there's the question of identifying victims of things like the World Trade Center bombing and various other examples of mass murder. In Bosnia for example a number of anthropologists have been looking at the buried corpses and then the identification of the DNA comes in. How much demand is there from families and others for that sort of thing, Professor Budowle?
Bruce Budowle: Well again for our cultures and societies we desire to identify victims of mass diasters and attacks and such so that's one of the first things that's thought about when there's a victim, is how do you identify them. Back in the United States we have thousands of missing persons where the vast majority of the human remains that we have of those have been due to some sort of nefarious act, usually they've been killed in some fashion that warrants investigation as well, and families are looking for their loved ones. And so we have an active program in the US and several crime labs in the FBI to identify these missing persons.
Robyn Williams: Even thousands involved with the World Trade Center disaster, it seems an almost impossible task with the bits spread over the city still to be looking into evidence for a particular person. Is that still going on?
Bruce Budowle: Well actually there's still a remnant of the program going on, no pun intended, but every once and a while you still here on the news that a few shards or fragments have been found and they continue onward. About half the people that went missing have been identified; at least a portion of them through the analyses that were done over the last few years but the other half probably will never be identified given the nature of the terrible event that occurred.
Robyn Williams: And I suppose the question is proving that someone was actually there rather than you know didn't turn up at the World Trade Center and went somewhere else and has gone missing.
Bruce Budowle: Well there are obviously issues there, I mean there have been a handful or less examples of people who tried to carry out some insurance fraud based on saying that they disappeared and were killed. But I think most of the cases are pretty well verified by lots of other means and they've been settled even without the human remains to identify them. But it's not so much the verification that matters, the verification for the people who are still alive and lost loved ones, to try and have something of their loved ones to take, hold, bury and have closure.
Robyn Williams: Whose role is that, is it the police role, the FBI's role or what?
Bruce Budowle: It varies depending on the particular situation. Now in New York City actually the role was of course under New York jurisdiction, so it became part of New York's responsibility, and then others were invited in, such as ourselves, to work on that. The one that occurred in the Pentagon bombing, obviously that's the federal government, and most of the work that was done for that analysis was done at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab, which does a lot of the kind of plane crashes and such analysis then others help in joining in. But the role, there may have been a role in leadership, but there are many, many organisations and institutions both private and public that worked on these that helped to contribute to address this massive task.
Robyn Williams: A question for both of you to end, how do you see this field growing in the future, what sort of techniques have we got to look forward to that will make the whole process even more efficient and accurate if you like. First Professor Budowle.
Bruce Budowle: OK, well there's a couple of areas and I'll lead off with what I'll defer to Professor van Daal here in a while about but there are various situations where we have samples that are very challenged, they've been exposed to the environment, a lot of heat, humidity, the bacterial fungal growth on them and they degrade so there are smaller and smaller amounts of DNA in there that are degraded and very difficult to analyse. So we are looking at other genetic markers that are more amenable to working on degraded samples and we call them snips which are just genetic markers that are scattered throughout our DNA. And one of the areas that we're working on is developing different classes of snips and one that Professor van Daal is working on is looking at snips that will actually allow us to decipher the features of the individual who was the donor or the owner of that particular sample. And I think within the next two to five years we're going to see a lot of success in that area. And the real value of that is that if you have a case where there's no suspect, police have no lead. In theory what we would like to do would be to extract the DNA from that sample and do a reconstruction of the person's physical features, the shape of their eyes, their nose, their mouth, ears, better than, let's say, an eye-witness account would ever be, and give them a better investigative lead than they have now.
The other areas we would like to work on is improving the technology, and you talk about backlogs, and backlogs are a serious issue because it takes a lot of work to do a case. Some cases it takes a lot of manpower, a lot of time and a lot of cost, and some of the methods we are looking at today we could reduce that time tenfold and the cost 20% to 15% of the cost we do now and that means we could do more samples in less time. That would be another tremendous value and advantage.
Robyn Williams: Angela van Daal we have talked about those feature investigations before and in the one minute that's left, how much can you identify someone's face say, their features?
Angela van Daal: Right now we don't have information to get to their face but we're working on developing those markers. But what we do have at this point that we're looking to implementing some kind of a product for the community is the ability to look at the pigmentation, so hair, skin and eye colour and if you think about missing person cases when you know everyone has seen on CSI kind of shows where they do the facial reconstructions, if we can add even pigmentation as a starting point to that description that I think will make a big difference.
