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Doctor Says FBI, CDC Ignored ‘Possible Lead’ in Anthrax Investigation
ABC News ^ | 11/12/01 | ABC News

Posted on 11/13/2001 9:18:01 AM PST by spycatcher

A New Jersey doctor who wonders if he might have been the first person infected in the anthrax attack is still waiting for the FBI to talk to him about what he might know.

What makes his story potentially significant is that his symptoms appeared long before those who were infected by the letters mailed Sept. 30 — actually a week before the terror attacks of Sept. 11.

At the time he had a sore with a black scab, followed by what was diagnosed in a hospital as meningitis. In an interview with ABCNEWS' Good Morning America, Dr. Jerry Weisfogel said he may have had a brush with the anthrax attacker, but the government has ignored his story.

Four people have died, one person is in serious condition and 16 others are recovering from anthrax infection, while at least 37 others have been exposed to the spores.

The FBI says it is pursuing more than 1,000 leads, including at least 100 that have taken investigators overseas.

Weisfogel works in the town of Kendall Park, N.J., which is near Franklin Park, the town found on the return address of the anthrax-contaminated letter that was mailed to Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

There's no Greendale school, which was given as the return address, but there is a Greenbrook school in Weisfogel's town, and it only goes to the fourth grade. The return address of the letter sent to Daschle said, "4th Grade, Greendale School."

"It obviously made me think that there may have been some local connection between where my office is, between what I had and wherever the perpetrators of the anthrax mailings are," Weisfogel said.

Could There Be a ‘Cluster 0’?

But Weisfogel said that, to his amazement, he had a hard time getting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get interested in his case. They told him his case appeared too early to be connected, even when he suggested that his could have been the first case.

"That's exactly what I said," Weisfogel said. "I said, 'You have Case 1 and Case 2 or Cluster 1 and Cluster 2. How do you know there was not a Cluster 0?'"

Weisfogel said he originally diagnosed his black scab as a spider bite, but now he wonders if his mistake might not have been the same misdiagnosis so commonly seen in anthrax cases.

What's more, he said, he wonders if the bioterrorist responsible for the letters might have been in his office. "Have I come across patients from countries who might be doing this? Yes," Weisfogel said.

Weisfogel admits that there is no proof that anyone he treated had any connection to the rash of anthrax-contaminated letters received by lawmakers and media companies, but said it is "a possible lead" in a case in which investigators seem to have almost no leads, other than a trail of anthrax infections and spores all going back to New Jersey.

On Thursday, after the CDC became aware that Weisfogel was telling his story to Good Morning America, the agency tested his blood for anthrax antibodies. He was told it could be weeks before the results of the tests are in.


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthraxscarelist; terrorwar
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Why am I no longer surprised that the FBI ignores important clues in order to preserve their pre-ordained theories?

Hijacker's 'White Powder' in Car Still Untested by the FBI

1 posted on 11/13/2001 9:18:01 AM PST by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
I watched this interview on GMA yesterday and thought it was a HUGE potential lead to the anthrax attacks. The doctor stated he had treated Arab men with what he originally thought were spider bites but later realized was anthrax.
2 posted on 11/13/2001 9:23:49 AM PST by Peach
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To: spycatcher
this guy seems kind of flaky.
3 posted on 11/13/2001 9:24:34 AM PST by Rustynailww
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To: spycatcher
The FBI was busy looking for a redneck rightwinger from Alabama or somewhere that has a home chenistry set in his basement.
4 posted on 11/13/2001 9:25:22 AM PST by cynicom
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To: spycatcher
Why am I no longer surprised that the FBI ignores important clues in order to preserve their pre-ordained theories?

You are so correct.

How in the world could they not have figured out who's mailed the anthrax already?
Or do they know and can't say (Iraq).

