Ivins and the Anthrax Investigation

As I showed in this post, the claim that Iraq was responsible for the anthrax attack developed in two phases. First, after the first and less lethal round of attacks, Neocons spread the story that Iraq had supplied anthrax to Al Qaeda. Then, after the more lethal attacks associated with the letters to Daschle and Leahy, ABC News reported that Ft. Detrick scientists had found bentonite in the anthrax samples.

In comments, I suggested that it was possible the first round of accusations were just typical Neocon war-mongering, but that the second round was the culprit, playing on the Neocon attacks, inventing the bentonite claim as an alibi. In other words, after the attacks started killing people, the culprit may have spread the claim that the anthrax had to have come from Iraq as a way of throwing suspicion off him or his colleagues.

A couple of longer articles on Ivins make it clear that he was in a position to spread such disinformation. For example, the WaPo reports that Ivins was one of the scientists analyzing the anthrax for the FBI.

His expertise eventually earned him a front-row seat for the FBI’s investigation, as he was called upon to help the bureau with its analysis of the wispy powder used in the attacks.


After the anthrax mailings in October 2001, the Fort Detrick labs went into a frenetic response, testing suspicious mail and packages virtually round-the-clock. Ivins was part of a team that analyzed the handwritten letter sent to Daschle, packed with Bacillus anthracis spores that matched the primary strain used in Fort Detrick research.

Creepier still, the WaPo reports that Ivins volunteered for the Red Cross as it supported FBI agents investigating Stephen Hatfil.

In fact, in early June 2003, when the FBI drained a pond in rural Maryland in search of clues to the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks, Ivins was one of the Red Cross volunteers who brought investigators coffee and donuts. Investigators, however, singled him out and asked him to leave "because he was somebody involved in the investigation," said Byrne, Ivins’s former colleague and fellow parishioner.

None of this, of course, means that Ivins was the killer–nor that he acted alone. The WaPo also reports, for example, that Ivins’ work was supportive of those opposed to mandatory anthrax vaccination–which would seem to refute his claimed motive (to make money–as this LAT article explains, expanding on stuff JimWhite noted yesterday).

Ezzell said the experiments did not involve anthrax in its dried form, the type found in the letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) that was so finely ground it could immediately become airborne. Ivins worked with small teams of scientists; their findings had global significance in the field of anthrax studies and were later used by opponents of a mandatory vaccination program instituted by the Pentagon that has been highly controversial.

Meryl Nass, a physician and leader in the vaccine opposition movement, met Ivins at a conference in the early 1990s, and they talked regularly over the next decade. She said Ivins told her he had a chronic blood disorder and feared that it might be linked to the anthrax vaccine booster shots he had to take to work in the Fort Detrick laboratory.

"He had some issues with work," Nass said in an interview.

Also, I’m still dubious about the claims Ivins’ analyst made–because she claims he has homicidal tendencies going back years, which none of the people interviewed about Ivins seem to have noticed.

In court records, filed after Dr. Ivins discussed his plans to kill his co-workers, a social worker who led the sessions, Jean Duley, said that Dr. Ivins’s psychiatrist had “called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.” She went on to say that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking at Dr. Ivins and that he would soon be charged with five murders — the same number of fatalities in the anthrax attacks.

“He is a revenge killer,” Ms. Duley told a Maryland District Court judge in Frederick as she sought a restraining order against Dr. Ivins. “When he feels that he has been slighted, and especially towards women, he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings.”

And it’s not like the anthrax killings were revenge killings (nor did they target women). I’m also curious about what led Ivins to lose consciousness earlier this spring. Suicide attempt? Stress? A blow to the head? It could be anything.

The LAT suggests that DOJ is going to release investigative documents, which I guess may clarify things somewhat.

If the investigation is declared over, the department will seek a court order releasing investigative documents in the case that have been under court seal, the officials said. They declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

"We anticipate being able to provide additional details in the near future," the Justice Department statement said. Officials indicated in the statement that they wanted to update victims of the attacks about the investigation before making further details public.

Until then, it sure seems that Ivins was in a position to inject disinformation into the investigation.

  1. Loo Hoo. says:

    Good questions all. I look forward to the Justice Department releasing these documents, and I look forward to finding out why McCain “knew” Iraq was involved so early on.

    I’m wondering why we have scientists working on weapons grade anthrax (or any other chemical or biological weapons) at all. Thought that was the stuff of which wars were waged.

    • lizard says:

      The supposed reason is that these things must be studied as a way to prevent attacks with these pathogens, and it is a VERY good reason. Unfortunately we can’t trust our government to do only defensive research, without also secretly hatching plans for “limited” offensive use.

      Anthrax is one of the hardest pathogens to adapt to offensive use on a large scale.

      IF Ivins did send the letters, it seems to me that he would have been testing Anthrax as an assassination weapon. Leahy was, if I am correct, probably the specific target for this “test” witht he mailroom deaths and Stevens in Boca being collateral damage.

        • chrisc says:

          …senseless deaths. Ah, yes, But Americans are very tolerant of their own homegrown terrorists, right wing religious extremists nutjobs who bomb abortion clinics or churches and gun toting crazies who like to show off their arsenal while they take out a school or a shopping center. Lots of senseless deaths, but we sigh and move on.

          Now, foreign terrorists or the threat of foreign terrorists demand that we suspend all reason, surrender our civil rights, and embrace a dictator who drained our treasury while on a war crimes binge. It is truly senseless.

  2. lizard says:

    I can see no reason to associate anybody but government leakers to the bentonite story. Even the timing suggests the more likely motivation is to rig a war with Iraq.

    It would be comforting to lay off the Bentonite leaks on Ivins, but it is a leap where none is necessary. The neocons have motive, ample opportunity, and a track record for just such manipulations.

    I expect to see an awful lot of “Ivins did it ALL!” crap as a way to forestall congressional investigations into WHO ELSE may have been involved, either by collusion or by way of media manipulation. I think we don’t really need to forward that goal by continuing to lay as much off on Ivins as possible.

    That is not to say that Ivins DIDN’T start the Bentonite leaks, but since the FBI, the Neocons, and everybody else with a motivation to bury this stuff WILL be shouting exactly that, I doubt they need any help.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think both are still possible–though think of it this way: if someone in Ft. Detrick DIDN’T make the bentonite claim, don’t you think there would have been pushback?

      I actually think it possible, though, that Ivins told the FBI he found bentonite in the Daschle sample (note they specify which sample he worked with–which may mean they were able to track the bentonite claim to him), and that the FBI passed on taht incorrect information unknowingly. Brian Ross has a lot of FBI sources, by all appearances, but if the FBI genuinely thought the bentonite thing was true, I can understand Ross not wanting to expose sources like that.

      • lizard says:

        I doubt very much the FBI ever thought the bentonite story was true. I also think it is likely that it DID originate at Detrick, as that was where the lions share of the testing was taking place, and CDC (where a lot of the brainstorming was going on) is just riddled with ethical civilian doctors who would have looked unkindly at the dissemination of bullshit. I am just uncertain it serves the purpose of a lone whackjob scientist mass murderer to be making easily disproven statements about a sample he himself handled.

      • lizard says:

        Ross is, in this instance, plainly giving material support to MURDERERS, however it plays out. Either solo whackjob scientists or a test op gone bad or a concerted plan to gin up a war that cost untold lives, makes very little difference. At the very minimum he is protecting witless dupes used to forward the plans of murderers, or he is protecting intentional liars supporting murderers, or at worst, obstructing public understanding of the murders of countless thousands.

        THIS is why a shield law that does not specifically exclude perveyors of false information, non-conscience government leakers, authorized government leakers and many other categories of press manipulators would do more harm than good. I don’t see a possible shield law formulation that will prevent media manipulation by the powerful while allowing conscience-based whistleblower protections. I would just LOVE to be proven wrong on that point.

  3. Loo Hoo. says:

    Via the LATimes:

    If the investigation is being closed, I would ask that you appear before the House Committee on Appropriations’ Select Intelligence Oversight Panel to provide an account of the investigation, to include any lessons learned from the investigation, and how (if at all) those lessons are being applied by the Bureau in its approach to counterterrorism and other criminal investigations.


    Select Intelligence Oversight Panel

    • chrisc says:

      Serious consideration should be given to how a whackjob homicidal scientist gets and keeps a security clearance that allows him to work with bioterrorism agents.

    • windje says:

      One other reason that Rush Holt might be interested

      From wiki

      The anthrax letters are believed to have been mailed from Princeton, New Jersey.[7] In August 2002, investigators found anthrax spores in a city street mailbox located at 10 Nassau Street near the Princeton University campus. About 600 mailboxes that could have been used to mail the letters were tested for anthrax. The box on Nassau Street was the only one to test positive.

      Princeton is in Holt’s district.

      And then there are things that make you go hmmm…

      Who were the letters mailed to? and why them?

      Two more anthrax letters, bearing the same Trenton postmark, were dated October 9, three weeks after the first mailing. The letters were addressed to two Democratic Senators, Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont. At the time Daschle was the Senate Majority leader and Leahy was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both were identified in the media[6] as holding up the proposed Patriot Act because of concerns that some parts of it would violate civil liberties.

      Kinda wonder if . . . maybe Cheney was low on shotgun shells?

  4. wavpeac says:

    Well isn’t this the basic philosophy behind the “Shock Doctrine”? Whether the problem just “occurred” randomly or not is not as important as what bushco did to exploit the problem. It is safer to focus on what they did in response to the problem, how they exploited because that seems easier to prove to the public. Maybe they caused it, maybe they let it happen, maybe they planted the idea, or maybe a nut job who was a bushco “believer” took it upon himself to make the threat real. Regardless, our gov’t exploited the situation and spread “propaganda” to lead us into a war, based on a lie. PERIOD.

  5. allan says:

    The complete lack of recollection in the MSM of the uses to
    which the anthrax attacks were put in the
    run-up to the war is yet another sign of the decay
    of what should be a check on government abuses.

    No, wait, look, over there, it’s a troll.
    Or a race-baiting black senator.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Until then, it sure seems that Ivins was in a position to inject disinformation into the investigation.

    Based on the FBI’s apparent claims, Ivins was able to do that for years, so doing it “at the end” would be no different.

    I remain troubled by Duley’s unprofessional-appearing notes, including misspellings of professional trade words. Presumably, these were rushed — in light of Ivins’ apparent threats — so that they could be completed in time to submit to the court. (Most of us now are far faster on a computer than handwritten notes. But I understand mental health therapists’ stereotypic reluctance even to use digital media or admit to the existence of notes that may be discoverable in legal proceedings.)

    The Times article EW links to describes Ms. Duley referring to Ivins’ “homicidal threats” dating back decades and her claim that Ivins was “a revenge killer”. I guess that was some last group session for her diagnosis to be so sudden and complete. (Or else why no action based on data from earlier sessions?)

    The Times’ also quotes Ms. Duley referring to comments obtained from Dr. Ivins’ “psychiatrist”, alleging that s/he “had ‘called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.’” Presumably, Ms. Duley obtained that from the psychiatrist after Ivins’ last group session and before filing her statement in court. Which begs the question that if Ivins’ state of mind was such a clear and present danger to himself and/or others, why his psychiatrist did not report the matter sooner. More information would be useful to help sort out a troubling and far from complete story.

    • bmaz says:

      The Times’ also quotes Ms. Duley referring to comments obtained from Dr. Ivins’ “psychiatrist”, alleging that s/he “had ‘called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.’” Presumably, Ms. Duley obtained that from the psychiatrist after Ivins’ last group session and before filing her statement in court. Which begs the question that if Ivins’ state of mind was such a clear and present danger to himself and/or others, why his psychiatrist did not report the matter sooner.

      And that would be part of my point @95. Duley’s own bit of her certified statement (and PO statements are sworn to the court) bugs the hell out of me, but material within the psychiatrist’s file is absolutely dr./patient privileged, and that applies to anyone working underneath the psychiatrist. This would be grounds for immediate termination of Duley and all kinds of punitive litigation from Ivins. There are ways to communicate these threats and fears through the system and to law enforcement, and those have been enhanced and expanded since 9/11; what Duley did is just freaking bizarre. It just feels wrong to me, and I wonder what the real story is there, but I find it unlikely that it is what people are giving face value.

      • PetePierce says:

        I wouldn’t give you a fraction of a penny for the reliability or training of this “social worker” Jean Duly–I wish I had a nickle for the number of idiots I’ve seen that get hired by DOJ wherever she came from.

        Fatal mistakes get made by DOJ “doctors” all the time and I’ve seen a ton of charts that reflect idiot care.

        I don’t see a lot of reasons to trust a social worker who is testifying for the FBI in this scenario as to her reliability or her competence. Who knows?

        Let’s make a little comparison here. In a number of scenarios during the past few years since 911 FBI has not hesitated to round up all kinds of people at the drop of a hat. Mukasey gave his blessing to jailing many of them as material witnesses while on the SDNY bench.

        So we have a scnario in which this Duly woman testifies about direct threats to kill someone and the FBI never arrests him after purportedly considering him their prime suspect after their Stephen Hatfill fuckup. Give me a break!

        Look at what Duley the “social worker” purports she and the FBI knew anjd the FBI did nothing to impact:

        In court records, filed after Dr. Ivins discussed his plans to kill his co-workers, a social worker who led the sessions, Jean Duley, said that Dr. Ivins’s psychiatrist had “called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.” She went on to say that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking at Dr. Ivins and that he would soon be charged with five murders — the same number of fatalities in the anthrax attacks.

        “He is a revenge killer,” Ms. Duley told a Maryland District Court judge in Frederick as she sought a restraining order against Dr. Ivins. “When he feels that he has been slighted, and especially towards women, he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings.”

        On the disingenuous scale if she was working for FBI (and if she was a community social worker running a group–NYT doesn’t make that clear) she sure as hell indicates she had been in direct communication with the FBI. None of this adds up. If he had been that kind of a threat to others, they could have had any MD have him hospitalized for evaluation in any state in this country, evaluated for 24 hours; re-evaluated to keep for 48 hours and then re-evaluated at a “mental inquest hearing” to hospitalize for evaluation and potential treatment beyond the first 72 hours. It’s done every day everywhere.

        I just read your comment at 99 and I’ve seen your other ones. This whole thing just seems bizarre to me and you’re absolutely right.

    • holdenlennon says:

      I also noticed her grammatical errors and apparently rushed, erratic writing in the documents. Having worked as a domestic violence counselor with perps I have read tons of orders for protection and some of them do look like hers- even when written by otherwise competant people. It seems that what happened was that the FBI contacted her and scared the ____ out of her by telling her that one of her clients was a homicidal maniac and they mentioned that he had been diagnosed as a sociopath and had made threats previously, etc. So when Bruce Ivins came to group spouting off about killing people she had to contact the authorities. (as any type of counselor you are required by law to do this. It’s called duty to warn.)Then when he was temporarily committed for 72 hours or whatever they require he was PISSED because he knew the result would likely wreck his life. So he called her. Something similar happened to me with a client. The only difference is that I was not told by FBI that my client was about to be indicted for 5 Capital Murders! And this woman is apparently an uncredentialed counselor- not a licensed counselor or a pychologist. She is a lower level professional. I have seen her called every name in the book and it upsets me because she worked at a thankless job for probably very little money and she has been thrust into the middle of the FBI’s mess. Some other person on a blog called her a bitch and said she should be hanged! It is not her fault she just happened to have him as a client. She was scared he would kill her when he was released and the truth is that if he had gone postal and she had not made any reports she would be attacked for that as well. So cut her a break. I am sure she is a wreck over this and shen she was filling out that form the last thing she imagined was that it would be on millions of computer screens across the world being scrutinized by the likes of us. She was just a frightened worker who had apparently seen and heard enough so that she sincerely feared for her safety. She did nothing wrong that I can see. And in most states you can file some type of order for protection even if it is not a domestic situation. There are different names for the orders like an order from protection for repeat violence. Apparently in MD they are called Peace Orders.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I appreciate that Ms. Duley may well be a typical, overworked, underpaid, exhausted professional, working in a “system” that often derides mental health diagnoses, treatments and costs as unscientific, ineffective and wildly expensive. Especially a “system” often made up of medical practitioners working in competition with psychotherapists or insurers who hate to pay for anything ever.

        That said, someone in Ms. Duley’s position might reasonably have questioned the credibility of a caller who claims to be from the criminal justice oriented FBI who purports to relay medical and/or psychological diagnoses about a patient with the obvious intent of scaring the shit out of Ms. Duley. The FBI is not known for the psychological balance or training of its otherwise admirably trained staff.

        Why would they know such information about Dr. Ivins? Why would they rather than a senior mental health professional disclose it to Ms. Duley? Why should their claims be regarded as credible without supporting data coming directly from a highly qualified mental health professional?

        If the FBI’s claims were correct, why had neither they nor a more senior psychiatrist/psychologist from whom they obtained this allegedly accurate information already taken steps to restrain Dr. Ivins or put him in police custody?

        The scenario stinks. It has the bouquet of a Karl Rove, formalin-laced set-up rather than the more arid logical aroma of a mental health or law enforcement professional.

        Dr. Ivins’ family and friends and the American public deserve a more thorough investigation and autopsy. One that reveals precisely how and why he died. One that either clears his name, as was belatedly done in the case of Dr. Hatfill, or makes clear beyond a reasonable doubt that he did the deeds the government has already alleged against him by rumor, if not by indictment.

    • brendanx says:

      Did the mysterious Ms. Duley prescribe any drugs for Ivins? Ones that would have made him fall unconscious, or behave psychotically (retroactively to his graduate days)?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Presumably, with a BSW, even under a PhD’s supervision, Ms. Duley is not authorized to prescribe anything but hot tea with honey or lemon.

  7. MarkC says:

    Where’s the coverage of Ivins’ motives? Did he materially benefit from the scare/war he promoted? Who did he work with, and why didn’t they notice or suspect him? Was he in contact with any of the war promoters in other branches of the government?

    Compare the media’s frenzy over a “shoe bomber” and the 24/7 coverage of a speculative and flawed terrorist plot to the coverage of this person, who is alleged to have killed five and materially contributed to starting an immoral and catastrophic war. What gives? When the fourth estate begins to do its job, I’ll stop being suspicious that this is a convenient “David Kelly” style fictional ending.

  8. JimWhite says:

    This is probably more appropriate for the previous thread, but Cheney’s remarks on the NewsHour on October 12, 2001 are informative.

    Lehrer opens with a reference to an announcement from the FBI the previous day heightening the threat of terrorist attack. In his response to that, Cheney says

    We’ve got continued reporting that really led us to believe that the threat level had gone up – that is to say it’s fairly precise in terms of time, although not location or anything like that. And all of that’s obviously of concern. We’ve had this ongoing disclosure now of anthrax problems, now extending to NBC in New York, and nobody’s made a direct link yet but at this stage you have to be concerned about that sort of thing, the possibility. Are they related? We don’t know. We don’t have enough evidence to be able to pin down that kind of connection. But, on the other hand, these kinds of activities that we saw in Florida, now perhaps in New York, we have to be suspicious.

    So, on October 12, Cheney has the opportunity to blame Iraq, but keeps the blame on al Qaeda. However, he does have another interesting agenda that he gets to next. After Lehrer helps Cheney to inflame panic over potential anthrax contaminated mail, he then asks what citizens can do. Cheney’s response is very telling:

    JIM LEHRER: What else?

    VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Well, I think it’s partly a question of – several things that need to happen. We need to improve our – some of our law enforcement procedures, and we’ve got legislation pending before the Congress, for example; it’s important we get that through. Every day that goes by when we don’t have all the tools we think we need to find out who these people are and to run them to ground is one more day when we could conceivably suffer the consequences of undue delay. Call your congressman and senator, tell them that’s important legislation, you’d like to see it passed.

    Cheney’s goal in this interview appears to be to drum up support for the Patriot Act. He is relying specifically on the panic over anthrax to get citizens to call up their legislators and urge them to sacrifice our liberties so that the government can go after these evil-doers. That does fit the observation above that this comes off as a classic shock doctrine play.

    It looks like the idea of blaming this on Iraq came to them a couple of days later.

  9. JimWhite says:

    Another question: If Ivins was a sociopathic, homicidal maniac, with clear intentions toward women, why does it appear that his marriage was stable and long-term?

    • watermelonpunch says:

      Time will tell.
      I haven’t decided yet on Ivins definitely.

      A long-term marriage and happy neighbors is no proof that Ivins was not a sociopath. Sadly, women married to men like that often lie, bail them out of financial difficulties, and basically cover for them in all sorts of ways, sometimes for years or decades, while the sociopath charms people around him to get what he wants. And many times people who were conned, cheated, or screwed over by the sociopath remain silent because of their shame at having been taken in. Not all sociopaths are killers, and not all of them have multiple divorces. They come in a variety of flavours!

      Also, it’s very common that most of the only people who really get close to sociopaths, close enough to see through the facade, are people with mental illnesses, alcohol problems, and personality disorders, because they are the most vulnerable to a sociopath’s manipulations, and most likely to put up with the crap – so often they’re so unstable themselves, that nobody believes them. This social worker therapist sure could seem to fit into that scenario.

      Although ironically, it’s not usually therapists who first recognize the sociopath as dangerous. Ask any spouse of a sociopath who’s gone to Marriage Counciling. Usually the victim spouse complains that therapist winds up as an unwitting accomplice of the sociopath.

      On the other hand, a sociopath can’t help but leave a trail of trouble, broken hearts & broken promises in his wake, no matter how smooth his facade. And if Ivins was a sociopath, within months we should see at least a few people from the past 30-60 years step out to tell tales of recklessness, abusiveness, womanizing, cheating & conning, or general accusations of immorality or unethical behaviour.

      Such as how after the arrest of Mechele Linehan, people started posting comments on blogs about knowing her when she was a teenager, and remarking on her bad character back then.

      Or how after the death of Nils Antezana on Mount Everest, horror stories about his mountain guide, Gustavo Lisi came out in force, on how he was a con, inept, careless, selfish, unethical, and a liar, on expeditions on other mountains, years earlier.

      In my own local area, a con man homebuilder, Scott Binsack, had a history of lawsuits against him, and STILL managed to open another business in the same line of work, and garner the support & adoration of local media & the affluent social set. He was treated like a celebrity… But once criminal charges were brought against him, not only did the newspaper tear into the whole of his shady history, but people who knew him 15 years ago started posting tales of the sinister & nasty about the guy on internet forums.

      Though sociopaths can fool a lot of people a lot of the time, and many times the people who see the truth are silenced, or drowned out, by the believers & supporters who are under the sociopaths spell…
      Usually once an arrest is made or something drastic occurs to out the sociopath, there’s no shortage of people who come forward to add their voice to a barrage against the person.

      If that doesn’t happen with Ivins, within months, I’d say it would make the social worker’s accusation extremely suspect.

  10. InnocentBystander says:

    I find it hard to reconcile his private life personna where his neighbors (who knew him for may years) provided a positive testimonial versus the altogether different picture painted by a social worker/psychiatrist. I have no idea how the FBI focus on him may have started to impact his mental well being. Or how his job suspension and pending indictment may have changed his personality. But I know there is a government/administration motive to wrap this up now and Ivin’s suicide couldn’t have benefited this administration more, in terms of never actually having to litigate this case for the public record.

    It amazes me how things always work out for the best interests of this administration.

  11. Neil says:

    He was later released voluntarily, but his erratic behavior prompted his therapist, Jean C. Duley, to seek a protective order. Duley wrote that Ivins “has a history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats, actions, plans, threats & actions toward therapists.” She quoted his psychiatrist, Dr. David Irwin, as calling him “homicidal, sociopathic, with clear intentions.” Irwin could not be reached for comment.

    I did not know mental health workers could obtain a court protective orders from their patients but I suppose the relationship amounts to a relationship. I just thought it had to be more familiar relationship like spouse or significant other.

