Friday, February 19, 2010

Federal Bureau of Invention: CASE CLOSED (and Ivins did it)

But FBI's report, documents and accompanying information (only pertaining to Ivins, not to the rest of the investigation) were released on Friday afternoon... which means the FBI anticipated doubt and ridicule. And the National Academies of Science (NAS) is several months away from issuing its $879,550 report on the microbial forensics, suggesting a) asking NAS to investigate the FBI's science was just a charade to placate Congress, and/or b) NAS' investigation might be uncovering things the FBI would prefer to bury, so FBI decided to preempt the NAS panel's report.

Here are today's reports from the Justice Department, AP, Washington Post and NY Times. The WaPo article ends,

The FBI's handling of the investigation has been criticized by Ivins's colleagues and by independent analysts who have pointed out multiple gaps, including a lack of hair, fiber other physical evidence directly linking Ivins to the anthrax letters. But despite long delays and false leads, Justice officials Friday expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

The evidence "established that Dr. Ivins, alone, mailed the anthrax letters," the Justice summary stated.

Actually, the 96 page FBI report is predicated on the assumption that the anthrax letters attack was carried out by a "lone nut." The FBI report fails to entertain the possibility that the letters attack could have involved more than one actor. The FBI admits that about 400 people may have had access to Ivins' RMR-1029 anthrax preparation, but asserts all were "ruled out" as lone perpetrators. FBI never tried to rule any out as part of a conspiracy, however.

That is only the first of many holes in FBI's case. Here is a sampling of some more.

  1. The report assumes Ivins manufactured, purified and dried the spore prep in the anthrax hot room at US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). His colleagues say the equipment available was insufficient to do so on the scale required.
  2. But even more important, the letter spores contained a Bacillus subtilis contaminant, and silicon to enhance dispersal. FBI has never found the Bacillus subtilis strain at USAMRIID, and it has never acknowledged finding silicon there, either. If the letters anthrax was made at USAMRIID, at least small amounts of both would be there.
  3. Drs. Perry Mikesell, Ayaad Assaad and Stephen Hatfill were 3 earlier suspects. All had circumstantial evidence linking them to the case. In Hatfill's case, especially, are hints he could have been "set up." Greendale, the return address on the letters, was a suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe where Hatfill attended medical school. Hatfill wrote an unpublished book about a biowarfare attack that bears some resemblance to the anthrax case. So the fact that abundant circumstantial evidence links Ivins to the case might be a reflection that he too was "set up" as a potential suspect, before the letters were sent.
  4. FBI fails to provide any discussion of why no autopsy was performed, nor why, with Ivins under 24/7 surveillance from the house next door, with even his garbage being combed through, the FBI failed to notice that he overdosed and went into a coma. Nor is there any discussion of why the FBI didn't immediately identify tylenol as the overdose substance, and notify the hospital, so that a well-known antidote for tylenol toxicity could be given (N-acetyl cysteine, or alternatively glutathione). These omissions support the suggestion that Ivins' suicide was a convenience for the FBI. It enabled them to conclude the anthrax case, in the absence of evidence that would satisfy the courts.
  5. The FBI's alleged motive is bogus. In 2001, Bioport's anthrax vaccine could not be (legally) relicensed due to potency failures, and its impending demise provided room for Ivins' newer anthrax vaccines to fill the gap. Ivins had nothing to do with developing Bioport's vaccine, although in addition to his duties working on newer vaccines, he was charged with assisting Bioport to get through licensure.
  6. FBI's report claims, "Those who worked for him knew that Nass was one of those topics to avoid discussing around Dr. Ivins" (page 41). The truth is we had friendly meetings at the Annapolis, Maryland international anthrax conference in June 2001, and several phone conversations after that. Bruce occasionally assisted me in my study of the safety and efficacy of Bioport's licensed anthrax vaccine, giving me advice and papers he and others had written. I wonder if I was mentioned negatively to discourage Ivins' other friends and associates from communicating with me, since they have been prohibited from speaking freely? Clever.
  7. The FBI's Summary states that "only a limited number of individuals ever had access to this specific spore preparation" and that the flask was under Ivins' sole and exclusive control. Yet the body of the report acknowledges hundreds of people who had access to the spores, and questions remain about the location of the spore prep during the period in question. FBI wordsmiths around this, claiming that no one at USAMRIID "legitimately" used spores from RMR1029 without the "authorization and knowledge" of Bruce Ivins. Of course, stealing spores to terrorize and kill is not a legitimate activity.
  8. FBI says that only a small number of labs had Ames anthrax, including only 3 foreign labs. Yet a quick Pub Med search of papers published between 1999 and 2004 revealed Ames anthrax was studied in at least Italy, France, the UK, Israel and South Korea as well as the US. By failing to identify all labs with access to Ames, the FBI managed to exclude potential domestic and foreign perpetrators.
  9. FBI claims that "drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties," therefore it would have to be performed clandestinely. Actually, the US government sponsored several programs that dried anthrax spores. Drying spores is not explicitly prohibited by the Biological Weapons Convention, though many would like it to be.
  10. The FBI report claims the anthrax letters envelopes were sold in Frederick, Md. Later it admits that millions of indistinguishable envelopes were made, with sales in Maryland and Virginia.
  11. FBI emphasizes Ivins' access to a photocopy machine, but fails to mention it was not the machine from which the notes that accompanied the spores were printed.
  12. FBI claims Ivins was able to make a spore prep of equivalent purity as the letter spores. However, Ivins had clumping in his spores, while the spores in the Daschle/Leahy letters had no clumps. Whether Ivins could make a pure dried prep is unknown, but there is no evidence he had ever done so.
  13. FBI asserts that Bioport and USAMRIID were nearly out of anthrax vaccine, to the point researchers might not have enough to vaccinate themselves. FBI further asserts this would end all anthrax research, derailing Ivins' career. In fact, USAMRIID has developed many dozens of vaccines (including those for anthrax) that were never licensed, but have been used by researchers to vaccinate themselves. There would be no vaccine shortage for researchers.
  14. Ivins certainly had mental problems. But that does not explain why the FBI accompanied Ivins' therapist, Ms. Duley (herself under charges for multiple DUIs) and assisted her to apply for a peace order against him. Nor does it explain why Duley then went into hiding, never to be heard from again.
  15. FBI obtained a voluntary collection of anthrax samples. Is that the way to conduct a multiple murder investigation: ask the scientists to supply you with the evidence to convict them? There is no report that spores were seized from anyone but Ivins, about 6 years after the attacks. This is a huge hole in the FBI's "scientific" methodology.
  16. FBI claims it investigated Bioport and others who had a financial motive for the letters attack, and ruled them out. However, FBI provides not a shred of evidence from such an investigation.
FBI gave this report its best shot. The report sounds good. It includes some new evidence. It certainly makes Ivins out to be a crazed, scary and pathetic figure. If you haven't followed this story intently, you may be convinced of his guilt.

