Thursday, August 7, 2008

FBI Subjectivity and Disinformation

If the FBI cannot place Ivins at the scene of the crime (the Princeton mailbox) on the required dates, then who cares what sorority houses might be near the mailbox? The sorority angle becomes irrelevant, since he did not mail the letters in Princeton.

Remember, this is one of the most complex, expensive cases in the FBI's history. So after spending hundreds of thousands of man-hours on the case, you can be sure the FBI has also figured out that the sorority angle leads nowhere. Yet the documents the FBI released yesterday place great emphasis on Ivins' obsession with kappa kappa gamma sorority. The only explanation is the FBI's desire to publicly sully Ivins' character, not solve the case.

The FBI has been unable to provide a sensible explanation for how Ivins' testing for anthrax contamination outside the biosafety suites implicates him, when they found not a spore in his home or car. Fort Detrick has a long history of anthrax contamination (which led to the death of an electrician, Joel E. Willard, 50 years ago). Many anthrax samples were brought to Detrick for testing after the letters were sent. Why weren't the halls and other areas formally tested for contamination after all that traffic? The FBI spent a lot of time showing Ivins to be an obsessive guy: but when his obsessive testing of the Detrick facility found contamination, the FBI blamed him for producing it, rather than for detecting it. And Ivins' testing and cleaning occurred many months after the letters were sent.

The FBI claims that Ivins deliberately gave them improper samples, tried to put the blame on another scientist, gave them scads of false information. But we have only their word on this. Why wasn't the polygraph evidence released?

Why has the special preparation of the spores become such an area of confusion and disinformation? Because there was no way Ivins could have obtained the recipe, and the FBI is doing its darnedest to plug the holes in its case?

For an FBI desperate to get this case closed; an FBI that told Ivins' children their dad was a mass murderer and offered his son a $2.5 million reward to turn his dad in; an FBI that may have deliberately hounded Ivins because he looked like he would crack, thus obligingly closing their case; it's the objective evidence that's missing. Can we trust the FBI's morass of subjectivity?


Anonymous said...

Dont bother asking for polygraph "evidence." Polygraph is not science. Aldrich Ames and Robert Hsnsen both passed polygraphs.

Anonymous said...

The sorority angle is so absurd it is obvious the FBI is assasinating his character & trying to deflate his wife's advocacy. No one in Princeton or the sorority recalls any incident, much less Ivins. The mailbox wasn't even near the sorority, which doesn't have a house there, but their rented storeroom in a building on the main drag.

AJ said...

Interesting how a crazy, paranoid person could manage to pass a polygraph test. You would think that someone like that would exhibit major biological reactions if they were put under stress.

lovable liberal said...

The Kappa Kappa Gamma angle reduced the FBI's credibility from the very first release of it. It made so little sense that its only possible goal was a smear.

Karen said...

Does anyone know when the feds became aware of the first wave of anthrax letters They were postmarked on Sept 18. When did the first person receive them and contact authorities?

I ask because the federal authorities distorted an email from Dr. Ivins from Sept 26, and also claimed it was worded similar to the anthrax letter. Thinking about his email more, I began to wonder if it could be that someone had been contacted at Fort Detrick about the letters and that he had heard about them by Sept 26.

About the error and the distortion of his email: There is a distortion on p. 2 of the search warrant about Dr. Ivins' email, this same error showed up in three articles -- as the lead in a NYT and I believe an AP one and in an NPR one. The error claimed that "a few days before the attacks" (worded slightly differently in the different stories), Ivins sent an email warning "Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas." It sounds extremely suspicious written like that --- an indication perhaps that Ivins was planning to pin the attacks on Muslims in advance of doing them, which is what the letters enclosed in the attacks attempted to do. But, within those affidavits for warrants are the email in question. And guess what? The email was sent eight days AFTER the first attacks were postmarked, on the same day the Washington Times did a story saying bin laden was trying to get sarin and anthrax. And all three stories omitted Ivins' phrase "I just heard tonight" before "Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas."

Ivins' Sept. 26 email is not particularly suspicious at all when one doesn't lie about when it was sent and omit "I just heard tonight." Why'd the top of the search warrant lie and why did NYT, AP, and NYT (among others) initially all get the story wrong? I wonder if the feds were also still pushing that lie/distortion as a talking point. It seems likely since it led at least two major stories.

I contacted NYT, AP, and NPR. The NYT and AP ones were corrected last night and the NPR one is getting corrected (or may already be).

It just goes to show the need for a full and impartial vetting of all of the claims and to see the actual evidence. Maybe he is guilty. But, I'm not just going to take the claims at face value with no examination of the evidence. This is too important to our nation to do that. If Dr. Ivins were not responsible, or even if he was not solely responsible, the culprit(s), who committed an extremely successful attack and helped propel policies of wars, torture, indefinite detention, and spying on Americans are still free to continue plotting, killing, and manipulating public policy. And after the Hatfill mess, why would we assume the case is solved correctly? And even the feds admit their case is circumstantial and that they can't tie him to driving to NJ/the mailbox. I still don't even know if he COULD make weaponized anthrax.

Anonymous said...

About the whole sorority connection there’s something else bothering me. Since the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter stores in Princeton is only a storage facility ( as I read it ), has this building any outside characteristics by which you could easily identify it? If not, - how would Ivins ever known there was such a building in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Couple of thoughts. The letter drops were swabbed a full year after the mailings (Aug 02). PO carry-alls collect the mail and are transported to the sorting centers. It seems more likely that cross contamination from the carry-alls took place after the letters were sorted and the spores released.

Does it seem odd after taking a documented day off, that Ivins would travel such a great distance to mail anthrax letters, driving through four major cities. If at anytime he had an accident or received a ticket, with his anthrax background, his goose would be cooked, and he did it twice. Not the choice of a master criminal.