Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NAS Report and press conference pull rug out from under FBI's "case closed"

There is no getting away from the NAS report conclusions, as reported worldwide:  the science does not support FBI's claims that Ivins was the anthrax perpetrator.

See articles from the AFP, NPR, AP, Science, and a later WP article.

The FBI responded that their case was based on a totality of the evidence, not just the science.  But when the rest of the FBI's evidence is examined, one finds only smoke.  There has been no physical evidence tying Ivins to the case.  The totality of the FBI case against Ivins rests on colorful and sometimes exaggerated personal quirks and odd habits.  The FBI has presented no convincing evidence that Ivins had the means, a motive, or the oppportunity to commit the letters crime.  (See my Nov. 29, 2010 talk on this subject here.)


Elizabeth Ferrari said...

When Mr. Mueller testified before the Senate and assured Senaor Leahy the science would make the case, it was already obvious then that he was not being truthful. His own expert, Claire Fraser Liggett, had already pointed out science could not do that.


It's time for Senator Leahy to call Mueller to account for this farce.

Unknown said...

You're right, Elizabeth!

Thank you, Meryl Nass for keeping the heat on. Please PUBLISH a book - someone's gonna do it and you've got it all, every step of the way. Good for you. Good for honesty, truth and good, good people like you!

Seattle Reader said...

“The committee’s report reiterates what is and is not possible to establish through science alone in a criminal investigation of this magnitude...."

Did anyone doubt what the results of the scientific investigation would be, and what the FBI's response would be? The name of this game is Fragmentation, or more traditionally, "Divide and Conquer." When the FBI insisted that only the "science of the case" be investigated, they had already made it clear that such an investigation would be expected to be inconclusive. They like to remind us all how very very large the totality of the FBI's work on Amerithrax is, and how no one piece of it could alone lead to a conclusion. And they insist that only a tiny piece of it be investigated, making it clear that to investigate the entire investigation would be too monumental and expensive a task to undergo. They are burying this case, in other words, under a mass of very expensive red tape, and there they intend it to remain. This is what I mean when I say they have "outplayed" any Senator, Congressman, agency, organization, or individual who would challenge their case. And meanwhile, the subject has been dropped in the minds of most Americans, so politically speaking (and this is the entire raison d'etre of the Bruce Ivins FBI case I maintain), the case is closed. If one were to take a poll, I don't know what numbers one would get but I suspect it goes something like, 90+ percent of the public has forgotten (if they ever knew) the FBI conclusion, but if pressed to think about it, will accept the FBI statement. Of the remaining approximate 10 percent, most of those are ones who remember the FBI conclusion and accept it. Of the ones who remember and do not accept, it is said (even by the FBI themselves) that they are like conspiracy theorists, with a "spore on the grassy knoll" as their emblem. This case is a major education to those of us who care to think it through to this point. FBI presents a case with no good evidence, and wins a dirty political battle to make it stick in the public mind.

I applaud the efforts of this blog and some other writers who stick to their guns in calling for honesty in this case. Without you, I would have less hope of finding sanity in the world at large. As it is, I know that lies, insanity and disinformation are winning the public mind in this, and undoubtedly many many other matters. And this, I believe, is because we don't many of us have time, energy, and inclination to look beneath the utter logical fallacy, directed to support falsehood, directed to support policy, that makes up so much of our media, government, and corporate public discourse.

Thank you again, Meryl, for providing a forum where, I hope, comments such as I make here are at least understood as possibly not crazy. It helps immensely.

Elizabeth Ferrari said...

My note to Senator Leahy today:

Dear Senator Leahy,

I watched with disappointment when Mr. Mueller assured you on 9/17/08 that the National Academy of Science would prove his case against Bruce Ivins. And I say disappointment because his own lead expert, Claire Fraser Liggett had already stated, science couldn't make the case.

This is a link to her comments on 9/10/08 at Univ Maryland; the reporter Scott Shane was attending:


Here is the CSPAN video of Mr. Mueller testifying before you that the FBI science had been validated through out the investigation. His statement is at approximately: 28:40


Of course, there was no scientist not on the FBI payroll that validated their findings, at that time or since.

Now that, predictably, neither the National Academy's study nor the subsequent National Research Council's study has validated Mr. Mueller's claim, do you intend to reopen the matter of the anthrax attacks on the American people?

I'm not among those who have a favorite theory but it is clear the FBI has no case against Ivins. It's difficult to understand how someone who was put at direct risk as you were and who has been so diligent on behalf of the American public as you have been, could possibly be at ease with this situation.


Elizabeth Ferrari
San Jose, California

Anonymous said...

As to the totality of the evidence, one thing is quite clear, a large part of the totality just disappeared. The FBI can no longer claim that the anthrax was derived from Dr. Ivins' flask... It can no longer claim Dr. Ivins was one of a select few capable of preparing the anthrax...

The FBI's new totality of evidence is missing more than just a few spare parts. To the contrary, the FBI just lost the very foundations of its totality of evidence. What's left is merely rubble.

Anonymous said...

What would be interesting in an investigation of the investigation is whether the cryptological office of the FBI came up with the 'amino acid code' or whether it was just ordinary FBI agents without the background winging it. I'm guessing the latter......for the 'code' seems not to have been objectively arrived at but to have been yet another tortured attempt to connect Ivins to Amerithrax. Tortured, and in what it did to Mister Ivins, torturing...

Ellen Byrne said...

Thanks for hanging in, Dr. Nass!