On the other hand, there are reasons why a conspiracy makes better sense. If the FBI really had the goods, they would not be overreaching to pin the crime on a lone nut.

JFK, RFK, George Wallace, Martin Luther King, all felled by lone nuts. Even Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin was a lone nut. Now Bruce Ivins. The American public is supposed to believe that all these crimes required no assistance and no funds.

Does the FBI stand for the Federal Bureau of Invention?

Older information on this blog, germane to analysis of the FBI's case, includes the following:

Posts of mine that go into detail about these and other problems with the FBI's claims are here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Science magazine had additional questions. Vanity Fair published a fascinating article by Donald Foster that brings up more material the FBI ignored, here. Here I speculated on the emotional strain Bruce might have faced as a result of his knowledge of problems with the safety and effectiveness of currently used anthrax vaccines.


Elizabeth Ferrari said...

Hello, Meryl.

I see that, since the science didn't work out as Mueller promised Leahy it would in an open Senate hearing, FBI has gone back to attacking the man's character. As I recall, the last time they did that, they failed and subsequently switched to the scientific argument.

The so called "obsession" with those two women was already knocked down. It is not illegal to possess porn. Ivins made all kinds of remarks about himself when he was struggling with his relapses. Many of them were made as self-deprecating jokes. Ivis could have driven all night every night but that still doesn't put him at the scene of the mailings. FBI's own document dump shows he could not have mailed the first batch.

There is nothing in Shane's piece that is really new and that hasn't been trotted out before to demonize Bruce Ivins in the absence of actual evidence of a crime.

Scott Shane should be ashamed of himself for forwarding FBI talking points instead of reporting the story. He at one time did much better than that.

