I guess some people tied to the anthrax case believe if you keep repeating the story, “Bruce Ivins stalked women, so he must have tried to kill Patrick Leahy” enough times, people will continue to believe it.
|By: emptywheel Sunday May 29, 2011 1:00 pm|
|By: emptywheel Wednesday May 25, 2011 5:51 pm|
The whole case depends on the FBI’s contention that a flask Ivins had–RMR-1029–was “the murder weapon.” But in fact, the FBI only has proof that Ivins had what might be one of eight or more potential precursors to the murder weapon. Their efforts to equate the two ignore some interim steps about which they seem to have little evidence (and what they have they’re not examining very closely).
|By: Jim White Friday May 20, 2011 5:22 pm|
A report from McClatchy provides important new evidence and analysis in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. The report shows that the FBI ignored as potentially erroneous a measurement of silicon in one anthrax sample and then hid this information from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Even more importantly, the high silicon measurements in at least two samples also were coupled with high tin measurements, opening up the possibility that silicon was added to the attack material in a form that is not mentioned in any of the FBI documents.
Significantly, it is virtually impossible that Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI has concluded acted on his own to carry out the attacks, would have been able to perform the necessary chemical manipulations involved in this treatment of the spores. Ivins likely also would not have had access to the necessary laboratory equipment to perform this treatment.
|By: Jim White Thursday April 21, 2011 7:50 am|
In an article published Wednesday evening on their website, McClatchy points out yet another failing in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. The article focuses on the fact that the FBI was able to get a clear genetic fingerprint of a bacterial contaminant that was found in the attack material mailed to the New York Post and to Tom Brokaw (but not to either Senator Daschle or Senator Leahy). This contaminant, Bacillus subtilis, is used in some cases by weapons laboratories as an anthrax simulant, because its behavior in culture and in drying the spores is very similar to Bacillus anthracis but it is easier to handle because it is not pathogenic. I covered the FBI’s failure to link this B. subtilis contaminant to Ivins in this diary in February of 2010.
|By: Jim White Tuesday February 15, 2011 3:10 pm|
It seems very likely to me that had Bruce Ivins not died, the analysis carried out by a panel from the National Academy of Sciences in assessing the scientific evidence tying Ivins to the 2001 anthrax attacks would have led to reasonable doubt on whether Ivins carried out the attacks. For this post, let us concentrate only on the NAS response to FBI claims on the spores used in the attack, especially with regard to how the spores were prepared.
|By: Jim White Tuesday February 15, 2011 8:40 am|
The National Academies just released a report on the scientific basis of the FBI Amerithrax investigation and has concluded that the DOJ Investigative Summary overstated the scientific backing for connecting the attack material with Bruce Ivins’ famous RMR-1029 flask.
|By: Jim White Friday December 10, 2010 7:45 am|
Both the New York Times and McClatchy report that Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) has written a letter to the FBI, blasting them for requesting a delay in the release of the final report from the National Academy of Sciences panel that has been reviewing the scientific analyses used in the FBI’s Amerithrax Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax mailings. It appears that in requesting the National Academies to delay release of its final report, the FBI has released an additional 500 pages of documents to the panel, but only after having seen the draft final report from the panel.
|By: Jim White Wednesday April 21, 2010 5:40 pm|
Steven Hatfill, falsely accused by the FBI in the 2001 anthrax attacks, speaks out for the first time, describing relentless harassment by government agents.
|By: Jim White Sunday March 21, 2010 6:56 am|
A potential explanation for the high silicon content of the anthrax spores used in the 2001 attacks is that they were grown in a large fermenter using an antifoam agent containing silica. If true, this would make it unlikely that Bruce Ivins acted alone, since he did not have access to a large fermenter.
|By: Jim White Saturday February 20, 2010 11:30 am|
Friday afternoon, the FBI released a number of documents in closing the case dubbed “Amerithrax”. Substantial flaws still remain in the FBI’s explanation of the technical analysis on which they concluded that Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks of 2001.