Skip to comments.Pressure Grows for F.B.I. to Show Anthrax Evidence
Posted on 08/04/2008 8:00:01 PM PDT by Shermy
WASHINGTON After four years of painstaking scientific research, the F.B.I. by 2005 had traced the anthrax in the poisoned letters of 2001 to a single flask of the bacteria at the Army biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., according to government scientists and bureau officials.
But at least 10 scientists had regular access to the laboratory and its anthrax stock and possibly quite a few more, counting visitors from other institutions, and workers at laboratories in Ohio and New Mexico that had received anthrax samples from the flask at the Army laboratory.
To get that far, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had helped invent what was virtually a new science, microbial forensics, the use of biochemical clues to track a germ weapon to its source.
...But at that point, the science had largely reached its limits. To figure out who in the narrowed pool of scientist-suspects was the perpetrator, the F.B.I. would have to rely on traditional gumshoe investigative methods: interviewing colleagues and family members, searching houses and cars, doing surveillance, and assessing personalities.
About 18 months ago, investigators appear to have sharpened their focus on Bruce E. Ivins, a veteran anthrax researcher, whom they placed under intensive surveillance as they examined every aspect of his life and work.
Since Dr. Ivinss suicide last week, F.B.I. officials have said prosecutors were preparing to indict him for sending the anthrax letters, which killed five people, although charges appear to have been a few weeks away.
...But the investigators found some personal quirks, according to law enforcement officials and people who knew the scientist well. They found that Dr. Ivins, who had a history of alcohol abuse, had for years maintained a post office box under an assumed name that he used to receive pornographic pictures of blindfolded women.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Must read article here.
“had for years maintained a post office box under an assumed name that he used to receive pornographic pictures of blindfolded women.”
There’s a motive you may have been looking for—for his suicide. Deeply Catholic man surely wouldn’t want that publicized.
M-here’s your sorority answer. In 1981 and earlier he visited chapters of the sorority. doing what, not clear, maybe he was drunk and yelled out his college sweetheart’s name. He passed years of later security clearances nevertheless.
But as part of his plan 20 years later to frame the sorority he chose a mailbox in Princeton that was within 100 yards of the Princeton Chapter’s storage locker, or whereever they keep their materials since they don’t actually have a house at Princeton.
They had even intensively questioned his adopted children, Andrew and Amanda, now both 24, with the authorities telling his son that he might be able to collect the $2.5 million reward for solving the case and buy a sports car, and showing his daughter gruesome photographs of victims of the anthrax letters and telling her, Your father did this, according to the account Dr. Ivins gave a close friend.
They seemed to have used pressure, rather than investigation, as their chief tool, as I said on an earlier thread. They followed him around, got him fired, sat outside his home in cars, accused him of being a murderer to his children, and otherwise made life miserable for him until he finally snapped. Unfortunately, he didn't snap by coming in and confessing; he snapped by killing himself.
It doesn't seem to me that that is the proper way to investigate a crime. And completely untouched, of course, are several apparent links to Muslims, or curious coincidences, in Florida and New Jersey, that camee out in some of the earlier stories.
I believe the FBI needs to start divulging info immediately.
“On the scientific angle, I think the writers are echoing the FBI story,”
That they DNA sequenced not the anthrax powder found, not anthrax lodged in lungs, but supposedly got the anthrax from Stevens’ blood.
Some FReeper scientist has got to explain that one.
Did they accidently destroy the other anthrax?
BTW, the reporters site the Beecher letter for the proposition that the FBI says the anthrax had no additives. First problem, any non-scientist can tell Beecher’s short comment showed no evidence, AND, the footnoted cites go to an article that say completely the opposite.
But I guess we’ll never know, right? I bet the “anthrax in the blood” that got through from the lungs wouldn’t carry the silica or whatever additive into the bloodstream.
The Beecher article is reaching its predicted usefulness. A way for the FBI to claim by some authority says there was no additive, although the authority is totally baseless, unsupported, and spoken by a person without the appropriate expertise.
Really now, they only tested anthrax from blood?
Who would dare to question the FBI about honor, integrity, honesty, ethics, morals, character, judgement?
Worse than that. They put in years, and millions of dollars of taxpayer money, tormenting his family and driving him nuts until he killed himself--and then they blame him when he's no longer around to defend himself.
It's their "anything but Muslim terrorists" fallback plan.
“Theres a motive you may have been looking forfor his suicide. Deeply Catholic man surely wouldnt want that publicized.”
And yet, catholics have been taught suicide is a surefire ticket to a very warm place.
Catholics are also taught that you can go to a priest, and in sacred confidentiality - admit these shortcomings.