Robyn Williams: Professor Angela Van Daal at Bond University in Queensland, with Bruce Budowle from the FBI's lab in Virginia. And next week at this time I shall be in conversation with two anthropologists who know all about babies, both from Cambridge. Karen Kramer is at Harvard in Cambridge Massachusetts and Marilyn Strathern is head of Girton College in Cambridge in England. Production today by Nicky Phillips. I'm Robyn Williams
Wait a minute ... I understood that the original infection was this Stevens guy, and some of the others in the mailroom at AMI showed symptoms that were treated with Cipro. Not true?
From The AMA (pdf):
And one woman was an older lady living alone up in rural Mass or CT, I believe, with no relationship with any of the other mailings. Strange story with no apparent end in sight.
I believe you and he are saying the same thing.
Here is last week’s story by the head outside scientist consulting with the FBI on this issue:
“Microbial forensics: DNA fingerprinting of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax),” Analytical Chemistry, 2008 Jul; 80 (13): 4791-9
These results suggest that once B. anthracis was established as a species, its genotype was inherited in a completely clonal manner, with no evidence that DNA has been exchanged between individuals or acquired from the environment. This is in opposition to what has been observed in many other bacterial species.
The clonality of this species, coupled with the extreme evolutionary stability of SNPs, means that any single synapomorphic SNP can be used to define an entire lineage (35, 36).
Similarly, particular strains, such as the Ames strain (used in the 2001 anthrax letter attacks in the U.S.), can be identified by single or sets of autapomorphic canSNPs (38).
These studies demonstrate a whole-genome sequencing approach to the discovery and application of highly specific, forensic-quality SNP signatures for any B. anthracis isolate. The hierarchical approach can place any isolate into phylogenetically correct subgroups and can provide significant resolution among the isolates that belong to 1 of the 12 original canSNP subgroups. But the ultimate DNA signature may be in the comparative analysis of the entire genome sequence of a target isolate with its closest known relative.
I find it interesting that Rumsfeld was to cancel the Anthrax Vaccine being forced on the troops at the time and then within a few days the mailings. Add to that the DOD in their fight against the 3 shutdowns of the vaccine program they finally said that he threat to troops was the mailings and thats why they should have been allowed to illegally force troops to take the vaccine. Notinfoil hats here guys...its on the record from court proceedings.
The whole thing stinks to high heavens.
The way it is written seems to suggest that there was no mail piece involved with Mr. Stevens illness and death, as they did not find a specific letter as the carrier of the anthrax. Others in AMI that were exposed worked directly with the mailroom; Stevens did not, although he may well have had free access and been there in the period of his infection. Several others around the country did have exposure merely by handling other mail or equipment that had come in contact with a specific envelope traversing the systems, yet extensive searches of AMI and any place a letter could have come from or been discarded to failed to recover it, and he was proven to be the first of all of the infections.
The death of the lady up north that had no relationship to or access with any mail other than her own deliveries is another puzzle that was attributed to some of her mail having come in contact through the mail sorting and processing system.
The terrorism aspect of these specific cases was enhanced — beyond reason in my view — by both the governments and the Medias over-blown trumpeting and wild speculation of the methods, causes, and results of the anthrax infections. Once they knew what and how, there was no problem curing those infected. Yet this whole country went on a mail lockdown that still today is severely impacting the first class mail system, especially in DC and Congress.
The terrorists won that round, aided and abetted by the governments and MSM over-reaction and lurid reporting.
In reality, "the first person to be exposed to it" was Joanna Huden at The New York Post. She started showing symptoms of cutaneous anthrax on September 22, 2001, four days after the first letters were postmarked.
Robert Stevens was the EIGHTH person to show symptoms. He first started feeling the symptoms on September 30, more than a week after Huden.
Robert Stevens, however, was the first person to be diagnosed as having anthrax.
The confusion over the anthrax case will NEVER end if "experts" continually misstate important details.
Thanks for the ping.
Partly true. Ernesto Blanco, a mail clerk at AMI came down with symptoms that were diagnosed as something other than anthrax. But when Stevens was diagnosed with anthrax, they took another look at Blanco and decided he had anthrax, too.
Blanco was the only other person to show symptoms. One other person in the mailroom tested positive for exposure (they found spores in Stephanie Daley's nostrils), but she never showed any symptoms. And neither did anyone else at AMI. I think they handed out Cipro to anyone who felt they might have been exposed.
