Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dubious study/Frederick News Post

Excerpts from the Editorial:

The FBI's case against Ivins is almost wholly circumstantial. It includes his strained behavior while under suspicion and surveillance by the FBI, which he was aware of before apparently committing suicide in July 2008.

While the NAS study may well validate the scientific protocols used by the FBI in its investigation, that would not prove Ivins' guilt. That point cannot be too strongly made...

However, another avenue of discovery has been proposed. In March, Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., introduced the Anthrax Investigation Act in Congress. The bill would establish a national commission akin to the one created to study the 2001 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, this bill remains stalled in Congress.

Even if Congress does create this commission, however, Ivins' guilt or innocence may never be proved. Still, it would be only fair and fitting that the FBI's characterization of him as the only viable suspect be re-examined in earnest. If there are a number of other facilities and individuals who cannot be excluded from consideration as the source of the anthrax used in the fatal mailings, that fact should be a major part of any conclusion about this case...


Ross said...

John Ezzell, the FBI's anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle, called me last week (returning my call) and confirmed that he had dry powdered anthrax had been made at USAMRIID's Ft. Detrick in 1996 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA"). Beginning in 1996, he also worked for the FBI's Hazardous Materials Response Unit. Years later, Dr. Bruce Ivins later wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined. Dr. Ivins emailed a superior in December 2006 about what he heard about the FBI at a party and expressed concern that something might have been taken or altered from his B3 stocks. He was told by email from the superior to not talk about it -- that the FBI situation was under control. But it turned out not to be under control. After his colleagues were ordered not to talk to him and he was removed from the base by armed escort, Bruce Ivins took his life in late July 2008. The trail of evidence that should have led Amerithrax investigators to the infiltration of DARPA and US biodefense and withdrawal from Dr. Ivins' stock, however, dated back to the time of the mailings and was discernable from "open source" intelligence.

John Ezzell said...

There are several mistakes in the comments from Ross. The anthrax spores that my lab prepared for DARPA were dead spores. At no time have I ever prepared live virulent dried apores. Secondly.. the spores I prepared were snow white, ultra pure and were light and "fluffy" where as the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, not ultra pure and were different in their physical characteristics. The spores prepared for DARPA were prepared inaccordance with all regulations and were to used to test mass spectrometer detectors for biological threat agents. Neither I nor DARPA did anything wrong or illegal in this matter.
John Ezzell
If anyone has futher questions they may contact me at or call me at 301-432-6448