    Jean Duley was specifically in fear of Ivans for what he might do to her. She cited threats & actions toward therapists. By doing so, she may have met all the specific requirements to get an order. So maybe its best not to lean too heavily on her statement as an indicator of Ivins (alleged) psychological issues. (I’ll explain, Snooks (Rockefeller) Boss, was abducted by her father. The BPD announced that there was no history of abuse but the she was in danger. The later part of the framing is a requisite for an Amber Alert, the former keeps the BPD out of court from a libel suit.) The way Duley described the specific threat may be what she needed for a protective order. I’m not saying she did not perceive a real threat. I’m just saying she was motivated to frame it in a way that she would get it, which may not be the most accurate representation of his (alleged) mental health issue.

    But which is it, Ivins a homicidal, sociopath, since graduate school or was he just a danger to his therapists or none of the above? If he has a criminal record, it will come out. If he does not, then you have to wonder about this homicidal, sociopathic diagnosis, and mostly why he was in a position to handle bio-hazards as an employee of the Federal government.

    “Crazy” people do crazy things, that the rest of us would never act on, and so crazy, homicidal, sociopath, is also an answer to the question, Why would he do it? I’m suspicious of diagnosis that explain, why did he do it, so neatly and without examination of discernible facts.

    It is Irwin who wrote about Ivins as a threat to the general population “homicidal, sociopathic, with clear intentions.” You have to wonder what Ivins said the Irwin, and what other observations Irwin made in coming to his conclusions about Ivins.

    That said, does Ivans live with his sociopathic impulses for decades before he acts? If he was homicidal, we might expect to see a record of more homicide in his life. It could be there but there is no evidence of it yet.

  12. InnocentBystander says:

    Another loose end that’s never been satisfactorily answered. Why was Cipro prescribed to personnel in the WH, right after 9/11 and weeks before the attacks actually occurred? From what I’ve read, it is not recommended as a preventative measure, it’s only proscribed once an infection has been diagnosed.

    • lizard says:

      Because Cipro is the frontline antibiotic for almost every pathogen that can be used in biological attacks, and because white house paranoid persecution-complex ridden neocons with an inflated sense of self-importance needed a magic pill to ward of the evil demons that were attempting to devastate their imperial neofascist lifestyles. Nevermind that using Cipro prophylactically is a stupid, counterproductive medical procedure, nevermind that it lowered the already insufficient stockpile of this vital drug, nevermind that there was no real threat.

      Unfortunately, as much as I would love to say that this is evidence of foreknowledge of the attack, simple stupidity and rampant paranoia suffice.

      • InnocentBystander says:

        I understand your point, but I find it hard to believe that the medical resources available to POTUS would be counseling them to start an anti-biotic regimen absent of an actual infection. Perhaps the ill informed or paranoid demanded medication and over-rode the advice of the medical staff…but that was not how I recall it as being reported.

      • Teddy Partridge says:

        And why did Cheney make such a big deal at a National Security Council meeting that he’d been exposed to a “lethal dose” of anthrax if he’d already been given Cipro.

        It all stinks, all of it.

  13. tryggth says:

    When and if the FBI releases info, a timeline for the later portion of this investigation might be in order. Humbly submitted for inclusion is this April 2007 FBI research report submitted to the Croatian (huh?) Medical Journal.

  14. InnocentBystander says:

    This case kind of reminds me of the speed in which the 9/11 case was solved. The FBI/CIA were unable to apprehend these people before the events, but they had the whole case solved within 24 hours of the attack. Here, we have Ivins, who apparently was under the FBI radar for 6 years, but as soon as he dies, we find out he’s the guy and they already have the psychiatric testimonials released to corroborate it the conclusion. Case closed…next?

  15. antibanana says:

    Where does Ivins’ wife and children fit into this picture? Why was he left alone if he was displaying suicidal tendencies?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The inconsistencies multiply, don’t they, the more we learn.

      Ivins’ apparently warm relationship with spouse and children, yet his claimed fixation on and “hatred” of women.

      The conclusion that he has the “present intent and capability” to carry out “revenge killings”, presumably based on one/more group therapy session. The as yet undisclosed psychiatrist who seems to have given Duley information and diagnoses from Ivins’ private sessions — damning diagnoses — but which apparently were not sufficient to motivate the psychiatrist to take action.

      Whatever Ivins disclosed in private or group therapy sessions, it apparently was insufficient to trigger taking action until he threatened his co-workers. That seems an inadequate standard given the special circumstances of Ivins’ work with bio-weapons. Like being worried about locking away a handgun while ignoring the finger on the nuclear button.

      Is that description itself adequate, or were there other reasons why no action was taken earlier? Ivins didn’t really exhibit the claimed behavior, intent or capability? Were they there but negligently ignored? Were those in the know prevented from taken action for “national security” or other reasons?

      Given the murders resulting from the original anthrax scare, the war they helped wrongly facilitate, and the potential for further harm if Ivins, apparently like Hatfill, is the wrong man — and the right one(s) remain loose — this is a story that needs more work and public disclosure. Will we get it?

  16. LS says:

    “When he feels that he has been slighted, and especially towards women, he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings.”

    That sort of sounds like she’s saying he actually tried to kill someone, but not citing the anthrax killings specifically. Like he’s a serial killer. Maybe they have a bunch of other evidence on him not linked to the anthrax deaths.

    • pmorlan says:

      Maybe the whole story is false and this little tid bit was put in to get us all to support the fabricated story. I’d like to know more about this woman. Who is she? Does she have any ties to the Bush people? She said she had been treating him for 6 mos. How did he end up with her? When he was found unconcious could he have been injected with something that made him seem crazy and other people took him to see her? There are so many what if’s in this story and knowing that the Bush administration is willing to do anything to cover their tracks you just gotta wonder about all the possible scenarios. What we know so far just doesn’t make any sense.

      • InnocentBystander says:

        I’m pretty much where you are on this. This is the same administration willing to lie about a casus belli to invade and occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Since then, we’ve seen a massive transfer of wealth to a bunch of corrupt people and corporations. People have been murdered for the contents of their wallet…what would a bunch of sociopaths be willing to do to grab hundreds of billions?

        I’ll be following this case with interest…and I really want to know more about this social worker/psychiatrist angle. If this story starts to fall apart, it’s going to put a whole new light on the anthrax attacks.

    • wavpeac says:

      That does not sound like a professional note to me. He has fantasy’s of revenge? There should be notes that ask if he had a plan, what was his plan and then there should be attempts to inform those he plotted against. A duty to warn would have been in order. The way that is worded seems judgmental and without understanding of mental illness.

      These notes just don’t sound like the way we do business at my office. I work in trauma, domestic violence and treatment of violent men and women.

      Are there notes that someone was warned. Who exactly were his “targets” should have been asked by the therapist. Along with the plan.

  17. damagedone says:

    Since Porter Goss was in the news last week and I recalled that there had been a suicide of one of his staff so I googled “Porter Goss and “suicide.” Came up with more than one. Maybe just a coincidence but folks are discussing suspicious suicides. I feel safer now that the lone homicidal sociopath working for government committed suicide? That and the firing commanding officers who allowed the nuclear bombs to be flown across country to Louisiana makes me feel safer everyday. Also Pete Williams (cheney’s former aide) is saying the case is closed – so nothing to worry about.

  18. wavpeac says:

    My understanding of her degree was that she had a two year degree, and then was a licensed drug and alcohol counselor. Am I mistaken??

    My regards to the many wonderful drug and alcohol counselors out there, however, the licensure for this is different than a master’s degree. I do not see that she has an M.S but a B.S and a license for drug and alcohol counseling.

    Again…suspicious stuff because this means he must have had drug and alcohol problems which would/should have affected his clearance. If he was referred, my experience says he would have been on a leave of absence.

    Also…call me crazy, but if we get a scientist, someone with lots of education or smarts…those folks are referred to our most seasoned therapists or a ph.d. We recognize that intelligence, I.Q can be a confounding factor in treatment. Yes?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The “therapy trail” here is overgrown and hard to follow.

      If Ivins had his own psychiatrist, Duley ought to have been a tangential player, brought in to deal with a single aspect of his treatment — claimed abuse of alcohol or drugs as a self-destructive response to other stress.

      As you say, if there was a recognition that such treatment was necessary, it should have set off alarm bells in light of the history of the anthrax murders in 2001, Ivins’ prior involvement in them as investigator or suspect, and his continuing access to bio-weapons. His security clearance should have been put under review and his access to bio-weapons suspended pending a successful outcome of that treatment. “Ordinary” executives cause billions of dollars per year in losses because of alcohol and drug abuse. And they only handle paper clips, computers and cars, not bio-weapons.

      I also understand, as do you, that high IQ “confounds” mental health therapy. Those with it are capable of manipulating the therapist and the therapeutic process to defend against the perceived vulnerabilities the therapy might expose. For someone like Ivins’, whose work depended on maintaining his clearance, those risks included immediate loss of job, status or certain responsibilities, regardless of his underlying issues or their therapeutic outcome. Ivins could have been too bright and successful a manipulator for the average psychiatrist, psychologist or MSW. So Duley’s now public role is a minor mystery, not one of the keys to the puzzle.

      Who else was involved, what did they know, and should they have acted sooner, if in fact, Ivins demonstrated an “intent and capability” to harm himself and/or others?

    • holdenlennon says:

      I do not believe she was a licensed anything and plenty of people with PhDs are in group treatment with group facilitators who only have Bachelor’s degrees. She might have had many years of experience as a counselor and been very competent. But if he had serious problems he would most likely be seeing a licensed therapist of some kind as well as going to group therapy. ( a licensed mental health counselor, a licensed clinical social worker, a psychologist or psychiatrist)

  19. pmorlan says:

    “Duley was identified in a June 29 article in the Frederick newspaper as a program director for Comprehensive Counseling Associates, a local mental-health counseling center. A woman who answered the phone at the center said Duley no longer worked there.”


    I wonder how long she worked there and where she worked before she came there?

    • JimWhite says:

      Crap! From that same article:

      Ivins’s death is being investigated as an apparent suicide from a drug overdose, said Lieutenant Shawn Martyak of the Frederick Police Department’s criminal investigation division. Based on laboratory test results of blood taken from the body, the state medical examiner “determined that an autopsy wouldn’t be necessary” to determine the cause of death, Martyak said.

      That just stinks! Can Holt or Leahy force an autopsy?

  20. Peterr says:

    In Glenn Greewald’s piece on this, he notes that Ivins wrote various letters to the editor, which Glenn describes thusly: “Though the underlying ideology is a bit difficult to discern, he seems clearly driven by a belief in the need for Christian doctrine to govern our laws and political institutions, with a particular interest in Catholic dogma.”

    Glenn links to an archive of these letters at the Frederick News-Post on this, but here’s snip from one of the letters that Glenn quotes:

    Today we frequently admonish people who oppose abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide or capital punishment to keep their religious, moral, and philosophical beliefs to themselves.

    Before dispensing such admonishments in the future, perhaps we should gratefully consider some of our country’s most courageous, historical figures who refused to do so.

    This, to me, sounds like someone who strongly supports the Roman Catholic church’s opposition to anything that goes against what JP II called “the Culture of Life.”

    It also sounds to me like someone who is not terribly disposed toward suicide as a means of solving their own problems.

    • InnocentBystander says:

      It also sounds to me like someone who is not terribly disposed toward suicide as a means of solving their own problems.

      Nor a person willing to send anthrax out and kill a bunch of innocent people. If he is as religious as his LTTE and neighbor testimonials have portrayed him, this does not fit the MO of a RW lunatic. I suppose he could have had schizophrenic tendencies…but you’d think someone close to him would be speaking out and corroborating the official story on Mr. Ivins.

    • MarieRoget says:

      Coming out of strict Canuck/old country Irish Catholic background here- the idea that Ivins would condemn himself in the afterlife by ending his earthly life doesn’t fit what’s currently known @ all, IMO.

      Only, & a big perhaps, if he felt he was already condemned for some reason, & his suicide served a purpose to others/a cause/??? in some way.

      2 cents.

  21. bell says:

    cheneys words from your post >>Every day that goes by when we don’t have all the tools we think we need to find out who these people are and to run them to ground is one more day when we could conceivably suffer the consequences of undue delay. Call your congressman and senator, tell them….

    i hope cheneys isolated words here are adhered to, but from the opposite side of the aisle he is in… man o man, we need to find out who these people are in this admin that willingly led/lied the usa into war and not delay….

  22. SaltinWound says:

    My big question is if the therapy was voluntary or mandated. There are references to him being “committed” for depression. By whom? Many patients are extremely hostile to therapists if they’re not there by choice. Add in the fact that you had a brilliant man being treated by someone not nearly as smart as him. He could have been furious for reasons having nothing to do with being a killer, and, yeah, it does make me want to know more.

    • skdadl says:

      Yes. With great respect to all the good therapists and counsellors present, and I know there are many, that is my first reaction to the therapist puzzle too.

      • wavpeac says:

        Totally agree that an involuntary patient would create a different scenario and could result in threats. However, again, how does he maintain a security clearance if he was in the past referred to treatment, committed involuntarily? And of course threats from an involuntary patient often resolve through the course of treatment.

        In our state, our licensure records can be accessed publically. Can someone look up her license to see if she is legit? There should be public record of her licensure.

  23. wavpeac says:

    If he was a danger to other therapists there should be multiple protection orders. “Revenge killer” is not a diagnosis. And would more likely be called other things. There should be multiple diagnosis with this if he had such a long psych history. Some of my patients have many diagnosis before they are found to be sociopath or psychopathic. Psychopathy is very rare and affects only 2 or 3% of the population. If he was anti social or sociopath there would be other corroborating evidence in his behavior.

    Psychopaths are rare…and can fool people, do fool people, and are very difficult to discern. In fact most psychiatrists miss the diagnosis without psych testing, corroborating evidence and actual reports of specific behaviors. It doesn’t make sense. There should be a big history of information in order to make this dx.

    And if there were a big history, how does he maintain his clearance over the years?

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s what it kind of boils down to, huh?

      Either he didn’t have the history going back to his grad school days, in which case this last minute counselor business stinks to high heaven.

      Or he did, and you wonder why and how he kept his clearance.

      Though I would say this: Stephen Hatfill may not have been the anthrax killer. But he lied on his resume and had a history of working with right wing death squads in Africa. And he had clearance for Ft. Detrick, as well.

      • wavpeac says:

        Agreed that Hatfill could have qualified for a dx or two, but I would have pegged him as narcissistic, (a personality disorder as opposed to a an axis I or organic dx – he was crazy like a fox-pretty damn affective in fending off the gov’t wouldn’t you say?). Some surgeons for instance, meet criteria for sociopath on the mmpi, however, most surgeons lead lawful lives and save folks. (police officers have a higher than average number of sociopaths in their ranks as well) Being sociopath doesn’t rule out other mental health diagnosis and rarely is given alone because there are usually other problems present that lead them to help, even involuntarily. (domestic violence, substance abuse, DWI charges, Employee assistance referrals)

        For instance, if I were rating Ivins’ global functioning, the fact that he has a p.o against him and possible substance abuse, would put his global functioning score fairly low for such a bright guy. It seems this would have correlated with other problems in functioning. (unless of course the charges were bunk). The problems that Ivin’s is being pegged with suggest that he was struggling to function. Were their other signs of this that would corroborate and if so, it would suggest that he might not be “just” a sociopath, but that he might have other disorders impeding his functioning. (at the very least paranoia or depression or bi-polar-but those words aren’t in the release of information.) If he had other symptoms than it would confuse the issue. Did he really do it, or just think he did it? Was he delusional? (and the gov’t said…yep, lets peg him because he thinks he did it? and therefore no mention of other symptoms or medical dx is released?) It’s interesting that this info is left out.

        Being a sociopath doesn’t usually require treatment unless there are other things going on.

        All I know is that if he had substance abuse issues, there should be a c.d dx, not just sociopath. AND many folks who are not in recovery, who are active in addiction test as sociopath because of the chemical dependency).

        I don’t know this is making my head go in circles.

        Whereas Hatfill seemed to have a very high level of functioning. (until his false charges)

        • mamayaga says:

          “Whereas Hatfill seemed to have a very high level of functioning. (until his false charges)”

          But high level of functioning does not equal low security risk. My question is, how can people who have fairly easily discoverable issues in their histories that should raise questions as to security risks be employed in government bioweapons programs? As usual with this kind of enigma, you get to choose between incompetence and evil as explanations…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Makes one ask whether we are populating our bio-weapons labs with today’s version of the proverbial Nazi rocket scientist? That is, are we ignoring prior moral corruption or criminal behavior because an otherwise brilliant mind can make tin cans fly to the moon or make untraceable or otherwise “desirable” bio-weapons?

        Or are we saying that’s what it takes to be willing to design bio-weapons for use against our neighbors? For surely, the odds seem low that these black budget research facilities are focused solely on designing biological counter-measures.

  24. mamayaga says:

    There seems to be an abundant supply of nutjobs working in biodefense on which to pin this crime. Remember that Hatfill had links to paramilitaries and other seedy groups. It’s worth asking again, how do these people get these jobs? I work for the feds in a totally non-sensitive job and had to have a background check — even my secretaries get checked out, fergodsakes. If Ivins had a known history of threatening to kill therapists and/or women, and Hatfill liked to play Nazi stormtrooper, how did either get put in those positions? Or were they conveniently placed so they could take falls when needed?

  25. LS says:

    It is interesting to just simply note that Bushco has an extensive pattern of either creating or invoking frightening scenarios in order to get public support in order to actualize their agenda. So far they have been extremely successful.

    9/11 – Afghanistan and everything else since then…
    Anthrax – Patriot Act
    Downing Street memo – fixing the facts
    WMDs – Iraq and Iran
    Bush plan to paint fake UN airplanes to provoke war with Iraq
    Cheney’s Borat speedboat plans to provoke war with Iran
    Off shore drilling – they’re workin’ on it
    FISA – immunity
    and on and on and on…

    What’s next???

  26. wavpeac says:

    If he was schizophrenic, or had tendencies, those should be noted. Paranoia would be fairly easy to spot. Hostile attribution bias is easy to spot. Delusions would be noted. But what we have says nothing of delusions.(maybe there is more in the notes, of course) The language (released) suggests something more damning(more judgmental almost lacking a medical model perspective).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Do you mean the language used is more like the kind of emotive language a propagandist would use, not the language a trained therapist would use (even one whose principal duties are administrative)?

      Tinfoil, perhaps, but that seems an enduringly useful style of headgear for use with the Rovian minds that both run this administration and attempt to keep its main players out of prison.

    • wavpeac says:

      We are left to believe that homicidal sociopath was his official diagnosis. I am telling you, that’s a strange dx.

      I have worked with several violent men who have threatened suicide homicide on their families. They don’t come to therapy with the threat out front. And if someone is homicidal they have to sign contracts stating that they will not act on their plan and are not released until there is an assertion from the patient that they will not act on their plan. Whenever there is a threat to co-workers there would be a duty to warn. Were they warned?? If not, why not?

      If he had admitted in sessions that he committed the crimes, the therapist would have a duty to inform. (in an ongoing investigation of murder which has no statue of limitations)

  27. Loo Hoo. says:

    Related in a twisted way… if McCain know how to get bin Laden as he claims, yet he’s not telling people in a position to get him, isn’t that criminal? How can you say you know how to catch someone accused of killing 3,000 people and not do it?

    • perris says:

      if McCain know how to get bin Laden as he claims, yet he’s not telling people in a position to get him, isn’t that criminal?


    • Neil says:

      McCain is being presumptuous. The implication is that given his military experience he would know how get that job done.

  28. wavpeac says:

    Is it possible he admitted to his psych?? And that’s how they figured out the case?

    That doesn’t fit this. If he admitted it, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he would admit the killings and be allowed to make continuous threats. (perpetuating the need for the p.o) They would have been able to pick him up immediately and should have done so. If the doc didn’t believe him than it would have been considered a delusion and a dx of some sort of psychosis would have needed to be ruled out?? (and would have been part of an earlier dx) (which would have made the claim that he did it seem more questionable)

    • LS says:

      Maybe he did admit it…they were prepared to charge him with the 5 murders and seeking the death penalty, they must have proof…so…why didn’t they arrest him when they told him they were going to charge him? Why leave a murderer of 5 people on the loose? Why was he at home?

    • emptywheel says:

      Here’s a question.

      In a story on this earlier this year (about the time Ivins began to have his noticeable phsychological issues), Fox reported that Ivins’ colleagues were talking among themselves about the fact that the anthrax the FBI was tracing matched that of one of their colleagues.

      But in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.

      “Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared … to duplicate the letter material,” the e-mail reads. “Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, ‘But I told the General we didn’t make spore powder!’”

      If you’re Ivins, how do you respond to this?

  29. LS says:

    Maybe in the course of Hatfill’s settlement, he told them something that he knows that got them to settle…then right after that settlement, they go after Ivins…the timing is so weird…including Leahy asking about it publicly so recently to Mukasey.


  30. LS says:

    ““Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared … to duplicate the letter material,” the e-mail reads. “Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, ‘But I told the General we didn’t make spore powder!’”

    Okay…this sounds weird to me…the FBI prepared duplicate material…and the scientist says that the best “duplication” material was made by redacted. They are saying that the duplicated material from the FBI most closely matches that of one of the duplicators that the FBI used to duplicate the material. Who the hell is that? Who else makes anthrax?

    Am I reading that wrong?

    Who is the “General”? What kind of “General”?

  31. Nell says:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but there was pushback on the bentonite claim — immediate, high-level, unambiguous pushback from the White House.

  32. wigwam says:

    And it’s not like the anthrax killings were revenge killings (nor did they target women).

    IIRC, there was an elderly woman in New England who mysteriously died of anthrax a few months after the initial attacks.

    • emptywheel says:

      Right, but the most likely explanation of her death is a random infection that was lethal only bc she was so old. The named targets were: Daschle, Leahy, and arguably the three (male) broadcast anchors.

      • PetePierce says:

        Anthrax has occured from wool in mills and is not unknown to impact herds of bison because of forage or water contaminated. Ted Turner has an outbreak right now on his Montana ranch because anthrax is in the soil. He has lost 25 Bison.

        Anthrax kills 25 bison on Ted Turner’s Montana ranch

        That 94-year-old woman was reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health and not in the known categories of intentionally contaminated letter recipients and was not a postal worker or a mailhandler. She was a stay at home lady who watched TV typical of many that age.

        A NATION CHALLENGED: THE LATEST CASE; Connecticut Woman, 94, Is Fifth To Die From Inhalation Anthrax

        Index Case of Fatal Inhalational Anthrax Due to Bioterrorism in the United States

        CDC Epidimeology: Bioterrorism-related Inhalational Anthrax in an Elderly Woman, Connecticut, 2001

        From the CDC report:

        This report describes the epidemiologic and environmental investigation of a case of inhalational anthrax in a 94-year-old woman from rural Connecticut. Molecular subtyping and antibiotic susceptibility testing of the isolate from blood culture demonstrated that it was indistinguishable from the other bioterrorism-related isolates, establishing a link to the cases that were caused by the mailing of intentionally contaminated letters (3,7,8). Surveillance efforts indicate that this was an isolated case in Connecticut and not a sentinel for a larger exposure (9,10). Although a direct exposure was not found, our investigation indicates cross-contaminated bulk mail as the source of her exposure.

        We don’t really know when Mrs. Lundgren first inhaled the spores, and what time in proximity to other mailings she could have received them, but if she got them close to the other mailings that would indicate a pretty long incubation period and delay of treatment and respiratory support for a woman with decreased pulmonary function although she was considered very healthy because of her age.

        The 36-day gap from the Dashle and Leahy letters to the onset of the patient’s symptoms suggests that her incubation period may have been longer than that seen with the first nine bioterrorism-related inhalational cases. In addition, the lack of any environmental evidence of B. anthracis spores in her home or any of the known locations she visited in the 60 days preceding illness suggests that her exposure dose was much lower than the 50% lethal dose cited in the literature (18). While we cannot exclude the possibility of an additional unrecognized intentional release, our findings are consistent with evidence from studies of inhalational anthrax in nonhuman primates (19).

    • InnocentBystander says:

      IIRC, her letter was contaminated by one of the target letters at the mail distribution center. Given her age, it probably wouldn’t take much of an infection to do her in. Horrible, nonetheless.