Took a quick look at your site, lots of info to glean through and I don’t have any details to add. Your comments seem to add to my belief this may have been a manufactured incident that either got out of hand or was planned that way. Just my un-knowledgeable opinion. :^)
I thought instead the vaccine contract was in jeopardy because of alleged inadequate performance and another company might win the contract. (It was always outrageous, I thought, that Admiral Crowe had been given a financial stake; the fact he didn’t have to do anything for the stake made it even more outrageous). But such a theory posits use of weaponized anthrax by those with a financial motive rather than use by those who have formally declared they intended to use weaponized anthrax. So one theory is based on unsupported speculation adverse to someone disliked by some and one by documentary evidence. It is the one supported by the documentary evidence that is the more sound one IMO and the one the FBI credits apparently.
I think it was a "manufactured incident" in the sense that someone wanted to bring to the attention of the American people that a well-planned anthrax attack could kill tens of thousands (or even millions) of people, and America didn't even seem to be aware of the danger.
When the first attack (the letters sent to the media) failed to accomplish anything after 3 weeks (people were still trying to figure out if Bob Stevens contracted natural anthrax somewhere), he sent out two more letters to two liberal senators and stated that the powder in the letters was anthrax so that those letters wouldn't just be thrown away as it appeared all the media letters had.
That did the trick. As soon as the Daschle letter was opened, America became fully aware of the dangers of a biological attack.
Budowie would have just been saying they threw out the letter. Leonard Cole for the National Academy of Sciences has published a book quoting at length about the letter Stevens read, set down on his keyboard (where high concentration of anthrax was found). It was a letter with powder and a Star of David, and an odd note about Jennifer Lopez’ planned wedding. Jenny was code Atta and Ramzi used. Wedding is Al Qaeda-speak for event. You can view it as lurid, but fully quoted interviews of first-hand observers is pretty factually-oriented. The press never even reported the fact that Atta was using the Jenny code. There, moreover, is thought to have been a second letter sent to a different AMI publication based on the exposure routes through the Florida post offices. The best guide on that were CDC peer reviewed articles. The spate of CDC peer reviewed articles were not sensationalized but based on objective measurement of spores in the post offices. One AMI address had a different address and so a letter would have taken a different route. Taking a conservative approach, the FBI would focus on the fact that no letter was found — which is fine so long as intercepts are thoroughly searched for others using the Jenny code in the summer of 2001. I don’t see how you can say the terrorist threat was overstated when the documentary evidence establishes that Ayman was planning on using weaponized anthrax and the microbiologist 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist in the world and former deputy USAMRIID and prolific Ames researcher (with Ames being the strain used). He was in contact with OBL’s sheik (the sheik subject of the 1996 declaration of war) the day before and day after the mailing. So rather than the MSM being lurid and sensationalized in reporting these facts, they in fact have never reported these facts. Not once.
It’s hard to blame the MSM too much about Hatfill, moreover, given the leaks were coming from the fellow at the top of the criminal prosecution food chain. His daughter now represents pro bono (for free) the anthrax weapons suspect (his lawyer’s phrase) Ali Al-Timimi. The “bioevangelist” theory was first urged in the MSM by Professor Boyle, who was legal advisor to the PLO and counsel to Bosnia. His friend BHR then took up the cause. The hyped leaks were by the lead prosecutor, born in Haifa Palestine in 1948 who moved over from the CIA on September 29, 2001. See his law firm biography. Hatfill was of interest because of his connections to the same people with the know-how that worked in Al-Timimi’s building at George Mason University. The GMU Center for Biodefense had the biggest biodefense award in history (Alibek’s Hadron). They used Delta Ames supplied by NIH. The attack strain used an inverted plasmid in the virulence plasmids and so it may be significant that the DARPA-funded contract used Delta (or avirulent) Ames. The attack anthrax was a mixture of two samples. Again, the MSM has not hyped these facts. The MSM has never reported them. Instead, the hyped and lurid reporting involved what was intentional misdirection involving anthrax smelling bloodhounds and drained ponds. Have you read the correspondence between Ayman Zawahiri and the Pakistani scientist helping him infiltrate UK biodefense? It dates to 1999.
The FACTS show that the so-called "J-Lo letter" had NOTHING to do with the anthrax attacks. People just assumed it did because it's the only letter EVERYONE remembered from that time that contained a powder.