Anonymous said...

Hatfill was not an FBI mistake; he was a deliberately selected patsy. He was framed by people who had unusual and detailed knowledge. The people who framed Hatfill knew he would be a good villain because he lied on his resume and supported the Ian Smith government, said to have used anthrax as a weapon. I know several Rhodesia war vets and had never heard that story until Hatfill was accused. Hatfill's employer obviously did not know he lied on his resume, a firing offense. Whoever framed him knew Greendale was the upscale suburb of Salisbury, Rhodesia, near where Hatfill worked. How many people know, or can even find out the corresponding suburb of Capetown, a much larger city?
Whoever framed Hatfill obviously had resources that his colleagues and acquaintences did not.

Anonymous said...

i find it telling that the fbi, which secretly preserves whatever evidence it may have re 9/11 (i'm assuming that is standard procedure in an ongoing investigation), feels free to release a great deal of evidence in order to accuse, and posthumously 'convict' a dead man. the main problem here is that 9/11 is simultaneouly being treated as a 'war' and a 'criminal act'. that leaves the government free to pick and choose. i would like to publicize this point . . . i've been surprised that i've rarely seen it raised over the last 10 years. to wrap it up, the fbi is probably breaking it's own regulations by releasing the ivins evidence. he cannot be subjected to any legal process since he is dead. i hope that any remaining members of his family sue the fbi.

Anonymous said...

The case against Ivins is riddled with reasonable doubt. Competent investigators and prosecutors would know that. Weak evidence isn't strengthened by adding more weak evidence. To the contrary, more weak evidence simply adds additional points for effective attack of the prosecution's case.

Apparently the FBI can't admit to itself or to the public that it cannot prove, on the basis of objective evidence and logic, the person or persons responsible for the anthrax attacks.

The FBI has produced reams of speculation, but virtually nothing in the way of proof. Throughout the "investigation", the primary "investigative tool" used by the FBI has been harassment; physical, mental, concentrated, plain, and simple. If it doesn't work against one suspect, move on to the next. Someone will break, sooner or later. How very professional, and how very telling as to the actual investigative skills of the Bureau.

When finally a depressed and mentally broken suspect commits suicide, its time to declare victory and close the case. No need to tell the public that the victim, uh ... suspect, had a previous history of attempted suicide, alcoholism, and depression. Another success story for the legendary Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ellen Byrne said...

Frederick News Post

... the FBI's report left many unconvinced. Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat who represents the central New Jersey district where the anthrax letters were mailed, said Americans deserve a better investigation with thorough answers they can trust. He pushed for legislation that would have established a national commission, similar to the one formed to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This has been a closed-minded, closed process from the beginning. Arbitrarily closing the case on a Friday afternoon should not mean the end of this investigation," Holt said in a news release Friday. "The evidence the FBI produced would not, I think, stand up in court. But because their prime suspect is dead and they're not going to court, they seem satisfied with barely a circumstantial case."

Anonymous said...

The FBI report does make Dr. Ivins out to be a "crazed, scary and pathetic figure," to use your language, but the reason might be that Dr. Ivins really was a crazed, scary and pathetic figure. The evidence for that is pretty substantial. That doesn't mean he was guilty, of course.

Most of the points in your rebuttal list aren't counter-evidence, but merely cast doubt or provide alternatives to the FBI report. And comments like, "Duley then went into hiding, never to be heard from again" don't add credibility to the list of rebuttal points. However, some of the points (e.g. #2 and #8) are well taken and do provide counter-evidence.

Taking it from a slightly different angle, although the FBI's case has some inaccuracies and holes, what is the probability that Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator? This is conjectural by definition, but my own opinion is 90%. What's your opinion of the probability?

Meryl Nass, M.D. said...

There is no question that Ivins was mentally ill. What role the intense surveillance and bullying played to tip him over the edge will never be known. However, multiple reports of highly unprofessional FBI tactics used against Ivins and other scientists--simultaneously--tell me it is important that the defense side of the story be reported.

A hoax letter was sent from the UK while Hatfill was there, in what may have been a further attempt to implicate him as the anthrax mailer. I have heard no evidence linking Ivins to the hoax letters that were sent in close proximity to the anthrax-containing letters.

Like Senator Leahy, I think that IF Ivins had something to do with the letters, he was not alone.

Anonymous said...