5 posted on 11/13/2001 9:25:49 AM PST by japaneseghost
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To: spycatcher
The meningitis connection again.......the first man to die was also diagnosed as having meningitis.
6 posted on 11/13/2001 9:27:34 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: Spirit Of Truth
Do you suppose Waly Samir might have visited this guy?
7 posted on 11/13/2001 9:28:11 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: cynicom
OMG, I'm a redneck rightwinger from Alabama and my son has a chemistry set.
At least I have enough sense not to post my address at 2673 Sunset Dr.

:)

8 posted on 11/13/2001 9:29:30 AM PST by Quilla
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To: Peach
That's a new one - his treating Arab men with sores. If so, it should be all in his records...

Mrs VS

9 posted on 11/13/2001 9:29:55 AM PST by VeritatisSplendor
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To: spycatcher
The CIA in the New World Order - Intelligence Challenges Through 2015 (Article From CIA Website)
10 posted on 11/13/2001 9:32:19 AM PST by t-shirt
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To: spycatcher
"Have I come across patients from countries who might be doing this? Yes," Weisfogel said.

No wonder the FBI is ignoring this guy, they have already determined it was the act of a domestic rightwing nut!

11 posted on 11/13/2001 9:32:54 AM PST by True Capitalist
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To: OldFriend
The meningitis connection again.......the first man to die was also diagnosed as having meningitis.

I thought he was diagnosed with pneumonia? Anyway does a person get the black scab with only with cutaneous anthrax or do the scabs show up also with inhalation anthrax.

12 posted on 11/13/2001 9:33:14 AM PST by Dane
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To: spycatcher
This stuff has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. If he were exposed to Anthrax and developed cutaneous anthrax, there would still be antibodies in his system showing that he had been infected. This is easy to check. He could order the tests for himself for goodness sake!
13 posted on 11/13/2001 9:33:27 AM PST by valhallasone
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Why the surprise, the FBI aren't the only ones ignoring anthrax leads. There appears to have been a case of an anthrax attack in Oklahoma in 1997 against Ron Miller a few days before he was scheduled to testify against Al Gore and the Lums(he died before testifying), but everytime the topic is posted it gets yanked from the Front Page.
14 posted on 11/13/2001 9:35:50 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Spirit Of Truth; Sabertooth; gumbo
bttt
15 posted on 11/13/2001 9:36:18 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: spycatcher
Police, FBI differ on Cornelia suspects' terrorist links

By Janis Reid jreid@onlineathens.com

A man was recently was picked up and released by Cornelia police officers two weeks ago when he was discovered taking pictures of the railroad tracks at the Cornelia depot. Police Chief Bruce Wright said he did not believe the suspect was connected with terrorists. Travis Long/Staff

CORNELIA -- In a community where even an out-of-town vehicle doesn't go unnoticed by locals, reports connecting this Northeast Georgia town with international terrorism have come as a surprise to residents.

''It's all freaky to have it in your hometown,''said Dale Herbert, a Cornelia city employee, while he wired Christmas lights in the 100-year-old downtown area Monday. ''It makes you stop and think a little. I still can't believe they would come to Cornelia.''

Federal investigators can't believe it either, according to Susan Den Bark, media coordinator for the Atlanta FBI office.

Den Bark said Monday federal officials are not investigating any terrorist activity in Northeast Georgia, adding she has spent the last two days trying to track down the source of the information about the supposed terrorist visit to Cornelia.

A Friday report in an area newspaper cited Cornelia Police Chief Bruce Wright as claiming two men who tried to breach security at a Cornelia plant several weeks ago have recently been linked to terrorist groups by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Wright said Monday he had received information from the FBI that the two suspects, whose names were not released by police, had been picked up by agents in the Atlanta area as a result of the information he passed to the agency.

According to Wright, someone from the FBI said the two were in the country on false identifications and had been previously deported in 1998 for unspecified crimes against the United States.

The plant security incident was not the only confusing report to surface Friday.

In a separate incident, Cornelia police reported, a man was picked up and released by Cornelia officers two weeks ago when he was discovered taking pictures of the railroad tracks at the Cornelia depot.