  33. wavpeac says:

    Okay.. I thought of a scenario. I’ll bet they were all asked to undergo psychiatric evaluation as part of the investigation. That would make sense to me. It would also make sense that any one of them could have developed some intense rage at the process. However, why they would have them seeing someone like this therapist the degree she had, doesn’t make sense.

    They went back and got of powder made in past batches and matched them to the attack sample and one of the batches made by (perhaps Ivin’s) matched perfectly?

    Then I am guessing they might have all been referred for psychological evals. And maybe in the testing it comes out that he meets criteria for sociopath per MMPI scores. Hmmmm. I can see this. So them honing in could have put him over the edge? that could happen. But still why would he be seeing someone like her instead of the psychologist or psychiatrist who would have been far more equipped to elicit an admission or trip him up in his assertion of innocense??

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If the therapist one is postulating existed was working as an investigator to assist the FBI, rather than as Ivins’ counselor, that conflict is necessarily disclosed, no? From Ivins’ perspective, the interaction is inherently adverse, but cooperation becomes necessary to keep his security clearance or his job.

      It still boggles the mind that someone with Duley’s experience became involved even if by Duley’s choice. Given his work, one would think no dysfunction, much less one leading to alcohol or drug abuse, with its attendant impaired judgment, would be deemed “minor”. One would also think that given the disclosures necessary in therapy, only therapists meeting certain criteria would be approved for use by government workers such as Ivins.

      What are we left with? Intent? Negligence? Security glitch? All that insurance would pay for? Too many missing pieces.

  34. PetePierce says:

    We aren’t going to know I’m afraid who are how many people or if Ivins is the unsub or one of them, and what is certain is the bumbling, fumbling DOJ and FBI want to end this and truth is nearly always a stranger to DOJ.

    From the portrait Marcy just sketched Ivins is beginning to look like one of the Criminal Minds unsubs who is a central part of the search misdirecting or guiding where he wants. I’m not sure how we’ll ever know because not only is Ivins now dead, but I wouldn’t trust any story from the FBI/DOJ as far as I could spit any of them.

    DOJ is damaged goods for several generations at least OLC and anyone at Main Justice. Glenn Fine is a perfect example of a bumbling fool bumping into things in the closet and not having a clue where to put them or what to do with him. I don’t think there could be more of a wussie as an IG,

    But I’ll say one thing for Mukasey and Mueller: They have learned how to say “Just Go Fuck Yourself” to the American people who are trying to get the latest Britney info down solid and watch the latest episode of Gosip Girl so telling the American people and Congress to just go fuck off works for them.

    Look at the Bates opinion–even if they don’t say “just go fuck yourself” to the courts which has become a custom for the Bush administratigon–nothing can happen for as much as 90 days even if there is no motion for a Stay to the D.C. Circuit because either party has 60 routine days to appeal, and either party can ask for a delay to submit their appeal within 30 days AFTER that 60 as I cited in the FRAP.

    Doing the math, 90 days from now for the first appellate brief to be submitted is November 2 two days before the election. That’s provided the government waits and asks for an extension which would start after the 90 day period if they strung it out and a stay could be granted for whatever time the D.C. Circuit wanted to.

    Certainly Obama DOJ can take a different stance. The appeal of the Bates opinion would be in midbrief and Obama’s DOJ can withdraw the defense of Rove in concept although the instant case doesn’t have Rove directly (but as Marcy pointed out the opinion impacts him) and Miers and Bolten on a dime and stop arguing for their “privileges” on appeal–whatever they are calling those privileges these days.understand that Harvard Law Review was co-edited by Britney and Paris and Obama though.

    Sounds about right.

    McSame undersanding the litigation? Not so much. He does

    • PetePierce says:

      To clarify November 2 is the length of time the government has to ask for an extention to file from Bates or actually the D.C. Citcuit to whom that extension could be appealed. And if an extension were granted, it wouldn’t start until the theoretical 90 days the government has to motion for it for however long ultimately the D.C. Circuilt would allow it if HJC appealed an extension the Bates could grant according to FRCivP.

      And if the D.C. Circuit grants a stay, there’s still another obstacle. Given that an appeal were going on, the most you could expect is to see HARAT and Joshie the Bolten show up and claim a “fuck you HJC and Americans” privilege for any question if they even felt like showing up.

      The clock is being run by your Democratic Congress who again haven’t the guts to actually do anything that will make a dent.

  35. wavpeac says:

    Well, it would be considered unethical not to disclose a dual purpose. But such a disclosure ie “I am a therapist working with the FBI to find the anthrax killer and we have reason to suspect you so you are being asked to continue psyciatric evaluation and therapy to either clear your name or help us find the killer”, might cause some major push back by the guilty party.

    This might contribute then to substance abuse problems. But it’s all guess work. She may have been an ancillary substance abuse counselor working with him specifically on c.d issues. If i am the case manager and I refer my super bright clients for ancillary c.d evals and treatment, I can’t much control how smart the ancillary treaters are. They report back to me and I help them “tolerate” the “inferior” treaters for what they can get out of the sessions (noting of course that smart people have the ability to glean MORE not less from any given experience : )

    Anyway, it’s still interesting that he was one of ours. Not from Iraq. And that they made it seem as if Iraq were responsible. They exloited it, and even gave misinformation. This is by far, the most important part of the story.

    Their are a million scenarios that might be true. (they tortured him, he went crazy and thinks he did it? or they had him prepare it for some other reason and then someone else sent it out in the mail? ie he was being set up and he knew it so he killed himself?)

    But what we know for sure is interesting enough.

  36. wavpeac says:

    It’s also an ethics violation for psychologists to use their knowledge to develop torture. Big controversy in the APA about that, but lots of them did and do it anyway. Cripes.

  37. Tithonia says:

    How many therapists would misspell the word “therapist”? On the handwritten form it’s spelled “theripist”.

    • PetePierce says:

      I don’t know but it could be a typo. Unfortunately if I don’t have to proofread something for a biz doc, I make far too many of them in a hurry when I’m tired even with words like their and there meaning no disrespect to anyone.

      Boy are the books going to abound on this one. I want to listen to Posner whose books I thought were pretty good on 911. KO interviewed him, and now he’ll be all oPosnerer the tube and “toobs.” I bet he does a book on this. I don’t mean Judge Richard Posner from the Seventh Circuit–I mean Gerald Posner the investigative journalist:

      Gerald Posner

      Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11

      It would be interesting to invite Gerald Posner to the FDL Book Salon and ask him to take some questions on this anthrax situation.

      What’s frustrating is the FBI is doing nothing to clarify things and I don’t expect them to and I just don’t trust them to.

        • PetePierce says:

          Maybe not, but people sure do the same thing when they write if they’re tired. I really haven’t dug into this “therapist” thing you all have going on–CD (chem dependency) or how that relates. There seems to be some discussion about how medically or psychiatrically someone was or how competent and a mispelling seems to be a focus as to their competancy or training I suppose. When I get time I’ll try to read the rest of the thread.

          I know this from direct experience. If the medical professional or whatever they were was obtained by the FBI or DOJ there is a damn good chance their training and competance could have been terrible. I’ve seen plenty of that with them. DOJ employs some of the worst doctors imaginable unless it’s to take direct care of their families.

    • wavpeac says:

      Well, there are several typos on this page from this here therapist that are none too smart…like confusing there, with their. (I do that one a lot when I type) From my understanding she has a b.s and chemical dependency degree. This different than a B.S then M.S and then licensure for mental health. C.d counselors are sometimes folks in recovery who have not had a stellar experience in school and have a passionate interest in chemical dependency. These folks can have extensive c.d knowledge from personal experience and be very well versed in the denial of addiction, but sometimes they were not necessarily strong in the academic area.

      Some folks get a reputation for being hard to fool or hard to manipulate. She may have been someone like this. (hoping my bias does not show).

    • wavpeac says:

      My favorite monty python comes from the “The Life Of Brian” and the scene where they are all hanging on the cross singing “Always look on the bright side of life…”

      Anway our clinic specializes in childhood trauma, domestic violence, and sexual assault, therefore most of our clients are suicidal and homicidal. Too much fun.

      Every now and then during our clinical meeting we will simultaneously burst out in song…”Always look on the bright side of life…” often cracks us up.

      Castle anthrax. Good one.

  38. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The truth, so we’re now told, is that one of our brightest American scientists went crazy and did the anthrax thingy on his own, killing his own fellow citizens.

    Do I hear an admission that “we”, your government, failed you? That we got it wrong on this, too. It wasn’t a foreign terrorist, it wasn’t Saddam or al-Qaeda. It was our own guy. One of the guys we hire through special processes, and investigate thoroughly via the security clearance process. We failed to manage our own staff, failed to read the signals. We botched our investigation for years. (Do I hear the neocon chorus warming up? The one that blamed not guns but every Columbine parent and teacher for failing to read the “obvious” signs. Prolly not.)

    It is interesting how the holes in Ivins’ story lead one to focus on Ivins and not those who lied and twisted apparently domestic criminal behavior into a “terrorist story” that blamed “Iraq/al-Qaeda”. Effective propaganda. Who’s responsible for it, to repeat EW’s question?

  39. Nell says:

    The elderly woman in Connecticut who died is connected through a postal processing center. It’s in one of the articles cited in comments to your Leahy-Mukasey anthrax post in June, I think the Vanity Fair one. Will seek out and update.

  40. Nell says:

    My guess is that ’the General’ in the Ft. Detrick emails reported on Fox is Maj. Gen. John Parker, the Army general in charge of the anthrax investigation (at least, in charge off the Army’s participation in it). See this excerpt from a USA Today story from Wed., October 31, 2007 that Greenwald quoted in an April 2007 post calling out the ABC stonewalling on their lie-spreading:

    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday [Oct. 30] that the report by ABC News correspondent Brian Ross is wrong. He notes that Army Maj. Gen. John Parker, in charge of the investigation, has said that no traces of aluminum, a key ingredient of bentonite, have been found.

    This was the prompt and sharp White House pushback to bentonite reports. Ari Fleisher goes on to call out ABC on their sources.

    • bmaz says:

      That would tend to support EW’s discussion point that it is possible that it was Ivins trying to divert attention with the bentonite claim, would it not? By the way, do we really know that bentonite is truly a consistent identifier of Iraqi anthrax to start with? Not saying that isn’t true, but it has always just been stated as a fact, and it likely is I suppose, but how do we really know that? I assume that support is out there, I just don’t recall seeing it.

  41. FrankProbst says:

    My problem with all of this isn’t that I don’t believe that Ivins might have been a homicidal maniac and that Jean Duley is totally on the up-and-up. I think it’s entirely plausible. He may have been in therapy for the past 40 years, he may have masterminded the attacks, and then he may been pushed over the edge by the FBI investigation and threatened to kill Duley. Duley’s filing is a little sloppy, but I think most of us would be pretty nervous if the anthrax mailer had just threatened to kill us, so I’m not going to criticize her grammar or her spelling.

    So is the story believable? Absolutely. But the government has ZERO credibility here. First it was Iraq. Then it was Hatfill. Now it’s Ivins. So I’m not willing to believe anything I’m told without a lot of damn strong supporting evidence. And if they want to argue that Ivins was a brilliant genius that was able to direct suspicion at Iraq and then at Hatfill, then they’re going to need to convince me that there’s not ANOTHER brilliant genius out there that was able to direct suspicion at Iraq and then Hatfill and then Ivins.

  42. bmaz says:

    wavpeace @92 – Shouldn’t somebody, anybody, with an actual BS degree be able to do a little better than that effort though? Jeebus, that looks like work of someone that is only semi-literate to me. Also, and you are the perfect person to answer this, wouldn’t doing this violate the ethos of her position? I know they don’t have the strict privilege relationship of Dr./patient, but my experience has been that these people, and the groups and organizations they work for, try to adhere to that ethos. Especially the CD folks. I have actually had to move to compel this crap out of people like Duley in cases where I needed evidence and they didn’t want to fork it over. I am really troubled by the whole Duley protection order gig on about every front imaginable.

    • wavpeac says:

      Yah, but I have worked with some colleagues who were “doosies” as well.

      Anonymity in regard to chemical dependency has federal protections. I may be ignorant but I thought confidentiality went beyond death. It’s weird. Lots of this is weird. But remember that shooter on the campus (what university??) that had the psych history? Well his records were released almost immediately. Now his was not chemical dependency and his records didn’t say anything like “homicidal sociopath”(and yet, he likely was, along with delusional, psychotic and perhaps schizophrenic). I couldn’t figure out how those records were accessed so quickly.

      Her notes seem very unprofessional to me. I can’t imagine that the gov’t was using such an unprofessional person for treatment in a case so important, but there are too many details missing here. I stated my concerns above in regard to targets, and duty to warn and also how he was pared up with someone like this when he likely was much above average in I.Q.

      I still think that our best bet is to focus on how bushco misused and politicized the situation. I think that the reason we used to protect these records is because they could be misused, but I am concerned that the gov’t can have access under some provision that I am not familiar with. I mean, if the gov’t asks for ‘em, you have to turn em over.

      We fight it at our organization because we work with domestic violence and files are used against women who come for help in custody battles. (and also have been used against our clients in court against the alleged rapist). But, we have turned em over when we had to.

      • PetePierce says:

        I still think that our best bet is to focus on how bushco misused and politicized the situation.

        From these threads EW has posted I sure agree.

        There is some very fertile material in how the Bush government may have used the FBI and tgheir resources to manipulate the anthrax mailings. There’s much here to be investigatged with a recalcitrant secretive government in the way. I’d be willing to bet that the FBI and the government wishes no one had heard of Ivins despite the fact they’re trying to use him now to close this case and make it go away.

          • wavpeac says:

            you have a point. Has anyone been able to access her licensure info. There has to be record of her license, how long she has had it, and if there has ever been a lawsuit against her.

            • PetePierce says:

              I don’t know. Much of this as we know is going to come out; but as everyone says, what the interplay of the government is in this, and why if someone were clearly an over the top threat who told a group he is ready to go and shoot someone particularly after the recent tragedies wouldn’t get prompt care is in itself nuts/bizarre and seems unprofessional and dangerous.

            • PetePierce says:

              That’d be with the Maryland Board who licenses and regulates social workers but according to NYT you have a guy who is seeing a psychiatrist and in some kind of group who tells “discusses plans to kill coworkers” and a social worker who has enough energy to babble this in a district court hearing lacks the sense and energy along with the psychiatrist who was privy to this information either directly or indirectly to do something about it?

              Doesn’t make any sense. If the psychiatrist is calling him homicidal and suicidal that pretty much fits my definition that is familiar to every doctor and lawyer as “threat of harm to self and/or others” for immediate hospitalization.

              Why wasn’t it done?

              • holdenlennon says:

                He WAS hospitalized and that is precisely WHY he was threatening Ms.Duley. He was angry that she had made the report that had him temporarily committed. Whenhe called and threatened her she did the Peace Order out of fear of his retaliation. Apparently, the FBI had scared her with tales of his previous threats toward women.

  43. numbertwopencil says:

    …googled “Porter Goss and “suicide”…

    Well, there’s Gary Webb, the author of Dark Alliance who committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, twice, shortly after Goss was confirmed CIA director. If any journalist had notes that would make Goss’s life difficult, it was Webb. (The second edition of Dark Alliance, btw, is worth reading just for Webb’s postscript that documents the journalists and politicians involved in discrediting him. More than a few names will be familiar to EW readers.)

    Regardless, I think it’s worth noting that Webb, like Ivins, Kelly, and perhaps, Palfrey, all had messy interactions with government officials and/or journalists outside of their everyday life just before they died. Webb reported home intruders and had motorcycle stolen the week he died. Kelly, of course, appeared before the House of Commons and was corresponding with Judith Miller. Palfrey was talking with Dan Moldea. Ivins was issued a TRO and was the subject of a grand jury.

    Yeah, all these characters were described as depressed. And they probably were. There were all in rather stressful situations. But, still, it’s interesting that the suicides were so beautifully timed and have some similarities.

    Just given that Ivins was a key player in our bio warfare program and had previously complained of a blood ailment, I would expect an autopsy to be routine but, apparently, Ivins body is not going to be autopsied.

    Also, today’s WaPo article is interesting. Apparently, Ivins was going to enter a plea bargain _two hours_ before he killed himself. (You’d have to take _a lot_ of Tylenol 3 to be sure you’d be dead in two hours.) I’d be interested in hearing what his lawyer has to say about it. What was he going to offer? Would a guilty plea be enough to make the DoJ give up on the death penalty? Why would the DoJ be interested in offering a plea bargain if they had the goods on Ivins? And why offer it before the GJ handed down indictments?


    Also, what’s the story with the new technique mentioned in the WaPo article that investigators used to trace the anthrax to Ivins? Presumably, evidence from 2001 would have been scrubbed during these events:


  44. JimWhite says:

    I wonder about the judge who issued the peace order. If you were a judge and got a filing that someone who was about to be indicted on five murders was stalking and threatening someone, would you just issue a peace order or would you have him picked up immediately?

    • wavpeac says:

      That would be grounds for a 48 hr hold immediately. I mentioned that above but you stated it more clearly. I can’t imagine if they suspected him for murder and he made a threat that required a protection order, that he wouldn’t have been picked up immediately. They could put him on 48 hour hold for observation and have him committed because he was a danger to others.

      All I need is one of my clients to say they are homicidal, with a plan, to have them put on a mental health hold. (much less that they are suspect in a murder case).

      • PetePierce says:

        Wow how many 1013s and 1021s has any physician signed who has worked a psych emergency room in a large city hospital for much less than is purported/reported here. As a resident I covered one several times a week at night to pay bills. Why in the world if this stuff is true was Ivins not hospitalized at the first sign of it if this “therapist/social worker” reported this to the FBI which could have easily been done and his confidentiality still respected.

        Theoretically the APA has guidelines that extend to the patient’s family after death but there are plenty of documented incidences where this is mucked up, not respected and can evolve into a mess and scores of books on the subject.

        Clinical Psychiatry and the Law: Privilege After Death

    • pmorlan says:

      You can listen to both Ms. Duer and the judge here. It’s on the left hand side of the page of a NYT article about a 1/4 of the way down.

      Audio released by Maryland District Court in Frederick in which Jean Duley sought a restraining order against Dr. Bruce E. Ivins. (mp3)


  45. emptywheel says:


    Can you comment on the ethical obligations of Paul Kemp, Ivins’ attorney?

    He has denied that there was a plea bargain on the table–why do so, unless there wasn’t? Could Ivins’ family continue to retain him to try to question Ivins’ guilt? Could they sue to clear Ivins’ name?

    I find it interesting that Kemp is continuing to make his client’s case in the public sphere, and I’m wondering why.

    • bmaz says:

      My former firm had a big issue with this on a huge and notorious murder case. When our client, the murderer, finally died of natural causes, we had all kinds of request for statements, many of which probably would not have involved privileged info. We (read me) researched the whole deal completely; clearly attorney/client privilege survives death of the client. Ironically, the seminal case on this came out of our good buddy Ken Starr’s efforts to get at Vince Foster’s information out of Foster’s attorney, Jim Hamilton. The actual case is Swidler and Berlin v. United States. The SCOTUS held that the privilege survives death. Iwill note here though that what Ivins attorney has said is not privileged. He has stated there were no plea negotiations; I don’t see that as a violation of Ivins’ privilege.

      • numbertwopencil says:

        Where did you and EW read that Kemp said there was no plea? All I’m seeing is today’s WaPo report (and an assortment of other stories that seem based on it) discussing a plea bargain meeting scheduled at roughly the same time that Ivins was found dead. Curious.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, no clue. Marcy may be the “Doctor”, but I am closer to an alzheimer’s patient. I know I saw some talking head on the TeeVee say it somewhere, but mostly I have been pretty busy the last couple of days and I just took it from Marcy’s statement.

        • prostratedragon says:


          Dr. Ivins’s lawyer, Paul F. Kemp, said by e-mail on Saturday that news reports that his client was considering a plea bargain were “entirely spurious.”

  46. john in sacramento says:

    FYI – video

    And the law

    PUBLIC LAW 95-79 [P.L. 95-79]
    TITLE 50, CHAPTER 32, SECTION 1520

    “The use of human subjects will be allowed for the testing of
    chemical and biological agents by the U.S. Department of
    Defense, accounting to Congressional committees with respect
    to the experiments and studies.”

    “The Secretary of Defense [may] conduct tests and experiments
    involving the use of chemical and biological [warfare] agents
    on civilian populations [within the United States].”

    Examples …


    A U.S. doctor doing research in the Philippines infected a number of prisoners with the Plague. He continued his research by inducing Beriberi in another 29 prisoners. The experiments resulted in fatalities.


    Indiana passed the world’s first law authorizing the state to force the sterilization of those it deemed unfit to reproduce. In Germany, Adolph Hitler was 10 years old.


    A doctor in Mississippi produced Pellagra in twelve Mississippi inmates in an attempt to discover a cure for the disease.


    Carrie Buck of Charlottesville was legally sterilized against her will at the Virginia Colony Home for the Mentally Infirm. Carrie Buck was the mentally normal daughter of a mentally retarded mother, but under the Virginia law, she was declared potentially capable of having a “less than normal child” after having one normal child (by rape) and was forcibly sterilized.

    The settlement of Poe v. Lynchburg Training School and Hospital (same institution as above using a different name) in 1981 brought to an end the Virginia law. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 perfectly normal women were forcibly sterilized for “legal” reasons including alcoholism, prostitution, and criminal behavior in general.


    The Puerto Rican Cancer Experiment was undertaken by Dr. Cornelius Rhoads. Under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, Rhoads purposely infected his subjects with cancer cells. Thirteen of the subjects died. When the experiment was uncovered, and in spite of Rhoads’ written opinions that the Puerto Rican population should be completely eradicated, Rhoads went on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama. He later was named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and was at the heart of the recently revealed radiation experiments on prisoners, hospital patients, and soldiers (these are covered in the ACHE report. http://www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchive/radiation/)


    Seventeen U.S. states had laws permitting forced sterilization. German officials cited those United States laws as precedent for the forced sterilization of people under Nazi rule.


    The Tuskegee Syphilis Study began. Two hundred poor black men with syphilis began a long term experiment in which those men were to be studied. They were never told of their illness, and treatment was denied them even AFTER the availability of a cure made the study’s objectives worthless. As many as 100 of the original 200 died as a direct or indirect result of the illness. The wives and children of the subjects also suffered as a result of the disease. (The government office supervising the study was the predecessor to today’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC)).

    More contemporary examples


    An outbreak of Dengue fever struck Managua Nicaragua shortly after an increase of U.S. aerial reconnaissance missions. Nearly half of the capital city’s population was stricken with the disease, and several deaths were attributed to the outbreak. It was the first such epidemic in the country and the outbreak was nearly identical to that which struck Cuba a few years earlier (1981). Dengue fever variations were the focus of much experimentation at the Army’s Biological Warfare test facility at Ft. Detrick, Maryland prior to the ‘ban’ on such research in 1972.


    In ruling on a case in which a former U.S. Army sergeant attempted to bring a lawsuit against the Army for using experimental drugs on him, without his knowledge, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that allowing such an action against the military would disrupt the chain of command. Thus, nearly all potential actions against the military for past, or future, misdeeds have been barred as have actions aimed at the release of classified documents on the subject.

    In short, no matter what they do to you, nothing will happen to them. Dr. Mengala would have loved it here!


    As the result of a lawsuit by a public interest group, the Department of Defense was forced to reveal the fact that it still operated Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) research programs at 127 sites around the United States.


    The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state court has the right to order sterilizations “for the good of the ward”.

  47. chrisc says:

    I’m wondering if the whole lifelong nutcase label didn’t come from Duley but from someone else.
    Duley may have had very limited contact (a group session) with Ivins during the time he was being pressured by the FBI. Baltimore Sun article gives a bit of a timeline:

    around July 10 Ivins makes threatening phone call to Duley and entered psychiatric hospital
    July 24 Dudley sought a protective order and also Ivinis was released from the hospital
    July 25 officer tried to serve the order on Ivins at Fort Dedrick but had been advised that he was barred from the property.

    July 29 Ivinis dies.

