Thursday, August 28, 2008

The War on Terror Debunked, America Tries to Raise a Dead Enemy from the Grave

The war on terror has been thoroughly debunked (see this and this).

So the military-industrial complex is trying to find another enemy sufficiently scary to justify trillions of dollars in defense spending and the continuation of the perpetual state of war.

Our former enemy - the Soviet Union - has now broken up. Russia's economy pales in comparison to that of the former USSR. Russia is run more by billionaires and the Russian Mob than by the Communists. And Russia harbors very few imperial ambitions.

But that isn't stopping people like Dick Cheney from trying to raise the "Red menace" from the dustbin of history.

Remember - in the 70's - Cheney was instrumental in generating fake intelligence exaggerating the Soviet threat in order to undermine coexistence between the U.S. and Soviet Union, which conveniently justified huge amounts of cold war spending. See also this article.

Indeed, Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were probably more responsible than anyone else for the original Red scare and Cold War.

With the air quickly escaping from the whole "War on Terror" fiasco, Cheney and the boys are trying a re-run of their tried-and-true fear tactics regarding the Ruskies, even though the "Soviet menace" is dead and buried.

Remember that, according to former British Defense Secretary, Cheney called the shots in the Iraq war. And a top official at the State Department stated there was a secret "cabal" involving Cheney, and that Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the country's foreign policy.

Anthrax Update: Princeton Post Office Box "Used to Store Sorted Incoming Mail and Outbound Letters"

The FBI claims that Dr. Ivins drove to Princeton, New Jersey during the evening of September 17th to mail the anthrax letters, and the fact that his whereabouts cannot be confirmed show that he is guilty.

However, as a 2002 article from Princeton University's The Daily Princetonian points out:

"The box in which spores were found was used to store sorted incoming mail and outbound letters, leading some to speculate that a letter addressed to an area resident might have picked up spores on contaminated sorting equipment before arriving in Princeton."
As confirmed in an August 14, 2002 article in the The Times of Trenton:
"The box had two purposes: It was used by the public to drop off mail and was used by the Postal Service to hold sorted mail for letter carriers to deliver."
Because the mailbox was used to store mail previously deposited in various locations in the area, it is possible that the letters were actually mailed days before September 17th, when Ivins' whereabouts were accounted for.

Moreover, if the spores in the Princeton mailbox came from cross-contamination, the anthrax may have originated somewhere entirely different.

Hat tip to Old Atlantic Lighthouse.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Government Urges Return to Stone Age

The White House and U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are urging Americans to return to the stone age for their own safety.

"After discovering that 'thermal expansion' of steel from a low-temperature fire led to the collapse of World Trade Center building 7," said NIST spokesperson Noh Wei, "we started realizing that other metal objects might also be at risk".

So NIST scientists tested other metallic objects using state-of-the-art computer models. The models predicted that every oven and barbeque in the country could disintegrate at any time, leading to a progressive collapse of entire houses.

"We also determined that car engines, airplane engines, and boat engines could all suddenly fail due to thermal expansion," said Wei. "Indeed, we soon realized that almost all industrial processes could lead to catastrophic failure, other than, perhaps, those used in freezers."

White House spokesman Phil Johnson agreed, saying

"Once you understand this principle of thermal expansion, you start to realize that even household showerheads and faucets are dangerous. The hot water flowing through them could wreak havoc. The President is committed to leading the way back to a safer time, and a return to proven, traditional materials - which may not be flashy like metal - but remain rock-solid even when warm."
A Fact Sheet from NIST provides recommendations and safety guidelines based on the new thermal expansion discoveries:

Is Metal Safe?

While it was previously assumed that metal was safe, scientists have now discovered that steel and other metals can suddenly fail due to exposure to heat. NIST urges everyone to stop using metal, and to reassess possible replacements with stone materials.


Sunlight can warm up metal. Therefore, no metal should be used where any sun exposure is possible.

If people choose to continue using metal, we urge them to live underground, to protect against the dangers of sunlight.

Friday, August 22, 2008

NIST Discovers Fire

NIST has solved the mystery of WTC 7, explaining that a brand "new phenomenon" was discovered, namely, that "thermal expansion" of the thick structural steel of WTC 7 led to its weakening.

In the process of discovering this new phenomenon, NIST also discovered another new phenomenon it calls "fire". (NIST explained that fire is hot). It was this new thing - fire - which led to the "thermal expansion".

In addition, NIST has discovered a third new phenomenon called "gravity". Gravity, NIST explains for the rapt press, makes things "fall down and go boom" really fast.

In related news, NIST - the government agency responsible for advancing measurement science, standards, and technology - has announced that nuclear reactors can be powered with play-doh and that our nation's fighter jets can be powered by gummy bears.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Debunking NIST's Conclusions about WTC 7: Easy as Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Debunking NIST's conclusions about WTC 7 is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Symmetrical Collapse

NIST lamely tried to explain the symmetrically collapse as follows:

WTC 7’s collapse, viewed from the exterior (most videos were taken from the north), did appear to fall almost uniformly as a single unit. This occurred because the interior failures that took place did not cause the exterior framing to fail until the final stages of the building collapse. The interior floor framing and columns collapsed downward and pulled away from the exterior frame. There were clues that internal damage was taking place, prior to the downward movement of the exterior frame, such as when the east penthouse fell downward into the building and windows broke out on the north face at the ends of the building core. The symmetric appearance of the downward fall of the WTC 7 was primarily due to the greater stiffness and strength of its exterior frame relative to the interior framing.
NIST can't have it both ways. If the exterior frame was so stiff and strong, then it should have stopped the collapse, or - at the very least - we would have seen a bowing effect where tremendous opposing forces were battling each other for dominance in determining the direction of the fall. See also this.

In real life, the thick structural beams and "stiff [and strong]" exterior frame used in the building should have quickly stopped any partial collapse, unless the support columns were all blown. At the very worst, we should see a 1 or 2 floor partial collapse.

Freefall Speed

NIST said that WTC 7 fell at 40% slower than freefall speed. But it collapsed alot faster than it would have if the structural supports were not all blown away at the same instant. 40% slower isn't very impressive -- that's like arguing that a rock falling through concrete 40% slower than a rock falling through the air is perfectly normal.

Again, why did the building collapse at all, given that the thick structural beams should have quickly stopped any partial collapse?

Fires Knocked Down Steel-Frame Buildings

NIST said fires alone brought down Building 7, but other office fires have burned longer and hotter without causing collapse.

No Explosive Sounds

NIST also said:
"No blast sounds were heard on the audio tracks of video recordings during the collapse of WTC 7 or reported by witnesses."
Oh, really?

What about this, this, this, this, this and this?

Moreover, as discussed below, high-tech explosives don't necessarily make the same loud "booms" that dynamite make.