According to Wright, Cornelia police searched the man's vehicle and discovered train schedules with information on hazardous chemicals and ballistic missile parts traveling through the area. Freight lines commonly carry hazardous materials, according to Norfolk Southern Corp. spokeswoman Susan Terpay.

Wright said the information on the suspect was also turned over to FBI agents, adding that he did not believe the man was connected to terrorists. Whether either incident was related to terrorists or not, Wright said he did not know why anyone would target Cornelia.

The confusion among authorities has only fueled talk of a terrorist connection on the streets of Cornelia.

''It's just curiosity more than anything,'' said Robyn Dafforn in front of Fenders Diner Monday afternoon. ''We just haven't heard enough about what's going on.''

Edna McGehee, whose family owns a clock-repair shop not 15 feet from the train tracks in Cornelia, said she found the news of the suspicious behavior both strange and surprising because she had not noticed anything unusual.

''There's just a lot of questions,'' McGehee said. ''I had friends who called to ask what was going on and I had to tell them that I just didn't know.''

16 posted on 11/13/2001 9:36:29 AM PST by t-shirt
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To: valhallasone
We'll find out in a few weeks. But just the possibility should have FBI agents (who seem to have no other leads) to start investigating. I guess they're too buzy finalizing their profile of "the real killer."
17 posted on 11/13/2001 9:39:37 AM PST by spycatcher
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Well, if this is all on the up and up then I see very little downside to publishing the names of all of his patients who were treated for "spider bites" or "menengitis" in the last 6 months.

It'd make a heck of a Freeper thread...

18 posted on 11/13/2001 9:42:13 AM PST by Southack
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To: spycatcher
Why is anyone publicizing this story? The Doctor either has antibodies or doesn't. I have heard his symptoms are not a complete match to antrax...and we can wait a week or two before pillorying the FBI/CDC for this one.
19 posted on 11/13/2001 9:49:11 AM PST by Ross Amann
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To: spycatcher
The FBI has gone from an elite Police Organization to a disorientated an disheartened rag tag bunch of political hacks.

I would imagine what was best has left an we now see them on TV, working for private companies or writing books.

20 posted on 11/13/2001 10:00:12 AM PST by Pete53
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To: spycatcher
On Thursday, after the CDC became aware that Weisfogel was telling his story to Good Morning America, the agency tested his blood for anthrax antibodies. He was told it could be weeks before the results of the tests are in.

WTF!!!!! This just goes to show you how inept much of the government is.

21 posted on 11/13/2001 10:08:07 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Peach; gumbo; aristeides; bvw; amom; Yellow Rose of Texas; history_matters

Below is the consensus of Freeper research on these threads so far – to supplement the FBI profile (recent additions are in italics:)

The perp is here on a student VISA. He is Islamic and Middle Eastern. He may be a member of Al Queda. English is not his primary language, he may be a proficient computer user or coder especially if Al Queda.

He was given anthrax and perhaps more biochems – of various grades. They may have been made in Iraq – they may have been made here. He did not develop them himself. He knows lab procedures.

He is fairly diligent in handling the anthrax, but he is not perfect. He knows Dr. Malik, chairman of the Islamic Society of NJ. He may work with him. He’s been to the doctor’s office at 1542 Kuser Road in Trenton NJ. While there he accidentally infected the accountant next door at Civale Silvestri & Alfieri CPA, 1540 Kuser Road.

The perp may be from Pakistan and may have sought out Dr. Malik’s help (because he is also from Pakistan) to get employment/access to a nearby university hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton. Dr Malik is on the staff there. The perp may have used lab facilities in the hospital (either at Hamilton or the main campus or one of its affiliates) to safely handle or prep the different batches of anthrax.

There probably are other people in his cell who may already be in custody - one with Florida license plates and others from Canada. These are the ones who might have sought treatment for skin anthrax by Dr. Weisfogel per Peach’s post! From gumbo:

Several arrests of Pakistani nationals were made in Trenton/Hamilton two weeks ago --some in the Greenwood Village apartments, and some at 1001 N. Olden Street. The N. Olden Street arrests took place after a witness observed a man gingerly placing letters enclosed in a ziploc bag into his car. The car had Florida license plates.