As a side-note -- my wife and I know Rush Holt pretty well, he's our Congressperson and we see him regularly (my wife is an elected official here in Princeton, so we're active in politics.) I'll ask him what next-steps he thinks should be taken.

Ellen Byrne said...

Thanks, Dr. Nass for mentioning Senator Leahy's use of the word "IF":

“If he is the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way, shape or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress and the American people,” said Mr. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont.

I knew Bruce. The FBI isolated him from his peers and hounded him - everywhere he turned they followed him for several years. They were overt. They pressured his family, they pressured his friends and colleagues. They kept ratcheting up the pressure. His "therapist", in tandem with the FBI, had him arrested at his workplace. I have direct knowledge of this. This is not hearsay.

There must have been high fives all around the J. Edgar Hoover building when Bruce killed himself because there never was and still is not the evidence to convict.

The scary thing is the folks who really did this are still out there.

Elizabeth Ferrari said...


The FBI has yet to show that Dr. Ivins had motive, means or opportunity. They have consistently misrepresented their own evidence and at times, even have contradicted it. Was Ivins so out of control that he didn't realize executives don't open their own mail or was he so in control that he managed to be in Princeton and in Frederick at the same time? That he managed to handle those envelopes without leaving a trace on himself, his vehicle or his residence?

They try to have it all ways and in my opinion, they fail. Ivins was not a scary individual unless you find all people with mental illness "scary". That the FBI continues to try to construe him as a frightening figure is only a measure of how little else they have to make their case.

I'd with with 90% probability that Bruce Ivins is innocent or the FBI wouldn't have to turn themselves into pretzels as they mishandle withnesses, gag the crew in Frederick and if you recall, put out smear after smear on Dr. Ivins in the AP and in the Post -- even going to the extreme of suggesting that their skeptics were anti-Semites in one article.

That isn't the behavior of a law enforcement agency going soberly about their job of securing the American public.

curious said...

Whatever happened about the water source? I've heard they had it as a northeastern source - but Maryland would seem like a mid-atlantic source? If they could trace it to a flask could they not trace the water to a faucet?

KRolson said...

I have always had a high degree of respect and admiration for the men and women of the FBI, but following this conclusion of the anthrax case I have to wonder what type of individuals are working within the organization.

The FBI’s conclusion offers no real evidence that Dr. Ivins produced the anthrax used in the letters or any real evidence that he actually mailed the letters.

But there are at least two things that the FBI’s conclusion does prove.

The first is that the FBI never considered the possibility of a conspiracy involving two or more people. A conspiracy where one person supplied a sample of the anthrax to another person to produce the anthrax used in the anthrax laced letters.

The second is that the FBI never seriously investigated any individuals who had a motive, the ability, and the access to equipment to produce and send the anthrax laced letters if that person hadn’t had legal documented access to the Ames strain of anthrax. Even latter narrowing it further to persons who had legal documented access to the flask labeled RMR 1029.

Clearly the person, or persons, responsible demonstrated their knowledge and skills while working with the anthrax used in the letters. Also they knew at the time of the mailing that the Ames Strain would be identified as the strain used in the letters. What better way to hide their connection to the letters then by acquiring a strain that could not be connected to them.

It must truly be hard for someone who deserves respect and admiration to work in an organization like the FBI when that organization conclude the anthrax case with no real evidence other than the evidence that the case was not truly investigated.

George Maschke said...

Another aspect of the anthrax case that raises questions is the use of the polygraph. Dr. Ivins passed a polygraph in 2002, but now DOJ claims he used countermeasures to defeat the test, saying that he showed "classic" signs of countermeasure use. But there are no such "classic" signs.

See my commentary on for discussion and documentation.

Barry Kissin said...

Dr. Nass – you can do better than this. Certainly, it is a good thing that you are one of the first visible commentators to deride the FBI’s closing of Amerithrax. But, ultimately, commentaries like yours fail to reach the heart of the matter. The Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, and the powers above them that directed the farce called Amerithrax should be very satisfied if all that people suspect is that this was a botched investigation.

The anthrax attacks should be the occasion for people to learn the terrible nature of “inside job.” In an “inside job” like the anthrax attacks, the perpetrators themselves control the investigation.

