Skip to comments.The anthrax killings: A troubled mind
Posted on 05/28/2011 10:49:31 PM PDT by smokingfrog
He roamed the University of Cincinnati campus with a loaded gun. When his rage overflowed, the brainy microbiology major would open fire inside empty buildings, visualizing a wall clock or other object as a person who had done him wrong.
By the mid-1970s, Bruce Ivins had earned his doctorate and was a promising researcher at the University of North Carolina. By outward appearances, he was a charming eccentric, odd but disarming. Inside, he still smoldered with resentment, and he saw a new outlet for it.
Several years earlier, a Cincinnati student had turned him down for a date. He had projected his anger onto the young woman's sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. There was a Kappa house in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Ivins cased the building. One night when it was empty, he slipped in through a bathroom window and roamed the darkened floors with a penlight.
Upstairs, he found something that fascinated him: a glass-enclosed sheaf of documents, called a cipher, necessary for decoding the sorority's secrets. The cipher would help him wage a personal war against Kappa Kappa Gamma into the sixth decade of his life.
This was the side of himself that Ivins kept carefully hidden. He devised sneaky ways to strike anonymously at people or institutions he imagined had offended him. He harbored murderous fantasies about women who did not reciprocate his overtures. He bought bomb-making ingredients and kept firearms, ammunition and body armor in his basement.
Yet Ivins managed to work his way into the heart of the American biodefense establishment, becoming a respected Army scientist and an authority on the laboratory use of anthrax. When a series of anonymous, anthrax-laced letters killed five people, disrupted mail delivery and briefly paralyzed parts of the federal government in fall 2001, the FBI sought him out for advice.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Perhaps to point up that the Hatfill snafu took place under Bush’s watch, as a swipe at the GOP?
It is easy to pin a crime on a dead guy. He cannot defend himself.
The question I have is this: how and why did the government ever give him a security clearance?
I had to take a battery of psychological tests in 1980 to get mine. Surely he had to have taken similar, if not the same, array of tests.
If he slipped through, how many others have done so, as well?
The psychological quizzes are only as good as the honesty of the responder. A psychopath would simply parrot back the “right” answers, cool as a cucumber.
Bruce Ivins was a nice guy, who would say hello whenever I saw him. Although I don’t think I ever had a conversation with him, whenever I saw him, he would usually be talking with people, and nothing ever struck me as odd about him or the snippets of conversation I overheard.
It’s really high class to be running smear pieces on people, without any real evidence to corroborate the smears. It’s that much more classy to be attacking someone who can no longer defend himself. He still has a wife and children—do the writers of these hit pieces ever think how families must feel to see that kind of stuff written?
Very recently, a panel of scientists reviewed the scientific evidence and found that it did not constitute a smoking gun with which to blame Dr. Ivins for the anthrax attacks. This was published in Science.
You’re giving too much credit to psychopaths, or you’re watching too much TV.
I don’t agree with the government’s pinning the crime on this man. It prevents them from doing the politically incorrect thing and closely examining the Muslims working with him.
Come out and say it without trying to be cute. The pink doesn’t read well.
!! JUST KIDDING !!
Now you see his post, too.
Good golly, yes. When I got my Secret they interviewed my elementary school teachers! I will never understand the government mind...
Thank you, cynwoody. That is exactly the fellow I had in mind.
Ali al-Timimi, to my mind, is the true culprit.
(The following is an excerpt)
Assuming that al-Timimi indeed stole the anthrax and the instructions, here is what then seems to have happened.
Al-Timimi provided the anthrax to Mohamed Atta. Atta and his group of intending hijackers in Florida unsuccessfully sought to obtain a crop duster, and they evidently handled the anthrax themselves, infecting themselves in the process.
As September 11 neared, Atta contacted Abderraouf Jdey in Montreal. Jdey, a Canadian citizen of Tunisian origin who had trained in Afghanistan, had been designated first as an alternate hijacker, then as a part of the second wave of attacks. He returned to Canada in the summer of 2001 and was detained by FBI and INS together with intending pilot Zacarias Moussaoui. Jdey was carrying biology textbooks. FBI evidently released Jdey.