Catholic priests have heard it all - porn in a P.O. box is probably the least of what they’ve been told in confidence.
This article is disturbing.
It is looking, more and more, that this man was driven to mental collapse.
And the fact he has such a miserable brother making terrible remarks makes it all the more depressing.
Amazingly the Leftwingtards were able to get the FBI to look at the wrong guy in the wrong part of our biodefense establishment.
Guess they thought that was the best way to cover their "source" ~ and recall, please, the FBI now says there are only FOUR possible sources, Ivins being one of them (and they also claim they've known that for 5 or 6 years, even when they were out there draining a pond to find out if Dr. Hatfill was involved in this.)
I'm sure they've got everything down pat, and organized, and neat, and have still to explain why some of the envelopes also had very fine beach sand typical of that laid down at Sugar Sands park in Boca Raton. They dredge it out of Ice Age deposits several miles out in the ocean.
Oh, there'll be other "errors" and "ommissions" and "mistatements" and whatever, and they'll either explain it away or attack the bearer of the bad news.
The case isn't done until they've rounded up a bunch of commies and their buddies in AlQaida.
See, when the world lost the USSR they lost the "discipline" that body could exercise on these pukes, and then they just get out of control and commit mayhem for no reason at all.
“had for years maintained a post office box under an assumed name”
According to a relative of mine who works at the post office, since 9/11 there are regulations against that sort of thing. You have to satisfy the postmaster that you who rent the box are a real person who lives in the area; and that everyone whom you list as an addressee for that box really lives in the area. They actually look very closely at box rental documentation, and ask for photo ID even from customers they are familiar with. This includes customers renewing box rentals after the regulations came into being.
And I’m talking about a post office in a rather small town.
(Or do I live in a paranoid part of PA?)
Certainly the "fibbies" have people with the investigative accumen of Freepers (who took down Dan Rather as we all recall), but this is kindergarten stuff they're coming up with.
Does the Director perhaps want us to knock this stuff down step by step? Maybe he could finally come out in the open and discuss it with us where we can focus on his understanding and not a ignorant blather in the press.
BTW, in other places they say the daughter they confronted is mentally ill.
The rules have been tightened since 911.
I wrote the previous rules such that released felons and professionl prostitutes (who have a very high relocation rate) could rent PO Boxes.
The rationale was that this would reduce postal forwarding costs by tens of millions of dollars every year, and might well help to regularize life for released felons and professional prostitutes.
That's all gone now. The criminals and whores find it much harder to get their mail delivered.
Puts 'em on the internet eh!
Time marches on.
“If they only tested the anthrax in one victim’s blood that would hardly be a comprehensive picture.”
And this is not the only article mentioning only the blood.
And it is not the first article to spin the Beecher paper story.
The Beecher paper was discuss much here by scientists like TR. The paper was not about science, I recall, but about safety. The statement that public commentary about additives, much discussed by Ed Lake, TR, is wrong because the FBI says so. It was a sentence or two. I read it, it wasn’t difficult to see there was absolutely no support in the paper for the statement of no additives. Yet the FBI or someone keep pushing it as some kind of science.
The mailbox just off the campus of Princeton University where the letters were mailed sits about 100 yards away from where the college's Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter stores its rush materials, initiation robes and other property. Sorority members do not live there, and the Kappa chapter at Princeton does not provide a house for the women.
So what is their motive?
You'll notice that so far the FBI has not apparantly release any information about Dr. Ivins' political leanings. Or, they've told the reporters who've refused to publish it ~ and we can only imagine what those political leanings might well be if the MSM doesn't want to tell us.
“I believe the FBI needs to start divulging info immediately.”
Here’s some, lurkers free to use.
Did you find a vest and gun Duley claimed Ivins said he purchased?
Did other members of Duley’s group therapy group confirm Duley’s claims? Did they believe Ivins was serious?
Did you conduct DNA testing on anthrax not derived from Stevens’ blood? Results?
Did any testing of the anthrax ever indicate in any regard the presence of additives? What testing showed there were no additives present?
The sorority’s storage space in Princeton - describe it.
How did he get to Princeton? What did his work records indicate about attendance?
Scott Shane is one of the best.
He “parrots”, reports, the FBI line. But always has quotes on the other side - and by people who give their own names and don’t hide behind anonymity.
If you want to commit such a major crime, you must first work up a scapegoat.
If Ivins did it, he failed to provide any scapegoat.
Someone else may have taken the Anthrax, from several labs, or even gotten it from Ivins and other scientists, using some ‘excuse’.
Someone else may have even garnered Ivins support for ‘teaching the media and the dam politicians a lesson’.