Your point #8 about the possibility of “foreign perpetrators” only contributes confusion. We must apply the valid information the FBI revealed in order to arrive at our own valid understanding. Italy, France, the UK, Israel and South Korea may have studied the Ames strain, but access to the spores in Bruce Ivins’ flask (RMR-1029) is more limited.

Your point #9 is also counter-productive. The problem certainly is not that the FBI is mistaken when it asserts that drying anthrax would have to be performed clandestinely. The telling point is that drying anthrax as a part of the process of weaponizing anthrax has, in fact, been carried out clandestinely in this country, AND we know by whom. Weaponization of anthrax does not happen at USAMRIID. Weaponization of anthrax in 2001 and most probably since then does happen at Dugway and Battelle in programs conducted by the CIA and DIA.

Amerithrax is a deliberately “botched investigation,” otherwise known as a cover-up. The powers that be know exactly where the anthrax attacks came from, and so should we.

In January, 2009, you posted on this blog (at my entire memo entitled “The New York Times Does its Part in the Perpetration of the Amerithrax Hoax.” This memo contributed to the New York Times issuing a retraction of its groundless assertion that an analysis of the water in the vicinity of Fort Detrick established that the attack anthrax was grown in that vicinity.

In October of 2009, I asked you to post another of my memos, this one entitled “The Truth About The Anthrax Attacks And Its Cover-Up.” It appears that you have never even read it.
Said memo has been posted at, among others, the following sites:

Len said...


I noticed that you provide no documentation for most of your claims will can you post some.

Also it isn't true that no autopsy was preformed.The local ME performed and initial one, basically toxicology tests, and determined nothing further was necessary.

It is also far from settled that the Anthrax was silicon based.

As for Ivins mental problems they predated his surveillance. I don't understand why you think it odd that a suspect would be under surveillance.

Ellen Byrne said...

Len - why don't you go back in this blog's logs, starting in early August, 2008 to find the documentation. It's all there. If it ever comes to it, I think the contents of this blog could be an invaluable resource for a defense attorney.

It is amazing that such a "mentally ill person" fooled so many friends and colleagues, the FBI, all the resources of our government, set up one or two other scientists over SEVEN years?! And there is still NO proof.

Meryl Nass, M.D. said...


An unreleased toxicology report is not an autopsy. An autopsy rules out other causes of death, should try to determine when the tylenol was taken, if other substances were taken, and clarify all questions relating to the death.

It is SOP to check people for tylenol overdoses when they present in coma to an ER.It is SOP to treat it, if overdose occurred.

Did these things happen? I would like to see his medical record of the final hospitalization released.

I do provide many citations for the assertions I make in the Aug-Sept 2008 time frame, earlier in this blog.

I did not try to be exhaustive about the holes in the FBI case in this blog. I did try to provide enough for most thoughtful people to understand significant doubt accompanies the FBI conclusion.


Anonymous said...

My name is Dr. Drew Richardson. My background is relevant to this blog entry and comments in the following regards: (1) I am a retired (retired in 2001 after a 25 year career) FBI agent and former scientist in the FBI Laboratory, (2) I formerly headed the FBI’s chemical biological counter-terrorism response unit (the HMRU), (3) at one point in my career, I was involved in “lie detection” or polygraph research for the Bureau (I am now and have been for most of the past two decades a leading critic of lie detection practice, and in particular, the utilization of polygraph screening for national security purposes), and (4) I was not hesitant either as an employee or since to criticize practices of my former employer when I felt so justified, e.g., (

With the aforementioned in mind, I would like to address a couple of topics raised in this thread. Because I retired a few months before the anthrax letter investigation and was not/have not been involved in the investigation in any manner, I will neither comment upon the specifics of that investigation nor the accuracy of any conclusions drawn.

I will say this though…

Many of the 16 points/questions raised by Dr. Nass within this thread here and elsewhere appear to be cogent and relevant and whose answers would seem to be a part of a meaningful investigation and part of any successful conclusion to said investigation. Because I have not participated in this investigation and have not read the Bureau’s final reporting on the matter, I do not know which matters have been addressed and which have not. That having been said, I do categorically believe that this investigation should remain open as long as there is but a single relevant and outstanding matter having any bearing on who and how many individuals were involved in the commission of these crimes.

The final matter I would like to comment on is one that seems to run through this thread (initial post and comments) and that is the notion of conspiracy to suppress evidence, to not investigate logical leads, or to prematurely close this investigation, etc.

