Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bruce Ivins: Important new info reported by former colleague Henry Heine

Excerpts from interview with Dr. Heine interview on wfmd and Lew Weinstein's "Case Closed" blog:
"It was clear that they were focused on a small group of us at USAMRIID, one of which was Bruce.   Of the 4 or 5 of us they were focused on, one of them was Bruce.

Dr. Heine says all the USAMRIID scientists were interviewed in mid-October 2001 on where they were on the dates of mailing. (Comment: What did Dr. Ivins say when asked within 2 weeks of the mailing? Why wasn’t his response at the time provided?)

Dr. Heine says that the drying equipment that would be needed was not available — and not protected — in Dr. Ivins’ workspace.  He says Dr. Ivins did not have the knowledge or expertise to grow up large amounts of bacteria — it would have been impossible for Bruce to do.  He says lyophilizer was in non-containment area and could not have been used.

On the government having it all rely on Flask 1029, he analogizes it to the situation of the guy at the Walmart and blaming him for a shooting in town because he had control of the bullets at one point under the counter. He says that’s all they have — and implies that is ridiculous."


Anonymous said...

This is an excellent interview and drills right down to the nitty gritty details.
It should be listened to carefully by everyone interested in this case - especially those who have attempted to argue that Dr Ivins "could have had access to a fermenter" or "might have been able to dry a slurry of wet anthrax into a powder with a lypholizer".
The fols that make these staements (and some of them are scientists who should no better) have likjel6y never actually performed fermenter runs before or produced powders - or perhaps had any practical laboratory experience.
Dr Heine details the impossibility of performing these tasks either covertly or even overtly in the Hot Suite at Detrick.
The only fermenter avialable was broken in 2001. Even if it wasn't it would have been utterly impossible to use this fermenter to produce a virulent agent without causing massive contamination - even disposing of the dozens of gallons of contaminated media would have been impossible - never mind then decontaminating the fermenter and the fermenter hoses etc later on.
Drying with the lypholizer would have spewed the exhaust from the vacuum system into the lab - causing massive dry powder contamination and causijg dozens of unvaccinated personnel (secretarties administrators etc) to contract inhlational anthrax. That never happened hence we can immediately conclude the drying never happended at Detrick.
The devil is in the details as Dr Heine eloquently points out. The FBI. of course, completely ignore these details. Because if they don't their case falls apart.
The only question now is - are they going t6o get away with it?
Dr Heine's interview should have made major headline news - but it seems to have been largely ignored by a media who simply don't understand the science issues.

Ed Lake said...

I read through all the interviews with the scientists at USAMRIID, and here a summary of what I found:

About a half dozen scientists felt that BioPort was responsible. One scientist was adamant about it.

Approximately a dozen scientists felt that the attacks must have been the work of some foreign government.

Many scientists claimed that no one working at USAMRIID could have created the attack anthrax.

One scientist claimed that every scientist working at USAMRIID was capable of creating the attack anthrax.

More than a dozen scientists claimed that Dr. Ivins was one of the people who could have done it.

Many scientists believed that Dr. Ivins was incapable of such a crime. (One scientist claimed Ivins was incapable of it because Ivins was incapable of keeping his mouth shut about anything, so he would have told someone that he did it.)

Many scientists believed that no one at USAMRIID knew how to dry anthrax into a powder.

Several scientists described the most likely method the culprit used to dry the powder: with chemicals.

Ellen Byrne said...

Way to go, Hank! And, as always, thank you Meryl Nass.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the investigators charged into Ft. Detrick so fast...mid October ? To say it was because of geography wouldn't be accurate. There are many scientific labs from there northward, and many many scientists. So why Ft. Detrick ? The forensics to analyze the anthrax was supposedly not developed yet, so what led them to Detrick ? A tip ?
They claimed they had over 7000 tips during the first 6 months of the case, and already had investigated them. Impossible

Anonymous said...

There are always the unknown facts that change the color of the propagated information.
Read this and learn about all the many anthrax samples were sent to Ft Detrick starting on Sept 11, before the letters were mailed. Then note all the extra scientists sent to analyze the many anthrax samples, allowing many to have access to anthrax.

Ellen Byrne said...

No matter what the FBI says it was still looking at other suspects up until Bruce's death. Had it had the evidence to indict why hasn't that evidence come to light? Bruce would never have been convicted with the paucity of actual facts the government has released, especially if expert scientist witnesses been available for the defense. To this day his fellow scientists are gagged - why? There must have been high fives all around the Hoover building - his suicide gave them another slam dunk.

Anonymous said...


The reason to go to Ft. Detrick in mid-October was because it was quickly determined to be Ames and USAMRIID was the chief repository for Ames.

DXer said...

For those interested in attending the next National Academy of Sciences meeting, go to the link below and register.

Will the NAS call on Dr. Bartick explain whether the photocopier alleged to have been used by Bruce Ivins was actually excluded? (a technology that will often be useful in the case of mailed pathogens)

Will the NAS call on Dr. Stockham to explain whether the bloodhounds were actually alerting to olive oil rather than the scent of a glove-wearing perp who was careful to avoid all DNA and fingerprints? See Dr. Stockham study on irradiated paper and study on the Scent Transfer Unit -100.

Will the NAS call on Dr. Ezzell explain whether he used a silanizing solution in the slurry before the lyophilization of the irradiated spores from Flask 1029 that he made for DARPA?

Will the NAS call on Dr. Heine, Dr. Adamovicz, Dr. Andrews, and Dr. Hedlund to explain their view that Dr. Ivins couldn’t have grown and processed the anthrax like the government claims?

Or will the NAS simply fail to address the scientific approaches actually used during the FBI’s investigation while the NAS’s study and violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act prevents release of the documents exculpatory of Dr. Ivins?

More Project Information and to provide FEEDBACK on the Project

Meeting Information

Project Title: Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings

PIN: BLSX-K-08-10-A

Major Unit:
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit:
Board on Life Sciences
Committee on Science, Technology, and Law

Sharples, Fran

Subject/Focus Area:

Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings
April 22, 2010 – April 23, 2010
Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open
to the public or need more information please contact:

Contact Name: Amanda Cline
Phone: 202-334-3653
Fax: 202-334-1289

Please register to attend the open sessions of this meeting at