    This seems almost as if Ivins calls up Duley and threatens her because he is being committed and losing his job.
    So he “lost it” with her. She gets a restraining order when he gets out . Would they let him out if he was truly homicidal?

    The article mentions another person who may be the source for the claims that Ivins was a long time crazy. His brother Tom was interviewed and did not express sorrow over his brother’s death.

    Ivins was the youngest of three boys. His eldest brother, Tom Ivins, said yesterday that their mother “babied” Bruce Ivins and protected him. Tom Ivins, now 73 and living in Middletown, Ohio, said that while he played football in high school, his mother wouldn’t allow Bruce Ivins to engage in contact sports.

    “She didn’t want Bruce playing those because she didn’t want him to get hurt,” Tom Ivins said. “I think he ran cross country. Nothing like soccer or football or basketball.”

    The elder Ivins said investigators questioned him about family history and his brother’s childhood. But Tom Ivins had not been in touch with his younger brother for some time. .

    In a phone interview yesterday, he did not express sorrow over his brother’s death. He said, “I think the pressure got to him. … He’s not a man like I am.”

    The middle brother, Charles Ivins, was closer to Bruce Ivins. He declined to comment when he was reached at his home in Etowah. N.C

    In another interview, Tom Ivins said he was interviewed by the feds and he “sang like a canary.” Yet Tom had been estranged from his brother for a long time. So what did he sing about? That mommy liked Tom better than him?

  48. JimWhite says:

    Audio of Duly at hearing for peace order is here.
    Accompanying NYTimes article is here.
    Pretty wild stuff coming from Duly. She testifies Ivins said he had purchased a gun and bullet proof vest and wanted to take out all of his co-workers. That is when he was removed from the workplace and committed. I’m struggling to understand how he was released, I need to go back and listen again.

    • PetePierce says:

      I don’t know of a shrink or any doctor (and she testified the psychiatrist knew in their right mind) that would here these intentions and not hospitalize the patient as a psychiatric emergency signing a form available in every state. This happens 24X7 in ERs. What happened here?

      • JimWhite says:

        It sounds like he was hospitalized, involuntarily, when he first made the threats. How he was released is what I don’t quite understand.

        • PetePierce says:

          That’s easy enough Jim. Unfortunately it’s far from an exact science as you know well, and with depressed patients and psychiatric patients who have threatened to commit suicide there is a high rate of them carrying out the threat even when they are released. The other factor that impacts all states is that many of the patients (not presumably Mr. Ivins who had the insurance of a government employee) are hospitalized in poorly staffed overcroweded state facilities that often resemble Iraqi prisons, and they are revolving doors

          We used to see many of the same people 3 times a week after they had been released that had been violent a week before. We knew them; the nurses knew them; the MHA’s who did a very good job of helping to intake history knew them, and the cops knew them and worked pretty well with them.

          These facilities are often and my state is now under investigation of DOJ for mental health violations and civil rights violations.

          But most every good experienced psychiatrist or psychologist who has been in practice for years looses patients because they can’t hospitalize them forever and they seem to not have the risk (most of the time) when released and they do the unexpected or expected dpending on your point of view. It happened to Tony Soprano’s shrink Dr. Melfi, and it happens to many others.

    • wavpeac says:

      Then they would have worked toward commitment not a p.o??

      I have never gotten a p.o because of a client. Does anyone really think a protection order is going to stop someone with a gun, (and why a bullet proof vest if he wanted to die??). That would never make me feel better!! I would want that person in the hospital. A protection order in that case is a joke!! That wouldn’t stop a crazy man with a gun and a death wish!!

    • TheOtherWA says:

      The audio of the court hearing is wild. Twice Duley mentions Ivins attorneys, plural. I’d only read of one attorney speaking about Ivins.

      If she and the FBI really thought he was so dangerous, he should have been locked up. There was a scheduled hearing on July 16th for involuntary committment, but he agreed to go in for treatment, and somehow he got out and was home by July 27th and able to overdose on tylenol. He died Tues night.

      This is getting weirder and weirder.

  49. numbertwopencil says:

    …He has denied that there was a plea bargain on the table…

    Did I miss something? The WaPo article focuses on a plea bargain. I don’t understand.

  50. Boston1775 says:

    The theripist was useful.
    She did something the psychiatrist did not.
    Ivins was seeing her for behavior which was deemed chemical dependent (is that absolutely correct?).
    Who decided that Ivins had chemical dependency problems and what led to these sessions?
    Could these sessions have been monitored for the “safety” of others?
    Could the theripist have been manipulated for another purpose? Monica Goodling comes to mind.

    • PetePierce says:

      If the therapist knew he had threatened to kill people and himself she was anything but useful. In every setting I’ve seen for years including the two I covered a psych ER in a big city hospital to make extra money in residency if anyone hears this kind of threat they grab the nearest MD and the individual is comitted. I don’t care if she was a therapist because he was addicted to popcorn–that kind of threat would get anyone medical, paramedical, or a social worker and certainly a social worker to go to an MD immediately and get the person hospitalized.

      But I’ve said that a few dozen times and it would have been obvious anyway. I don’t know why the times wouldn’t have stated it considering they have a very good MD Larry Altman on their full time staff.

  51. wavpeac says:

    Another strange thing is that he “entered the hospital”. It sounds voluntary at this point? Or did they pick him up? Either way, he shouldn’t have been released unless he was communicating to hospital staff that there was absolutely NO threat. If he entered voluntarily, that is strange given the level of disturbance he is described as having. If it was a 24 hour hold…there would have been grounds to keep him, given his history and on record a psychiatrist that calls him “sociopath”. That would be enough to hold him for a while because they would certainly consider that he might not tell the truth about his desire to kill others.

    It doesn’t make any sense.

    • bmaz says:

      Exactly. And in response to Pete Pierce, they call it a “District Court”, but so that nobody here gets the wrong idea, this is NOT a federal District Court, this is effectively a county court/justice of the peace type of deal that is the intake level for all of the common wife beating, girlfriend threatening myriad of common stuff that goes on every day. Am not belittling those cases in the least, but that is far, far different than what we are discussing here. Nobody in their right mind that was familiar with the system, as you would expect Duley to be, or for that matter that had had any interaction with the FBI, would ever go to such a podunk stupid forum for this. Absolutely bizarre.

      • PetePierce says:

        Sorry I didn’t pay attention to what court it was/state or federal, but I’ve seen fuckups in federal court and in state courts and I’m sure you have over the years. This just isn’t making a lot of sense on a lot of fronts.

        What you describe goes on in magistrate courts/or others every day to be sure, but here we have Ivins who was the prime suspect in an FBI case where you would think (maybe I watch too much Criminal Minds, the BAU was brought in, and it seems all the more compelling that if this was one of the cases of major importance for FBI in the last few years, they would want this guy physically intact into the future under normal circumstances. They were planning on prosecuting him, and this case cost untold man hours and resources and dollars–I just don’t get much of this.

        • bmaz says:

          Crikey no, it is a relatively podunk court in Frederick County Maryland. It is what most people would call a “justice of the peace” court. That is one of my problems here; no one in their right mind would take anything, and I mean anything, related to the anthrax case to this court.

  52. antibanana says:

    In a phone interview yesterday, he did not express sorrow over his brother’s death. He said, “I think the pressure got to him. … He’s not a man like I am.”

    The middle brother, Charles Ivins, was closer to Bruce Ivins. He declined to comment when he was reached at his home in Etowah. N.C

    All in all, I’d say that Charles comes off much better than Tom. The oldest brother almost sounds like a caricature. One would think he might forgo making public comments out of respect for his sister-in-law, niece and nephew.

    Why no focus on the facebook postings of his children after his death? It sounds as if they were quite devoted to him.

  53. wavpeac says:

    Well, I thought it was weird that she would get a p.o while he was in the hospital. I mean, I have had clients get pretty pissed at me. If I knew they were getting out I might run down and get one but if I thought they would be inpatient for a while I wouldn’t bother until they were farther along in their treatment. If they were getting out, and there was a threat, I’d be testifying against them at the inquest for committment.

  54. numbertwopencil says:

    Whoa, the audio of Duley is worth listening to. It raises all sorts of questions. First question: Is Duley nuts? Wtf? It’s hard to tell if she’s describing actual events–like buying a gun, revenge killing, etc.–or fantasies that Ivins might have had. IIRC, the part that sounds like a clear, non-fantasy, threat is where she says Ivins told her that she ruined his life and made it possible for the FBI to prosecute him.

    Is there a transcript around?

  55. LS says:

    Check this story out about Frank Olson, an Anthrax scientist at the same facility as Ivins (only it was decades ago)…..who “jumped” out of a window…oh, and they used Anthrax spores….and guess who’s involved in the cover-up….Cheney and Rumsfield during the Ford Admin.:


  56. PetePierce says:

    Anthrax Case Renews Questions on Bioterror Effort

    CDC action at germ lab questioned

    Duct tape used to seal door inside Atlanta facility after possible leak of bioterror bacteria last year.

    The CDC has had about 5 power failures to their most dangerous pathogen lab in the last 8 weeks, but they have used Duct Tape they say is unnecessary but they sure use it.

    Dingell whose committee it is in the house and Grassly in the Senate keep jumping up and down as to safety risks, but not much comes of it.

  57. Nell says:

    My partner just came in from listening to something on NPR that described a horrific part of the FBI’s investigation, in which each of the members of his family was taken to separate locations by the FBI and interrogated; the children were told that their father had committed the anthrax letter attacks, etc.

    This may have some bearing on the lawyer’s statements.

    Got to go volunteer now, can’t follow up, but think it must have been on All Things Considered. This is all getting stinkier and stinkier.

  58. Boston1775 says:

    I hope someone has copied the audiotape of the Duly peace order.
    I tried, computer seized and my entire history and favorites are wiped clean.

  59. Mary says:

    I’m having a hard time understanding someone who has been in some kind of therapy dating back to graduate school days, and in that therapy expresses homicidal urges – – – how it is That Guy ends up with supersenstive access to deadly pathogens in gov sponsored terrorism related research.

  60. Mary says:

    142 – survives with no one to waive, or survives in the estate Executor, who could waive? Or is it kind of murky?

  61. hackworth says:

    Florida has the Baker Act whereby a person who is deemed a danger to himself or others (by a family member and/or a police officer) may be held in a mental health facility for up to 72 hours. A doctor typically signs the patient’s release after an evaluation. Further legal holds are obviously available in cases which the doctor deems that a patient is not ready to be released.

  62. LS says:

    Duely says that he has been trying to poison people, especially women, since 2000….and he was still walking around and working no less….

    • skdadl says:

      I don’t think that “show text” is working for anyone right now, is it? I thought that was part of the rejigging problems with the site, like the new thread announcements we don’t have right now. Anyway, I also have Firefox 2 and no show text, which I really miss.

      • Teddy Partridge says:

        Click on the “skdadl @ 162” text to go back to the comment that’s referenced; then click on your back button to return to your original place in the thread. Kluge-y, but a workaround nonetheless.

  63. Boston1775 says:

    If anyone has a copy of the audio of the Duly peace order, I’d be interested to access it. The NYT hyperlink provided me with a loud wonking noise. Jim White’s link emptied my computer of my entire history and sites I go to frequently.

    • LS says:

      I had to switch to Firefox 2, because before that, I was losing everything once a week…frustrating. I’ve had no problem since I switched. Don’t know if is relevant to your situation.

    • PetePierce says:

      If you’re on a Windoz box, you can try a system restore point to recover your history, or if you have a Vista DVD you can try Startup Repair. You can also run a repair install with the vista dvd if you’re in windows the same as with the xp link below.

      If XP you can try an XP CD and do a repair install. to get your history back from index.dat.

      If it’s an iMac or a Mac Book Pro I dunno.

    • prostratedragon says:


      Thanks to your heads-up though, I tried right-clicking on the mp3 links and saving the files to disk, which should take Ff out of the loop even if it blows up somehow. Seems to be ok, I’m playing the Duley file now.

  64. JimWhite says:

    Sorry. Links are also posted in the comments at Glenn Greenwald.

    One more question. Ivins was under intense surveillance. Would he really have been allowed to buy a gun and bullet-proof vest? The FBI would have known if he did and therefore it would be known how likely he was to carry through on the threat Duly reported. Why wasn’t that addressed in the hearing?

    • LS says:

      The whole story gets crazier and crazier…maybe he really was leading a dual (no pun intended)life….it happens. I doubt he actually bought the gun and vest…more likely he was just verbalizing stuff…you don’t do that and then take Tylenol 3….that’s not exactly going out in a blaze of glory…

      There must have been witnesses to his rant though, because she says it was in a group situation.

      I just wonder if he actually was a killer, if he killed anyone else that we don’t know about yet.

      Or…maybe the whole thing is a sham…

      • LS says:

        Also, why wasn’t her personal FBI guy there, or was he? She named him…Daniel Borseck or something like that…I wonder if he made a statement.

      • JimWhite says:

        Yeah, I’m wondering if the indictments for five murders were for the anthrax killings. Nothing I’ve seen actually claims that, it just links the “5″ with the anthrax because there were five deaths there. Also, the anthrax killings don’t fit with Duly’s reference to his vendettas against women. The only named targets in the anthrax mailings were men.

        That’s the sad state we’ve come to at this point. We need the FBI to come clean about what they know, but DOJ is so compromised at this point that whatever they say has to come with ironclad evidence if we ever are going to believe it.

        • LS says:

          Or there were “other” murders or attempted murders, and they he was the Anthrax killer too, and they had/have enough to get him on that. More may have come to light…especially, since she said he had planned and attempted to poison people since 2000….the anthrax stuff was at the end of 2001. In the audio, she calls him a killer.

          • bmaz says:

            For those of you working the “other murders” line of thought; eh, I think not. Everything known about the supposed “indictment” or coming “charges” indicates that it was a Federal case. Almost all murders (except on Indian reservations) are prosecuted in state courts; there is very little real federal jurisdiction over homicide. I would think it is a pretty safe assumption that, assuming there is any credibility to the pending murder charges bit in the first place, that it did indeed refer to the anthrax cases, where there would be Federal jurisdiction because of the Postal aspect as well as the terrorism aspect.

            • LS says:

              I see. So you think that Duely’s referral to planning, poisoning, attempting to kill since 2000 is perhaps just her way of indicating the anthrax killings to the judge without actually saying that is what she’s referring to in order to get the protective order perhaps, because she couldn’t talk about it publicly or something like that?….

  65. skdadl says:

    Why do you say that, wavpeac? In Canada, anyway, it is well known that a doctor named Donald Ewen Cameron was conducting experiments for the CIA in the late fifties / early sixties on patients at a Montreal hospital, without their knowledge but with the knowledge of the Canadian government. The government eventually (in the eighties) had to pay out $100,000 to each of the survivors of that program, one of whom was the wife of an MP. All of that is easy enough to google; or just read the wiki entry for MKULTRA, where, I see, Dr Olson is also mentioned.

      • wavpeac says:

        That’s okay, after I submitted my comment it occurred to me you might read it that way…but not how it was intended. I am just sick of it. It’s so hard to come to grips with the fact that our country has been over taken by a fascist sociopathic group of people led by dickles the clown.

        I just…crap. Crap.

        • prostratedragon says:

          Makes you need assistance in reaching your collapsing chair when it really hits you, doesn’t it (see handle)?

          numbertwopencil, that’s quite a discrepancy indeed, especially considering that this meeting was supposed to have been scheduled for the same day the man was found dead. Planned afterthought, maybe?

  66. alexmom says:

    in response to questions about Duley: I live in a small MD town not far from where she practices…In local paper about a month ago, she was promoting their practice use of Suboxone. Please do not interpret this post to mean that Dr. Ivins was taking Suboxone, or was in treatment for substance abuse. I am just sharing the information (link below) that Ms. Duley was promoting this AND HER GROUP TREATMENT in local papers which I think is very interesting…As an outsider looking at info printed here, NY Times, & other blogs along with local info, I am feeling VERY skeptical about the experience and skill sets of Ms. Duley at this point. Dr. Ivins was hospitalized at Sheppard Pratt which has an EXCELLENT reputation, however, Ms. Duley and her practice group have NO official link to Sheppard Pratt that I can determine. Here is the link to a June 2008 article in local paper from Ms. Duley. I haven’t read all the other posts yet, but in case no one else has mentioned it, this paper has also posted Letters to the Editor written by Dr. Ivins over the last few years. http://www.fredericknewspost.c…..ryID=76902

    • holdenlennon says:

      Please see my reply to earlofhuntingdon. You do not have to be licensed to facilitate a group counseling session. These are sometimes done by uncredentialed counselors. I do not know this woman but it lloks to me like she was just doing her job and if you were in her shoes you would have done the same. What if he had done what he threatened to do and killed all of his co-workers? What would you think of her then?

      • wavpeac says:

        This depends on state laws. In my state, you can NOT do this. There must be a licensed person present…in the room. (unless it is simply an education only group at a licensed facility.

        Licensure and practice scope vary from state to state.

        • holdenlennon says:

          That makes sense that practices vary from state to state since certifications and licensures vary wildly. I did not do my group faciliating in MD. Having been in a similar but much less scary position and having met lots of frightened people who filed petitions for protection it just easy for me to understand how this woman acted. She needn’t have been particularly fragile to have felt the need for the Peace Order when you consider that she may have been told he was the anthrax killer. Like someone else mentioned, it might have been difficult to even spell her own name right that day.

          • wavpeac says:

            I work routinely with violent folks and spent several years working in a mental health hospital. I can’t say I understand the fear. I have never been “afraid” (not in the way she seems to be) of any of the clients we serve. Not that they weren’t capable of violence, not that we haven’t treated an array of sociopaths, and anti socials, but to me, regulating that fear is what a professional person does. I think the only point is that a seasoned therapist probably would not react the way she did. And then questioning why a less seasoned and credentialed therapist was doing a group with a highly intelligent, security clearanced person. Why in the name of god would you put him in a “normal” group. I can see having him in an education group, but not a therapy group? I guess it’s easy to second quess but we do screenings and assessments. People are carefully placed in group therapy. The whole thing just seems very unprofessional to me.

            • holdenlennon says:

              I routinely worked with violent folks myself but I have never had the FBI come and tell me they were homicidal and had already killed 5 people. And then he threatened her, right? This is what I found in an article. Duley’s boyfriend/fiance calls her a reluctant witness. She was subpoeneaed/compelled to testify. Maybe he should not have been in that group but you sound like you have at least a Masters degree. She had BSW which is a 4-year degree and may not have been equipped by her education and by her emotional make-up to handle someone she perceived to be so threatening. Read here. She is now in hiding:

              The story of Ivins’ death and investigation by the FBI broke early Friday. Since then, McFadden said, Duley has been hounded by the national press.

              Someone broke into her car Friday night, McFadden said, though no police report was filed. “Nothing was taken,” he said, “but everything was jumbled up.”

              Duley told the court she had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury Friday. She was reluctant to become involved in the FBI’s investigation of Ivins, McFadden said. “She had to quit her job and is now unable to work, and we have spent our savings on attorneys.”

              McFadden would not provide any specific information about Duley’s involvement with Ivins or the investigation.

              “Jean is the kind of person who believes her life is insignificant in comparison with the kind of damage Dr. Ivins is capable of,” he said. “She sacrificed all this stuff because she wanted to do the right thing. She’ll soon reveal what many wouldn’t because they didn’t want to be involved with it.”

              At the request of her attorney, Duley is unable to say anything, McFadden said. “She’d appreciate some semblance of privacy.”

              • bmaz says:

                Duley is either a nut or a dumb as a stump pawn so far in over her head that she doesn’t know which end is up. Or both. You may think you have some insight on what Duley is, and maybe you do; well, I have a lot of experience with these types of “professionals” in a whole spectrum of legal proceedings, and there is nothing here that is rational in the least. And she was not compelled to testify. Get real. She walked into the JP court and affirmatively made those sworn declarations. The grand jury did not go off. And another thing:

                She’ll soon reveal what many wouldn’t because they didn’t want to be involved with it.”

                And when is she going to do this? When she gets her book and screenplay deal in place? This lady has fully earned every bit of circumspection being hurled her way; and she should never be allowed to work in a trusted therapy setting again after violating every confidentiality code in the book.

                • holdenlennon says:

                  Do you think she should not have filed an order for protection OR told the authorities that a man in her group said he was going to kill co-workers? What if he had killed people, bmaz? What would you be saying then? What if he killed her? IF he did make threats in group to kill people she was REQUIRED by law to let the authorities know. I guess she was in a Catch-22. Look at the aftermath of Columbine. People said that Eric Harris fell through the cracks as he had identified himself as being homicidal and suicidal to a counselor. What do you think she should have done? Nothing? That cannot just be the case in some states. It is called DUTY TO WARN. I agree with those who think she was manipulated by the FBI. I agree that it does not look like they had/have a good case against Ivins and he may be scapegoat #3. (after al Qaeda and Hatfill) From what I am reading about his character he does not seem like a killer at all. I just don’t think anyone can assume this woman is anything but an ordinary person who was doing her job. Why so hateful? Why call her a nut or dumb? And if she is dumb I would say that is more reason not to attack her. If she was in over her head then it was that much easier to manipulate her. Now she is being hounded by the media and attacked on these boards. I do not care who writes a book about this. I just want the real killer to be found and for the families of the dead-including Ivins’ family- to have some peace. A lot of people are saying the government rushed to judgment about Ivins and now I see a lot of people eager to pre-judge yet another person in the case. Aren’t you just doing the same thing that you are apparently so angry about? I guess I am dumb too because I do not understand that at all. If she thought he was a danger to himself or others that supersedes confidentiality. She would have been remiss if she had NOT gone to the authorities and she had the right to protect herself. If it was frivolous the judge could have said so. He granted her order.

                  • wavpeac says:

                    In this case, I would call the police and there would be an immediate hold on the patient. The patient would be picked up immediately.

                    there would be no p.o.

                    A p.o just says that if the person is found within a certain radius they will be arrested for violating the p.o. If the person shows up you can call the cops. However, it’s not an order that is very helpful in dealing with an unstable person who has a gun and a death wish. The p.o is not going to stop someone like this, and by the time that person shows up with the gun, you will either be dead, or they will run because they know the cops are coming. Basically it tells the “killer” to act stealthily. It doesn’t not prevent a murder.

                    Unfortunately, it’s a shortcoming of the p.o. P.O’s are great for stopping the random wife beater but not so great at stopping the sociopath.

                    • holdenlennon says:

                      Agreed. Have worked with domestic violence and the same thing holds. The ones who are unstable enough to kill and have access to weapons care little about violating an order. (not something anyone wants to hear but it is true.) It sounds like she was just scared and desperate to do something to protect herself. Now it looks like they were not even close to an indictment. The FBI was still grasping at straws to shore up their weak, bungled case. (sigh…)

                    • lllphd says:

                      don’t conclude so quickly. i am not at all convinced this social worker knows what she is talking about. she is highly suspect (see above 332).

                      news reports have mentioned something about the police being called about “an unconscious man”…. where? at his home? by whom? his family? if so, why would they call about and unconscious MAN and not their husband or father? where was he taken? why was he in group therapy? when did those sessions start, especially in relation to this unconscious incident, and why? and yeah howdy; why the hell was he ever hired and kept on if ever had or accrued such a history? security clearance??

                      like i said, this stinks to high heaven. as high as david kelley’s murder still does. and take note: we STILL don’t know what happened there.

              • Artep says:

                She’ll soon reveal what many wouldn’t because they didn’t want to be involved with it.

                Sounds like someone who believed she was doing the right thing. Was she working with the FBI to convict the Anthrax Killer, because she saw it as her duty to God and Country?

                • Artep says:

                  The implication that no one else wanted to get involved could also mean that no one else was comfortable with what they were being asked to do.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Sounds like someone trying to promote their limited knowledge and participation into some type of pecuniary gain to me. An actual concerned citizen would STFU.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  The mark of a Regent U. grad. If Ms. Duley does that, she’s pretty much giving up on a mental health practice, though that may now be moot.