Having been an FBI agent for a quarter of a century and having been involved in case investigations large and small, I can with complete assurance tell you that such conspiracy theories are complete nonsense. It is not that there is no possibility that a single individual might not have some misguided notion or motive that might lead to such, but I can tell you with assurance that there were hundreds of principled individuals working on this case. Any seed of misguided activity would not be hidden from the light of exposure for a single day, let alone for months or years.

An FBI employee(s) revealed the Watergate cover-up. You can bet all you own, that an FBI employee(s) would have reported/stopped in its tracks any cover-up that might have occurred during this investigation.

Anonymous said...

"Having been an FBI agent for a quarter of a century and having been involved in case investigations large and small, I can with complete assurance tell you that such conspiracy theories are complete nonsense."

What conspiracy theory is that. That one man can weaponize Anthrax?

What about Gladio?

"It is not that there is no possibility that a single individual might not have some misguided notion or motive that might lead to such, but I can tell you with assurance that there were hundreds of principled individuals working on this case. Any seed of misguided activity would not be hidden from the light of exposure for a single day, let alone for months or years."

Total utter nonsense. Many investigations have been sat on. The FBI were complicit in hiding Franklin Sex abuse scandal. You were compartmentalized. How would you know what other departments doing with their thousands of employees.

"An FBI employee(s) revealed the Watergate cover-up. You can bet all you own, that an FBI employee(s) would have reported/stopped in its tracks any cover-up that might have occurred during this investigation."
Watergate is not what you think it is. Read Russ Baker's Family of Secrets. His chapter on Watergate blows apart your cosy assumption that the FBI revealed Watergate.

Anonymous said...


"What conspiracy theory is that. That one man can weaponize Anthrax? "

The notion that one man can weaponize anthrax is either a correct assertion/conclusion or it is incorrect. It is not a conspiracy theory.

Your notions of FBI operations are understandably naive, but your opinionated dialogue regarding same is foolish. Not continuing to suffer foolishness, I will leave you to your thoughts on the matter...

My initial reference to Watergate was only to make a very tangential point relative to the investigation at hand. But again, you have shown yourself quite willing to speak about that which you know not.

Watergate revelations do go beyond then associate director, Mark Felt, but do most definitely revolve around FBI personnel. The whole story has yet to be told.

How do I know this not having become an FBI agent until several years after the Watergate break in? I am not only a retired FBI agent, but also the son of a retired FBI agent assigned in the Washington, D.C. area at the time of the Watergate investigation.

Drew Richardson

Ellen Byrne said...

Interesting problems with the FBI case as stated by two of Bruce's supervisors in The Frederick News Post:

Anonymous said...

Human beings never cease to use the "crazed mentally disturbed human" accusation to use someone as a distraction from the truth of what is REALLY GOING ON ! It has been used on women for centuries, divorce and child custody cases with state child protective services, or to detract the public from listening to anyone's statement about why someone has a grievance to prevent the public from knowing the truth about something. Anyone, after being repeatedly harassed, verbally abused, or under threat or coercion that affects their family or daily life, job, or finances, can start showing signs of stress, nervousness/anxiety, bad judgement decisions, instability, PTSD, etc. After all humans are only humans. That does not mean they are guilty of anything. Did the FBI harassment of Dr. Ivins create sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy for the FBI ? Was the FBI harassment deliberate to make him snap ?

The government will do anything to cover up anything that implicates them or an individuals job.

Once when reporting fraud on a state level, the investigator told me "the state protects the state". Likewise, we can assume the Fed gov't is going to protect itself.

Anonymous said...

Comments on Amerithrax Investigative Summary

I’ve been going through the The Amerithrax Investigative Summary (AIS) and have found numerous problems. Because putting together a comprehensive commentary is such an enormous task, I decided to comment on some of the issues in separate, single issue, postings. Here’s the first.

