Unfortunately, the evidence reported against Ivins looks much like the evidence collected against Hatfill; and this type of evidence might exist if someone were trying to implicate Ivins. For instance, the envelopes were said to have been purchased at a Frederick post office Ivins frequented. (Is it true the envelopes can be definitively linked to one post office?) But other Detrick workers must also use that PO. Sounds to me like the use of "Greendale" on the letters' return address: which happened to be a suburb near Hatfill's former home in Harare, Zimbabwe.
A reasonable hypothesis is that former Detrick scientists Steven Hatfill and Ayaad Assaad were each independently 'set up' to take the fall on the anthrax letters. The strategy might have succeeded were the case not so high profile, and if each man had not aggressively defended himself. If the same kind of evidence is being used against Ivins, he may have been set up too.
Shane notes that FBI agents lack any evidence that Ivins visited New Jersey on the dates the letters were mailed. But isn't such evidence essential for a determination that Ivins is guilty and acted alone?
CNN carried part of this story but its version omitted some crucial information included in Shane's story: that ten other people also had access to the anthrax strains said to implicate Ivins. Why the creative editing by CNN?
Here is the NYT paragraph:
While genetic analysis had linked the anthrax letters to a supply of the deadly bacterium in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., at least 10 people had access to the flask containing that anthrax, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.Here is CNN's version:
The DNA linked the anthrax used in the mailing to a flask used in Bruce Ivins' lab at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.The media must refrain from acting as judge and jury, and give us the facts, ma'am, just the facts. Note that we are no better off today than all weekend: virtually none of the official sources have been identified. Why is it taking DOJ so long to get its story straight? Bruce died last Tuesday: if DOJ needs to brief the victims' families first, well, they have had six days to do so.
And Shane makes this most important point:
The stakes for the beleaguered FBI and its troubled investigation, now in its seventh year, could hardly be higher.Is that what this is really about? Make the FBI look like a hero with its fancy new forensics, and close the case before the White House changes hands and some new officials start sniffing around?