High-Tech Explosive Residues

And why were there residues for high-tech explosives at ground zero (and see this)?

Molten and Partially Evaporated Steel

And what about the pools of molten metal at ground zero for months? And why was the at and under the ground at the site of WTC 7 as hot as the ground under WTC 1 and 2?

And the New York Times wrote that partly EVAPORATED steel beams were found at WTC 7. But normal office and diesel fires are not NEARLY hot enough to evaporate steel. Hydrocarbon fires fueled by diesel (which was apparently stored at WTC 7) and normal office materials cannot evaporate steel. Steel does not evaporate unless it is heated to at least 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone agrees that fires from conventional building fires are thousands of degrees cooler than that.


And why didn't NIST address the obvious pre-knowledge (and see this) by everyone around and well in advance that 7 was going to come down?


And why didn't NIST address what these experts say?:
  • Kamal S. Obeid, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley, of Fremont, California, says:
"Photos of the steel, evidence about how the buildings collapsed, the unexplainable collapse of WTC 7, evidence of thermite in the debris as well as several other red flags, are quite troubling indications of well planned and controlled demolition"
  • Ronald H. Brookman, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Davis, of Novato California, writes:
"Why would all 47 stories of WTC 7 fall straight down to the ground in about seven seconds... ? It was not struck by any aircraft or engulfed in any fire. An independent investigation is justified for all three collapses including the surviving steel samples and the composition of the dust."
  • Graham John Inman, structural engineer, of London, England, points out:
"WTC 7 Building could not have collapsed as a result of internal fire and external debris. NO plane hit this building. This is the only case of a steel frame building collapsing through fire in the world. The fire on this building was small & localized therefore what is the cause?"

NIST: "Then a Miracle Occurs"

NIST's explanation for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on September 11th follows the logic in the cartoon above.

Specifically, NIST claims that the collapse of building 7 is "the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building".

But then goes on to argue:
"The fires in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event"
In fact, the fires in WTC 7 were orders of magnitude less than other high-rise fires, which did not produce collapses.

My parody from yesterday is not much sillier than NIST's real explanation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WTC 7 Solved: It Was Ivins!

Following is a leaked version of NIST's August 21st announcement as to the cause of the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on 9/11.

The government destroyed the steel from ground zero, because we believed it might not have been allowed as evidence at trial.

However, we did ship one steel beam to someone, who sold it to a junk yard in China for scrap metal, which melted it down to make Olympic trinkets, one of which was shipped back to us yesterday.

After testing that steel using very secret, super-advanced, but Incredibly Accurate new methods, we have determined that residue on the steel matches certain aspects of Ivins' desk in his lab at Fort Detrick (true, it also matches the desks from at least 16 different laboratories throughout the world, but our super-advanced testing has shown that we do not need to talk to anyone at those other labs).

While previously, experts said that no modern steel-frame high-rise had ever collapsed due to fire alone, that the fires in building 7 were not that hot or widespread, that building 7 collapsed at virtually free-fall speed, and that the building must have been brought down by controlled demolition, government scientists now say that isn't true.

Government scientists now know that one disturbed individual (especially if he likes sorority girls), acting alone, can weaken thick core columns, melt (and even partially evaporate) structural steel, and cause molten steel to continue boiling for months afterwards simply by having bad energy (especially if he looks geeky).

Government investigators have created a new timeline showing that between the time Ivins created super-advanced weaponized anthrax all by himself without advanced equipment and the time he returned for a routine meeting at Ft. Detrick later that day, he drove to Manhattan and glowered with evil intent at building 7.

This case is now solved, and we our closing down our investigation.

Anyone who doubts our conclusion is a conspiracy theorist who should go look for anthrax spores on a grassy knoll.

Top Anthrax Expert: "Maybe There's Two Groups" of Anthrax Killers

William Patrick is the leading U.S. expert on weaponizing anthrax, and has multiple patents in anthrax weaponization.

Patrick made an interesting point in a November 2001 article in USA Today:

Further complicating things, the spores contained in the first attack, on a Florida media company, have been described by investigators as a clumpy powder, which would make a poor aerosol. Only two weeks later, the finely prepared Daschle-letter spores appeared. Those spores were ground so fine that they apparently drifted across offices and contaminated other letters in the mail. The same strain of anthrax was used in all the attacks, suggesting a common source.

The bioterrorists "must have had a hell of a short learning curve," says Patrick, who headed U.S. bioweapons work until the program's halt in 1969. "Or maybe there's two groups."

In other words, either a single killer or group of killers went from a crude anthrax preparation to an extremely advanced weaponized form of anthrax in 2 weeks, or there were two groups of killers.

The anthrax sent in the first letters was coarse, brown, "sandlike", and clumpy. The anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was white and very fine. As the Washington Post noted, it was:
1.5 to 3 microns in size and processed to a grade of 1 trillion spores per gram -- 50 times finer than anything produced by the now-defunct U.S. bioweapons program and 10 times finer than the finest known grade of Soviet anthrax spores.
In addition, the anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was so advanced that no one at Fort Detrick had ever seen anything like it before. As described in a 2001 CBS article:
"When technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost. "
Scientists concluded that it used a high-tech coating of nanoparticles of polymerized glass to ensure dispersion.

In other words, if a single killer sent out all of the anthrax letters, he started out with a very crude, raw anthrax sample, but ended up with the most highly-advanced weaponized anthrax in the world, one which many leading experts say would have required expensive high-tech equipment, a team of people, and many months to prepare.

Indeed, why would someone send a crude anthrax sample if they were going to end up sending a highly-advanced preparation very soon thereafter? Why not just wait 2 weeks until the weaponization was complete, and then send both? That doesn't make sense.

Two (or more) separate groups of killers is much more likely. The first just sent anthrax samples as is, with no real processing. The second used methods so advanced that only a handful of people in the whole world know how to do it.

WW 2 Interrogators Got Information Without Torture

Many people have noted that torture doesn't work as a method for obtaining information.

Now, a group of leading World War II interrogators have broken their silence and confirmed that torture is not needed. As quoted in the Washington Post:

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.
Hess was one of the most important people to interrogate, and the U.S. government sent a mild-manner physicist to play chess with him to get information.
"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."
Indeed, successful interrogation is a battle of wits and treating the detainee with humanity is one of the cardinal principals in successful interrogation. Torture actually interferes with that process.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The FBI Admits It Has No Case Against Ivins

The FBI has admitted that it has no case against Ivins.

As summarized in an article today in the Washington Post:

The FBI has had a difficult time making its case to a skeptical public and scientific community. A hair sample snagged from a Princeton, N.J., mailbox linked to the attacks turned out not to match that of Ivins.

Some Congressional critics have questioned whether one man could really have carried out the elaborate attacks.

But FBI officials continue to press their case.

