Skip to comments.FBI's Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted (Evidence points to a state sponsor)
Posted on 10/28/2002 7:09:54 PM PST by Sabertooth
A significant number of scientists and biological warfare experts are expressing skepticism about the FBI's view that a single disgruntled American scientist prepared the spores and mailed the deadly anthrax letters that killed five people last year. These sources say that making a weaponized aerosol of such sophistication and virulence would require scientific knowledge, technical competence, access to expensive equipment and safety know-how that are probably beyond the capabilities of a lone individual. < snip > "In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. "And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good."
A significant number of scientists and biological warfare experts are expressing skepticism about the FBI's view that a single disgruntled American scientist prepared the spores and mailed the deadly anthrax letters that killed five people last year. These sources say that making a weaponized aerosol of such sophistication and virulence would require scientific knowledge, technical competence, access to expensive equipment and safety know-how that are probably beyond the capabilities of a lone individual.
< snip >
"In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. "And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
A few more pertinant exerpts or para-phrasing would be appreciated.
A few more pertinant exerpts or para-phrasing would be appreciated.
Way too much data. Try this work-around...
Then click on "FBI's Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted."
You should see the story without signing up.
"In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998."
President Bush is in the midst of making the case for war with Iraq, and the Iraqi-anthrax connection is the shoe everyone's been waiting to drop. This is the most detailed and comprehensive examination I've read. See for yourself by following the links at #6... you don't even have to sign up.
There is not a single more important story in any of your sidebars right now. Can you please explain your news judgement?
This article has been posted twice before.
I'm shocked. (/sarcasm)
No excuses. It is what has to be done.
It's easier that way -- especially when you have a payroll full of profilers eager to target their favorite "angry while male lone nut" (who sometimes drives a white van).
Obviously the work of an angry white man in an angry white van.
The FBI that covers up the Middle Eastern connection to OKC--
The FBI that denied eighty eye witnesses to a missile hitting TWA Flight 800--
The FBI that gave Craig Livingstone a thousand files on Clinton's enemies--
The FBI that couldn't get Ted Kaczynski for seventeen years until his brother ratted him out--
The FBI that ruined Richard Jewel's life and still hasn't caught the Olympic Park Bomber--
The FBI that is now ruining Hatfill's life--but can't connect a single dot--
The FBI that persecuted O'Neil until he died in the WTC attack rather than heed his warning--
This haven for Robert Hanssen and general all-around joke is now telling us a bathtub meth lab produced this--
This most sophisticated of any known antrax weapon in the world--
We need a new FBI--
Stick a fork in this one--it is smoking a hookah with Allah.
It's also a drag that the news sources change their headlines so often... Makes doing a search rather futile.
"This article has been posted twice before."
They are NOT the same article.
The original Washington Post article, linked here, has far more -- and vitally important -- information in it. Curiously, the Commercial Appeal and Chronicle articles are excerpts that abridge the most significant information.
The Post article deserves very prominent handling. Every FReeper should read it. Especially those who doubt a state sponsor for the anthrax...
Bush administration officials have acknowledged that the anthrax attacks were an important motivator in the U.S. decision to confront Iraq, and several senior administration officials say today that they still strongly suspect a foreign source -- perhaps Iraq -- even though no one has publicly said so.
That Iraq had the wherewithal to make the anthrax letters does not mean it is the guilty party. Still, the FBI's early dismissal of the possibility may have prematurely closed a legitimate line of inquiry.
"Iraq almost certainly had their anthrax spores in a powdered form," Spertzel said. "They had used silica gel to aid in dispersibility of [wheat] smut spores, and also indicated they were looking at it as a carrier for aflatoxin," a carcinogen.
Several sources agreed that the most likely way to build the coated spores would be to use the fine glass particles, known generically as "fumed silica" or "solid smoke," and mix them with the spores in a spray dryer. "I know of no other technique that might give you that finished product," Spertzel said.
"This concept of using something that would serve as a dessicant and a carrier at the same time is new," said Harvard University chemical engineer David Edwards. "It's a diabolically brilliant idea."
Fumed silica has myriad uses, mostly as a thickening agent in products including ceramics, house paint, toothpaste and cosmetics. It is not widely known as an aerosol additive.
"If you're going to put it into the lung, there has to be a mechanism to clear it, otherwise you just fill up somebody's lung with silica after repeated dosings," said Dalby, of the Aerosol Lab. The anthrax mailer, he noted, obviously wasn't worried about giving his victims silicosis.
Some fumed silicas are extremely difficult to make, but at least two -- Aerosil and Cab-O-Sil -- are readily available and sold commercially in bulk. Either product, in theory, could be used to coat anthrax spores. Aerosil is based in Germany and Cab-O-Sil, in Boston. Both firms have offices around the world.
Ken Alibek, a former deputy director of the Soviet bioweapons program now running an Alexandria biotechnology firm, said the Soviets used Aerosil in agent powders, and a classified Defense Department memo in 1991 said Iraq had "imported approximately 100 MT [metric tons] of Aerosil during the last 8-9 years." Spertzel said the United Nations reported in the 1990s that Iraq had 10 metric tons of Cab-O-Sil, probably destined for its chemical weapons program.
Beggin' your pardon, but this is absolutely critical information. The article deserves all the prominence it can get.
Looks as if the WP finally is getting onto the story.
Only about a year too late!
