Monday, December 1, 2008

WP Editorial: The Next Attorney General (and the anthrax letters)

Editorial from the Washington Post:
...The new attorney general also should ensure that an independent commission or the inspector general review the anthrax investigation. In the summer, the FBI identified Fort Detrick scientist Bruce E. Ivins as the lone suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five and sickened many more. Mr. Ivins took his own life before he could be put on trial. An independent examination of the anthrax probe should review the methods used by the FBI in investigating Mr. Ivins and, before him, Steven J. Hatfill, who was the FBI's initial suspect before being exonerated this year. The review must also examine how Mr. Ivins maintained a security clearance despite apparently suffering from serious mental illness.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Ferrari said...

Boy, was that disgusting.

I posted a response. Hope others do as well.

best,
EF

Anonymous said...

Senator Leahy at September 17, 2008 oversight hearing:

These weapons that were used against the American people -- and they're weapons; they're weapons -- the weapons that were used against the American people and Congress -- are you aware of any facility in the United States that is capable of making the weapons that were used on Congress and the American people besides Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, and the Patel facility in West Jefferson, Ohio?
Are you aware of any somewhere in the U.S. capable of making these weapons?
LEAHY: Other than those two?
MUELLER: Well, in the course of the investigation, we determined that there were 15 laboratories in the United States, and we also identified three laboratories overseas that had this particular virulent strain of Ames anthrax.
LEAHY: Are there any facilities capable of making the weapons used in the United States other than Dugway Proving Ground or Battelle facility in West Jefferson, Ohio?
MUELLER: I do believe there are others, and amongst those would be those had this -- this strain of anthrax.
LEAHY: So -- so there are more than just two places that are capable of making the weapon?
MUELLER: I would have to get back to you, because I have not asked that particular question, but my expectation is that there are others who do the research in these facilities with that capability.

***

LEAHY: At some point we're going to -- at some point we're going to take a break in here, because votes or otherwise. During that break please get the answer to that, because I know of none besides Dugway and Battelle.
If you know of others, before we close the hearing today, give me the names of those others that could make this weapon used on Congress and the American people.
And I ask this, because I'm also aware of the article in September 4th, 2001, before this -- the New York Times, when they said over the past several years the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons.
Even the Clinton White House was unaware of their full scope. The projects, which had not been previously disclosed, had been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.
That was September 4th. The attack was on September 11th. The weapons used against the American people and Congress and this senator were just after that time.
So -- and I apologize to my colleagues for interrupting you at this point, but when we have a break, double check that and tell me if there's any others besides Dugway and Battelle. MUELLER: I will do that, sir.
LEAHY: Thank you.