Anthrax Timeline

The media is finally beginning to question the story about Bruce Ivins (though Glenn is still schooling them). But here’s a question I see no one asking, much less answering. The LAT reported that attention began to focus on Ivins in "late 2006" only after FBI Director Mueller changed the leadership team on the investigation.

Federal investigators moved away from Hatfill — for years the only publicly identified "person of interest" — and ultimately concluded that Ivins was the culprit after FBI 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 reexamine leads or potential suspects that may have received insufficient attention. Moreover, significant progress was made in analyzing genetic properties of the anthrax powder recovered from letters addressed to two senators.

What was it, I wonder, that caused the FBI to reverse course that at that point? I wanted to put together the details we know of Ivins with those revealed in Steven Hatfill’s suit to see if I could figure out what changed in 2006 (one possibility, for example, is that in the course of defending against the Hatfill suit it became obvious they had the wrong guy).

September 18, 2001: Less lethal "media" anthrax letters postmarked

October 2, 2001: Ayaad Asaad interviewed about claim he was a bioterrorist

October 5, 2001: Bob Stevens, photo editor of Sun newspaper, dies

Almost immediately after attacks: FBI works with Ft. Detrick scientists to identify anthrax

October 2001: Ames strain at Iowa State destroyed with consent of FBI

October 9, 2001: Daschle and Leahy letters postmarked

October 12, 2001: Judy Miller gets fake anthrax letter

October 14, 2001: Guardian first suggests tie between anthrax and Iraq

October 15, 2001: Daschle letter opened; Bush presses FBI to look into Middle Eastern links to anthrax

October 18, 2001: Nerve attack scare in White House situation room

October 18, 2001: John McCain links anthrax attack to Iraq and Phase II of war on terror

October 21, 2001: First of two DC postal workers dies of anthrax poisoning

October 22, 2001: Secret Service reports traces of anthrax on letter opening machine in White House

October 24, 2001: USA PATRIOT passes House

October 25, 2001: USA PATRIOT passes Senate

October 26, 2001: USA PATRIOT signed into law

October 28, 2001: ABC News cites Ft. Detrick scientists with bentonite claim

October 29, 2001: General John Parker mis-reports that silica found in anthrax sample

December 2001: FBI investigators start questioning Ft. Detrick scientists

December 2001: Ivins improperly cleans worksite

December 5, 2001: Leahy letter opened at Ft. Detrick

December 12, 2001: Reports first tie anthrax to Dugway strain

May 2002: FBI tests mailboxes in Princeton, NJ

May 10, 2002: Ivins speaks to investigators about his efforts to clean worksite in December 2001

June 18, 2002: Barbara Hatch Rosenberg briefs Leahy and Daschle with her US scientist theory–naming Hatfill directly

June 25, 2002: FBI conducts consensual search of Hatfill’s apartment–tips off media

July 2002: MZM receives White House contract for "threat mail technology insertion"

Late July 2002: FBI Special Agent Bob Roth ignores Hatfill’s lawyer’s offer for consensual interview

August 1, 2002: FBI conducts second search–media again tipped off; DOJ gets Hatfill fired from new job at LSU

August 6, 2002: Ashcroft names Hatfill person of interest

August 11, 2002: FBI leak of contents of Hatfill novel to ABC news pre-empting Hatfill public statement; FBI canvasses Princeton residents to see if they had seen Hatfill in Princton

August 12, 2002: Newsweek reports on use of bloodhounds

August 13, 2002: Hatfill files formal complaint with DOJ

October 5, 2002: Richard Lambert assumes Inspector in Charge role in investigation

November 2002: Robert Mueller incorrectly announces FBI trying to reverse engineer strain

January 9, 2003: Officials at counter-terrorism conference tell ABC Hatfill most likely suspect

April 11, 2003: OPR says investigation into leaks reveals no leakers

May 5, 2003: Supervisory Special Agent Van Harp (previously in charge of investigation) retires

May 11, 2003: WaPo reports that FBI draining pond in search of clues on Hatfill

August 26, 2003: Hatfill sues DOJ

November 21, 2003: DOJ moves to stay suit

January 5, 2004: DOJ moves to dismiss suit

May 2004: Roscoe Howard, later named as source for several journalists, resigns as US Attorney

October 21, 2004: Judge Walton grants Hatfill discovery on press reports, not investigative files

February 22, 2005: DOJ demands that Hatfill have identity of leakers to pursue privacy case

Contrary to plaintiff’s assertion, because his claim for damages requires him to establish that any disclosure of information protected by the Privacy Act was “intentional or willful,” he cannot prevail without establishing the identity of the individual who made any such disclosure and the circumstances surrounding the disclosure.

February 23, 2005: Hatfill moves to question Van Harp (who admits contacts with many of the journalists who reported on Hatfill)

June 22, 2005: DOJ opposes Hatfill deposition of Virginia Patrick, wife of Bill Patrick

April 21, 2006: Jean Duley caught drunk driving

July 17, 2006: Hatfill files motion to compel, including material from depositions and Congressional contacts

August 2006: Douglas Beecher publishes article stating that FBI misunderstood nature of anthrax used in attack

October 13, 2006: Jean Duley pleads guilty to DUI

October 24, 2006: Grassley writes letter following up on reassignment of Lambert to Knoxville; Lisi and Montooth would have replaced Lambert

August 13, 2007: Judge Walton orders some reporters to reveal their sources

November 1, 2007: Ivins’ house searched

December 23, 2007: Duley caught driving with no headlights, DUI

March 2008: FBI Agents confront Ivins and his wife, accusing him of killing people 