Thanks for the heads up!
And, FWIW, I think that the anthrax attacks are Bio-Attack Round Two from Iraq. I think that Round One was the West Nile attack; there has been low level scuttlebutt amongst health care workers for a couple years that this was an intentional bio-attack.
What is it gonna take for people to "connect the dots" as the media talking heads like to say?
I had to laugh at a few gems in this statement . . .
1. The notion that someone has developed a biological weapon that is better thatn anything the U.S. or the Russians have developed.
2. The statement that the U.S. bioweapons program is now "defunct."
I've had an interesting theory about this anthrax since Day 1, and I suspect that most articles suggesting a foreign sponsor are nothing more than attempts to divert attention. I think the stuff was either stolen from a U.S. military facility or was sold by the U.S. to a foreign country (Iraq, for example) at a time when that country was on better terms with the U.S.
You must be referring to Andreas Strassmeier. His connection to OKC is very interesting, that's for sure. I did a little research on Strassmeier recently and I came across this: Andreas Strassmeier: John Doe#2?
If that is indeed a picture of Strassmeier his resemblance to JD2 is quite a coincidence!!
The U.S. is the only producer of the one trillion spores per gram aerosolized anthrax. The process is patented (secret patents) by William Patrick. The anthrax has been produced by Battelle Memorial Institute at the army facility in Dugway, Utah and in Battelle's own facility at West Jefferson, Ohio. Both Patrick and Ken Alibek are consultants to Battelle and the CIA on bio/chemical weapons and specifically anthrax.
If you go to the Washington Post site you will see a link beside this article that purports to show all the possible sources in the world.
The map in the graphic shows a number of sites around the world including one that corresponds to Fort Detrick. The only problem is that none of those sites are known to have the capability of producing the one trillion spores per gram.
The only two sites that have that capability (Battelle's two sites in Utah and Ohio)are missing from the map.
I would call that disinformation by omission.
Your source, sir?
One can understand why the Clintonized FBI and previously Hooverized FBI is not trained to think beyond its small box.
My guess is that the Bush defense and national security team has not pushed pointing the finger at Saddam because they weren't ready to take him on. They thought through the logistics of attacking Saddam, which included, among a million other details, manufacturing enough small pox vaccine for everyone in the United States and Britain; and realized that they needed to get the Taliban and scatter al-Qaida first, and build an airstrip in Qatar, etc., etc..
You can't get the American public mad as hell at Iraq for dumping anthrax on them until you are ready to act. It's the psychology of states craft at work.
You have to read Bush in code. He talks in code. When he said we would get the perpetrators of 9/11 in the time and manner of our choosing, when he said America would need patience, when he called Iraq/Iran/North Korea the axis of evil, he was letting those who can think that he was on top of this but it was going to take time.
And, I think, the time will be pretty much right after the November 5th elections and Powell is telling the UN they pretty much have only about a week left to be part of the party.
So, start praying for our country and our wonderful military, as the stakes and the risks are high enough, even with all the careful preparations that have been made.
Look, if Bush wanted to pull the rug out from under the FBI, he could have done so at any time during the last twelve months. For one thing, Bush had the results of the weaponization analysis within, at most, days after the first anthrax case. The scenario that has now become a reality -- a massive terrorist attack sponsored by Saddam, with followup anthrax blackmail -- is not exactly unanticipated. They were onto this immediately, because it's such an obvious one-two play, given Saddam's known proclivities and technical capabilities. However, far from blowing the lid on the bumbling FBI "Operation Amerithrax" scam, the administration has encouraged it. Hell, they came up with this Potemkin Village in the first place.
Saddam isn't blackmailing the FBI or the CIA. He's blackmailing the entire country. Think it through. If Saddam is behind the anthrax, then he's behind 9-11. If the anthrax is aerosolizable and hand-deliverable by suicide bombers, there's not a damn thing we can do today to stop Saddam taking out millions of Americans and inflicting the total economic loss of our major East Coast cities in a showdown. Therefore, Bush can't go public on the anthrax. Everything must be kept ambiguous, until we are in a position to take out Saddam with impunity -- something that is at least a year away, still, perhaps much more.
It's not that complicated. You've just got to snap out of the Walt Disney happy-happy joy-joy mode of thinking and face the fact that whoever pulled off 9-11 is very smart, very patient, and thought the whole thing through very carefully -- including the backend security. In warfare, the advantage is almost always with the aggressor, because his moves are planned out beforehand. This, BTW, is how a jumped-up lance corporal was able to take over the entire European continent in a year. Saddam will be dispatched, but don't assume that it will be easy, or that the price in human life will be any less than it was in 1945. 9-11 was just a sneak peak at Bill Clinton's legacy. The really big stuff is yet to come.
Yipes... this is the 'magic additive' that threw so many people off? Jeez, I use this stuff as an additive in museum exhibit resins... people are surprised it could be used in the anthrax powdering process?
If he's the consultant our companies have hired, there's a reason: he would be the one to ask for information from the Russian Biopreparat program- in short, the Russians were fully capable of producing the stuff. And if they were, Iraq is, since Iraq hires Russian scientists too.
For my education, could bentonite also be used in your particular application?
The only bentonite around here in quantity is in the kitty litter...
I recall that the Patrick method was discovered a very long time ago. Is it not possible that Iraq could have developed an alternate method in the meantime?