"I don't think we're ever going to be able to put the suspicions to bed," said Vahid Majidi of the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. "There's always going to be a spore on the grassy knoll."

This is very telling.

The FBI could have said "we will prove to Congress, the scientific community and the public that only Ivins could have done it".

But they didn't.

Instead, the FBI is trying to discredit the many top anthrax scientists who question the government's case against Ivins by using the "grassy knoll" conspiracy-theory smear.

If they had a case against Ivins, they would have presented it, instead of resorting to Bill O'Reilly style smear tactics.

"As always, in Establishment Media World, nothing is more insane or radical than refusing to believe every word the Government says. Even after Iraqi mushroom clouds and the whole litany of Government falsehoods, the establishment hallmark of Seriousness and Sanity is accepting the Government's word. When it says Iraq was behind the attacks, then it was. When they said Hatfill was the culprit, he was. Now that they say that Ivins is, he is, and only "conspiracy theorists" -- comparable to those who disbelieve we landed on the moon -- would question that or demand to see the actual evidence. The FBI is relying, understandably so, on their mindless allies in the media to depict its case against Ivins as so airtight that no real investigation is necessary."

- Glenn Greenwald

Monday, August 18, 2008

Parallels Between the Anthrax and 9/11 Investigations

Preface: If you question the FBI's anthrax investigation, but don't want to read anything questioning the government's 9/11 investigation, please read this first.

There are numerous parallels between the anthrax and 9/11 investigations. This essay will touch on a couple of them.

1. Continuously-Changing Story When Caught in Misstatements

The government has continuously changed it story each time it has been caught in a misstatement in both the anthrax and 9/11 investigations.


When it was pointed out that the FBI's timeline made no sense, they simply changed it without explanation.

And the government initially claimed that Iraq was behind the attack. When the Iraqi connection was disproven, the government tried to blame it on Mark Hatfill. After Hatfill won a multi-million dollar judgment against the FBI for defamation, they had to change their tune yet again.

"In April, it was reported that the FBI had been focusing on as many as four suspects. Fox News identified them as a “former deputy commander,” presumably in the U.S. Army, a “leading anthrax scientist,” and “a microbiologist.” The fourth suspect was given no description. Now the bureau is “confident that Dr. Ivins was the only person responsible for these attacks,” according to the assurances of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia."

And yet, after Ivins' death, the FBI is now trying to pin it solely on the dead guy.


The military put out 3 entirely different stories about what happened on 9/11. Specifically, Norad was forced to give 3 entirely different versions of what happened that day, as each previous version was exposed as false, or as providing evidence that the government could in fact have intercepted the hijacked planes had they followed standard protocols.

The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, who led the 9/11 staff's inquiry, said "I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described .... The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years.... This is not spin. This is not true."

Indeed, the falsity of Norad's explanations were so severe that even the 9/11 Commission considered recommending criminal charges for the making of false statements.

2. Pre-Ordained Conclusions

In regards to both anthrax and 9/11, the government decided on a politically-acceptable explanation, discounted any other possibilities, and then made arguments to support the acceptable conclusion.


The government's pre-ordained conclusion is that only one person was involved in the anthrax attacks. However, leading experts say that it would have taken more than one person to produce the advanced, weaponized anthrax.

Moreover, as mentioned above, the initial pre-ordained conclusion was that Iraq was responsible. Moreover, as mentioned above, the initial pre-ordained conclusion was that Iraq was responsible. Specifically, the FBI was actually instructed to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials.

Once the alleged Iraqi connection became impossible to maintain (and once the false connection had already succeeded in helping to provide a justification for launching the Iraq war), the blame switched to a single rogue U.S. scientist (Hatfill), and then - once Dr. Ivins died - to the conclusion that Ivins was the culprit, as that would provide a tidy ending to the story. In fact, as shown below, the FBI had not been convinced that Ivins was the culprit even a few months before his death.


The Joint Congressional Inquiry was only authorized to look at "intelligence failures", and nothing else. The pre-ordained conclusion, therefore, is that intelligence failures were the sole cause of the 9/11 attacks, a politically acceptable conclusion.

The 9/11 Commission could only publish a report which was approved by the White House. Moreover, the Commission specifically said that "it is not our purpose to assign blame" for the attacks. It necessarily follows that if blame could not be assigned, then the only possible conclusion could be that "no one could have foreseen" 9/11.

As shown elsewhere, other agencies tasked with investigating other aspects of 9/11 were tasked with supporting the pre-ordained conclusions of the official account.

3. Failure to Follow Leads

In both cases, the government failed to follow any leads which contradicted the pre-ordained conclusion.


The FBI apparently failed to conduct investigations at the most likely points of origin: Dugway, Battelle, or the numerous other labs which had the strain.

The FBI also failed to follow up on investigating a letter sent before the attacks which may very well have pointed to the culprit.


Because a Bush White House insider was executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and determined which issues and lines of evidence would be considered, many relevant lines of inquiry were not followed.

As examples of uninvestigated leads, the the 9/11 investigators did not follow up on the substantial evidence that the White House had specific warnings before the attacks.

The government allowed members of the Saudi royal family, including the Bin Ladens, to leave the country right after 9/11, without meaningful interrogation.

4. Suppression of Evidence

The government suppressed evidence in both cases.


The FBI kept Congress in the dark about the investigation for many years. Until recently, "the FBI has completely shut Congress out of its ... investigation into anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill and around the nation".

The FBI has also failed to share with the public even details of its investigation which could not conceivably threaten national security.


Investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House.

The official investigators into the collapse of the World Trade Centers were denied access to the site and the evidence contained there, or even access to such basic information as the blueprints for the world trade center.

The government claims that no flight recorders were recovered from the airplanes which hit the Twin Towers. However, firefighters stated they did recover the flight recorders. And Dan Rather confirmed that they were recovered.

The 9-11 widows who pressured the administration to create the 9/11 Commission have declared it a failure which ignored 70% of their detailed questions and "suppressed important evidence and whistleblower testimony that challenged the official story on many fronts".

5. Destruction of Evidence

The government allowed important evidence to be destroyed in both cases.


The FBI allowed 70 years of Ames-related anthrax samples to be destroyed. As noted in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Scientists in and out of government say the rush to destroy the spores may have eliminated crucial evidence about the anthrax in the letters sent to Congress and the media."
As a top bioweapons expert and insider to the FBI investigation said:
“This was an astonishing thing to do. It should have been preserved as evidence. This was a roadmap of everybody and anybody that had gotten access to develop the super-strain that hit Leahy and Daschle.”
Moreover, according to the Associated Press:
"FBI scientists early on had — but destroyed — the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins...:


[This was anthrax that] Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators"
The FBI's excuse for destroying the anthrax sample which Ivins gave them makes no sense.


