...the Panel was asked to offer, based on the available materials, a better understanding of Dr. Ivins’ mental state before and after the anthrax mailings, his possible motives — and the connections, if any, between his mental state and the commission of the crimes.If the group's trove of documents resembled that of the National Academy of Sciences panel, then it was carefully cherry-picked, designed to elicit a single conclusion. The NY Times' Scott Shane notes their conclusion:
“Dr. Ivins was psychologically disposed to undertake the mailings; his behavioral history demonstrated his potential for carrying them out; and he had the motivation and the means,” the panel wrote in its 285-page report, released at a news conference on Wednesday... It also found that Dr. Ivins, who was 62 when he died, was “homicidal” in the last weeks of his life. Only his involuntary commitment for psychiatric treatment, the panel wrote, “prevented a mass shooting and fulfillment of his promise to go out in a ‘blaze of glory,’ “ the report said.How much of their evidence is derived from Ivins' alcohol abuse counselor, who was under house arrest at the time and working with the FBI in the final months of Ivins' life? Was her profound conflict of interest clear to these experts?
How could these experts possibly know Ivins had the motivation and means, when the FBI failed to produce a logical motive or provide evidence of means?
From the report's executive summary:
The key themes were revenge, a desperate need for personal validation, career reservation and professional redemption, and loss. These themes guided him not only in making the attacks, but in choosing his targets and shaping his methods...
The [mail]box thus appears to have represented to him the two key reservoirs of his obsession and rage. Dr. Ivins’ statements to therapists and the FBI suggest that KKG represented authority and all the successful, talented, attractive people who had rejected him and inspired his rage. Princeton represented his father and perhaps his unmet college aspirations and the humiliation and rage wrapped up in these concepts for him. For him, dropping anthrax in this [mail]box appears to have represented both a conquest and a desecration — in short, payback.Is psychobabble too strong a word to describe this outpouring of gibberish?
UPDATE: Scientia Press has an analysis of Ivins' criminal propensity/ lack of any history of aggression here.
This report was completed last August, but was pulled out of the deep freeze yesterday in a last-ditch attempt to trump the NAS report. The website that offers this report for sale, provides the Executive Summary and bios of the authors ends with the following, in a clear attempt to link this psychiatric report to the NAS report, and presumably give it equal weight in future discussions of the case.
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) PanelInvestigators in this case relied on new microbial forensic techniques developed by government, academic, and private-sector scientists to address these specific attacks. Because these techniques were new, the FBI requested the formation of a separate commission through the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate “the reliability of the principles and methods used by the FBI, and whether the principles and methods were applied appropriately to the facts.” At the time of this report’s submission to Chief Judge Lamberth in August 2010, that report had not yet been released. The report was released on February 15, 2011.