The FBI’s Investigation of Individuals with Access to RMR-1029

As in the past, the FBI continues to predicate its case against Ivins on the assertion that it thoroughly investigated everyone who had access to RMR-1029 and eliminated all such individuals as possible suspects. The AIS reports some new details of the FBI investigation of such individuals, said to number in the “hundreds” (AIS, p17). These, in turn, raise a number of new issues concerning the FBI’s methodology and logic. For example;

The AIS reports that Ivins sometimes sent tubes of RMR-1029 to Building 1412 the evening prior to scheduled experiments leaving open the possibility that other researchers or individuals could have acquired RMR-1029 from the tubes. The FBI gives two highly questionable reasons for dismissing such possibilities: (1) since the quantities of RMR-1029 in the tubes was small, “researchers likely would have noticed if even a small sample was missing – something no one recalls”; and, (2) the RMR-1029 in the tubes “was frequently diluted substantially, usually 1,000-fold. Given the highly concentrated material used in the mailings, experts consulted have stated that it is extremely unlikely that such diluted material could have been used in the mailings”. (AIS, p. 35)

Regarding point (1), the FBI gives no explanation whatsoever for its conclusion that researchers “likely would have noticed” if a portion of the sample were missing. Moreover, if one of these researchers had taken a portion of such a sample, one would hardly expect them to “recall” that a portion of the sample was missing.

Point (2) borders on being ridiculous since the FBI has never even contended that the anthrax used in the attack letters came directly from Ivins’ RMR-1029 samples. The FBI’s position is, and has always been, that the anthrax used in the mailings “came from a derivative growth of RMR-1029” (AIS, p.32). Thus it is completely irrelevant whether or not “such diluted material could have been used in the mailings”.

Suffice it to say that similar flaws can be found in the FBI’s reasoning for eliminating some of the other suspects as reported in the AIS.

More to follow.


Anonymous said...

The FBI's "Coded Message Theory"

In the The Amerithrax Investigative Summary (AIS), the FBI claims that two Anthrax Attack letters contain a coded message uniquely tied to Ivins and to a book he owned and threw away. Although the FBI's code may fit Ivins, it doesn't fit the Anthrax letters, the book, or Ivins actions.

The FBI's "code" theory is found on pages 58-64 of the AIS. In a nutshell, the theory boils down to twelve As and Ts that the FBI claims are "bolded" in two of the Anthrax Attack letters. The FBI claims these letters convey the message of "TTT AAT TAT", which can be translated into another message based on DNA codons.

The FBI’s theory relies on a particular bolding pattern for the Brokaw and New York Post anthrax letters, as follows:




However, examination of the Browkaw Letter and the New York Post Letter reveals a problem. The bolded letters don't match the FBI's claims. Specifically, the last 'T', line 1, (the final T in NEXT) isn't bolded. If however one adopts a constrained view of the anthrax mailings to accommodate the FBI's claim that T in NEXT is bolded, then one must include other letters, such as the R in AMERICA (line 3) as also being bolded. In either case, the FBI's code theory doesn't work.

Another problem resides in the book that Ivins threw away. Although from the FBI's descriptions, "a book about secret codes", (AIS, p. 10), one expects a cryptography text, the book, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (GEB), turns out to be a Pulitzer Prize winner, over 800 pages in length, covering a wide range of historical, mathematical, musical, and scientific topics (see for example the large listing titled "Topics Covered" on the

The FBI relies on page 404 of GEB for its theory even though Ivin's copy of book included his handwritten notes on various pages (AIS, p 62), but not on page 404.

The FBI claimed that Ivins "made efforts to hide this book from investigators" (AIS, p. 9), and "did not want investigators to find" the GEB book. But these claims aren't supported by facts.

One week after the FBI searched Ivins' home, cars, and office, Ivins put the book in his trash along with "a number of written materials", (AIS, p. 61). The FBI claims Ivins threw out all of these materials in order "to hide" the GEB book and a Scientific American article.

Incredibly, the FBI claims that the following actions were an attempt by Ivins (who knew he was under surveillance) "to hide" his actions from the FBI:

"Just after 1:00 a.m... with the front porch light on, he walked out the front... wearing long underwear, and stood outside for a few minutes... Ivins again emerged from the house and walked… to the garbage cart… and looked inside, closed the lid and pulled the cart back into the driveway. He then walked towards his neighbor’s house, and while standing in the street, looked into the parking lot across the street. He walked towards the wooded area across from his house (where the surveillance agent was making all of these observations) and peered into the wooded area and the parking lot for approximately a full minute..."

How can the FBI possibly believe these were the actions of a man trying to hide his activities?

In sum, the FBI's hidden code theory doesn't fit the Anthrax letters, the GEB book, or Ivins’ activities.

Anonymous said... links back to you and reviews Ivins documents...regards

Ed Lake said...