The government filmed the interrogations at Guantanamo of 9/11 suspects, who - according to the 9/11 Commission - were the key basis for the Commission's findings - but hid the existence of the tapes, and then destroyed the tapes before any outside observers could watch them.

The tape of interviews of air traffic controllers on-duty on 9/11 was intentionally destroyed by crushing the cassette by hand, cutting the tape into little pieces, and then dropping the pieces in different trash cans around the building as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view) and by this article from the Chicago Sun-Times.

And the government hauled away and then promptly shipped overseas virtually all of the steel from ground zero before it could be analyzed by scientists. Indeed, the former head of the fire science and engineering division of the agency now investigating the world trade center disaster, who is a professor of fire protection engineering, wrote that evidence necessary to determine the cause of the collapse of the World Trade Centers was being destroyed.

6. Allegations of Bribery

The government apparently attempted to bribe people to support its story in both cases.


The FBI offered Ivins' son $2.5 million plus the sports car of his choice if he would turn over evidence implicating his father.

If the FBI attempted to bribe Ivins' own son, it is logical to assume that they attempted to bribe other people (perhaps successfully).


According to a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, the U.S. paid $5 million to an Iraqi for his assistance in letting the CIA forge and backdate a letter falsely linking 9/11 to Iraq.

7. Skeptical Congressmen

Congress people who have examined the evidence are skeptical about the government's explanation in both cases.


Senators Grassley, Daschle and Leahy, and Congressman Holt question the FBI's anthrax conclusions.


Congress people from both sides of the aisle question the government's version of 9/11.

8. Skeptical Experts

Experts who have examined the evidence are also skeptical about both cases.


Many top anthrax experts are skeptical that Ivins could have done it by himself (and see this).


Top scientists, engineers, arthitects, high-level intelligence officials, military leaders and others with relevant expertise are skeptical of the government's explanation of 9/11.

The foregoing list just begins to document the many parallels between the anthrax and 9/11 investigations. I started with a list of 14 major parallels but - for the sake of brevity - reduced it to 8. There are many other parallels which could be written about. Writers should take up the task of listing additional parallels.

Even for the parallels mentioned, the list is in no way intended to be exhaustive. Again, for the sake of readability, I solely gave a couple of examples for each parallel, when entire essays could (and hopefully will) be written about each one.

FBI Admits It Destroyed Evidence In Anthrax Case

According to the Associated Press:

"FBI scientists early on had — but destroyed — the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins...:


[This was anthrax that] Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators"
The FBI's excuse for destroying the anthrax sample which Ivins gave them?
"The sample kept at the FBI lab was destroyed because the bureau believed it might not have been allowed as evidence at trial."
However, every trial lawyer in the country will tell you that prosecutors don't destroy evidence just because they are not sure a judge will allow the evidence to be introduced at trial. Instead, lawyers keep all the evidence. If more bullet-proof evidence comes along, only then would a prosecutor be less attached to the earlier evidence.

But even then, he would still hold onto the earlier evidence as a backup, in case the better evidence is lost, or the authenticity, reliability or chain of custody of the better evidence is challenged in court.

The FBI's explanation is so shallow that Rolf Lindgren suggests that reporters ask the following question at the next FBI news conference:
"Now that Dr. Ivins is dead and he won't have a trial, no evidence will ever be admitted. Have you destroyed the rest of the evidence yet?"

Advisor to FBI in Anthrax Investigation Says Attack Was False Flag Terror

We all know that the bioweapons expert who actually drafted the current bioweapons law (the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989) - Francis Boyle - has said that he is convinced the October 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people were perpetrated and covered up by criminal elements of the U.S. government, and that the motive was to foment a police state by killing off and intimidating opposition to post-9/11 legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the later Military Commissions Act.

But a new article reveals an interesting fact: Professor Boyle "advised the FBI in its initial investigation of the anthrax letters."

In other words, an FBI advisor himself believes that the anthrax attack was a false flag operation.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why People Who Question the Anthrax Attacks Won't Question 9/11

I think I've figured out why many people who question the government's explanation for the anthrax attacks don't question the official story about 9/11.


  • 9/11 involved much greater loss of life. While 5 people died in the anthrax attacks, close to 3,000 died on 9/11
  • None of us have seen gruesome images of the victims of the anthax attacks. But we all watched horrific images of 9/11: planes slamming into buildings, people jumping out of the Twin Towers, the Towers collapsing . . .
  • 9/11 was the first attack on the U.S. by "foreign terrorists". As such, it was the point at which America took the fork in the road away from traditional notions of liberty, justice and the Geneva Convention and towards the "war on terror"
9/11 and the anthrax attacks - and the government's "investigation" into both - were actually very similar in many ways (as I will show in a later essay).

Many people can see how ridiculous the government's case against Dr. Bruce Ivins as the "sole culprit" is. With 5 dead and no gruesome images, and occuring after the "war on terror" was already underway, the anthrax attacks are something that people can think about rationally.

But many people are so traumatized by the thousands of deaths, the overwhelming and horrible images, and the unique status of 9/11 as the day when "we were attacked and everything changed", that they are still in shock and still trying to suppress the fear and pain. They simply will not allow themselves to honestly and fully investigate 9/11, but are still reacting out of primal emotions.

That is, after all, the purpose of a false flag attack.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Lai, Zapruder and 9/11

It is obvious that the government is hiding evidence regarding 9/11. For example, the government has claimed that no flight recorders were recovered from the airplanes which hit the Twin Towers. However, firefighters stated they did recover the flight recorders. And Dan Rather confirmed that they were recovered.

9/11 activists have repeatedly demanded that the government reveal the videos, photographs, and other documentary evidence so that we can assess the truth for ourselves (see this, for example).

Government Hides Behind Copyright Law

Not only has the government refused to share the evidence, it has threatened to dispose of it. For example, NIST recently responded to a FOIA request by saying that it would not share many videos and photographs but would - instead - give the originals back to the people who shot them (scroll down to comment titled "NIST Said At Least 50% Of Work Won't Be Released").

The government's theory is - apparently - that the copyright for the video and photos is owned by the people who shot them, and that sharing them with others would constitute copyright infringement. Specifically, copyright law states that the owner of the copyright can prevent others from duplicating or reproducing the copyrighted work. (Copyright is actually frequently used in an attempt to crush free speech and dissent, but that's another story).

The My Lai/Zapruder Exception

Is there any way around the government's copyright argument?

Yes, there is a possible exception, which could be called the "My Lai/Zapruder Exception". As one court summarizes the principle:

Citing the exclusive photographs of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the Zapruder home movie of the assassination of President John Kennedy as examples, Nimmer proposes that "where the 'idea' of a work contributes almost nothing to the democratic dialogue, and it is only its expression which is meaningful," copyright protection of the expression should be limited in the interest of public access to information necessary to effective public dialogue. Id. at 1 - 82-1 - 84. Nimmer explains:

No amount of words describing the "idea" of the massacre could substitute for the public insight gained through the photographs. The photographic expression, not merely the idea, became essential if the public was to fully understand what occurred in that tragic episode. It would be intolerable if the public's comprehension of the full meaning of My Lai could be censored by the copyright owner of the photographs. . . .