Atta appears to have handed over the vials of anthrax to Jdey in Portland, Maine on September 10, which powerfully explains Atta’s otherwise anomalous trip to Portland on the day before the September 11 terrorist attacks. Jdey, whose modus operandi involved traveling to sites in the northeastern U.S., wrote and mailed the anthrax letters in September and October. In November he left his apartment in Montreal, drove to New York, boarded American Airlines Flight #587 on November 12, and brought it down with a shoe bomb. His role as shoe bomber was subsequently related to interrogators by al Qaeda detainee Mohammed Mansour Jabarah and leaked in a 2004 Canadian news report.
Has anyone heard of this shoe bomber, Abderraouf Jdey? Is this the flight that crashed in Jamaica Bay after takeoff?
Ali al-Timimi, to my mind, is the true culprit.
See my post at #15 - it is a corker of a story.
Im really sorry; I thought I sent that to the red neck!
And I do appreciate you pointing it out to me.
The story about Ivins didnt make any sense. No one goes through life exhibiting that kind of behavior without causing alarm. It even sounds like a blurb for a Hollywood movie.
Last week there was another article in the news pointing out that few of those working with him thought he was guilty, because his area of expertise didn’t include grinding up the spores and adding silicon to make them weapons grade.
So I guess this is another hit job to insist he was guilty.
He had access to a common form of anthrax, not the super resistant strain, but the common strain used to make vaccines (which is why Saddam Hussein’s scientists also had the strain).
But you can find anthrax all over, but “weaponizing” it means to get it small enough to enter the lung without killing yourself. That takes some expertise.
I myself wonder how he could have gotten hired if he was this crazy...but his crazyness doesn’t seem to make sense here...it would take a bit of time to pull this stunt, which came too soon after 911, and of course there was the anthrax to the National Enquirer and maybe skin anthrax on one of the friends of some terrorists in Florida.
lots of interesting comments that agree with you...some point out that his vaccine is now being manufactured and making someone a lot of money.
Ali al-Timimi, to my mind, is the true culprit.
See my post at #15 - it is a corker of a story.
...and LadyDoc in #18 is correct. Irvins may have been nuts, but he wasn’t capable of weaponizing it by himself.
He didn’t have the expertise in that area, and he didn’t have access to the necessary equipment.
and if he was in on it at all (which i personally doubt, for many reasons), he certainly wasn’t alone, and didn’t actually mail any of it.
...and even if i didn’t know anything about it, if the LA Times is pushing it, i’d know it wasn’t true.
I think they want to distract from the conclusions in a recent article of Science magazine that indicated that Ivins could not have produced that type of anthrax; he had neither the knowledge nor the access to the necessary equipment and materials.
The flimsiness of the evidence against him was commented on at the time, but he’s a convenient culprit for the government: white, non-Muslim, middle-aged male. And now, a dead one, at that, so they can say whatever they want about him.
As for his personality, people who knew him and worked with him said there was nothing wrong with him, although certainly scientists are known to have a tendency to be a little on the remote side and not always the most gregarious and outgoing folks.
The only reason to resurrect this story now is to put political blame on Bush/Rumsfled when you can look to Clinton, Cohen and Caldera for this. That tag-team of leftists made this vaccine program what it is and did so out of political motivation to pay back former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Crowe, who in retirement made a fortune off this bad vaccine. There was NO need for the vaccine, it does not work for inhalation Anthrax and is dubious even for cutaneous Anthrax. Its own package insert document had to be re-written by order of a judge because the FDA and the DOD were using its text to continue the lie about it. Oh and gee they were forced to admit it was 175X more reactagenic than they wanted known.
I have refused to take this vaccine and will bever take it. It is the ONLY one I have ever said no to and I have the research to back up why. When you have Sec of the Army (former: Louis Caldera) issuing a letter of indemnification to the company making this crap listing all the very reason why people were against it as reasons for indemnifying the company (only the 2nd in our history) then you have at least the basis for a strong case against it.