                  It does appear that she got the short end of the stick. Her supervisor, who should have made any call to go to the courts, and any other professionals who cooperated with the FBI and disclosed diagnosis or treatment of Dr. Ivins (and who also failed to act, if the Bureau’s claims about homicidal intent were accurate) have so far “’scaped whipping”.

  67. behindthefall says:

    Has anybody uncovered anything about his politics? Why were spores sent to Democrats and not Republicans? What earthly reason was there to send spores to that Florida newspaper with the two degrees of separation from the hijackers? (Help, somebody; operating on fading memory, here. Need a link.) I dunno … just too darn many convenient suicides these days …

    • LS says:

      That stuff is weird for sure.

      What about Webb’s aide…that’s just off the radar, but it was very strange.

  68. SaltinWound says:

    A while ago, we were speculating why Chertoff was covering up his presence at the CDC during Katrina. What embarrassing or incriminating stuff was he talking about with private contractors? I went with a Rumsfeld Tamiflu connection at the time. I guess it’s a good day to throw Anthrax into the mix.

  69. FrankProbst says:

    As I’ve said above, I’m willing to give Ms Duley the benefit of the doubt. I had a parent threaten to kill me when I was resident, and it really shakes you up. If she broke confidentiality afterwards, I’m still willing to cut her some slack. Yes, it’s wrong, but you sometimes say some dumb things when you think someone’s really going to try to kill you, and if that someone could be the anthrax killer, I think you’d be even more freaked out.

    • LS says:

      Especially when the guy is out of confinement…sccccaaaary…plus, she says he said that stuff in a group session…others must have heard it too…

    • bmaz says:

      But it isn’t just “what” she did, although there is certainly that; it is that coupled with the insanely bizarre “how” she did it. She get no slack from me, I think Duley is a nutjob herself.

      • FrankProbst says:

        But it isn’t just “what” she did, although there is certainly that; it is that coupled with the insanely bizarre “how” she did it. She get no slack from me, I think Duley is a nutjob herself.

        You’re missing the other obvious possibility. She was obviously fed some very damning information about Ivins. It could be that all of that information was true. But it’s entirely possible that she was deliberately fed false information so that she would do something like this. Someone could have also fed information about Duley to Ivins (”Your therapist said she thinks you’re the anthrax killer.”) in order to set him off against her. She gets the benefit of the doubt until I find out who said what to her.

        • bmaz says:

          It’s not her information to me when I say that, it is the court she went to, the phrasing of her statements, the tone of her words on the audio, and the freaking semi-illiterate diatribe on her handwritten certification of facts. This lady is wacked out irrespective of the veracity of her statements. I guarantee you that there will be all kinds of goofy stuff come out about her if the press does it’s job and looks into her.

          • FrankProbst says:

            I guarantee you that there will be all kinds of goofy stuff come out about her if the press does it’s job and looks into her.

            bmaz made a funny!

            • FrankProbst says:

              Hmmm. Underlining didn’t work. I was referring to the “if the press does it’s job” part of the statement, of course. If the press had done its damn job in the first place, this story wouldn’t have gotten to where it is today.

  70. JimWhite says:

    From what I can tell, there is only one operation in the world capable of producing anthrax spores at the concentrations achieved in the Daschle letter. That is Battelle’s lab at Dugway Proving Grounds. I don’t see how Ivins could have had access to that material. There is no way it could have been made at Ft. Detrick. The highest concentration previously known had been 500 million spores per gram, in the old Soviet bioweapons program. Keep in mind the admonition from yesterday’s NYTimes article that says weaponizing is an exercise in the physics of aerosols and not of microbiology. It couldn’t have been done in someone’s garage.

    Here’s an interesting bit of reporting from Judy, Judy, Judy:

    Both laboratories delivered reports to the F.B.I. on Oct. 22. One administration official said Fort Detrick found that the Daschle anthrax contained as much as one trillion spores per gram, much more than had been detected by Battelle.

    Scientists quickly recognized that the tests had been conducted differently and agreed that Battelle should do a second study using irradiated material. A shipment was sent to Battelle on Oct. 25, one official said, which subsequently produced estimates similar to those of the Army scientists.

    The kicker is that the LATimes reported today that Ivins only stood to make tens of thousands of dollars off his patent with the BioShield work. Battelle was the contract manufacturer for VaxGen. They stood to make hundreds of millions off the contract, until VaxGen fell to political lobbying by BioPort to go back to the old vaccine technology.

    Battelle was in a position to benefit much more than Ivins from an accelerated vaccine program and was the only place the spores could have been made in that concentration. Until I see evidence of material flowing directly from Dugway to Ivins, I’m not buying the story.

  71. numbertwopencil says:

    Thanks prostratedragon. Interesting. That certainly conflicts with today’s WaPo story.

    …investigators were so certain about the connection that they had scheduled a meeting for last Tuesday with Ivins’s attorneys to discuss a plea bargain that would have sent the scientist to prison for life but spared him a death sentence, according to sources…


    Here’s a question: Can/will the Grand Jury hand out indictments now that Ivins is dead? Or, will the GJ be disbanded (assuming it was only focusing on Ivins) without any indictments at all? Will all of the GJ testimony be secret? Presumably, various witness will be able to talk, and the jurors as well, no? (It seems like there have already been some leaks, no?) Will all of the GJ participants be issued NSLs since this is, I assume, a terror/national security case?

    • bmaz says:

      No indictment of the dead. Single purpose grand juries are extremely rare; I cannot imagine this one was, so it will do it’s function on whatever cases are presented to it until it’s term is up. Testimony is secret under Rule 6(e) so that will not be released. The jurors will not be talking, the witnesses might, but I suspect they have been ordered not to.

  72. JohnLopresti says:

    I gave a while to, and found only oblique statements in the news regarding, the Chertoff speech at CDC Atlanta about avian flu August 30, 2005. I have yet to find again the source which I recall visiting during research for that thread. It mentioned some subtext controversy, maybe an internecine dispute at the Center, about leadership’s plan to move dangerous research to an island lab. May be unrelated to the wmd part of the current thread’s topics, just flu.

  73. paulo says:

    I keep coming back to Ivin’s access to everything. He didn’t need Tylenol to kill himself. He had weapons grade biological weapons why mess with something as iffy as Tylenol (even accepting it reasonable that he didn’t use a gun).

    Regarding bentonite: what was he fresh out? If he wanted to tip the blame to Iraq, why not put the trace of bentonite in the stuff he allegedly sent out?

    Nothing about this passes the smell test, although I can thanks to your observation about the FBI accepting the claim of bentonite grudgingly accept that “”"maybe”"” Ross’s sources weren’t knowingly lying to him.

    • holdenlennon says:

      At the time of his death, his life as he knew it was over. He had been forcibly removed from his place of work. So no, he DID NOT have access to any lethal chemicals except what he had in his house which was apparently Tylenol 3. He was not exactly thinking straight either which is kinda the point. He was very distressed. Your reasoning centers do not work that well when you haven’t slept and I bet he could not sleep, wondering when they were coming to get him.

  74. WilliamOckham says:

    I’ve been out all day and just returned to catch up on this thread. I can’t help but think about ew’s narrative thread. Despite appearances to the contrary, I think the government has managed the anthrax narrative masterfully. Think about what happened. One of this country’s most highly classified (and completely illegal) weapons technologies was used to attack the “liberal” news media and prominent Democratic senators. There’s been no real push to shut down our own illegal wmd program, even though it has officially killed more Americans than Iraq’s ever did. There’s been no real investigation of why security at Fort Detrick has been so lax for the last 20 years (just Google ‘Zack, Rippy, Brown and Assaad’ and read up on the cliques, disappearing bioweapons, late night unofficial research, and the other follies there).

    Instead, the government used the attacks to get the Patriot Act passed and then spent years letting other people pressure them into pursuing Hatfill. The problem with solving the case was that it would inevitably involve exposing criminal stupidity by the military. Pinning it all on a suicide seems a little too neat.

    Now, think about the other narratives that could’ve been spun. Why would anybody believe that the vaunted U.S. government military let one of its secret weapons get used against itself. If the anthrax had been traced back to another country, do you think we would have accepted the notion of a rogue agent? Not hardly. Or imagine how diffently things would have played out if the targets had been Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly in the news media and Cheney and DeLay in D.C.

    • bell says:

      the coincidence of where the antrax attack was directed towards has been noted and does suggest a purposeful intent coming from the extreme right side of the aisle… i think they call those folks neo-cons…there tracks are being quickly buried as we type…

    • chrisc says:

      The first article on that site is dated Oct 1, 2001. It is a recap of the Sunday talk shows.
      And guess what? Rumsfeld was already talking up a chemical/biological attack and hinting of a link to Iraq
      5 days before the news of the first anthrax victim in FL.

      Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld warned today that he expected the enemies of the United States would eventually help terrorist groups obtain chemical, biological and possibly even nuclear weapons technology.


      The remarks by the three senior officials on separate programs were not based on any new intelligence, their subordinates at the Justice Department, the Pentagon and the White House said later.

      Mr. Rumsfeld, speaking on the NBC program ”Meet the Press,” did not name those terrorist-supporting nations. But a Department of Defense report released in January said that Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Libya all have active chemical or biological weapons programs. In addition, Iraq and Iran are trying to acquire materials for nuclear devices, the report said. Those nations all are on the State Department’s list of governments thought to sponsor international terrorism.


      Asked today whether the United States was worried that military conflict in South Asia might destabilize Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, Mr. Rumsfeld said yes. And asked if the United States would soon turn its attention to nations other than Afghanistan that support terrorism, like Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld replied, ”I think we’re already turning our attention to other states.”

      On the same show Biden actually mentions anthrax

      But on the same program, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it was unlikely that terrorists had the technology to develop extremely deadly biological weapons. Terrorists might have access to weapons that use anthrax or smallpox strains, he said.

      • Rayne says:

        Convenient, n’est-ce pas? Rummy was on the board of Carlyle Group as he was chatting up anthrax, if memory serves…the same Carlyle that owns a chunk of anthrax vaccine manufacturer Emergent Biosolutions (formerly Bioport).

  75. MrsK8 says:

    Hey, Marcy! Hi Firepups!

    I haven’t been able to get here in quite a while, but had to make sure to make time to stop in for this topic. Hats off to Marcy, again!

    Here’s the thing:

    I read that Ivins had an advanced degree (doctorate, I believe) ***in pharmacology***!!!

    I heard that the first day news of his death hit the airwaves, and the alarm bells went off in my head immediately.

    How in the hell would a pharmacologist think it a good idea to commit suicide with Tylenol w/ codeine???

    Here’s my understanding — There are two components. Tylenol does NOT immediately kill, nor does it put you into a coma until your liver finally gives up the ghost, which takes at least a couple of days.

    What CAN put you in a coma is the codeine, but only IF you take a sizable dose, and only IF no one gets you to the emergency room before you go into respiratory arrest.

    Ivins got to the hospital alive. His state of unconsciousness, if caused by codeine could be reversed *very quickly* by intravenous drugs which halt and reverse the effects of opiates almost immediately.

    So why was he in an irreversible coma?

    And why in God’s name would he take something which would almost guarantee survival (at least until the moment in the hospital when his liver would give out, which as I said, takes some time).

    This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    And now we hear there will be no autopsy.

    Well, alrighty then.

    • holdenlennon says:

      From what I read about how he died there was nothing inconsistent with a death by Tylenol 3. If he had died immediately it would have looked weird but a lot would depend on what else he had recently ingested. That makes a huge difference. Alcohol, anti-depressant meds and even the amount of food he had in his stomach would be factors.

  76. MrsK8 says:

    I don’t know anything at all about the woman named Duley.

    But I did see a digitized image of the form she filled out regarding Ivins as a stalker.

    Do you all think it normal that a social worker would not be able to spell the word ”therapist”?

    Maybe it’s not that uncommon for there to be people who can’t spell the words central to their own profession, but it looks pretty weird to me. If you’ve encountered this type of inability before and it makes sense to you, please let me know so I can understand better. [She spelled it ”theripist.”]

    Her ”handwriting” in the ”explanation” section of the form was an odd mixture of block printing and writing, very large and slanting every which way, forward and backward and straight up and down, depending on the word or phrase, and it seemed not at all to match her signature on the page. Another oddity to me, but perhaps there are, again, ways to explain this phenomenon.

    • holdenlennon says:

      also noticed her grammatical errors and apparently rushed, erratic writing in the documents. Having worked as a domestic violence counselor with perps I have read tons of orders for protection and some of them do look like hers- even when written by otherwise competant people. It seems that what happened was that the FBI contacted her and scared the ____ out of her by telling her that one of her clients was a homicidal maniac and they mentioned that he had been diagnosed as a sociopath and had made threats previously, etc. So when Bruce Ivins came to group spouting off about killing people she had to contact the authorities. (as any type of counselor you are required by law to do this. It’s called duty to warn.)Then when he was temporarily committed for 72 hours or whatever they require he was PISSED because he knew the result would likely wreck his life. So he called her. Something similar happened to me with a client. The only difference is that I was not told by FBI that my client was about to be indicted for 5 Capital Murders! And this woman is apparently an uncredentialed counselor- not a licensed counselor or a pychologist. She is a lower level professional. I have seen her called every name in the book and it upsets me because she worked at a thankless job for probably very little money and she has been thrust into the middle of the FBI’s mess. Some other person on a blog called her a bitch and said she should be hanged! It is not her fault she just happened to have him as a client. She was scared he would kill her when he was released and the truth is that if he had gone postal and she had not made any reports she would be attacked for that as well. So cut her a break. I am sure she is a wreck over this and shen she was filling out that form the last thing she imagined was that it would be on millions of computer screens across the world being scrutinized by the likes of us. She was just a frightened worker who had apparently seen and heard enough so that she sincerely feared for her safety. She did nothing wrong that I can see. And in most states you can file some type of order for protection even if it is not a domestic situation. There are different names for the orders like an order from protection for repeat violence. Apparently in MD they are called Peace Orders. And maybe she can’t spell but what does that mean?

    • Jesterfox says:

      I also mix cursive and block printing, though it doesn’t slant every which way. I’ve always blamed it on drafting class in high school and filling out coding pads early in my computer programming career.

  77. MrsK8 says:

    It’s not the fact that he didn’t die immediately that is odd. It’s the fact that he was immediately in a coma and remained that way after hospitalization.

    A coma caused by Tylenol takes days to ensue. Unconsciousness caused by codeine can be almost immediate, but that’s reversed by opiate antagonists without too much difficulty. (Suicide by opiate works pretty much only if nobody medical can get to them before respiration stops.)

    So why was he unconscious all that time in the hospital? We’ll never know because apparently there is no ”need” for an autopsy. That’s neat and tidy.

    • FrankProbst says:

      A coma caused by Tylenol takes days to ensue. Unconsciousness caused by codeine can be almost immediate, but that’s reversed by opiate antagonists without too much difficulty. (Suicide by opiate works pretty much only if nobody medical can get to them before respiration stops.)

      So why was he unconscious all that time in the hospital? We’ll never know because apparently there is no ”need” for an autopsy. That’s neat and tidy.

      I’m guessing the coma was secondary to the codeine. You’re absolutely right that opiates can be reversed, but respiratory depression can cause significant brain damage, which may have happened here. That could explain the coma. He may have taken more than one drug, too.

      I have a hard time believing there really won’t be an autopsy here. Is that for certain? Because I agree with you that “no autopsy” just stinks to high heaven.

  78. behindthefall says:

    Uncredentialed people run groups with clients this troubled? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, IMHO. You get enough disasters WITH credentials.

    • holdenlennon says:

      Yes, uncredentialed people facilitate groups under the direction of credentialed people. Obviously, someone did not know how sick this person was when he was first referred for outpatient group therapy. (or he would be receiving INPATIENT treatment. It is very hard to keep someone in any kind of treatment. There is a lot we do not know. I was surprised to hear that he was attending groups at all. People with high IQs are notoriously difficult to treat because they are so good at rationalizing their behavior and are usually able to appear high-functioning. If you think there is much funding for mental health and substance abuse in this country, think again. There is no way they can afford to have all their staff credentialed. Even with a Masters degree and licensure the pay is in the low 30’s for a lot of mental health professionals. Where I live there are not even enough beds for the people who need them because of the lack of funding and our jails are filled with substance abusers/ addicts.

  79. MrsK8 says:

    Can anyone point me to documentation which details Ms. Duley’s state of mind throughout this situation? I’m not doubting, I just don’t recall seeing all that detail and would like to catch up on whatever important articles I’ve missed on this topic.

    The fact that someone called her a disgusting name on a blog is a real shame. On the other hand, freepers on plenty of blogs use all manner of obscene and filthy names (much worse than the one mentioned, as awful as that *truly* is), even in plenty of newspaper discussion threads, for the ”crime” of someone being ”liberal” or a ”Demon-(c)rat.”

    I mention this in the hope that it will help you not be so upset when you see awful names thrown at people who do not deserve it. The Internets are not universally a very civil place, even though there are plenty of places (like here at Marcy’s place, and FDL in general) where civil and decent people like to comment. One stranger’s boorish crudity on a blog need not be so upsetting, or even that surprising in an anonymous and unmonitored context.

  80. FrankProbst says:

    I know I’m repeating myself here, but the spelling and grammar errors don’t really surprise me that much. Most of us are used to working on computers, which will helpfully point out your spelling mistakes and grammar errors for you. I know a lot of very intelligent people who can’t spell worth a damn. Add to that the fact that someone seems to have told Duley that this man has a history of threatening violence against women AND that he’s the anthrax killer. In those circumstances, it wouldn’t have surprised me if she misspelled her own name.

    As for the eyebrow-raising about Tylenol #3, there’s nothing there that really seems suspicious to me. I agree that no one with medical training would commit suicide with plain Tylenol (which is the most common non-accidental overdose we see with suicide attempts), but it’s the #3 part (the codeine) that makes it an appealing choice. Codeine overdoses kill you by sedating you to the point that you stop breathing. That’s not a bad way to die. The effect would be accelerated by alcohol. As suicides go, this would be a pretty pleasant one.

  81. MrsK8 says:

    Frank –

    Thanks for your comment. I guess I just never knew a mechanic, for example, who couldn’t spell the word mechanic, even if he/she couldn’t spell much of anything else. But maybe I’ve just ”not gotten out much” in that regard.

    I agree that dying by opiate is relatively, uh, ”pleasant” as far as those things go. But if Ivins had a pharmacology degree, he had to know that any opiate-induced unconsciousness and respiratory distress could be reversed *almost* immediately if he were found. And that the Tylenol part would then require days of sheer physical agony before death kicked in. I find it hard to believe he would somehow ”forget” what would reliably kill him even in his state of upset.

    But more important than that part of my conjecture is the question — why was he in a coma the whole time, for days in the hospital??? Tylenol does not bring about a coma that quickly. Codeine can put you seriously under, but opiate antagonists quickly reverse that state. That’s the question. What substance was able to put him in a coma or coma-like state RIGHT AWAY, and KEEP him that way for days? And we won’t have an autopsy to give us the answer.

    • FrankProbst says:

      I’m not sure that you can believe all the reports about how he was when he was found. I know they say he was breathing, but he may have been in respiratory depression for quite some time, more than enough to cause brain damage.

      As for the reversibility issue, he obviously wasn’t expecting to be discovered before he died. Which is fairly typical. Most people don’t think about what’s going to happen to them if their suicide attempt fails. You can ask just about anyone who’s worked in an ER about this.

    • PJEvans says:

      Why would he have had Tylenol 3? AFAIK, anything with codeine in it is strictly prescription, so not easily gotten hold of, and there would be records (easily accessed by government should they want to check).

      This whole thing sounds fishy. There are lots of pieces, and yes, they can be put together to make a picture, but that’s true of Hatfill, too. I’d be more inclined to believe it if there weren’t so many ‘huh?’ items.

  82. MrsK8 says:


    Sorry, Frank, we cross-posted.

    I see what you’re saying about brain damage, and didn’t know that was possible. It was a doctor who was explaining to me why it was so fishy; I guess I need to read more about it.

    From what I read, yes it is definite that the state of Maryland has said that no autopsy will be performed.

    If you’d like I can go and try to retrace my steps to see where that article came from — I was reading several in different places.

  83. holdenlennon says:

    That stinks that there will be no autopsy. The FBI appears to have learned very little from the past. It always seems like they do a shoddy job the first time around and then eventually the public demands accountability and some omissions remain because the evidence has been lost.

  84. MrsK8 says:

    Frank –

    I went back and found it in the Bloomberg article, which was linked in comment #34 on this thread by pmorlan.

    From the article, ”the state medical examiner ’determined that an autopsy wouldn’t be necessary’’ to determine the cause of death, Martyak said.”

  85. holdenlennon says:

    So now we wait to see what the FBI is going to release. I saw something on the nightly news that seemed to suggest that the FBI was already revealing little bits of information. The reporter mentioned that the FBI says they have a “strong circumstantial case” and that they have connected Ivins with the postmarks on the envelopes. If the postmarks are from the local post office by Ft. Detrick that is hardly damning evidence.What about the weied writing on all of envelopes? And wasn’t there one article that mentions that Ivins had knowledge of the town where the letters were mailed?

  86. MrsK8 says:

    Gotta check out for the evening, my dear Firepups — thanks for engaging in conversation, I’ve missed y’all terribly.

    And it was so good to see you again, Rayne and Frank (albeit much too briefly), and good to engage with ”new” Firepups (i.e. people I haven’t seen before, not that it really means ”new” for all I know). I love this place and the good conversation that happens here.

    At least there’s a touchstone of sanity here when it all gets too too weird out there!

    Hugs to y’all!!!! I’ll be back as soon as possible.

    p.s. Rayne — I heard someone I ran into rant a bit about that Bioport outfit and how hinky it seemed (but haven’t had a chance to look into it — it’s probably another challenge to unravel).

  87. WilliamOckham says:

    Here’s what I’m looking for from the Dept. of InJustice. If they have a suspect, I want one question answered definitely.

    Why did the anthrax mailer stop? Run out of anthrax (at least the ‘good’ stuff)? Achieve the goal (whatever it was)? Have second thoughts?

    If they don’t answer that question, they don’t have the right suspect and they aren’t really trying.

    • PetePierce says:

      Just for a little devil’s advocacy suppose there were several anthrax mailers and suppose it starts again? Copy cats/terrrriiiissssttts comin’ from over there because we aren’t committed to minting Dover Coffins for a hunert years like McSenile (and not because of his age but because of his fried brain) and then we begin to fight ‘em over here in what Ibsen called nearly a hundred years ago the “homeland”?

      I’m seriously far from convinced that it’s simply Ivins like some others here, and anytime the FBI suggests to me in as disingeuous and illogical scenario as this, that they have all of a sudden solved the anthrax mystery I’m not buying.

    • bell says:

      good questin william.. i think you are inherently suggesting it was an inside job used to create more fear and mayhem in the general populace at a very senstive time immediately after 9-11.. the question has ultimately been laid to rest with the death of the one person who would have been most able to answer your question… sorry…

    • emptywheel says:

      How about because Bush approved the bioterrorism preparedness program, including an effort to stockpile anthrax vaccine? That happened by October 22.

      • PetePierce says:

        If Bush is stockpiling anthrax vaccine, what is his purpose and who is advising him? None of the anthrax vaccines has been designed to confer rapid immunity so what is the plan to use the stockpile for?

        Short message–if anthrax were used against this country, and their were enough spores spread rapidly, it would be overwhelmingly successful and could kill most of the population rapidly and by most I mean upwards of 90%.

        The only licensed anthrax vaccine is AVA (anthrax vaccine adsorbed). To confer immunity it has to be given at 0, 2, and 4 weeks, followed by three booster injections at 6, 12, and 18 months. To maintain the immunity, annual injections are recommended. That schedule needs 2 years to achieeve immunity.

        There are other newer vaccines that haven’t yet been “approved” and I was given the chance to take one of those in an early trial. I can’t remember without pulling the records, and I’ll try, but I know that I had to take them over a period of time. As I said I found out that the doctors and nurses who were given the opportunity to take it were so freaked by ignorance (nothing like ignorance among medical personnel–there is plenty of it to go ’round) that only a handful of us in this state and in this country who haven’t been recent military personnel have had any vaccine. The side effects overall are relatively minor.