Similarly, in the welter of conflicting versions of what happened that tragic day in Dallas, the Zapruder film gave the public authoritative answers that it desperately sought; answers that no other source could supply with equal credibility. Again, it was only the expression, not the idea alone, that could adequately serve the needs of an enlightened democratic dialogue.

Id. at 1 - 83-1 - 84.

Nimmer recognizes, however, that denying copyright protection to news pictures might defeat the ultimate First Amendment goal of greater public access to information by inhibiting or destroying the business of news photography. Id. at 1 - 84.1-1 - 85. The treatise therefore suggests a news photograph in which idea and expression are inseparable should be subject to a compulsory licensing scheme unless within a month of its making, the photograph appears in the newspapers, magazines or television news programs servicing a given area. Id. at 1 - 85. n5

Nimmer is the leading treatise on copyright law. So Nimmer's opinions carry great weight.

I would strongly recommend that all 9/11 truth activists and attorneys seeking documentary evidence cite the My Lai/Zapruder Exception, and demand that the government release all of the videos, photos, and other evidence related to 9/11.

The same holds true for those seeking the truth about anthrax or any other issue concerning which the government is stonewalling.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Test of The New Blogger Fix

Test of The New Blogger Fix

Same As the Old Boss: Both McCain and Obama's Advisors Want War in Georgia

Georgia is located in Eurasia, in what some call the "Eurasian Balkans", and possesses important resources, including oil pipelines.

For months previous to the start of hostilities in the Georgia-Russian war, American trainers have been getting the Georgians ready for war.

As revealed in a July article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "A large contingent of Georgia Army National Guard soldiers flew to the Republic of Georgia on Sunday for joint military exercises at a time when tension is brewing in the region".

And you won't hear it on the tv news, but Georgia started the war.

It is clear that the U.S. has been behind Georgia's military adventures.


McCain's top foreign affairs advisor was until very recently a high-level Georgian lobbyist (and was long after he started advising McCain), a neocon, and a key player in pushing fake intelligence and the Iraq war. He is a hawk who is very good at starting wars.

Former LA Times' journalist Robert Scheer thinks the war was started to boost McCain's election chances.


Obama's top foreign policy advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wrote in his book The Grand Chessboard, that the top priority for the U.S. was seizing control of the Eurasian Balkans.

Here are some sample quotes from the Grand Chessboard:

  • The Eurasian Balkans include nine countries that one way or another fit the foregoing description, with two others as potential candidates. The nine are Kazakstan ... Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia ... as well as Afghanistan. (p.124)
  • "Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold." (p.124)
  • "Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power."- (p. xiii)
  • "It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.” (p. xiv)
In short, Brzezinski argues that Eurasia is the ultimate prize, and the key to controlling Eurasia is controlling the Eurasian Balkans, of which Georgia is a part.

It is clear that the US is following Brzezinski's playbook for the region.

Indeed, this is exactly what Mikhail Gorbachev was referring to when he wrote:
"By declaring the Caucasus, a region that is thousands of miles from the American continent, a sphere of its 'national interest,' the United States made a serious blunder."
And given the above, it is not surprising Brzezinksi is all for U.S. backing of, and direct involvement, in Georgia's military fight against Russia: Brzezinksi not only supporting the U.S.-Georgia alliance, but comparing Putin to Hitler.

Bottom line: Both McCain and Obama's top foreign policy advisors want a war. And, obviously, the other neocons and assorted hawks want one also. Indeed, the U.S. is now sending troops into Georgia under the pretense of giving "humanitarian aid".

See also this and
this (which provides some insights, but may be over-the-top).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CIA Had Killer Anthrax

We previously heard that 16 labs possessed the RMR-1029 anthrax used in the 2001 attacks. It appears that we should now add the CIA and its contractors.

A December 2001 Washington Post article states that the CIA had Ames anthrax.

Indeed, the articles states that "The FBI is focusing on a contractor that worked with the CIA".

The contractor could very well have been Battelle Memorial Institute, a long-time CIA contractor which had carried out anthrax experiments for decades. As the BBC noted:

"CIA is in this [anthrax] business too, though presumably only through contractors. But we don't know how many contractors. One contractor is now publicly disclosed, Battelle, that did one of those projects."
And as a September 4, 2001 New York Times article notes, the government had hired Battelle to engineer a new, more potent form of anthrax.

In addition, Battelle ran the army lab at Dugway Proving Ground which originally created RMR-1029 (so Battelle undoubtedly had the killer strain. And Battelle has offices throughout the United States, so it easily could have shipped killer anthrax to the appropriate mailing location).

So the CIA contractor under FBI suspicion could have been Battelle. But as the BBC article notes, "We don't know how many contractors [were working on anthrax projects for the CIA], we don't know how many projects."

A classified 1999 report commissioned by the CIA also discussed responses to a hypothetical anthrax attack through the mail very similar to the one which actually occurred (confirmation here).

And "Dr. Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged authority on US bio-defence - claimed . . . there could have been a secret CIA field project to test the practicalities of sending anthrax through the mail - whose top scientist went badly off the rails..."

Is it more likely that vaccine scientist Ivins did it? Or that the dirty tricks boys at the CIA or one of its contractors - with experiencing in weaponizing anthrax - did?

As noted by the Washington Post in December 2001, "CIA officials have said they are certain the anthrax used in the mailings did not come from their work, that none of it is missing and that the small amount in their possession was not milled into powder form."

That's good enough, right? If the CIA boys said they didn't do it, then we should believe them, right?

Interestingly, the CIA did not even address whether one of their anthrax contractors did it.

Proof that Government Spying Is Not For Our Protection

The government claims that it is spying on Americans to keep us safe from terror.

Is that true?

Well, let's look at the facts:

As one writer puts it:
"If we know of illegal administration spying on journalists and other non-suspects, and we know of pre-9/11 surveillance, then we for all intents and purposes know that these are not programs designed to fight some foreign terrorists threat."
Of course, the fact that the government heard the hijackers' plans from their own mouths - and yet did nothing to stop them - confirms that the spying was never about protecting us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Anthrax Attack Was State-Sponsored Terror (But the State Was America)

The chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998 - who describes himself as one of the "four or five people in the whole country" who could make the type of anthrax used in the 2001 attacks - noted in testimony to Congress:

"I have maintained from the first descriptions of the material contained in the Daschle letter that the quality appeared to be such that it could be produced only by some group that was involved with a current or former state program in recent years. The level of knowledge, expertise, and experience required and the types of special equipment required to make such quality product takes time and experimentation to develop. Further, the nature of the finished dried product is such that safety equipment and facilities must be used to protect the individuals involved and to shield their clandestine activity from discovery."
Similarly, a manufacturer of specialized anthrax equipment said:
"You would need [a] chemist who is familiar with colloidal [fumed] silica, and a material science person to put it all together, and then some mechanical engineers to make this work . . . probably some containment people, if you don't want to kill anybody. You need half a dozen, I think, really smart people."
The U.N. biologist mentioned above also said that the equipment to make such high-tech anthrax does not exist at Fort Detrick, where Ivins worked. People who work at Fort Detrick have confirmed this.