This someone may have been an anarchist, or a terrorist.
Knowing they’ll blame it on the guy that has some personal quirks, or addiction problems, would be the real seller.
Did Ivins do it?
Did Hatfill do it?
Did the guard at the Olympics plant the bomb that went off?
One thing is for sure. We won’t ever know.
Even if they decide on a culprit.
While Ivins, Hatfill, and other scientists may have knowingly, or unknowingly, had a hand in the transfer of anthrax to someone who wanted to use it illegally, they were just pawns.
P.S. I think the guard’s name was Jewell.
Or something phonetically similar.
I wonder how many samples were taken from that flask and over what period of time?
New Mexico sort of jumps out at me because of all the issues with Los Alamos over the years: Wen Ho Lee spy case, Sandy "Pants" Berger, Burnin' Bill Richardson's May 2000 controlled burn, Hazel "Barn Door" O'Leary's "Openness Initiative", etc. New Mexico was also home to the two FBI agents who worked hand in hand with stockbroker Anthony Elgindy, the guy whose dad was involved in the protests on behalf of the Falls Church cell's Mohammad Salah and whose brother was involved in delivering "humanitarian aid" to Iraq.
Scott Shane has always wrote articles showing the skeptical side, for one his stories debunked the super-sniffer dog “evidence” on Hatfill.
Would any non-member have had any way to know the sorority used that storage site.
How many chapters of this sorority existed between Washington DC and Princeton and how many actual houses had a mail box nearby? [Just a guess that at at least one of UMD, Georgetown, U of Del, Johns Hopkins, etc Penn, UMD-Baltimore, etc there is likely to have been such a house near a mailbox, but who knows.]
No one is saying.
He probably doesn't really meet the profile the leftwingtards set up back in 1992.
This is starting to get the Lee Harvey Oswald feel ~ the MSM, and others, delayed for ever and a day in identifying him as a commie.
I remember the stories these guys trade this stuff with others around the world for scientific purposes - usually for veterinarian type work on vaccines.
BTW, Scott isn’t by himself on this piece. The “editor” put it together. We have to presume the information was heavily edited to conform to the NYT current political agenda.
You have done well Grasshopper.
“Scott Shane is one of the best.”
As the big newspapers die off and lay off more and more investigative journalists, how are we going to get the news that the government doesn’t want us to know about?
There was an attempt - via a letter- to pin it on an Egyptian working at the lab during the Hatfill hubbub.
Kappa Kappa Gamma also has chapters at nearby colleges in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington. One official said investigators were working off the theory that Ivins chose to mail the letters from the Princeton chapter to confuse investigators if he ever were to emerge as a suspect in the case.
That's the story!
I have no inkling about his politics.
All I can tell you is Shane always has interesting things to say. What the FBI says is “news” whether we question it or not.
“As the big newspapers die off and lay off more and more investigative journalists, how are we going to get the news that the government doesnt want us to know about?”
That’s a real good question.
Do you remember if they said who wrote the letter?
So, the FBI story is that he was peeking in girls dorm rooms, and he picked a mailbox that was on his way to the dorm?
I of course do not have the technical ability to evaluate much of the evidence. I will say this sorority angle make the case sound pretty weak as it is a very weak reed.
“You’ll notice that so far the FBI has not apparantly release any information about Dr. Ivins’ political leanings...and we can only imagine what those political leanings might well be ...”
I think the FBI has learned from thousands of investigations that the political leanings of suspects rarely provides any kind of meaningful evidence. The biggest U.S. spies were often conservative politically, or at least cultivated that image. Likewise, being a “good neighbor” and attending church seems to count for little. In short, follow the evidence.
No, there is a sorority by that name at Princeton, but it doesn’t have a physical house.
Some say that he learned about possible indictment and immediately killed himself because of that. I don't believe it. Anyone can be indicted for anything, it doesn't mean anything; it only means that the DA can start building his case, and ultimately it all ends in court.
How long does anyone think that would take? The DA wasn't anywhere ready to even cause the grand jury to indict yet. And then what? If the government has lots of material on the guy his lawyers would want some serious time to read it all. Meanwhile Mr. Ivins would be on bail, since he was clean as a whistle for his whole life.
So suppose that takes two years and then a trial starts. How long that would take? I think it will take some time to present all the evidence to the jury, and then double that to present all the counter-evidence, all the arguments and such. If they can wrap it up in a year I'd be amazed. So we are now at three years before anything serious can possibly happen.