Just after the events of September 11, the FBI arrested Mohammed Pervez, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent. Pervez was a Jersey City roommate of Ali Ayub Kahn and Mohammed Jazweeth Azmath, suspected of being hijackers whose plans were thwarted when their plane was grounded in St. Louis. Pervez, who worked in both Trenton and Newark train stations, was also a roommate of the potential anthrax suspects detained from the Greenwood village apartments in Hamilton.

There may be a chain of infection following the medical route – like there is following the mail route. Tests are now being performed for Dr. Gerald Weisfogel who believes he may have had skin anthrax earlier than the mailings.

There are three Gerald M. Weisfogel's listed in NJ - Franklin Park, Kendall Park and Metuchen. Dr. Gerald Weisfogel is chief of cardiology at the JFK Medical Center in New Jersey, which is in Edison, New Jersey. Edison is just across the river from New Brunswick

Kendall Park, Franklin Park, Edison, and Metuchen are all close to each other, going north on Rte. 1. So all the addresses are probably for the same guy: hospital in Edison, offices in Metuchen and either or Franklin Park or Kendall Park, and home in the fourth place

There are significant labs in Piscataway, across the river from New Brunswick, the main campus of RWJ. Robert Wood Johnson has two high-profile microbiology labs in Piscataway -- the CABM(Center forAdvanced Biotechnology and Medicine) and the Waksman Institute. The Waksman Institute is a "microbe farm," producing germ "products" for industry and research.

Metuchen is right up the road to the northeast. (And down the road about 12 miles along Route 1 is the Islamic Society and Franklin Park.)

The perp accidentally infected the lady in New York. He did not go there by subway – he drove in. He may have gone to New York to pick up or deliver the anthrax. The car he used is most likely still contaminated. He may have rolled down a window or opened a door at just the wrong time for Kathy. The perp, may be working for RWJ University Hospital and had a business contact with Kathy’s hospital.

He is a member or attendee of The Islamic Society of Central Jersey. He has written many letters to them; he knows the zip code by heart. Although he gave a different town name on the return address (Franklin Park) – he automatically used the zip code he knew for that area. But the zip code does not go with Franklin Park.

There are probably canceled checks or correspondence at the Islamic Society of NJ that can be matched to his handwriting.

He is a member of Islamic student associations. He may have attended or be in association with a student at ETSU which is near an elementary school named "Greendale" in Abingdon, VA (a tri-state area.) He didn’t grab that name out of the air – neither brook nor dale would be common words to him. In the alternative, he might have intentionally changed the name of a nearby school "Greenbrook" to "Greendale." The Greenbrook school only goes to the 4th grade.

The block lettering may indicate that he is a tutor for elementary level students.

The emphasis on the letters might have been intentional – pointing to ATTA.

If he is Al Queda, he may present himself secular – going to bars, joining clubs, protesting the terrorists, etc.

He may be dead or missing.


22 posted on 11/13/2001 10:11:36 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: spycatcher
The FBI can not investigte this because if they do then the "Home Grown" story is down the drain and they may have to admit that it is time to start bombing Iraq?

I predict that after Ramadan there will be "proof" that Iraq is directly involved with the Anthrax cases.

23 posted on 11/13/2001 10:11:40 AM PST by Mixer
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To: Ross Amann
Actually the delay in testing or talking to him is bad enough to be news, just like the rental office holding Atta's car and the FBI telling him white powder they missed in the trunk should probably just be vacuumed up. The FBI refused to test Atta's apartment for anthrax as well.

The smallest clue could break this case and these might be huge clues. Why play coy? And why are they pretending like the earliest Florida anthrax case means nothing? Because they don't have a letter to make things easier for the investigators.

If this doctor turns out to have antibodies or if Atta is belatedly connected to anthrax it's front page news, and someone in the FBI ought to resign.