In other words, a lone scientist couldn't have done it without the support of a whole government laboratory. And Fort Detrick was not one such potential laboratory.

What Does the FBI Say?

Until 2006, the FBI seemed to support this conclusion, but then suddenly and inexplicably changed its mind. According to the New York Times, the FBI changed its mind and took the position that the anthrax was not high-tech -- and thus could have been produced by a "lone nut" -- based upon a single paper published by one of its scientists.

The new theory was shown to be unsupported by any evidence in a various scientific papers (see this and this). And even the editor of the journal in which the new FBI hypothesis was published later criticized the article:
"The statement should have had a reference. An unsupported sentence being cited as fact is uncomfortable to me. Any statement in a scientific article should be supported by a reference or by documentation."
In other words, the FBI scientist just made up the new claim that the anthrax was not so high-tech that it had to have been made by a government-sponsored bioweapons program.

So why did the FBI change its tune, based upon an unsupported statement by one of its scientists?

Well, if the evidence pointed to state-sponsored terror, ruled out states the U.S. government wanted to blame the attack on (such as Iraq), and actually pointed towards America as being the "state sponsor", the government might want to distract people from the true culprits, right? Especially given that producing weaponized anthrax violates laws to which the U.S. is a signatory, and could constitute war crimes, right?

Indeed, on September 4, 2001, the New York Times revealed that the government was going to produce a highly-potent anthrax strain at a military lab in Ohio.

And Dugway Proving Grounds had been producing high-grade, dry, weaponized anthrax for quite some time before the attacks, and had shipped Ames strain anthrax "back and forth" with Fort Detrick.

Since 16 labs and many hundreds of people had access to the exact strain of anthrax used in the attacks, a state-sponsored operation could have been set up almost anywhere in the U.S.

They needed a patsy to pin the attacks on and deflect the fact that this was a false flag operation which also implicated an illegal bioweapons program. The anthrax attack was a state-sponsored crime in search of a patsy.

And see this.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ivins Can Defend Himself in Court and Obtain Justice Against the FBI

The FBI says it is "too bad" that it can't present its evidence against Ivins in court, while Ivins' many defenders say that Ivins could have cleared his name in court if he were still alive.

And, now that he is dead, Ivins can't sue the FBI for harassment and defamation.

Or can he?

The survivors of someone who has died can sue for wrongful death. No smoking gun evidence that Ivins was murdered, you say?

It doesn't matter. The FBI was complicit in Ivins' death, as they had him under 24/7 surveillance, and yet failed to stop him from committing suicide or treating him during his agonizing days of dying from poisoning.

At the very least, the FBI harassed Ivins until he killed himself.

The FBI also defamed Ivins and intentionally caused emotional distress.

His heirs can step into his shoes and file a lawsuit based on many of these crimes.

In addition, his family can sue the FBI on behalf of injury which they themselves have suffered. For example, Ivins' daughter can sue for harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress based upon the FBI showing her gruesome pictures of anthrax victims and saying "your father did this!"

If the Ivins family decides to sue, the government would basically have to prove that it had a reasonable and good faith basis for its actions. Because they won't be able to do that, the Ivins family will win in court, and Dr. Ivins' name will be cleared.

Moreover, a lawsuit would give the family power to subpoena FBI records, to get the full details of FBI misconduct.

Indeed, if Hatfill received $5 million from the FBI, Dr. Ivins - who died because of unlawful acts by the FBI - should receive much more. While he is no longer alive to collect it, his family is.

It would be good for the country if the Ivins family sued to clear his name - both for the sake of justice, and so that the FBI is forced to find the real killers. The evidence of FBI misconduct is very strong, and - one way or the other - it led to Ivins' death, the destruction of his reputation, and his branding as a murderer.

But the choice of whether or not to sue is a personal decision that only Ivins' family can make.

Note: This essay oversimplifies legal principles for the sake of brevity. Dr. Ivins' family would have to consult an attorney to advise them on what claims they could or couldn't sue for, and the likelihood of recovery on each.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Proof that Ivins Couldn’t Have Done It (At Least Not Alone)

According to the FBI, Ivins made the killer anthrax in his lab at Fort Detrick all by himself in something like 12 hours (pages 8-9).

Is that plausible?

Well, one of the handful of people who actually can produce the kind of high-tech weaponized anthrax used in the attacks said:

"In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. "And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good."
In addition, scientists at Ft. Detrick say that no one there had the equipment or knowledge to make weaponized anthrax of the type used in the letters (more on this in a later esasy).

If it would take one of the handful of people who have the know-how and a good lab with staff a year, and if no one at Ivins’ lab knew how to do it, how could Ivins have made it all by himself in 12 hours without the proper equipment?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ivins Could Not Have Applied High-Tech Coating to the Killer Anthrax

As everyone knows, the government initially tried to blame Iraq for the anthrax attack. One of the claims made was that the anthrax contained bentonite clay, which was also used by Iraqi anthrax bioweapons makers to "weaponize" the anthrax by decreasing the tendency of anthrax spores to clump together. (Clumping makes them less deadly since clumping reduces the amount of spores which end up in the target's lungs).

The government later disclaimed that assertion. However, the FBI now claims that the killer anthrax contained silicon. Silicon can be used as an anti-clumping agent to weaponize anthrax.

For example, McClatchy notes:

"Some of Ivins' former colleagues also dispute the FBI's assertion that he had the capability to mill tiny anthrax spores and then bind them to silicon particles, the form of anthrax that was mailed to the office of then-senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D."

And as New Scientist writes, FBI agents "mention a 'silicon signature' for the anthrax in the envelopes with no further comment. Silica may be used to weaponise spore powders."

Evidence for the theory that the anthrax used in the attacks was coated with anti-clumping agents also comes from a a 2001 CBS article:
"When technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost. "
Anthrax would normally clump, so the fact that it "floated off the glass slide" points to the anthrax being treated with anti-clumping and anti-static agents.

Why is this important?