Now, we all have difficulties in our lives now and then, even some serious difficulties. Do we just go and off ourselves at the first hint of trouble? As a rule, no; only the most immature teenagers do that. Bruce Ivins was 62 years old, hardly a teenager. At that age if people kill themselves they have a good reason. I don't believe that a prospect of conviction 3 years down the road could be it. This is a long time, and many things could happen. Even if convicted, one could be soon released on medical grounds, or one could die from natural causes. So why would Bruce kill himself? Here are some possibilities.
The bulk of the prosecution case, as far as it is known today, hinged on Duley. Wikipedia is quite harsh on this witness: "Ivins, however, had no criminal record, whereas Duley herself has a history of convictions for driving under the influence, in addition to drug-related criminal charges and charges of battery by her ex-husband.. Duley's credibility as a person and the credibility of her charges have been questioned on several other grounds. Any competent lawyer would have impeached her testimony, or at least seriously damaged it in jury's opinion.
Another "accusation" against him is the purported profit from the vaccine that he designed. So where is the money, was he a trillionaire? No, he wasn't because he worked for hire, as an employee, and the employer (the government) would get all the profit. Per Wikipedia: "However, biological warfare and anthrax vaccine expert Dr. Meryl Nass has expressed skepticism of this purported motive, pointing out that "Historically, government employees do not receive these royalties: the government does"." So yet another accusation goes into the trash can.
Again, I believe that the threat of a future trial alone can't possibly be the cause of a suicide, even if Mr. Ivins was guilty. That trial would be a long distance ahead, and many things could change. For example, in only few months from now a new President will be elected, and priorities may change.
IMO, the most likely cause of his suicide is in psychological pressure that investigators applied to him. Again per Wikipedia: "Dr. W. Russell Byrne, a colleague who worked in the bacteriology division of the Fort Detrick research facility, said FBI agents "hounded" Ivins by twice raiding his home and that Ivins had been hospitalized for depression earlier in the month." Having seen Hatfill's plight, he could easily take the easier way out, regardless of his actual guilt. However we saw many cases (Jewell, Wen Ho Lee, Hatfill and others) when the authorities just did their best to convict someone, anyone, just to get rid of a case.
I wonder how many university labs were recipients of samples from that flask- particularly in California.
here’s an old forgotten item:
AUGUST 2001 (MORE THREATENING LETTERS SIMILAR TO ANTHRAX LETTERS LATER MAILED TO DASCHLE AND BROKAW ARRIVE AT FOX ADDRESSED TO HANNITY) The letters arrived before Sept. 11 but were addressed in the same kind of block letter handwriting used in Daschle and Brokaw missives. They apparently contained no anthrax.
Each line in the printed address clearly sloped downward to the right, the paper said. The envelopes bore a postmark from Indianapolis, where the Post Office discovered yesterday [OCT 31, 2001] that some of its equipment is contaminated with anthrax.
Hannity said that he’d begun receiving the suspicious mail last winter [2000late-early2001?] and again in August .
“When I saw the Tom Daschle envelope and the Tom Brokaw envelope, I immediately was stunned,” Hannity told listeners. “It was the exact same handwriting that I had recognized. ... When I saw it I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s the same guy.’”
The “Hannity & Colmes” co-host revealed that in addition to the letters with an Indianapolis postmark, “one or two were from Trenton (N.J.),” where traces of anthrax have also been reported. Hannity said he hasn’t gotten any more of the letters since the Sept. 11 attacks and hasn’t been tested for anthrax exposure. -—————FROM AN ARTICLE DATED Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001VIA 38 posted on 09/05/2003 9:38 AM PDT by Princeton | To 37
SEPTEMBER 26, 2001 : (ANONYMOUS LETTER IS POSTMARKED ON THIS DATE ALLEGING THAT RESEARCHER ASSAAD WAS PLANNING TO MOUNT A BIOLOGICAL ATTACK) looked into the allegation [an anonymous letter the FBI had received, purportedly from an Assaad co-worker, warning that Assaad might be planning to mount a biological attack ] ...The letter was dated Sept. 26, 2001, eight days after the first batch of anthrax-laced letters went out but before their effects became known. -- "FBI anthrax probe revisits former Detrick researcher," by DAVID DISHNEAU, The Associated Press, 5/16/2004, 6:32 p.m. ET
Other good clues.
The chief difference was that a stretch of DNA was flipped head to tail in some bacteria in the attack strain, but not in any other samples.
Further, the attack strain contained bacteria with both the flipped and the unflipped DNA, showing that it was a mixture of two strains, which analysts later found reflected a mix of origins 85 percent from the Dugway Proving Ground of the Army in Utah and 15 percent added at Fort Detrick, according to one person close to the investigation.
Did anybody tell the FBI that yet?
“Each line in the printed address clearly sloped downward to the right, the paper said.”
Wonder what that means?