Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Review of FBI's Work in Anthrax Letters Case/ WSJ

New Review of FBI’s Work in Anthrax Letters Case

By Devlin Barrett, Wall Street Journal
The investigative arm of Congress will take another look at the science the
FBI used to determine who mailed deadly anthrax-laced letters in 2001.

The Government Accountability Office has notified Rep. Rush Holt, a New
Jersey Democrat, that the agency will review the science behind the FBI's
conclusions that Army scientist Bruce Ivins sent the letters that killed
five people.

The letters were mailed from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., which is in
Holt's district. The congressman has long maintained that the FBI's work on
the case was shoddy and full of holes. The FBI concluded Dr. Ivins was a
disturbed man who sent the letters while his laboratory faced the prospect
of losing support for its anthrax vaccine program.

The National Academy of Sciences is in the midst of a two-year-review of the
scientific work that led the FBI to finger Dr. Ivins after spending years
chasing other suspects. Dr. Ivins took a fatal overdose of pills in 2008 as
a federal grand jury prepared to indict him for the anthrax mailings.

In a letter to Holt, GAO officials said they would conduct their review once
the NAS reaches its conclusions, which is expected later this year.
The GAO letter to Rush Holt is here.

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