It takes very sophisticated equipment and processes to coat something as small as an anthrax spore with anti-clumping agents:
"Only a sophisticated lab could have produced the material used in the Senate attack. This was the consensus among biodefense specialists working for the government and the military. In May 2002, 16 of these scientists and physicians published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describing the Senate anthrax powder as “weapons-grade” and exceptional: “high spore concentration, uniform particle size, low electrostatic charge, treated to reduce clumping” (JAMA, 1 May 2002, p. 2237)."
Indeed, the anthrax sent in the letters was coated with a very rare, high-tech glass polymer nanomaterial:

More revealing than the electrostatic charge, some experts say, was a technique used to anchor silica nanoparticles to the surface of spores. About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U.S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense officials that this additive was “polymerized glass.” The officials who received this briefing—biowarfare specialists who work for the governments of two NATO countries—said they had never heard of polymerized glass before. This was not surprising. “Coupling agents” such as polymerized glass are not part of the usual tool kit of scientists and engineers making powders designed for human inhalation. Also known as “sol gel” or “spin-on-glass,” polymerized glass is “a silane or siloxane compound that’s been dissolved in an alcohol- based solvent like ethanol,” says Jacobsen. It leaves a thin glassy coating that helps bind the silica to particle surfaces.

Silica has been a staple in professionally engineered germ warfare powders for decades. (The Soviet Union added to its powders resin and a silica dust called Aerosil —a formulation requiring high heat to create nanoparticles, says Alibek. U.S. labs have tested an Aerosil variant called Cab-O-Sil, and declassified U.S. intelligence reports state that Iraq’s chemical and biological warfare labs imported tons of both Cab-O-Sil and Aerosil, also known as “solid smoke,” in the 1980s). “If there’s polymerized glass [in the Senate samples], it really narrows the field [of possible suspects],” says Jacobsen, who has been following the anthrax investigations keenly. “Polymerized glasses are exotic materials, and nanotechnology is something you just don’t do in your basement.”

By March 2002, federal investigators had lab results indicating that the Senate anthrax spores were treated with polymerized glass, and stories began to appear in the media. CNN reported an “unusual coating” on the spores, and Newsweek referred to a “chemical compound” that was “unknown to experts who have worked in the field for years.” When Science asked the FBI about the presence of polymerized glass in the Senate powder, an FBI spokesperson said the bureau “could not comment on an ongoing investigation.”

(Silica is the principle component of glass. The FBI is apparently misspeaking when it is now saying that the anthrax contains "silicon").

But Dr. Ivins was a vaccine researcher, not a weapons maker. Moreover, Ivins was working in a lab where - according to his co-workers and supervisors - people went in and out all night checking on experiments (so they presumably would have seen suspicious activity by Ivins, had there been any), and Ivins did not have access to the extremely high-tech equipment which would have been necessary to produce the weaponized anthrax. He wasn't one of the count-on-one-hand group of people who knew how to coat anthrax spores with anti-clumping agents.

Moreover, Ivins was one of the lead researchers helping the FBI investigate the anthrax murders. Remember, CBS wrote "when technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost." This implies that the Ft. Detrick scientists, including Ivins, had never handled this kind of weaponized anthrax before.

The media has rightly been questioning whether or not Ivins knew how to dry anthrax. And his colleagues have rightly been asking whether Ivins, a vaccine expert, could have made anthrax as pure and concentrated as the killer anthrax (for example, a former director of the bacteriology division at Ft. Detrick said the anthrax sent to Daschle was "so concentrated and so consistent and so clean that I would assert that Bruce could not have done that part").

But the media is missing another large part of the story . . . it is very doubtful that Ivins knew how to weaponize the anthrax spores with advanced anti-clumping agents.

Update: One of the world's top anthrax experts has confirmed the hypothesis discussed in this essay.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

16 Labs Had the Killer Anthrax Strain

Page 6 of the FBI's search warrant affidavit in the Ivins' investigation states:

"Of the sixteen domestic government, commercial, and university laboratories that virulent RMR-1029 Ames strain Bacillus antrhracis material in their inventory prior to the attacks ...."
As the Baltimore Sun summarizes it:
"The government said that 16 government, commercial and university labs had the strain of anthrax with the same genetic mutations as the anthrax used in the attacks.


And even at Fort Detrick, the government said that more than 100 people had access to the flask, creating a lot of room for reasonable doubt."

Handwriting Analysis Fails to Tie Ivins to Anthrax Letters

The FBI cannot match Ivins and the handwriting in the anthrax letters. As summarized by World Net Daily:

"Casting further doubt on the FBI's anthrax case, accused government scientist Bruce Ivins passed two polygraph tests and a handwriting analysis comparing samples of his handwriting to writing contained in the anthrax letters, U.S. officials familiar with the investigation say.


Officials confirm that FBI handwriting analysts were unable to conclusively match samples of Ivins' handwriting with the writing on the anthrax envelopes and letters".
The WND article points out other problems with the FBI's case:
Investigators also failed to uncover other critical evidence linking Ivins directly to the letters. For instance:

* No textile fibers were found in his office, residence or vehicles matching fibers found on the scotch tape used to seal the envelopes;

* No pens were found matching the ink used to address the envelopes;

* Samples of his hair failed to match hair follicles found inside the Princeton, N.J., mailbox used to mail the letters.

Also, no souvenirs of the crime, such as newspaper clippings, were found in his possession as commonly seen in serial murder cases.

What's more, the FBI could not place Ivins at the crime scene with evidence, such as gas station or other receipts, at the time the letters were mailed in September and October 2001.


lab records reviewed by WND show the number of late nights Ivins put in at the lab first spiked in August 2001, weeks before the 9/11 attacks."
So much for an air-tight case.

If Ivins Went Nuts, It Was the FBI Who Drove Him Crazy

One of the FBI's pieces of "evidence" against Dr. Ivins is that he sounded nutty, and thought the FBI was out to get him.

If Ivins went nuts, it was because:

  • Ivins was barred from his long-time place of employment
  • Ivins' colleagues have noted other abuses, and the FBI undoubtedly harassed Ivins in ways which we have not even heard about
As leading reporter Larisa Alexandrovna writes:
"The FBI alleges that Ivins lost his mind and told the counseling group he was attending that he was a target in the FBI investigation and made threats. Remember, this is AFTER the man had been stalked and threatened for several years, and his children harassed, including an attempted (allegedly) bribe of his son. Yes, he lost his mind, but was that not the point after all?"
Indeed, the FBI's tactics in driving Ivins batty and then saying "see, he must have done it" are similar to the government's tactics of torturing the Gitmo detainees until they were literally crazy, and then getting "confessions" from them once they were nuts.

The Killer Anthrax Did Not Even Originate at Fort Detrick

It is clear that hundreds of people had access to the specific "RMR-1029" batch of anthrax stored at Fort Detrick (where Dr. Ivins worked) and used in the anthrax attacks.