24 posted on 11/13/2001 10:13:25 AM PST by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
Hmmmmm! I'd say this Dr. Jerry Weisfogel is a suspect at the very least, and rubber truck candidate if he's found to be a liar.
25 posted on 11/13/2001 10:16:18 AM PST by jerod
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To: Dane
Heavens, despite the hours and hours of media rant about anthrax, I have no idea about any of it. I just note that the meningitis diagnosis has risen again. Early fall is a time when that disease rears it's ugly head, particularly at colleges and other places where large groups of people are in close contact.
26 posted on 11/13/2001 10:16:20 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: Rustynailww
I watched the interview with this doctor yesterday on GMA and he didn't seem flakey.
27 posted on 11/13/2001 10:16:23 AM PST by Peach
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To: VeritatisSplendor
He treated Arab men with what he thought were spider bites; this was before 9/11 and he had no reason to think it was anthrax. I would imagine his records have become an open book to the FBI. He had no reason to lie on GMA yesterday and came across as very credible. If he was seeking publicity, he waited a few weeks too long.
28 posted on 11/13/2001 10:19:10 AM PST by Peach
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To: Peach
No offense to Rustynailww here but..... it is sometimes easier to call someone flakey then to admin that they may be onto something. I am not sure why people defend the "home grown" therory but there seems to be a lot of them.
29 posted on 11/13/2001 10:19:20 AM PST by Mixer
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admin=admit
30 posted on 11/13/2001 10:19:51 AM PST by Mixer
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To: Alamo-Girl
How do you do it? That's a lot of work in your post and very impressive. The FBI should come here first when at a loss for clues!
31 posted on 11/13/2001 10:24:00 AM PST by Peach
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To: GeorgeandtheDralgore
Thank you for your research on this!

Would you mind repeating your post #89 from the previous thread over here to supplement the post #22 consensus?!

32 posted on 11/13/2001 10:24:09 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Now that's a real profile. Funny how the FBI just grabbed their standard "disgruntled loner" profile out of a file cabinet and tossed it to the media who ate it up like fresh raw meat. They didn't even know enough to laugh at it.
33 posted on 11/13/2001 10:25:47 AM PST by spycatcher
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To: Peach
Thank you so much for the kudos!!! I just started taking notes on the most accepted assertions made by Freepers and carried them forward to form a consensus.
34 posted on 11/13/2001 10:25:57 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: spycatcher
Thank you so much for the kudos! I suspect the FBI profilers (and reporters) were looking only at the letters and envelopes and were not considering the geography, history and demographics of terrorism. Freepers, OTOH, have no such limitations!!!
35 posted on 11/13/2001 10:28:34 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mixer
It's always better to check stuff out, isn't it, rather than just dismiss people as crackpots. I'm sure GMA has interviewed their share of crackpots, but this doctor did not seem like one and perhaps he can provide valuable information to the FBI. I'm assuming he's legit until evidence is provided otherwise. It's likely he's lost a few clients after his public interview due to fear of anthrax spores potentially located in his office. Not many people WANT to lose business and I'm sure he thought that through before going public.
36 posted on 11/13/2001 10:29:28 AM PST by Peach
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To: spycatcher
If this guy is a physician, why didn't he order his owm lab test for anthrax antibodies?
37 posted on 11/13/2001 10:33:22 AM PST by Attillathehon
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To: Alamo-Girl
Would you mind repeating your post #89 from the previous thread over here to supplement the post #22 consensus?!

Here is what I posted a few days ago about the Greendale school:

-------------------------------------------------------
"What about the return address?
4th Grade, Greendale School, Franklin Park, New Jersey, 08852

What I find interesting is the combination: Greendale School/Franklin Park:

Greendale and Franklin, WI are right next to each other. The NJ school is Greenbrook School, not Greendale. Could it be some Freudian slip? "
-------------------------------------------------------

The combination Franklin/Greendale is significant IMO. The guy might have made an unconscious association Greendale/Franklin instead of Greenbrook/Franklin because he grew up in the Greendale/Franklin, WI area. So I wouldn't be surprised to find out the perp was raised in the Milwaukee area and went to Greendale school. He could also have children who go or went there.