The envelope sent to the Sun was addressed: Please forward to Jennifer Lopez, c/o the Sun.
The envelope was opened on the 3rd floor, which was the least contaminated floor in the AMI building. It was delivered to Managing Editor Joe West, who was suspicious of it and wanted to just throw it away unopened.
The J-Lo letter (which was actually a large manila envelope) was finally opened by a news assistant named Bobby Bender and was shown around the office. It contained a cheap cigar in a tube, an empty can of chewing tobacco, a small box of laundry detergent, and a handwritten letter to Jennifer Lopez.
The letter was on business-size paper and had pink and blue clouds around the edges. Inside the folded letter was what looked like a pile of pink-tinged talcum powder, and buried in the pile of powder was "a little Star of David with a little loop for a string or chain."
Bob Bender, Joe West, photo assistant Roz Suss and others were looking it over before Bob Stevens came on the scene. They all remember Stevens looking closely at it because he was near-sighted. And they all ASSUMED that's how he got anthrax.
But, as stated before, that area on the third floor was the LEAST contaminated area in the building. And none of those other people who handled the J-Lo letter tested positive for exposure to anthrax.
On the other hand, there was a trail of anthrax powder through post offices indicating that the actual anthrax letter was sent from Trenton (just like all the others) and was first delivered to the Lantana Post Office. The Enquirer formerly had an office in Lantana, but it had been shut down and all mail was forwarded from there to the AMI building in Boca Raton.
Stephanie Daley, who worked in the mailroom at AMI and whose job included opening letters addressed to the Enquirer opened a different letter containing powder a few days after the J-Lo letter was opened. When she saw her letter was some kind of threat (which they received all the time) she simply tossed it out. She tested positive for exposure to anthrax. The area around her desk was one of the MOST CONTAMINATED areas in the building.
So, the FACTS say that the letter she received was the anthrax letter, NOT the J-Lo letter.
Speaking of facts, I forgot to mention that KSM, head of the cell after 9/11 re anthrax, and al-Hawsawi, his assistant who had the anthrax spraydrying documents on his computer, both worked for an organization called “Clouds” (As Sahab).
As Ed points out, it is a fact that the letter he is discussing had clouds pictured on it. It is a fact Al Qaeda operatives at the time used “wedding” as code-speak for attack. And it is a fact that Jenny was used by them as code that month for one of the hijackers who lived in Falls Church and was counseled by Ali Al-Timimi’s friend “the 911 imam.” One only knows these facts if one is informed about Al Qaeda, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, KSM, al-Hawsawi etc.
Now Ed thinks, based on the FACTS, that a First Grader wrote the letters. But it is a FACT that First Graders are not good at keeping secrets. In fact, they like telling secrets. Furthermore, it is a fact that there would be no reason to involve a First Grader given how easy it is to disguise one’s writing using block letters.
If you want to believe that al Qaeda sent the J-Lo letter, that's up to you. All I'm saying is that the FACTS show that the J-Lo letter had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks.
The J-Lo letter was opened on the 3rd floor and handled by several people before Stevens touched it. Here's what testing showed for anthrax contamination of the 3rd floor of the AMI building:
The "index patient" is Bob Stevens.
The letter that contained the anthrax was opened by Stephanie Daley who worked in the mailroom on the first floor. Here's what anthrax testing for the 1st floor of the AMI building showed:
So, if you want to believe that al Qaeda sent the J-Lo letter, go ahead. If you want to believe that al Qaeda sent the anthrax letters, that's up to you. But, if you try to convince people that the J-Lo letter was the anthrax letter, then the FACTS say you are WRONG.
Your "fact" does not alter the facts about who wrote the anthrax letters.
Are you claiming that every First Grader in America tells every secret to everyone -- whether or not he knows it's a secret? If that's your belief, then it is a RIDICULOUS belief. Not every First Grader is the same. Not every First Grader thinks the rest of the world wants to know about his writing assignments at home.
The FACTS say what they say. If you want to disbelieve the FACTS and dream up some reason why the facts cannot be right, that's up to you. That doesn't change the FACTS.
What authority are you relying upon for your proposition that the letter with the powder was opened on the third floor, rather than the first floor? Thanks.
There are no facts that indicate the anthrax letters were written by a First Grader. Putting aside the issue of “facts,” you haven’t even bothered to take the most basic step of obtaining expert “opinion.”
Relatedly, do you credit the CDC finding that there were two letters?
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