        Other vaccines confer immunity over 18 months. I know there are nasal types being worked with, but none of them confir immunity over a quick period of time.

        So if ole Bushface is stockpiling it, I wonder what the scenario is that he and his advisors plan if they deployed it in the civilian population–many of whom would be freaked by the same ignorance that I saw so many doctors and nurses freak when presented with the opportunity to get it?

        Emergency response personnel need the full dose to have immunity. Also under the best circmstances any of the vaccines confer about 91% immunity not 100% when given over a period of time.

        If enough spore exposure happens, none of the vaccines can immunize you against it, and there have been no studies that have established that any of the vaccines confer immunity against inhalation anthrax–only cutaneous anthrax immunity has been proven.

        There is a cipro stockpile and it’s a lot smaller than the US (not well known for telling the truth to anyone) has claimed. Some cities like New York have dipped into the stockpile. Statements have been made that there is enough to treat about 2 million people for 60 days. The dose would have to be 500 mg. BID over a month to be effective, and it’s recommended to suppplement them with tetracycline 100 mg. BID for a month.

        Without a vaccine the dose of antibiotics is recommended to be used over 12-16 weeks and we don’t have that stockpiled for near enough people in this country. And real efficacy quickly demands IV cipro delivery–we don’t have the way to do that in big numbers nor do we have the Cipro.

        Spores can be destroyed by: steam under pressure (autoclave) for one hour; dry heat above 159 C; or boiling water for 30 minutes with disinfectants. Animals that contract it are cremated or should be.

        Soil would need special treatment, buildings would need special decontamination which would involve detailed filtering of ducts, all inner rooms, and all machinery.

        AVIP for Military Personnel

    • wavpeac says:

      Good question. And if it was the scientist, just to play it through theoretically what was he trying to accomplish??

      At first glance, gut level, the obvious answer is fear.

  88. alexmom says:

    to holdenlennon @209 re Duley:
    I agree with you that this woman probably had been terrified by info leaked/intimated to her by the FBI. I am also aware that she had a duty to report the info he shared in the group session per MD law, altho I have seen no info about her credentials. As a professional in the field, his response to her reporting, was, in my opinion, very predictible. I also agree with other posters that it’s a possibility that Duley and Ivins were being played against each other to put pressure on Ivins. What is most unfortunate to me is that it appears that the persons applying the pressure did not understand or correctly assess how fragile both Duley and Ivins were. My feeling at this point is that they are both victims…I’m not convinced that Ivins is guilty of the anthrax attacks, and its unfortunate that once again, we, the American people, will not know the truth. Finally, my point in sharing the article from the local paper was to give further insight into Duley. Her comments in the June article about “doctors giving percoset like candy & a culture of doctors not paying attention” (my editing) struck me as unprofessional, simplistic, and not conducive to the community based approach to recovery that I see being fostered between the medical and treatment communities…And if the article in the local paper was June 29 trumpeting their center and it’s treatment programs, that would imply that she had already been contacted by the FBI (several weeks before the July 9 incident if I understood correctly). I would not have consented to the publication of a publicity article in the middle of FBI questioning/or at the very least would have requested a hold of publication…But maybe my assumptions about the timing are completely off.

    • holdenlennon says:

      Yeah, I have seen her credentials mentioned only once online and it said she had a Bachelor’s in social work and also some additional credentials having to do with being a specialist in substance abuse. As someone above mentioned to me, credentialing and such varies from state to state. I did not have anything but a BA when I facilitated groups for substance abuse clients. I worked under a licensed person though. Her comments about pills being handed out like candy is VERY TRUE and any professional in the field might make such a statement. I have heard it from plenty of PHDs! So no, she was not prescribing any pills tohim

  89. obsessed says:

    I’m far from confident that Ivins, or the guy in England, or the “DC Madame” actually committed suicide, or that Abramoff wasn’t involved in that hit in Florida. I’m not one for B-Movie “political thriller” tinfoilhattery, but it’s getting harder not to be. And all that madness in Alabama & Mississippi with Siegelman and the other guy isn’t helping any.

  90. Sara says:

    Reading through all the comments — two small facts perhaps should be factored into the analysis.

    Why Leahy and Daschle? Well both are Liberal Catholics, and support pro-choice and reproductive rights matters, and have for years. Apparently Ivins was personally quite tied up in the ideology of Pro-Life and all, so perhaps he had an Eric Rudolph like eliminationist bent. Don’t know, just my speculation as to a possibility.

    Second matter — back in the days when I was round and about DC, I understood that people with high level security clearances (CIA, DOD, Department of Energy and the like) could only receive therapy from approved sources, and there had to be some sort of notification of superiors about any sort of therapy, including things like AA meetings in church basements. My folks Unitarian Church in N.Virginia actually had a closed AA group for the Security Clearance deprived folk. Alcoholism was and I suppose is an occupational hazzard for spooks and for many others who work under such pressure. In Hoover’s era, the FBI considered it a firing offense, so a lot was covered up — but after Hoover they too adopted the “secure therapist” practices. Now all that may have gone by the wayside in recent years, but it could also be in place. It needs to be the basis of questions. Apparently the rules on this date back to the WWII era, when the fear was that a therapist without a background check could be a Nazi or a Commie, and the patient might discuss sensitive information.

    • brendanx says:

      That’s a good point about Leahy and Daschle. Ivins “jokingly” refers to his church’s services, where he plays piano, as the “hippie mass”. Where is are the sources, though, that indicate he’s a right winger or extremist?

  91. Hmmm says:

    Simple questions come to mind: Other than the paper trail on the voluntary hospital admission, and Duley, do we have a single named source for the entire line that Ivins’ mental health was wobbly? Who visited Ivins in the hospital and how did he seem at the time? Who is Ivins’ psychiatrist Duley references? Who else was in this group session? How out of it would Ivins have had to be to seriously threaten a going-postal scenario in the group session — or was that dark humor that set Duley off because of what the FBI had told her (correctly or not) beforehand? Did the psychiatrist give Duley his or her notes, or did FBI burgle or invade a computer or bug the sessions to get the info? Where and when did Ivins apparently take the pills? Who found him and when? When did he arrive at the hospital, who made the coma diagnosis, and when did he die? Was life support removed? Who is the other Ivins atty, and was the other atty more in touch with the FBI?

  92. BayStateLibrul says:

    What might have been?

    “Not far away, on another wall, was the famous photograph of Dukakis riding in a tank outside a General Dynamics plant in Michigan. The visual might have become a blunder of historic proportion had Dukakis not deftly saved the situation by quipping, “I looked silly in a tank for 15 minutes. George Bush has been in the tank for 30 years.” Both incidents had worked to undermine the image of Dukakis as a bloodless technocrat and are widely credited with helping him to his narrow victory. As the crowd moved away toward the first exhibit hall, Dukakis was spotted picking up a discarded soda can and tossing it into a nearby recycling bin.”

    – Charlie Pierce

  93. brendanx says:

    Not to be melodramatic, but the profile piece in yesterday’s post reads in places like the story of a man pushed to his death, or murdered.

    First, there are a couple of unexplained details — as several people commented, the therepist’s assertion about his “graduate days” goes unexplained. There’s also the unexplained incident of him being found unconscious March 19 (the anniversary of the attack on Iraq, strangely enough). The article only establishes a hazy chronology, but it seems like all the really erratic behavior follows that event. Then there’s also the statement by a colleague that “It would be overstating it to say that he looked like a guy who was being led to his execution, but it’s not far off”, followed by another: “Almost everybody…believes he had absolutely nothing to do with Amerithrax.”

    The article doens’t indicate he’s a right winger, either.

  94. klynn says:

    Since we know the MSM is NOT our friend but the friend of those high in the Admin, I just want to make one comment.

    When this story first broke, there was little information. As the blogs have come forward with “this information is BS” and asking all the correct questions, the MSM machine has gotten “louder” from a propaganda perspective.

    I would like to know wrt some of the news reports, how much is the reporter digging for facts vs how much has been simply handed over from gov’t sources?

  95. holdenlennon says:

    The more I hear from Bruce Ivins friends and colleagues and read about his history, the less he seems to fit the profile of a cold killer. He had a long marriage, two adult children who appear to have been close to him, a VERY stable work history and was an active member of his church and served on committees. He was hardly living in the woods in a shack and I have heard nothing, (aside from the recent behavior) which suggests he was mentally unstable. His letters to the editor of his local paper did not reveal a political extremist either. I think he was even critical of his own church and one letter basically said he was switching radio stations because of the profanity and rasicm on the air. The only one close to him saying anything negative is his brother Tom, who to me sounded like a bitter drunk in the CNN interview.

  96. bmaz says:

    Corpus Delicti is a latin phrase commonly bandied about in legal discussions as the proof of a crime. The literal meaning though is “where is the body?”. In the case of Bruce Ivins, I would like to know “where is the body”? We have all been blissfully told that Ivins suicided by Tylenol with codeine, and that is that. Oh, and there will be no autopsy to confirm that conclusion.

    Ivins’s death is being investigated as an apparent suicide from a drug overdose, said Lieutenant Shawn Martyak of the Frederick Police Department’s criminal investigation division. Based on laboratory test results of blood taken from the body, the state medical examiner “determined that an autopsy wouldn’t be necessary” to determine the cause of death, Martyak said.

    That would be the local municipal police department on the lead here it appears, not the FBI; that seems more than curious. And the state medical examiner, not pros at Quantico, has determined that an autopsy isn’t even necessary. Huh. Yeah, I guess there is no need to know the detailed pathology and toxicology on how the guy that supposedly committed the heinous anthrax attacks, against Senior United States Senate Leadership no less, suddenly died of unnatural causes. We would not want to know all of the other things – food, drugs, whatever – that were in his body so as to get a more accurate timeline of this critical man’s death would we? We sure would not want to know if his body contained any residual evidence of anthrax, and if so, what kind of anthrax, would we? We wouldn’t want to examine his lungs microscopically to see if there was any trace of the bentonite that is such a key issue in this story would we? No, we wouldn’t want any of those things because the answers might not line up with the dog and pony show we are being spoon fed by a pathologically dishonest criminal government and the steno rubes in the media we are left with.

    So, where is the body? Since there was no autopsy, the body should be just fine for an open casket viewing. I want one. Now. Anybody want to bet there was a cremation request, and it has already been done (or so we will be told anyway)? Corpus Delicti. Let’s see it.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I’m with you on this one. They should do an autopsy to shut up us conspiracy theorist, if for no other reason. Where I live the county ME will sometimes do an autopsy on a hospice patient death (i.e. somebody we’re all expecting to die anyway and who’s under a doctor’s care). Not doing an autopsy on this guy is beyond belief.

      • pdaly says:

        My snarky response:
        Perhaps autopsies with this administration are not as fun when the body is already dead–no good confessions or good ‘facts’ could come from it.

        Or more likely (as hinted at above), the body of the late Ivins would speak too much and speak all the wrong stuff at that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Duh. One would think that even Mikey Mukasey’s FBI would pressure the local or state MD ME to perform an autopsy on a guy they were about to accuse of multiple murders in a case of national importance. Or was that all for show, too?

      Tylenol and codeine seems a slow, uncertain and uncreative way to go for a guy who worked daily with the most exotic bio-weapons this side of a Steven King novel. Did Mr. Ivins do it himself? Was he helped? By whom? Were there other contributing causes? We all know Don Leotardo’s death was caused by the Caddy SUV rolling over his skull. But the bullets in the brain and heart would have done the job had his wife not jumped out the SUV while leaving it in “drive” in order to grieve over him.

      The anthrax murders that we are told the FBI was to have charged Dr. Ivins with were of national importance, as is the war that they indirectly helped start. Dr. Ivins unfortunate death, while a tragedy for his family and friends, cries out for a thorough, by-the-book autopsy and the public release of its findings.

  97. bmaz says:

    I am very familiar with the “duty to warn”. What I am saying is that there is no way she should have gone to this court (and JP courts will grant restraining orders almost always and then reconsider it if the person the order is granted against comes in to challenge it. That is how it works; so the fact that the misdemeanor level judge granted the thing means exactly nothing). Back to the duty to warn, that is the province of real health professionals, i.e. licensed professionals, like for instance the people Duley was working under, not somebody like Duley. If Duley had these fears, they should have been acted on through the professionals, and it should have been done in a proper forum; not her on her own. I would go so far as to say that, at least in some jurisdictions, she violated confidentiality laws by her actions, and were Ivins still alive, I would expect him to sue the bejeebies out of her and win that suit. She claims apparently that the FBI told her to do this; this is not credible, she is either lying or being played. It is a near certainty that the FBI will unequivocally deny this. You are free to believe whatever you wish; but you will not move my opinion one whit based upon what is currently known. If additional facts to the contrary appear, then I will re-evaluate; but from the facts extant at this point, Jean Duley and this whole story don’t even pass the smell test. In fact, it reeks to high heaven.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Excellent points. Surely, binding work rules or state licensure requirements must require that Ms. Duley work under the practical supervision of a PhD or MD/Psychiatrist. Surely, the required course for her was to report to that supervisor before initiating a judicial process that would entail simultaneously releasing confidential patient information and depriving that patient of his liberty.

      The facts as released scream foul play and serious mismanagement. They cry out for serious investigation separate and apart from the rumored connection to the claimed anthrax investigation. Is this the kind of grossly unprofessional DOJ/FBI that the deaf, dumb and blind management of Ashcroft, Gonzales and Mukasey has bequeathed us?

    • bmaz says:

      Generally, yes they can, but there is no obligation for the state to grant the request, and it then becomes incumbent on the family to arrange for a private autopsy, which, last I heard, were $3000-$5000.

      • Nell says:

        Cheap at twice the price if foul play is suspected, and surely the presumption would be against the state and in favor of the family with as many unanswered questions as there are around this sad event.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        In Texas, anybody who dies with 24 hours of admission to a hospital gets an autopsy from the ME (JP in rural counties). Also, if you die in a hospital under almost any circumstance and your family asks for an autopsy, the hospital will perform it at no charge, although they are under no legal obligation to do so.

  98. Nell says:

    The Fox News story at the end of March sank like a stone at the time. It raises many questions, but the one that really makes a person smack their forehead is this:

    Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.

    The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed.

    Excuse me? The anthrax was identified by the end of October 2001 as quite possibly having come from Ft. Detrick, and writing samples were only taken in b>2008? Or, if not then, why not in 2002-3, when the heat was on Hatfill (no reason not to have all staffers do that). Or in 2004, when the FBI learned that the water with which the spores were processed was from the northeast U.S.?

    This is the clearest and most agenda-free review of the investigations I’ve seen, from December 2006. It helps make some sense of some of the FBI’s actions/inactions, but they still come off as the criminal slow-walkers that they’ve been.

    • holdenlennon says:

      Hey, I wondered that same thing. Wouldn’t they have taken writing samples of everyone at Ft. Detrick very early on? Bizarre that this is all happening so many years later. The families of the victims must be livid.

  99. acquarius74 says:

    I’m new here, but have done a lot of searching on this sad tragedy.
    First, this is the finest group of responders I’ve seen so far! I certainly appreciate each and every one of you. We’re in serious trouble in this country, and need the best input from the most courageous among us.

    I decided to start here at EmptyWheel with the day this began, read everything and every response. Whew! Took a long time just to plow through “plunger’s” #4, but I persevered – – and feel about 1000 years older.

    I’ve listened to Duley’s audio testimony for the protective order; I’ve seen the pictures of the form for the order (I agree that she is surely not top grade, indeed not qualified).

    1) She states that she had been working with Ivins for 6 months;
    2) She states that she had been working with FBI for 6 months;
    3) That adds up to her betrayal of Ivins from day one! AND/OR
    4) She may have been duped by FBI or an undercover FBI agent or
    and FBI “asset”. (or CIA)
    5) That audio sounded pretty scatter-brained to me. Could be she was nervous and scared or her “handler’s” scripted testimony was hard to recall ??
    6) The FBI agent told her to get the protective order (and what to say?)
    7) Ivins dies. Maybe she knows it wasn’t suicide; maybe she knows the testimony she gave was lies and it caused his death.
    In the Frederick County MD Daily Newspaper online 08/03/2008 article: FBI SEIZES LIBRARY COMPUTERS: (paraphrased). Two FBI agents went to the Frederick Co Public Library in the town of Frederick either Wed (30). or Thurs (31) and seized 2 computers used by the public. Darrell Batson, the director of the library, stated that in his 10 years with FCPL that the FBI had come for records 3 times but THIS is the first time they had no court order. (the new FISA real handy, huh?) The Library has “dozens” of computers but the FBI “seemed to know which ones they needed access to”. (PROMIS or MAIN CORE ??)
    9) Duley quits her job; is all shook up; has spent all savings on lawyers (why does she need lawyers if she was “just doing her job”)

    10) Her car is broken into, nothing taken, but all jumbled up inside: (a) spooks looking for CD’s/tapes/recordings/notes ?
    (b) spooks reminding her they will rough her up and “suicide” her if she doesn’t play ball?

    I’ve read Michael C. Ruppert’s CROSSING THE RUBICON and his website FromTheWilderness; I’ve read the ARTICHOKE piece in “plunger’s” #4 here and many other tomes. I am 74 years old, so didn’t just ride in yesterday. NO WAY DO I BELIEVE THIS MAN KILLED HIMSELF!!

    Also, the day the police came to his house and took him to the hospital was JULY 10, the SAME DAY Senator Leahy confronted AG Mukasey about it being 7 years and no results in finding the anthrax mailer.

      • bmaz says:

        Ditto, Acquarius74, welcome! You will find consistently good work and discussion here, we like to think the best. Your points 1-3 above are well taken and the local computer seizure is certainly interesting. I hope somebody looks into that.

      • acquarius74 says:

        Thank you, Rayne.
        I’ve visited the site, just didn’t comment.
        Can’t say I like this anthrax stuff – – until some hard facts and evidence prove this poor guy did it, and same is published in the form of documents and sworn statements for all the public to see, then for me he remains innocent.

        There are too many conflicting statements about the origin of the anthrax, the issue of one strain or several strains in the letters, the silence of the group members who would back up Duley’s accusations, the silence of her supervisory staff and the MD/Psychiatrist(s) etc, and on and on.

        The smoking gun for me is no autopsy. That shouts COVER IT UP, GET RID OF IT. That and the dead cannot defend themselves.

        I keep being reminded of The Downing Street Memo = = wrap and rearrange some twisted circumstances and fabricate others, drum up hysteria, state it all as fact [”we know he has WMD, we know where they are”; Powell at the UN, and on and on with half-truths (lies) and outright lies]

        My most prized principles are honor and justice; can’t have one without the other, and can’t have either without Truth.

  100. holdenlennon says:

    I have read that Duley met with the FBI more than once- not that she got a call and ran down to file an order. Even someone with a Bachelor’s degree is subject to Duty To Warn. When I had just a BS I still had to go by this at my job as an outpatient counselor. And at my particular job I had to go to trainings-more than one- that stressed that duty to warn superseded confidentiality. The first day clients came in for an assessment they signed papers that included one which I went over in detail, stating that all statements made in treatment were confidential- the one exception being duty to warn. And someone is still a “real health professional” with a BSW and the specialized training she had with substance abuse. I have read literally HUNDREDS of orders for protection so I do have a bit of experience with them and the process by which they are granted. She had every right to protect herself if she felt she was in danger. Remember she made the report before. Did the FBI offer her protection after they fed her info that he was a killer? It looks like they did not. Huntingdon, at this point we do not even know who the FBI has talked to. They very well may have talked with other professionals. No one is asking anyone to decide on Ivins based on Duley. It just so happens that her order is the only thing that is currently public so she is bearing the weight. I have a feeling they have a very weak case against him and we may see what they have- hopefully sooner than later.

    • bmaz says:

      Gee, that is funny, because I went and looked at Maryland law on duty to warn, and it is only incumbent on licensed health professionals. And oh, by the way, it DOES NOT contemplate the inane and bizarre actions of Duley:

      Courts & Judicial Proceedings §5-609

      A “mental health care provider” licensed under the Health Occupations Article or any institution or facility that provides treatment or services to individuals who have mental disorders has a statutory duty to warn of known threats of imminent physical injury:

      b) In general.- A cause of action or disciplinary action may not arise against any mental health care provider or administrator for failing to predict, warn of, or take precautions to provide protection from a patient’s violent behavior unless the mental health care provider or administrator knew of the patient’s propensity for violence and the patient indicated to the mental health care provider or administrator, by speech, conduct, or writing, of the patient’s intention to inflict imminent physical injury upon a specified victim or group of victims

      (1) The duty to take the actions under paragraph (2) of this subsection arises only under the limited circumstances described under subsection (b) of this section.

      (2) The duty described under this section is deemed to have been discharged if the mental health care provider or administrator makes reasonable and timely efforts t

      (i) Seek civil commitment of the patient;

      (ii) Formulate a diagnostic impression and establish and undertake a documented treatment plan calculated to eliminate the possibility that the patient will carry out the threat; or

      (iii) Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency and, if feasible, the specified victim or victims of:

      1. The nature of the threat;
      2. The identity of the patient making the threat; and
      3. The identity of the specified victim or victims

      Duley was neither a licensed professional under the statute, nor did she comply with the terms of the provision. And, yet, despite the bizarre behavior she has engaged in already, in a matter she ought ot by all common sense, stay out of now that Ivins is dead, “She’ll soon reveal what many wouldn’t because they didn’t want to be involved with it.” That’s three strikes. She’s out. And another thing, if a licensed professional was going to address that (and the reason these statutes always are framed in terms of licensed professionals is precisely so that we don’t have unlicensed flighty people like Duley making a mess of things) the licensed professional would surely do so to a full jurisdiction court that actually, you know, had the authority to commit or detain the dangerous person. But nobody in their right mind, that had even half a clue, would do what Duley did, and certainly wouldn’t be out running their yap about it. Lastly, she ought to be hiding from the Ivins family lawyers, because if I were them, I would be serving her with a complaint. P.S. What Earl said.

    • Nell says:

      “I have read that Duley met with the FBI more than once- not that she got a call and ran down to file an order.”

      Could you provide a link to that? Also, to the source of the McFadden/car break-in information in #261?

      Thanks in advance.

  101. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Ms. Duley was disclosing confidential patient information to the FBI throughout the course of her counseling of Dr. Ivins, without disclosing the obvious conflict to him, she would presumably have violated her practice/licensure rules and her license to practice should be suspended or revoked. Ditto that of her supervising professional, because she either knew all or nothing and did nothing. Ditto the practice they both work for.

    Presumably, the FBI will claim a Patriot Act or similar provision excusing their conduct and Ms. Duley’s alleged deceit. If true, and if the law does that, it may protect Ms. Duley and her practice from liability to Dr. Ivins. It should not protect them from having their licenses suspended or revoked. Their job is mental health diagnosis and therapeutic treatment, not law enforcement.

    Why would the FBI be working through a low-level mental health professional to besmirch Dr. Ivins’ good name, presumably, among other consequences, justifying loss of his security clearance?

    Would a more highly-trained or experience professional tell them to pound salt? Have they too weak a case to take to a grand jury or a court? Did they do an end run around a weak case by going through a local MD state magistrate to get Dr. Ivins off the street because they couldn’t or wouldn’t do that themselves? That is, did they punish Dr. Ivins before they built a case against him? Did they learn nothing from the flawed investigation and multi-million dollar settlement involving Dr. Hatfill?

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • holdenlennon says:

      I do not see that she is licensed as a social worker or as a mental health counselor. She has a BSW-no Masters degree. Nothing to be suspended or revoked. She is not working there anymore. Her boyfriend says she was RELUCTANT to cooperate with the FBI and that she is now basically in hiding with no job. I can’t say I blame her for hiding when the attacks are already so vicious.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I don’t know what level degree MD requires in order to be licensed as an LISW or other form of licensed mental health professional. Whether personally licensed or not, she would be covered under her group’s practice standards. She would be under the direct supervision of a licensed professional, typically a PhD or MD psychiatrist, or possibly an MSW/LISW who themselves would report to a PhD or MD.