Was there a time when the Franklin kids had to go to Greendale? Did anything significant happened to a Greendale, WI 4th grader? (A positive answer to the 1st question would mean the guy is a much older person.)

Also noteworthy: there are 15,000 muslims in the area. And it looks like ATTA is a very common first name there.

The perp is probably an American muslim because the WAY "penacilin" is misspelled suggests a native intuition of the English language. Another interesting clue: as far as I know, CNN wasn't targeted. This could also indicate an American Muslim.

Thanks again for keeping track of everything. You're the best!

38 posted on 11/13/2001 10:36:55 AM PST by Elenya
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To: spycatcher
The FBI is behaving disgracefuly. It seems to have been corrupted by the Clinton administration.
39 posted on 11/13/2001 10:38:46 AM PST by imperator2
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To: GeorgeandtheDralgore
happened = happen
40 posted on 11/13/2001 10:38:49 AM PST by Elenya
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To: jerod
Weisfogel is not a suspect, but may have accidently rubbed elbows with one.
41 posted on 11/13/2001 10:40:24 AM PST by imperator2
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To: GeorgeandtheDralgore
Thank you so much for reposting your research here! And thank you for the kudos (blush!)
42 posted on 11/13/2001 10:42:54 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: spycatcher
Why am I no longer surprised that the FBI ignores important clues in order to preserve their pre-ordained theories?

Hey, just like Freepers.

43 posted on 11/13/2001 10:52:17 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: Alamo-Girl
There are three Gerald M. Weisfogel's listed in NJ - Franklin Park, Kendall Park and Metuchen. Dr. Gerald Weisfogel is chief of cardiology at the JFK Medical Center in New Jersey...

What's a Chief of Cardiology doing treating people for spider bites? Seems a little off base. Same doctor or not?

44 posted on 11/13/2001 10:53:33 AM PST by stboz
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To: Pete53
"The FBI has gone from an elite Police Organization to a disorientated an disheartened rag tag bunch of political hacks.
Why should this surprise anyone? The FBI requires their candidates to be lawyers! (Or accountants)
45 posted on 11/13/2001 10:54:47 AM PST by Redbob
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To: spycatcher
Sounds like the FBI and the CDC are still living up to their reputations.
For a case that has few clues, they don't seem very interested in this one.
"Don't confuse us with facts, our minds are made up!"
46 posted on 11/13/2001 10:55:17 AM PST by freefly
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To: spycatcher
What makes his story potentially significant is that his symptoms appeared long before those who were infected by the letters mailed Sept. 30 - actually a week before the terror attacks of Sept. 11.

This appears to be poorly researched. The known letters were mailed Sept. 18 and Oct. 9, not Sept. 30.

47 posted on 11/13/2001 10:55:53 AM PST by wtee
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To: stboz
An excellent observation, stboz! Perhaps he knows the perps from the hospital crowd and suspected they were all bitten by spiders - including himself? A "prescriptions for family and colleagues" thing perhaps? His going on national TV with the story is rather odd also.
48 posted on 11/13/2001 11:02:27 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: cynicom
'The FBI was busy looking for a redneck rightwinger from Alabama or somewhere that has a home chenistry set in his basement.'

To the liberal mind, conservative Americans are the only credible threat to their continued life of comfort and hedonistic abandon. It is questionable that the FBI will ever recover from the pro-global socialist bias that dominated its priority setting during the last administration.

49 posted on 11/13/2001 11:13:10 AM PST by God_isa_Jew
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To: stboz
My husband's primary care physician is the Chief of Cardiology at our local hospital; it isn't unusual for men particularly to choose a cardiologist for medical attention. Did anyone on this thread actually see this doctor on GMA yesterday? I did and would be interested in other observations. I thought he was credible, but what do I know.
50 posted on 11/13/2001 11:13:46 AM PST by Peach
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