What is less well known is that the anthrax was probably not manufactured by Ivins or Fort Detrick. Instead, it probably came from the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah:

"Called RMR-1029, it was also referred to by Ivins as "Dugway Ames spores - 1997," apparently from its original point of manufacture, at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, an Army biodefense center administered by a company called Battelle."
Scores of scientists work at Dugway Proving Ground, and the Army Reserve, National Guard and Air Force also operate there:
In addition, Dugway's mission is to test US and Allied biological and chemical weapon defense systems in a secure and isolated environment. DPG also serves as a facility for US Army Reserve and US National Guard maneuver training, and US Air Force flight tests. DPG is controlled by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC).
Given that RMR-1029 likely originated at Dugway Proving Ground, isn't it likely that the originator of the sample kept a sample himself?

And given that many hundreds of people from various branches of the military work at Dugway, isn't it possible that one of them could have stolen some of the sample? Obviously, biological agents would have been kept under security. However, my point is that this was not solely a bioweapon facility, but also a military base. High-level brass could have authorized entry for others, or someone who worked at the lab could have been bribed.

Indeed, like Dr. Philip Zack - a Fort Detrick scientist who gained access to the anthrax lab even though he no longer worked there - someone could have talked their way into the Dugway bioweapons lab.

Update: The New York Times states:
“The attack strain contained bacteria with both the flipped and the unflipped DNA, showing that it was a mixture of two strains, which analysts later found reflected a mix of origins — 85 percent from the Dugway Proving Ground of the Army in Utah and 15 percent added at Fort Detrick, according to one person close to the investigation.”
This confirms that Dugway was the origin of the bulk of the anthrax. The "normal" Ft. Detrick Ames strain was fairly common before 9/11, so many people could have obtained samples and mixed them into the Dugway strain.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

FBI's Allegation that Ivins was "Sole Custodian" is False

The FBI made numerous claims in today's official press conference. They are largely refuted by Dr. Meryl Nass, an expert on anthrax.

I want to focus on the FBI's primary piece of "evidence": That the anthrax suspect, Dr. Bruce Ivins "has been the sole custodian of RMR-1029 [the specific batch of anthrax used in the attacks] since it was first grown in 1997".

In fact, according to the New York Times:

"After four years of painstaking scientific research, the F.B.I. by 2005 had traced the anthrax in the poisoned letters of 2001 to a single flask of the bacteria at the Army biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., according to government scientists and bureau officials."
(this is the flask containing RMR-1029 concerning which Dr. Ivins was the "custodian").

Sounds bad for Dr. Ivins, right?

Well, the Times article continues:
"But at least 10 scientists had regular access to the laboratory and its anthrax stock — and possibly quite a few more, counting visitors from other institutions, and workers at laboratories in Ohio and New Mexico that had received anthrax samples from the flask at the Army laboratory."
As Dr. Nass points out, "Having received a sample, or obtained it surreptitiously, they would be "custodians" of it too."

So concluding that the anthrax used in the attack to RMR-1029 narrows down the list of suspects to:
  • At least 10 scientists at Fort Detrick
  • Numerous visitors to Fort Detrick (including former Fort Detrick scientists, such as this one, who improperly accessed the lab)
  • Workers at labs in Ohio and New Mexico
  • And people who might have stole the anthrax from any of the people listed above
That's a pretty big list of suspects. The New York Times has confirmed in a subsequent August 6 article:
"Officials admitted that more than 100 people had access to the supply of anthrax that matched the powder in the letters."
Ivins' attorney puts the number at "hundreds of people".

The August 6 Times' article also notes:

"By 2005, genetic research had tied the anthrax to a supply in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory. But officials indicated that it took nearly four years to eliminate others who had access to the same supply.


[Ivins' attorney] said the flask was far from “controlled” by Dr. Ivins. 'Other scientists helped him create that anthrax and worked with it constantly,' he said. 'They kept no records of who took a sample.'"

Ivins' attorney also states that Ivins never denied to the FBI that the anthrax could have come from Ivins' batch.

Its not so clear that Ivins is guilty after all, is it?

Moreover, the sample of RMR-1029 possessed by Dr. Ivins was not weaponized. Many of Ivins' colleagues say that he simply did not have the knowledge to weaponize it into the dry form used in the attacks, while scientists at such facilities as the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah did.

Note: As of December 2001, the following labs worked with the Ames strain of anthrax:
  1. USArmy Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (Ft. Detrick, MD)
  2. Dugway Proving Ground (Utah)
  3. Naval Research Medical Center and associated military labs (MD)
  4. Battelle Memorial Institute (Ohio; plus laboratories in many other locations)
  5. Duke University Medical School, Clinical Microbiology Lab. (NC)
  6. VA Medical Center, Durham (NC)
  7. USDA laboratory and Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames (Iowa)
  8. LSU College of Veterinary Medicine
  9. Northern Arizona State University (Arizona)
  10. Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IL)
  11. University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque (NM)
  12. Institute for Genomic Research (MD)
  13. Chemical and Biological Defense Establishment, Porton Down (UK)
  14. Center for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton (UK)
  15. Defense Research Establishment, Suffield (CA)
It is unclear how many of the above labs worked with RMR-1029, but it is possible that the New York Times missed some labs in its list.

FBI's "Selective Release of a Few Documents" in Anthrax Investigation Is Not Sufficient

The FBI gave its big press conference today, announcing why it thinks Dr. Bruce Ivins is the anthrax killer, and the sole guilty party.

Does this put the issue to rest?

Well, Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa called for a congressional investigation of the anthrax probe, saying there should be hearings rather than "the selective release of a few documents."

And as former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald points out:

"One critical caveat to keep at the forefront of one's mind is that when one side is in exclusive possession of all documents and can pick and choose which ones to release in full or in part in order to make their case, while leaving out the parts that undercut the picture they want to paint - which is exactly what the FBI is doing here -- then it is very easy to make things look however you want.


It is critical to keep in mind that all they released is their own claims and summary about the evidence they have. The evidence itself continues to remain concealed, in their exclusive possession, examined by nobody.

What happened today with this selective document release is akin to a criminal trial where only the Prosecutor is allowed to see the relevant evidence, only the Prosecutor is allowed to select which evidence is presented, and only the Prosecutor speaks. Such a distorted, one-sided process doesn't even happen at Guantanamo, which should, by itself, indicate how much skepticism is warranted here until the FBI makes the actual evidence available so that its claims can be subjected to critical scrutiny."

And Congressman Holt - who recently called for the formation of an Anthrax commission to investigate - said this after a briefing today from the FBI Director said:
"A number of important questions remain unanswered, such as why investigators remained focused on Dr. Hatfill long after they had begun to suspect Dr. Ivins of the crime and why investigators are so certain that Ivins acted alone."
Former Senator Daschle (who was himself one of the targets) also recently criticized the FBI's investigation.