        Ms. Duley may have been reluctant to cooperate with the FBI, but presumably she worked hand-in-glove with her supervising professional, whose name doesn’t seem to have been disclosed yet, who also cooperated. We also don’t have yet the name(s) of the professionals from whom the FBI obtained the diagnoses it so helpfully passed on to Ms. Duley. It’s a mystery why only Ms. Duley was pressed to take judicial action and one of those other professionals. But it’s they who should bear the brunt of any claims of unprofessional conduct.

  102. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If the FBI had credible evidence that Ivins was a clear and immediate danger to himself or others, it could have taken him off the street. It could have had a qualified medical or psychological practitioner do that without their direct involvement. Or, it could have had that practitioner directly exchange information with Duley and her practice (rather than indirectly through an FBI agent, which taints the data and the process) to achieve the same end in an equally timely, but more complete and fact-based fashion.

    The FBI didn’t do that. Despite a multi-year investigation, it acted in a panic and whipsawed a relatively junior member of a mental health practice. It put her in fear of her life (whether that fear was reasonable has yet to be determined) — apparently based on its evidence, not Ms. Duley’s direct observations of her patient. Those actions led to Dr. Ivins’ death, whether or not by suicide. The FBI lost a key expert, a key witness and apparently its lead alleged perpetrator. The FBI has yet to prove a single fact of its case. A far cry from proof beyond a reasonable doubt of its whole case.

    Based on the few facts disclosed so far, no one involved is likely to emerge unscathed from a thorough investigation of this matter. For our sakes, for Dr. Ivins and his family, for Ms. Duley and her practice and its patients, and for the FBI we need to be able to respect and rely on, I hope we get one.

    • PetePierce says:

      Doesn’t FBI mean Federal Bullshit Institute?

      The FBI wasn’t needed if anyone with an MD thought Ivins was a danger to himself or others. But what most people are missing is that if an Anthrax attack is launched against the US with enough spores to cause inhalation anthrax, 95% or so of the people will be dead.

      There is no protection that the US has available, and there may be no protection period.

      There is no plan ala Katrina’s fuckup.

      What is being stockpiled won’t prevent or treat inhalation anthrax because no vaccine has proven efficacy against it; the vaccine would have to be given and boostered over nearly 18 months to a year; and boostered every year and we have about 304,773,008 and there is only enough vaccine that can’t work acutely and isn’t proven against inhalation for 60 million.

      So whether Ivins was part of the previous mailings or not, which doesn’t seem credible is not as important as the fact that if an attack were lost it’d be fatal to 95% or more of the US population. In addition many knowledgable people on anthrax think the FBIs blaming it on Ivins is complete lying bullshit.
      Modest Gains Against Ever-Present Bioterrorism Threat

      Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax
      Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say

  103. Hmmm says:

    Bad psychology abounds here, doesn’t it? I wonder whether some of what FBI told Duley was stuff she was supposed to be able to talk about publicly, whereas other parts of it were under NSL cover which she shouldn’t have been talking about… and then at the P.O. hearing she got confused (understandably so, since she was under great stress at the time) about where the line between the two was, and as a result wound up conflating some of the QT background stuff with the stuff she was in the clear to talk about?

    • Hmmm says:

      Sorry, I buried my other point: If the FBI came to Duley with an NSL, perhaps early in Ivins’ treatment, then it seems she would have had to be extremely strong-willed to resist cooperating with the investigation — sounds like she folded instead. Take that same NSL process one step earlier in the timeline, and the FBI might have also approached Ivins’ previous mental health care providers under NSL. If we can accept that scenario, then what’s to prevent FBI from telling Duley what they learned from the previous providers? And if we’re willing to entertain that scenario, then what’s to prevent them from telling Duley made-up stories about what previous providers said about Ivins, rather than what the previous provider really said? For that matter, they could just lie to her without ever talking to the previous provider. Like I said last night, Duley may have got played here, and there seem to be many ways that could have been done.

    • bmaz says:

      I question just how much the FBI was legitimately “talking” to Duley. Unless they are running a play through her (which they will never admit), generally they ask questions and let the witness, Duley, do the talking. The FBI feeding a bunch of information to Duley is kind of hard to fathom. This whole scene as described so far just is not credible.

      • Hmmm says:

        Oh yes, extreme illegitimacy is assumed in all the scenarios I outlined. Because when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains — however improbable — must be the truth. However illegitimate.

  104. Hmmm says:

    New anonymous-source story on DNA link to Ivins’ lab. Didn’t we already know this? And who the hell is leaking?

    The DNA linked the anthrax used in the mailing to a flask used in Bruce Ivins’ lab at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

    The FBI traced the anthrax used in the attacks to the lab by using a new genetic technology, a U.S. official familiar with the probe said.

    Well, there’s been 7 frickin’ years to taint the the evidence, hasn’t there?

    • Hmmm says:

      And besides, if Ivins’ lab did analysis work on the mailed anthrax, then wouldn’t you expect to see it in that lab? Circular logic.

    • Nell says:

      Hmmm: Didn’t we already know this?

      Sort of. It was hinted at in the Friday L.A.Times article by Dave Willman that broke the story of Ivins’ death and the investigation having turned toward him:

      Director Robert S. Mueller III changed leadership of the investigation in late 2006. The FBI’s new top investigators — Vincent B. Lisi and Edward W. Montooth — instructed agents to re-examine leads or potential suspects that may have received insufficient attention. Moreover, significant progress was made in analyzing properties of the anthrax powder recovered from separate letters that were addressed to two U.S. senators.

      Another early story made a more specific reference to genetic analysis, but I’m not finding it.

  105. Nell says:

    Information is being put out piece by piece, by (at this point) anonymous sources, most “close to the investigation”. Today’s dribble is an AP story:

    Using new genome technology to identify the type of Ames strain anthrax used in the attacks, the FBI began to focus on Ivins as its top suspect more than a year ago, according to the scientist who is close to the investigation.

    Ivins “was the primary suspect for some time,” said the scientist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

    NPR walks back the WaPo story about an imminent plea bargain, saying an indictment was coming but could have been weeks away, and that the meeting set with Ivins’ lawyer was simply to try to get an admission. In light of that, any role that the prosecution or FBI played in spooking Duley appears extremely unwise.

    • Hmmm says:

      Samples of cells taken from the bodies — and perhaps specifically from Bob Stevens, a 63-year-old tabloid photo editor in Boca Raton, Fla. — looked at the type of Ames strain anthrax that killed them.

      That was the cutaneous form, not the aerosolized/weaponized form, right?

      • Nell says:

        Stevens died of inhalation anthrax. There were inhalation deaths from both sets of mailings, though there were more, and a higher percentage of those who became sick at all had the more serious inhalation illness, in the second set (sent to Daschle & Leahy) in which the powder was much finer.

        There is no evidence that the anthrax in either set of letters was “weaponized”, in the sense of being coated with any other substance to retard clumping or static cling. It appears that sufficiently pure anthrax — and the anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was close to the theoretical limit of purity — aerosolizes easily without any special processing. Production of anthrax that pure is only possible in relatively small quantities.

        Since the previous (supposedly pre-1969 only) production of offensive bioweapons naturally involved larger quantities and semi-industrial production in which the anthrax was not so close to absolutely pure, it had become conventional wisdom among scientists familiar with the process that an anti-clumping substance would be required for effective aerosolization.

        Again, I strongly recommend to anyone wanting a relatively agenda-free overview of the investigation up to late 2006 to read the article in Chemical and Engineering News.

        • Hmmm says:

          Thanks much for the tech poop — I do bits, not atoms, so it’s all a bit foreign to me. I hope I didn’t muddy the waters too much with my ignorance.

        • JimWhite says:

          Thanks for the C&E News link. That’s the first convincing argument I’ve seen that the material wasn’t weaponized (or at least treated with silica). I had put way too much belief in the early X-ray spectrometry result. It still seems mysterious how the material got to that concentration,and it seems very unlikely to me Ivins could have achieved that.

          • Nell says:

            Thirty-five-years-gone cell biology course and thirty-year-old brief copy editing stint at the Am.Soc.of Microbiology don’t equip me to know how the concentration was reached. Ed Lake, if I’m remembering right, posits repeated ‘washing’ with centrifuge; I’m not qualified to say if that’s plausible.

            It does seem that, despite no additives, that there was one form of special processing: spray drying, so that the material dries into an easily aerosolized powder rather than a cake needing to be ground up. Not incompatible with Dugway origin for the spores, with purification/processing at Ft. Detrick (northeastern U.S. water isotope signature). The original, unredacted version of the email published by Fox in March is surely part of what’s already been presented to the grand jury (which is reported to have been in business for a year already).

  106. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rumor has it that the FBI is taking the position that it’s “solved” the anthrax murders and is closing the investigation. Neat.

    Dr. Ivins, like Dr. Hatfill’s, reputation is in tatters. His family will be affected for a generation — whether or not he did anything wrong. He was, and presumably his family is or was, Catholic. Which means his claimed suicide will be an added burden, because doctrine says he died stained by the one sin that cannot be forgiven. He cannot be buried in consecrated ground or enter into heaven. For the faithful, that amounts to punishment for eternity.

    Ms. Duley, her professional supervisor, their practice and patients are also stained. Whether s/he or they cooperated voluntarily or under the duress of, eg, a national security letter. Rebuilding trust among themselves and their patients may take some time, if it’s ever fully rebuilt. Their patients, logically, should be concerned about the confidentiality of their disclosures and lack of conflicts of interest among their staff. Their practice will no doubt suffer at least a temporary financial loss. It may suffer a considerable loss via insured risks if alleged cooperation with the FBI was not well founded in law or in compliance with professional mental health standards of conduct.

    Ms. Duley, quite reasonably, could be traumatized. She may reasonably have been in fear for her safety or her life. Regardless of other outcomes and why they occurred, a patient of hers has died. No matter how explicable, that may be hard to bear, at least for a time, which will leave its own mark on her and her practice, including conceivably a decision to leave it for other work.

    The FBI, meanwhile, may have dealt with several birds with one stone. If it closes its investigation by claiming to have solved it, we may never know the truth of that claim. We may never know with confidence whether the anthrax murderer(s) got away with it or finally met their maker.

    The FBI didn’t need to go to a grand jury and get an indictment. It never had to find and prepare credible witnesses and forensic evidence, never had to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defendant(s), never had to submit to cross examination or contrary expert testimony, never had to win at trial and on appeal. It need only keep Congress off its back until after the election and hope that President Obama has other priorities.

    We may never know more about the government’s continuing illegal bio-weapons programs, never know more about the personalities the government allows to run them, never know whether one of them was run so negligently or recklessly that one of its bio-weapons was used on other Americans. In a John le Carre novel, that’s enough reason to terminate the innocent and the guilty with extreme prejudice. We ought to have a thorough investigation that takes this case of national importance out of the land of supposition and into the realm of fact and provable evidence.

    • Artep says:

      Why, if the case is closed, did the FBI confiscate the library computers? Since they were prepared to indict him, one would assume the evidence was sufficient to convict. Are they collecting evidence for a closed case or destroying evidence of his innocence. Sounds like a clean up job!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Looks like a clean-up job, the kind Harvey Keitel’s character did in Pulp Fiction.

        It’s not clear to me who has actually said the FBI was “ready” or even “close” to filing for an indictment. Recent news reports claim the FBI was weeks away from being ready to ask the grand jury for one. Perhaps only an anonymous source said it. The kind the MSM love so much. And sometimes, having enough evidence to get a grand jury to indict is a far cry from having a winnable case.

        Sometimes it’s only enough to get an alleged perp temporarily off the street or to deal, or to get witnesses to cough up. Sometimes it’s for show: the case is weak, but the prosecutor has to go through the motions to give cover to political actors. Failure is then laid at the doorstep of “emotional” juries or to alleged bad calls by the trial judge or the “nefarious shenanigans” of defense lawyers.

        It’s the flip side of the Don Siegelman case, where the judge in question appeared to have numerous conflicts of interest and to make decisions consistently in favor of a weak or dubious prosecution. Winning at trial isn’t always what’s wanted. With as old a case as this, but one still subject to intense scrutiny, and with embarrassing implications for the government no matter how it turns out, the prosecution’s motive can simply be to claim that they had the right guy, but the system was too flawed to convict him. It ruins the defendant’s reputation either way. So, yes, I would hope that Dr. Ivins family obtains the assistance of a highly competent lawyer. Something Ms. Duley and the practice that employed her should too.

        Glennzilla has just the right take this morning on a national case that justifiably continues to be put under the klieg lights and microscope. With the Ashcroft-Gonzales-Mukasey run Justice Department, “something wicked this way comes” is usually the correct observation about its work.

        • bmaz says:

          I think that imminent indictment stuff may have come from Duley.

          And I am shocked, shocked to hear that Ms. Duley may be less than an experienced and accomplished professional and may, in fact, be a tad off center herself. Who’d a thunk it?

  107. JimWhite says:

    Hmmm at 297: Stevens died of inhaled anthrax. Any anthrax spore can cause cutaneous or inhaled anthrax depending on whether it is introduced through a cut in the skin or inhaled very deeply into the lungs. The key on weaponized material is to make it so small it goes to the smallest passages in the lungs.

    Neill at 298: I lost the link, but I saw a scientific paper today that showed that they had the DNA sequence info on mutational differences between the labs several years ago. It was published with the labs coded and in a subsequent paper, someone worked out what the labs had to be. Ft. Detrick was one that matched the sequence for the material in the letters. Dugway was off by one mutation. My money is still on Dugway as the site where the spores were weaponized, though, and several press reports show that material flowed freely between Dugway and Fort Detrick before the attacks, so someone at Dugway easily could have gotten Ft. Detrick spores to weaponize. The WaPo front page article today builds a strong case for why Ivins could not have made the powder.

    • Hmmm says:

      Identical thanks to you too, JimWhite. But you and Neil seem to be using different definitions of ‘weaponized’…?

  108. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Ivins case would be a valuable one for state and national mental health associations to study thoroughly. It’s a problem akin to assisting in torture.

    The FISA amendments debacle suggests that there will be a trend of increased use of NSL or similar legal intrusions into the patient/professional relationship, harming trust and confidentiality, with the added debility that the law may prohibit the professional from disclosing the conflict of interest and the potential self-incrimination it enables.

    Is the Fifth Amendment to go the way of the Fourth, denuded into an antiquarian curiosity? Moreover, the government need not toss the non-criminally incriminating evidence it may discover. Will it be up to the next J. Edgar Rove to determine what fun and games can be had with it?

    The process is rather like breaking into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office while they’re both there and in mid-session. Except that only the psychiatrist knows the government is listening and can’t warn the patient. To my mind, that would be a corruption of a healing process that has no cure.

    • Hmmm says:

      A textbook Eastern Bloc technique, wouldn’t that be? Huh, Im starting to wonder who really won the Cold War.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Im starting to wonder who really won the Cold War.

        Anyone who’s still fighting it, regardless of the changing shape of the enemy.

        And yes, quite likely more experienced professionals could have understood that claims for cooperation by the FBI required them to break their commitments to their profession and their patients.

        It is also possible that the terms of Ivins’ employment contract or his security clearance required Ivins to disclose — and allowed the government to obtain at any time — his complete record of medical and mental health evaluations and treatment. That would seem logical, given the special dangers inherent in his work. In which case, Ivins would be deemed to have consented to release of that information. But that wouldn’t excuse its misuse.

        One more reason the public has an interest in knowing much more about how all this went down, which is why I would expect soon to hear noises about not disclosing sources and methods.

    • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

      Sadly, I believe the HIPPA “privacy” law gives law enforcement access to medical records.

      Those competent with legal/legislative/administrative data base searches could find out for sure…

      (kinda like the Healthy Forests Act gave loggers access to forests)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Fortunatley, we’ve now had the benefit of several top bloggers adding to the fray, including another round from Glenzilla and one from Larisa Alexandrovna, so this topic remains hot.


        Ms. Duley’s apparent record is not stellar. Two DUI’s in the past two years. Unless she is very unlucky, getting caught twice by the police requires more than two bouts of driving under the influence. If I recall correctly, Ms. Duley was employed as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, and was apparently treating Dr. Ivins for the same. The decimal point just moved right in the risks Ms. Duley’s employer runs in relation to her role in this case.

        Assuming Ms. Duley correctly identified and spelled the name of Dr. Ivins’ psychiatrist — Dr. David Irwin — in her statement to the court, and correctly recited Irwin’s claims about Ivins’ mental state, then why hadn’t Irwin already had Ivins in custody pending a detailed psych eval? Did she get this info. directly from Irwin or via the FBI?

        Ivins’ statement to the court ought to have included only information she knew from personal knowledge, ie, from her having observed Ivins during her “six months” of counseling him. Claims by other health care professionals regarding Ivins’ condition, treatment and past or likely future behavior were beyond her knowledge and professional expertise. Unless they came from her practice supervisors, she seems to have incorrectly used that information in her court filings. That includes claims of his behavior while in graduate school three decades earlier and most assuredly includes claims that law enforcement was “about to indict Ivins” for five murders. WTF?

        Ms. Duley has only been out of college a few years. She appears to be a disposable pawn in a bigger and recklessly or negligently run game. As Rumpole might jibe, if Ms. Duley continues in her work, she should keep practicing, for surely she hasn’t got it right yet. But in this camera safari, where the game is law enforcement as well as the anthrax killer, Ms. Duley is a gnat, not the tiger or water buffalo.

  109. pdaly says:

    I was disappointed when I watched Eric Lichtblau Saturday (yesterday) morning on Washington Journal. When a caller asked him about his thoughts on Glenn Greenwald’s recent article about the anthrax attacks, ABC news’ government sources about Iraq’s alleged hand it them, and the rush to war with Iraq, I expected Lichtblau to give a hats off to Glenn. Instead, Lichtblau pooh poohed the political machinations angle with a dismissive comment that the government quickly realized the anthrax attacks were the work of a domestic actor.

    I tried to find the cspan Washington Journal video, but a link does not yet exist.

    Found a similar reaction to mine on BradBlog however (this quote appears near the bottom of the article on the Washington Post scrubbing its Friday website article without editors note)

    …On Saturday, New York Times’ front-pager Eric Lichtblau [25], who has been reporting on the anthrax case, and other DoJ matters, for the paper, was on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

    Despite repeated queries from callers about the false ABC News reports and even John McCain’s own tying of the anthrax attacks to Iraq on Late Night with David Letterman way back then, Lichtblau was oblivious to the concerns, and said that he was unaware of anything noteworthy in the false connections made by politicians, reporters and columnists — and thus, the public — between the Iraq/anthrax ruse (which has never been retracted by ABC!) and the country’s march to war. If this article gets pinged by your personal Google Alert, Mr. Lichtblau, please read Greenwald’s article! [26]


    • bmaz says:

      You know, for all of his breakthrough reporting on the wiretapping, Lichtblau was similarly nonchalant about teh governmental conspiracy underlying it. This seems of the same cloth.

      • pdaly says:

        Confusing to be sure. His nonchalance makes me wonder why he thought it was newsworthy in the first place.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lichtblau’s nonchalance I would read as his expression of the Not Invented Here syndrome.

      I suspect his attitude toward blogs is similar to Bush’s attitude toward the press: they’re only useful as an echo chamber for Lichtblau/Times initiated stories/priorities. Everyone else can STFU and pay their subscriptions, allowing “real” writers an empty stage. Pretty much what you’d expect from a principals vs. chorus kind of class arrogance. The mark of an endangered species.

  110. Hmmm says:

    Zooming way way out to the macro level for a moment, the fact that the only known bioattack on the US civilian population originated from actor(s) inside the USG itself reminds me of the Firesign Theater line from the Great Leader: “All we have to fear… is me.”

    But far from dispelling irrational fears, I am starting to worry that this is going to get fed to the country at large as: Oddballs and eggheads are potentials traitors, better spy a little harder on all your weirdo neighbors.

    Come to think of it, Obama’s a bit of an egghead,… Ain’t he, Jed?

  111. Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

    just a dumb shrink here, so I may be talking out my ass….but the no autopsy ruling seems quite suspicious.

    here are questions i’d love to see an autopsy address:

    (I) Very odd choice of suicide meds for a trained bioscientist.

    Massive overdoses of tylenol and codeine are not uncommon, so the consequences are quite well-defined.

    From reading the LA Time story, I can’t tell if the cause of death was respiratory depression and resultant CNS damage, or acute/fulminant hepatic failure.

    Tylenol (acetaminophen) kills via liver failure – also called fulminant hepatic failure. This is an awful form of death. Massive acetaminophen OD’s may often be reversed by administration of N-acteylcysteine (mucormyst); for patients in whom that is ineffective, emergent liver transplantation is another option. Patients who do not receive livert transplant may not expire from an acetominophen OD for a few (or even several) progressively horrific days.

    [How do I know? I worked for a time with a liver transplant team. Starting one’s workday interviewing a young woman who took a bottle of Tylenol as a suicidal gesture (expecting only to get her stomach pumped and her boyfriend back) and then awakens in the hospital to find she’ll need a liver transplant — very quickly — leaves rather strong memories.]

    Frederick Hospital is just across a highway from Fort Deitrich (?sp) and next to an airport. The hospital is just down the Baltimore National Pike from, well, Baltimore — and Hopkins’ crack liver transplant team.

    Hopkins’s transplantation services are renowned. If Ivins were facing death from hepatic failure, was transfer to Hopkins considered? If not, why not?

    Codeine also kills — IIRC, the mechanism of death is respiratory depression caused by opiate-induced suppression of brainstem reflexes. However, in OD’s involving codeine, codeine itself is seldom the direct cause of death (at least in Victoria, Australia):


    For acute codeine OD’s, Narcan (naloxone) will reverse the codeine (opiate) -induced repsiratory suppression. If someone’s already suffered fatal anoxic brain damage, naloxone won’t reverse that. Depending on when the OD happened and when the patient gets to treatment, naloxone can reverse the opiate OD so that someone is brought back before they have sufered from brain damage, but left with awful, disabling brain damage.


    The big conceptual question. Micobiology PhD’s — like physicians — know enough to be able to research human physiology and toxicology and identify relatively non-miserable and very effective forms of suicide via OD. Why would a microbiologist (esppecially one working in a biowarfare lab) as smart as Ivins choose such a possibly unreliable and definitely miserable form of OD?

    (II) And…..

    Simultaneous exposure to lethal opiate OD doses and/or lethal acetaminophen OD doses starts two separate physiological clocks ticking: time course of fatal CNS damage and time course of fatal hepatic damage.

    IIRC, both proceed along well-described pathways which leave their own pathologic signatures (patterns of cell death and presence of toxic molecules).

    Even after we die, toxic chemicals keep diffusing about our bodies: in folks found after death, the distribution of the toxic chemicals can help the forensic pathologists “walk back” the time of initial ingestion/exposure.

    If respiratory depression were the cause of death, I believe the broad physiology would be hypoxic CNS neuronal death that followed opiate-induced brainstem suppression. Here’s where an independent forensic examiner would be really helpful: from comparing the brainstem opiate levels, the apparent time of onset of CNS neuronal death, and tissue/serum levels of acetaminophen/codeine, would it possible to confirm that the stated cause of death was — or was not — the result of codeine?

    If Ivins were in my family, I’d sure insist on knowing if forensic toxicology could prove or disprove the hypothesis that his brainstem showed sufficiently high levels of codeine (and metabolites, if any) required for lethal respiratory suppression. I’d also wonder if the apparent time course of hepatic damage were temporally consistent with the apparent time course of CNS suppression. I’d also wonder if these two timelines were consistent with the apparent time of ingestion.

    As both agents (acetaminophen and codeine) could in theory be forcibly administered via parenteral (injection) routes, I’d further wonder if the levels of both toxins in serum (plasma) were consistent with GI tract levels…and further wonder if the apparent time frame of distribution of the initial toxic dose was/was not consistent with the time frames of CNS/hepatic toxicity described above.

    Of course, I’m just a dumb psychiatrist, so I’m pulling all the above half-recalled forensic speculation out of my ass.

    PS: Ivins’ brother sound like a real asshole. I respect David Willman’s investigative NIH work — he clearly has good connections in that community. Reading the LA TImes story, I couldn’t help wondering how many of the sources were from law enforcement, and how many came directly from Willman’s direct inverstigative work.