#14 Ivins certainly had mental problems. But that does not explain why the FBI accompanied Ivins' therapist, Ms. Duley (herself under charges for multiple DUIs) and assisted her to apply for a peace order against him. Nor does it explain why Duley then went into hiding, never to be heard from again.


Watch "Anderson Cooper 360" tonight (Thursday). Jean Duley is going to be on. Click HERE for a sneak preview.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Mister Lake!
As I mentioned on another blog, I personally tried to sort out the extra heavy/retraced letters of the Brokaw/NY POST letter. This in 2006 and here is what I got:

In the ensuing years (2007 to the present) I employed various criteria (what PERCENTAGE of the stroke surface of a letter has to be extra heavy/retraced to be "hightlighted"?), but after looking at the most magnified versions (available if you go here and scroll to the bottom:
and consulting human guinea pigs for their opinions, I ended back largely where I started:


*R is included if the criterion is low enough as to stroke surface area
So, I am not reacting to the FBI version, MY version of what letters were highlighted goes back to 2006.

And since the highlighted letters constitute the surface text of the 'code' (assuming there is one), which letters are chosen is going to determine what possible HIDDEN texts (ie ones below the surface level) are there.

I think there's little chance the encoded message is what the final report says it is.

And even so, couldn't "PAT" refer to Pat[trick] Leahy, one of the addressees of the second batch?
Makes as much sense as the final report's interpretation.

Anonymous said...

I feel you have to look at the big picture. At this time, we know with almost absolute certainty that the destruction of WTC 7 was an inside job. Also many believe that explosives were placed inside the Twin Towers as they turned to mostly to dust yet very large heavy steel beams were blown laterally for a distance of about two football fields. There is serious doubt as to whether a large plane actually hit the Pentagon.

Events surrounding the Shanksville crash site don't add up either.

Everything about the Anthrax attacks suggests an inside job as well. The likelihood that it was a lone nutter is doubtful because it does seem to be agreed upon that the Anthrax did come from a US Government lab.

Bruce Ivins, having what I believe was most likely a good high paying government job, and being close to retirement, doesn't seem like a person with strong motivation to mail highly toxic material to very specific targets who could control the vote on going to war.

My Anthrax sniffer tells me this all adds up to false flag psyop used as the cherry on the cake to convince the American public and the world that Saddam actually had WMD's.

The FBI has every reason to lie, and pin the crime on a patsy.

Maybe Ivins went crazy because he actually knew who used his Anthrax to commit the crime, and he also knew that they were powerful enough to make it impossible for him to defend himself. Certainly he was well aware that other bio-weapons scientists were being bumped off around the world.

I place my bet on well placed contract mercenaries working for the Bush Administration, who had very close ties to members of the Saudi Royal Family, and who are now stirring up trouble in Syria.

Meryl Nass, M.D. said...

Cui bono?

Who benefited from the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, the unending Terror War, surveillance expansion a la 1984, and the 60 billion plus spent on biodefense since 2011?

A few trillion was spent, a few countries fractured. Who got the $500/gallon gasoline contracts? Who will pick over the remains of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and bits of Yemen, Pakistan etc?

Anonymous said...

Was Ivins tested for polonium poisoning?:

On Wednesday, a final 108-page report by a team of Swiss experts revealed that tests on Arafat’s exhumed remains and possessions — a shaft of his hair, a urine stain on his underwear, a woolen cap — “moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-­210,” a highly radioactive substance 250,000 times as toxic as cyanide.

“This has confirmed all our doubts,” Arafat’s widow, Suha, told the Reuters news agency. “It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death, and we have scientific proof that this man was killed.”

Suha Arafat, speaking in Paris, called her husband’s death “a real crime, a political assassination.”

Anonymous said...

Was Ivins tested for polonium poisoning?:

On Wednesday, a final 108-page report by a team of Swiss experts revealed that tests on Arafat’s exhumed remains and possessions — a shaft of his hair, a urine stain on his underwear, a woolen cap — “moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-­210,” a highly radioactive substance 250,000 times as toxic as cyanide.

“This has confirmed all our doubts,” Arafat’s widow, Suha, told the Reuters news agency. “It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death, and we have scientific proof that this man was killed.”

Suha Arafat, speaking in Paris, called her husband’s death “a real crime, a political assassination.”