I will never forgive Clinton and Co. or all the politicians who KNEW the evidence but did not lift a finger for us. I've over 23 years of service and am still going and I will never forgive what they did.
the Veteran’s Day crash in NYC was never openly pinned to terrorism
Then that is the crash into Jamaica Bay, isn’t it?
I never heard the explanation for that, but speculation was that it was a shoe bomber who severed the bydraulic system of the aircraft.
This would mean, if true, the sons-of-bitching government has been sitting on this information all this time!
It would also mean that Richard Reid was not the one and only shoe bomber, which always seemed illogical
If the Bush govt sat on this, then wtf
I missed all this
Still, the whole Hatfill pond incident, with that weird glass box submerged was, as far as I know, never fully explained.
Actually, many of these tests are empirically based and the items have low face value e.g., (MMPI). In addition they have "lie keys" that detect efforts to cheat or fake.
Actually, the field of psychological testing is pretty hitech, fellow redneck.
IIRC, one of the key pieces of evidence against Ivins is that he purposely sent a phony culture sample for analysis instead of a real one from his flask of spores. Once the FBI found out about that he killed himself.
Much evidence suggests that Bruce Ivins prepared the anthrax, but he didn't do it at USAMRIID. It seems that he prepared powdered virulent anthrax at a facility like Southern Research Institute (SRI) in Frederick that presumably had considerably more appropriate equipment than was available at USAMRIID as well as a Biological Safety Level 3 facility. Patricia F. Fellows, Ivins's former close collaborator at USAMRIID who later moved to SRI, appears to have been the only one of his close associates who thought that he was the Mailer--perhaps because she knew that he had had access at SRI to the anthrax that showed up in the letters.
“I myself wonder how he could have gotten hired if he was this crazy...but his crazyness doesnt seem to make sense here...it would take a bit of time to pull this stunt, which came too soon after 911, and of course there was the anthrax to the National Enquirer and maybe skin anthrax on one of the friends of some terrorists in Florida.”
The most dangerous crazies are the ones that are not obvious. The other thing that is often not realized is that when people leave microbiology labs, their cultures and samples are left behind. Its possible that Ivins didnt need to make the spores, that they were left behind by someone who retired long ago and found their way to his possession. Its unlikely with dangerous material like this but sloppy bookkeeping or lax administration is certainly possible.
PET brain scans might have promise in revealing what topics actually raise the most interest in the test subject. For everything else, the subject just needs to make up his mind about who he will “be” and follow through on it.
Ivins handled anthrax spores: which are usually fairly large and made from a bunch of anthrax stuck together. Think of a bunch of balls stuck together...They are heavy, so tend to be in the soil, not in the air. Even those catching anthrax from hides usually only get skin or stomach anthrax (you inhale them, but they are so heavy they stop at the tongue and you swallow them).
To “weaponize” anthrax, you have to do something to keep the individual spores from clumping...in this case, silicon was used, or maybe not (the FBI screwed up the analysis)....
There are ways to do this, but it requires some skills that a doc used to working with spores to make vaccines wouldn’t have.
(grinding, added correct silica).
Yes, Ivins lab was contaminated with anthrax, but that was ordinary anthrax, not the weaponized one.
And the strain was a common strain found in many labs...heck, my Oklahoma patients joked they probably had some in their barnyards.
The original suspect, Hatfield, had worked with anthrax vaccine in Rhodesia at a time when a lot of elephants and cattle were dying of it. The FBI had a scenerio that he ground and mixed it working underwater so he wouldn’t catch it, but they never could find evidence on this, so they decided Ivins did it,
Good story. worth a read.
“There are ways to do this, but it requires some skills that a doc used to working with spores to make vaccines wouldnt have (grinding, added correct silica). Yes, Ivins lab was contaminated with anthrax, but that was ordinary anthrax, not the weaponized one.”
Just because you may not have done it before doesnt mean you are incapable of doing it. Scientists pick up new skills all the time. All of the information needed to weaponize anthrax is in the published literature. The equipment for ball milling a crude spore prep into a fine powder is readily available in labs and can be bought in a hardware store. Likewise silica powder is easy to obtain. The source of the anthrax spores was Ivin’s flask. When asked for a sample, he gave a false one.