    The picture of Ivins we’re given now is sure different from the picture USA Today (ok, obvious quality difference) four years ago:


    • PetePierce says:

      The case the FBI has has always looked suspect, and it’s circumstantial and far from convincing as scores of comments have noted. To me the “big conceptual questions are much different that the pathophysiology/toxicology dynamics of Tylenol or Opiate overdoses in Dr. Ivins or anyone else. If Dr. Ivins were in my country and the FBI were the federal cops in my country (hey they are) I’d sure be concerned that the FBI has a case full of holes that is circumstantial at best and one every bit as good could be made against several other people known to have access to that Anthrax and people from other countries who may have:

      1) We don’t have any defense against pulmonary anthrax and no plan in place. Welcome to medicine in the USA, Dr. Murphy.

      2)Again, the FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is actually in the shitter. It’s full of holes.

      Anthrax Evidence Against Dr. Ivins is Shaky and Circumstantial

      Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax
      Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say

      While genetic analysis had linked the anthrax letters to a supply of the deadly bacterium in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., at least 10 people had access to the flask containing that anthrax, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

      Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation also have no evidence proving that Dr. Ivins visited New Jersey on the dates in September and October 2001 when investigators believe the letters were sent from a Princeton mailbox, the source said.

      Given what I know about this, I still believe FBI stands for Federal Bumblers of Investigations.

      I find it mildly ironic with no disrespect to the tragic victims of the Anthrax mailings, that John Miller who used to do pieces showing how erratic the feds and the FBI were, is now Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the FBI and is saying nothing–something he used to attack agencies for when he was doing the ABC News show 20-20 with Barbara “The View” Walters and Hugh Downs.
      [Raises question whether Dr. Ivins was involved or someone else with or without him.]

      For openers, at least 10 other people had access to the genetic strain of anthrax.

      Dr. Ivins himself didn’t have the training to get the spores airborne which requires detailed physics information he wasn’t trained to have, not microbiological info.

      I really haven’t paid much attention to Ivins’ overdose because it seems way tangential to the major problems with him as the perp and the other major problem that happens to be medical, that I’ve outlined above, and that is if somoene can launch a massive inhalation anthrax attack against this country there is really no plan and no way to defend against it, and a huge percent would die.

      Again there is no vaccine which is approved or known to work with respiratory anthrax, and in order to work a vaccine needs to be administered over time–and we’re talking 18 months to two years and boosted annually. We have about 304,776,004 and 60 million vaccines stockpiled that do nothing to acutely prevent anthrax death. Treatment is early on IV Cipro, supplemented with tetracycline and very meticulous respiratory care and we can’t do that for massive amounts of people.


      Modest Gains Against Ever-Present Bioterrorism Threat

      Cipro stockpile smaller
      than government claims

      For oral Cipro and Tetracylcine to have efficacy against inhalation anthrax, it needs to be given every day BID over a period of about 18 weeks. We don’t have near enough, and you sure as hell wouldn’t have that kind of time, and let’s be clear.

      The Bush administration recently cut the budget for an anthrax vaccine:

      The Bush administration has dedicated $57 billion for bioweapons, prevention and defense through fiscal 2009, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. That includes a $9 billion increase next year for research and development of countermeasures such as vaccines.

      The administration has tried to get its primary vaccine program, BioShield, back on track. The HHS in 2006 killed the two-year-old program’s largest component, an $877.5 million contract to develop a new anthrax vaccine and last year canceled a project to develop radiation exposure drugs. Still, the nation has seen few breakthroughs such as an anthrax vaccine that could safely inoculate Americans and end what many scientists consider a top-tier threat. Some analysts worry that the U.S. research effort is increasing the risk of abuse by a malevolent or unwitting insider, whether or not bioweapons expert Bruce E. Ivins turns out to among them.

      Critics say big gaps remain. BioWatch remains of limited use, because it takes 10 to 34 hours for samples taken by the machines to be analyzed. A new generation of sensors that can detect lethal agents within four to six hours was scheduled for pilot deployment in 2008 but now is not expected until 2010 or 2011.


      Of course it’s brilliant that they have a three trillion dollar clusterfuck going on in Iraq though and they cut the budget for developing a faster anthrax vaccine that could actually work against pulmonary and not cutaneous anthrax. I’d say DHS has “out-Katrinad” themselves there.

      Incidentally in my state when the vaccine was offered to emergency personnel, only a handful of physicians and nurses took it because the rest were so freaked by ignorance as to the side effect profile that they declined. I took it.

      As I know you know, Tylenol death does not take that many tylenol. A normal sized adult can die from 20 Extra Strenth tylenol depending on metabolism 150 mg/kg or greater and when in doubt they aren’t going to get in trouble from Mucomyst. Twenty extra strenth tylenol are within a lot of peoples’ reach in the bathroom, or their purse, or their pocket or the grocery.

      The results from “emergent liver transplantation” are dismal,and unless you get the patient awfully late in the game after the overdose, you’re going with Mucomyst.

      I had the chance to apply a Done nomogram and Mucomystg several times when I was doing emergency medicine.

      What I’m talking about here for those not familiar is that when you suspect or have info that a patient has OD’d with tylenol or tylenol in the mix, you can draw blood levels and superimpose them onto a chart called a Dones Nomogram and then give the patient IV mucomyst to block the liver necrosis from the Tylenol overdose if used within 16 hours or so of the OD. An optimal time to draw the blood is at a peak 4 hours after ingestion, but you don’t always have a straight story as to when ingestion occured from a patient who may not be able to tell you depending on what else they may have taken concommitantly or anyone else. It helps when you do.

      A with many things medical that are emergent, the sooner you can give them Mucomyst the better.

      • Nell says:

        Pete Pierce: Dr. Ivins himself didn’t have the training to get the spores airborne which requires detailed physics information he wasn’t trained to have, not microbiological info.

        Maybe yes, maybe no. He certainly could have purified the sample. Don’t know about the air-drying. (See my comments at 300 and 317.)

        • PetePierce says:

          For Neil @ 329

          You’re right. There are two schools of thought emerging, and while I know the medical aspects of anthrax and that we are totally unprepared to defend against, treat acutely a well planned attack with fine pulmonary attacking powder, I am anthing but a particle physicist nor do I have any knowledge of what US Army etc. and other labs actually store as far as anthrax types or powder sizes.

          From the


          article I linked:

          One bioweapons expert familiar with the FBI investigation said Ivins indeed possessed the skills needed to create the dust-fine powder used in the attacks. At the Army lab where he worked, Ivins specialized in making sophisticated preparations of anthrax bacteria spores for use in animal tests, said the expert, who requested anonymity because the investigation remains active.

          Ivins’s daily routine included the use of processes and equipment the anthrax terrorist likely used in making his weapons. He also is known to have had ready access to the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attack — a strain found to match samples found in Ivins’s lab, he said.

          “You could make it in a week,” the expert said. “And you could leave USAMRIID with nothing more than a couple of vials. Bear in mind, they weren’t exactly doing body searches of scientists back then.”

          But others, including former colleagues and scientists with backgrounds in biological weapons defense, disagreed that Ivins could have created the anthrax powder, even if he were motivated to do so.

          “USAMRIID doesn’t deal with powdered anthrax,” said Richard O. Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Army lab. “I don’t think there’s anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it. You would need to have the opportunity, the capability and the motivation, and he didn’t possess any of those.”

          Another scientist who worked with Ivins acknowledged it would have been technically possible to manufacture powdered anthrax at Fort Detrick, but unlikely that anyone could have done so without being detected.

          “As well as we knew each other, and the way the labs were run, someone would discover what was going on,” said the scientist, “especially since dry spores were not something that we prepared or worked with.”

          There might be an autopsy by the FBI where they won’t tell you. It is pretty ironic that John Miller who passed up millions to lead 20-20 after Hugh Downs retired is doing such a lousy disingenuous job of communicating after the FBI carved out a job for him and doing a stint as Assistant Chief of Police in L.A.

          In a few days the FBI will trot out the dog and pony show they want you to swallow. Without being even remotely a “tin foil hat” conspiricacy theorist here, there is just too much that’s circumstantial that doesn’t add up to positively implicate Dr. Ivins alone or Dr. Ivins period in this case.

          For William Ockahm @327: It is possible that if an autopsy was done, the FBI sealed the information.

          There will be hearings aplenty from the feckless do nothing constructive Congress in the next few months. They love to have hearings in the limelight while continuing to serve their masters Bush, Cheney, and Addington and the corporate structure.

          It’s disappointing to see ABC caught as such a lying shill. John Miller of the FBI formerly was offered a multimillion dollar job with “20-20″ when Hugh Downs left. He’s being far from sraight with the public.

  112. YYSyd says:

    Two inane questions.
    1) If he had enough codeine to top himself
    what did he need the tylenol for? To avoid the headache of suicide?

    2) Hand writing analysis of would be mailers sound to me as a waste of time. Though they do not look like the child’s writing that they are supposed to be, I highly doubt that the sender would be silly enough to address the envelopes him/herself.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I can answer question 1. The stuff comes in a combo pill (Tylenol 3 is acetaminophen plus codeine).

      Just to add to the opinions of the two docs here, my wife is a family physician and medical director of our local hospice. She was astounded that there will be no autopsy. She was also a bit surprised at the choice of drug. Although if the guy had prior liver damage, it would be an effective choice.

  113. klynn says:

    Here’s the latest from NYT’s:


    The evidence amassed by F.B.I. investigators against Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, the Army scientist who killed himself last week after learning that he was likely to be charged in the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, was largely circumstantial, and a grand jury in Washington was planning to hear several more weeks of testimony before issuing an indictment, a person who has been briefed on the investigation said on Sunday.

  114. lllphd says:

    don’t know if this thread is still active, but from the 330+total comments, i’d say it is at least possible.

    therefore, forward: artep’s mention of greenwald’s latest article on this issue is well-taken. he makes three points. one, the question of the bentonite leak/plant story is heating up as more call for ross to reveal his sources.

    two, this social worker, jean duley, is more than highly suspect. her written accusations on the restraining order suggested naivete at best regarding professional nomenclature. moreover, where IS this psychiatrist she references?? but the real issue wrt to duley is that she sports a lengthy rap sheet for driving under the influence, and is on probation for at least one incident.

    three, though reports have stated that the case was completed and they were ready to indict and arrest ivins, it appears this is far from the truth, and that any evidence the fbi have on ivins at this point are largely circumstantial.

    see the interview with greenwald and a colleague of ivins on this morning’s democracynow! eye-opening.

    all this, on top of the fact exposed by brad friedman on bradblog (noted above) that none of the msm are bothering to mention that the targets of the letters were liberals (and of course the sinful exception of the tabloid), even going so far as to stress that none of the victims had anything in common. this point is particularly damning of the press in the wake of the knoxville shootings last week.

    this whole thing already stinks so high to heaven that i’m already imagining the mess the fbi will be in when ivins’ family decides to file a wrongful death complaint. six million and hatfill didn’t even die. no far-fetched, given NBC just settled on the ‘to catch a predator’ case, and the case against nancy grace at CNN was just allowed to proceed this week. i should think the media would also be quaking in their boots on this one. and on the hatfill case. even though i admit suspicion that ivins did not even commit suicide (shades of david kelley).

      • lllphd says:

        i’m aware of that; that was my point. the fbi (and the media, given the ‘catch a predator’ settlement and nancy grace’s case) may well hope they can settle for only twice what hatfill got.

        sorry if the wording didn’t convey the point, but that was it. and to push it further, no small factor that this incident comes so hot on the heels of that settlement and the bad press they’re suffering as a result.

        but this whole event might just backfire on them, and they only have their incompetence and bad faith to blame.

  115. Boston1775 says:

    Looks like someone thinks that an autopsy was performed.
    From the Fredrick News Post

    Kimberly Thomas, a forensic examiner with the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, would not comment Saturday on results from Ivins’ autopsy or confirm Dr. Fowler’s statement.

    Despite the widespread publicity following Ivins’ death, Keeney and Basford Funeral Home said Saturday that the family had made no changes to funeral arrangements announced Friday in his obituary. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Frederick, followed by a reception at the church parish hall.
    1 2 – Next page >>
    related story tags
    Anthrax Bruce Ivins Contagious and Infectious Diseases Frederick News-Post Federal Bureau of Investigation Health and Fitness Intellectual Property Medicine

  116. Boston1775 says:

    From the comments section of at-Largely

    I have been a close friend of Dr. Bruce Ivins for years. The FBI needed a scapegoat, especially after Stephen Hatfill, whose foot the FBI ran over, won a $5.2 M lawsuit against them.

    The new FBI director needed a capture in this case. So, they took all of the Ft. Detrick anthrax researchers and put them under intense interrogation.

    Bruce was a mild, meek and sensitive scientist. The FBI showed his clinically depressed daughter, who was institutionalized in a mental hospital, photos of the anthrax victims, and said “your father did this.” They offered his son $2.5 M and a sportscar if he would “rat” on his father.

    Bruce could not stand stand up to the constant harrasment by the FBI. So we have lost a very talented researcher, so that the FBI can close the case…

    Posted by:Dr. Gerry Higgins | August 04, 2008 at 07:02 AM

  117. bmaz says:

    New LA Times article says “Anthrax blend led FBI to Ivins: Its origins pointed to one conclusion: that only the government scientist could be behind the 2001 attacks.”

    Am I the only one that wonders why this expert of experts in Anthrax, Ivins, who theoretically did so much else to conceal his identity according to the story being spun would not also think to mask the anthrax used so that it could not be traced back to him? This is like a professional killer using a gun that the entire law enforcement structure in the world knows is a one of a kind gun that only he possesses. The Feds are trying really hard to put a nice bow and ribbon on this pig of an investigation though.

    • Boston1775 says:

      The only way I can see it happening is if Ivins was sure that he could control events following his sending of the letters. He would have to have been sure that he would be able to shape events in the investigation.

      Which leaves us with the question of motive. Could he have been so devoted to rigid Catholic beliefs that he was sure he was following God’s will? Did the liberal press and liberal senators need this wake up call from God’s servant? A wake up call for what? I have no idea.

      I don’t have an opinion one way or another except joining you in being shocked, shocked that his theripist may turn out to have been a tad underqualified.

      By the way, the Ames strain of anthrax is said to have originated on a Texas ranch. It was misnamed for a city in the midwest. When I see Texas, my ears start tingling. Could some of that anthrax have found its way into the hands of someone who used it twenty years later to help out old friends trying to start a war?

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Um… no. The anthrax originally came from cows in South Texas during the 1980 outbreak. The Vet school at Texas A&M sent it to Ft. Detrick in 1981 in a shipping container supplied by the USDA that had the return address of the USDA research facility in Ames, Iowa. They didn’t ‘name’ the strain until years later and just picked the return address (at the time, they didn’t know where it came from, which is a little scary).

        Trust me, neither Cheney or Bush has ever been that close to a cow, a working ranch, or a vet facility.

        • PetePierce says:

          As I think you know there are outbreaks of Anthrax that aren’t uncommon in the western US because of the soil or the moisture like the one that killed 25 of Ted Turner’s bison on his Montana ranch. It’s “naturally occuring anthrax” which is frightening because you wonder what the exposure could be for humans that work around the soil or kids that play in it.

          Bison dead of anthrax at Ted Turner’s ranch

      • wavpeac says:

        not all catholics but some of the most rigid are rigidly pro life. That means against the death penalty, pro life, and against war.

        Catholics aren’t evangelicals. There are some differences.

  118. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No, that’s pretty obvious to anyone but a Regent U grad. If the “origins” of the strain of anthrax used, or some tell-tale or signature processing of it, was so unique it could only have come from Ivins, then he’s the Joker leaving a calling card that could only come from him. That’s far from his public profile.

    The claim seems absurd on its face, useful only as a sound bite. The FBI investigation is now seven years running and still no indictment. Either the evidence isn’t obvious at all, or the FBI hasn’t bothered to look for or at it. If the FBI thought Ivins did it (but can’t prove it), why was he still working until a few weeks ago?

    The President claims he can extraordinarily render anyone, American citizens, imprison them indefinitely and torture them. If Ivins was such a risk, why was he not disappeared, to use a Soprano-like metaphor? The what-ifs are endless and make a sham of the government’s claims to date. The government dry-ice machine is steadily blowing smoke, which means whatever one might see with clear vision is something it doesn’t want seen. Certainly not just before the election of a new President.

    Is it too much to hope that the LA Times would investigate and report this hot story, not just retyping what its “anonymous government sources” tell it?

  119. Boston1775 says:

    FBI was told to blame Anthrax scare on Al Qaeda by White House officials


    Saturday, August 2nd 2008, 6:32 PM

    WASHINGTON – In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda, but investigators ruled that out, the Daily News has learned.

    After the Oct. 5, 2001, death from anthrax exposure of Sun photo editor Robert Stevens, Mueller was “beaten up” during President Bush’s morning intelligence briefings for not producing proof the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide.

    “They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official told The News.

    On October 15, 2001, President Bush said, “There may be some possible link” to Bin Laden, adding, “I wouldn’t put it past him.” Vice President Cheney also said Bin Laden’s henchmen were trained “how to deploy and use these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.”

    But by then the FBI already knew anthrax spilling out of letters addressed to media outlets and to a U.S. senator was a military strain of the bioweapon. “Very quickly [Fort Detrick, Md., experts] told us this was not something some guy in a cave could come up with,” the ex-FBI official said. “They couldn’t go from box cutters one week to weapons-grade anthrax the next.”[email protected]

    • Neil says:


      Saturday, August 2nd 2008, 6:32 PM

      WASHINGTON – In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda, but investigators ruled that out, the Daily News has learned.

      After the Oct. 5, 2001, death from anthrax exposure of Sun photo editor Robert Stevens, Mueller was “beaten up” during President Bush’s morning intelligence briefings for not producing proof the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide.

      They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official told The News.

      If you have good reason and good evidence to go to war, you don’t need to invent it. They needed to invent the Casus belli.

      If Congress let’s this stand, there are allowing the politicization of crime (not to be construed as the criminalization of politics), and they will. Congress is rotten.

      Success going after the blue dogs can set the stage for influencing the rest.

  120. Boston1775 says:

    Okay you guys, one last Cheney question:
    If he was, indeed, taking Cipro why would ABC publish the following article dated July 14, 2008 without any mention that he was protected?

    Cheney Thought He Had Lethal Anthrax Dose
    Scare Prompted Veep to Take Hard Line onTerror Suspects, New Book Contends
    July 14, 2008

    In the days after 9/11, when fears of another terrorist strike were at their peak, Vice President Dick Cheney was convinced that he had been subjected to a lethal dose of anthrax, according to a new book.
    White House insiders from that white-knuckle time told author Jane Mayer, who authored “The Dark… Expand
    White House insiders from that white-knuckle time told author Jane Mayer, who authored “The Dark Side, The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals,” that the scare contributed to Cheney’s insistence on hard-line tactics for fighting terror. Collapse
    (Getty/ABC News)

    White House insiders from that white-knuckle time told author Jane Mayer, who authored “The Dark Side, The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals,” that the scare contributed to Cheney’s insistence on hard-line tactics for fighting terror.

    Mayer, a writer for the New Yorker, claims that the vice president became the driving force in pushing for tougher interrogation tactics that critics charge went over the legal line and constitute torture.

    In the days after the horror of 9/11, the country seemed to be under assault from many sides, with anthrax letters showing up in Congress and newsrooms.

    On Oct. 18, 2001, a White House alarm went off indicating that sensors had detected dangerous levels of radioactive, chemical or biological agents. According to Mayer, anyone who had entered the White House situation room, including Cheney, had been exposed.

    “They thought Cheney was already lethally infected,” said a former administration officer who had kept the White House secret until now, according to the book.

    Despite the unnerving news, Cheney calmly reported the emergency to the National Security Council. It turned out that the detection system had malfunctioned and there was no hazard

    Click it, you have to see the picture:

    • acquarius74 says:

      Thanks, Boston, for the good laugh! Darth complete with his breathing cannister. That should be the picture of him to hang on billboards all over America for us to hurl rotten eggs at.

    • lllphd says:

      no, we have no clue why he was found ucs, and i want to see a timeline on all these events. as i posted earlier, there are tons of questions:
      “news reports have mentioned something about the police being called about “an unconscious man”…. where? at his home? by whom? his family? if so, why would they call about an unconscious MAN and not their husband or father? where was he taken? why was he in group therapy? when did those sessions start, especially in relation to this unconscious incident, and why? and yeah howdy; why the hell was he ever hired and kept on if ever had or accrued such a history? security clearance??”

      this duley person is a serious problem. from what i can gather, she waited weeks after ivins allegedly threatened her before going for a restraining order, a perfectly odd step for a mental health professional. under maryland law, as far as i can tell, as in most other states, she was compelled to contact authorities immediately according to the ‘duty to protect’ provisions. the psychiatrist she references, david irwin, needs to address the validity of her assertions that he diagnosed ivins the way she says he did, with a 30 year history of such behaviors, to boot.

      it goes on and on here. clearly the fbi needed to get a quick diversion from the hatfill settlement, which raised all sorts of questions about just who did send those letters, so they slipshod this insanity together. at least, that’s my working hypothesis, given what’s out there so far. let’s hope we get much more real info soon.

      • Artep says:


        Day 1) Suspect commits suicide (no autopsy required).
        Day 2) The Department of Justice leadership announces they had not yet approved bringing charges (insufficient evidence).
        Day 3) Case closed.

        Yup, sounds about right.

  121. Boston1775 says:

    Ya wavpeac at 351, with my minimal knowledge of this man, I can’t seem to find a plausible motive for scaring the crap out of America following 9/11, not to mention killing innocents.

  122. Nell says:

    On the one hand, stories hold out the prospect that the FBI is so confident they’ve got this wrapped up that they’ll be releasing information officially this week, as soon as they brief the families of the victims. On the other, ugly smears keep coming from unnamed “officials” (AP story):

    The top suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks was obsessed with a sorority that sat less than 100 yards away from a New Jersey mailbox where the toxin-laced letters were sent, authorities said Monday. Multiple U.S. officials told The Associated Press that former Army scientist Bruce Ivins was long obsessed with the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, going back as far as his own college days at the University of Cincinnati.

    This one really must make the AP reporters proud to be journalists; it sure makes me proud of our fine, fine government. No evidence for the so-called “obsession” but the word of unnamed sources. The admission that there’s nothing that places Ivins in the area when the letters were mailed. Beyond disgusting.

    • wavpeac says:

      what the hell is that supposed to imply??? and if I remember the 5 w’s correctly there should be more details in that implication!! Jeesh.

      And I keep going back to Marcy’s point about how the during the doj politicization hearings, the judge and whoever made those statements about someone “getting a way with it”. It just makes me think that they were a lot farther away from convicting him (if he indeed is who they are referring to). It doesn’t fit the scenario or timeline that they would make statements that sound as if they “know” who it is, and that this person is not going to be held accountable. I would think…that this guy was self destructing pretty obviously (for several months) and that someone at that hearing might have been in the know about it, and hopeful that he was soon to crack.

      I don’t know. It doesn’t fit the details of what we know today. I am not sure what it really means factually. It could be they weren’t aware they Ivins was “blowing up” but that seems doubtful to me. It could mean that they didn’t figure he would tell the truth and that they knew they didn’t have enough facts to convict him.

      That one sticks in my craw more than some of these other revelations.

  123. Neil says:

    Scott Shane of the NYT has some interesting info about the investigation of Bruce Ivins on this backstory podcast

    such as, the evidence the FBI has is circumstantial, they couldn’t connect his whereabouts to the mailbox from which the anthrax envelopes were mailed, ten people in the lab had access to the materials, the FBI was investigating Ivins for about a year now, the social worker who pulled the protective order was his group counseling therapist, there’s a recording of her on the podcast… her statement about Ivins’ mental health doesn’t seem ENTIRELY credible to me… some of it may be copacetic.

    • Artep says:

      I’m beginning to think her entire statement was scripted. She even included the bit about the sorority. I have no doubt she was coached.