March 7, 2008: Judge Walton holds Toni Locy in contempt

March 19, 2008: Ivins found unconscious in his home

March 28, 2008: Fox News reports four suspects in case

April 10, 2008: Duley’s DUI and driving with no headlights not prosecuted

April 24, 2008: Duley pleads guilty to DUI

May 26, 2008: Ivins finishes four weeks of rehab 

June 27, 2008: DOJ settles with Hatfill

July 9, 2008: Duley alleges Ivins makes threats

July 10, 2008: Pat Leahy asks Mukasey about anthrax case; Ivins attends bubonic plague vaccine meeting, then barred from Ft. Detrick and taken for psychiatric evaluation

July 24, 2008: Duley signs complaint against Ivins

July 29, 2008: Ivins dies of apparent suicide

    • host says:

      Here’s s’more:…..A9659C8B63

      “April 24, 2003
      Connecticut Postal Employees Claim Deception on Anthrax

      When the United States Postal Service and state and federal health officials found evidence of anthrax spores on a machine in a postal distribution center here in 2001, they shut the machine down and decontaminated it. What they did not do was announce that the concentration of spores was the highest in the nation.

      That failure upset workers at the center.

      A federal report requested by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman released on Monday chronicled the discovery of the spores that led to the death of a 94-year-old woman from Oxford, Conn., in November 2001.

      The report criticized the Postal Service and urged that steps be taken to prevent the withholding of such information, even though it acknowledged the challenges faced by the Postal Service in the days after Sept. 11.

      Postal workers in Wallingford ”were lied to,” said John Dirzius, president of the American Postal Workers Union local, which represents two-thirds of the 1,200 people who work in the Wallingford center. ”It has destroyed the relationship between union and management.”

      The Postal Service responded today that it was not the agency’s job to disseminate the information.

      Letters containing anthrax spores killed five people in 2001, including the Oxford woman, Ottilie Lundgren; a Bronx woman, Kathy T. Nguyen; a Florida man; and two postal workers in a distribution center in the Brentwood neighborhood of Washington.

      The Wallingford center was tested in November 2001, after the death of Ms. Lundgren. A month later, one of the samples, discovered in a mail sorting machine, contained three million anthrax spore colonies per half gram, the highest concentration among post offices in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Brentwood, the anthrax count was 8,000 to 10,000 spores per gram. No spores have been found at the Wallingford center since 2001.

      Postal managers told employees that there was a ”concentration” of spores in one machine, offered workers antibiotics and said they could transfer to other facilities if they so desired. Some took the antibiotics, but few of the 1,200 employees there accepted the relocation offer, Mr. Dirzius said. It took seven months for managers to respond to a request for a full report on the contamination, Mr. Dirzius said.

      Today, postal workers here said they wanted an explanation.

      ”Why hasn’t somebody come to a podium saying, ‘We made the wrong call’?” said James Willard, a mechanic who has worked at the Wallingford center for eight years. ”The morale is down a lot and I don’t know if that will be bridged.”

      Postal Service officials said today that it was the responsibility of health agencies to release medical information.

      ”On that score, we deliver mail,” said Gerry McKiernan, a Postal Service spokesman. ”We’re not medical experts. We took the advice the medical experts gave us at the time.”

      But one of those experts, Dr. James Hadler, Connecticut’s chief epidemiologist, said the State Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control had told postal managers that the information should be released. ….”

    • host says:

      What changed?…..9769.shtml
      “Anthrax Investigation A ‘Cold Case?’
      5 Years, 53,000 Leads, 5,000 Subpoenas Later, FBI Is Empty-Handed

      Comments Comments3

      WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2006

      (CBS) Three years ago, FBI agents slogged through the woods to a fishing pond in suburban Maryland, where they hoped to find the hidden lab equipment used in the 2001 anthrax attacks. But, as CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart reports, they pumped the pond dry and even sifted through the mud at the bottom … and found nothing

      Five years, 53,000 leads, and 6,000 subpoenas after those attacks, they still have no arrests.

      Things are so cold, law enforcement officials tell CBS News, that barring the discovery of new evidence, the anthrax investigation could be declared a “Cold Case” and put in the inactive files.

      So who did it? Former Attorney General John Ashcroft once singled out Dr. Steven Hatfill, a bioweapons specialist, as a “person of interest.” But there have been no charges.

      Former FBI counter-terrorism executive and now CBS News consultant Mike Rolince says no case has frustrated the FBI more.

      “We now know that someone, or ones, can conduct an attack like this and for least the first five years, get away with it,” Rolince says.

      The FBI says it remains committed to solving the crime. In a written statement, Joseph Persichini, Jr., acting assistant director of the FBI’s Washington field office said: “Today, the FBI’s commitment to solving this case is undiminished … While no arrests have been made, the dedicated investigators who have worked tirelessly on this case, day-in and day-out, continue to go the extra mile in pursuit of every lead.”

      The bureau never had more than scant physical evidence, like the envelopes the anthrax was mailed in, and the terse letters inside – “Death to America” read one – and the spores themselves. But they were never able to trace the anthrax back to the attacker.

      “It’s true that a vast majority of the investigation early on was figuring out the science,” Rolince says.

      Nor did the administration ever entirely figure out what to do in case of another such attack. Despite a $5.6 billion effort to stockpile vaccines, just a small amount is available. Only the Pentagon has enough on hand for the troops.

      Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hints no one may ever be indicted.

      “There are times that we may know a lot about a crime or an event that occurred, but we may not have the admissible evidence that we need to prove it in court,” Chertoff says.”

      But the thinking among investigators is more stark: If we can’t agree among ourselves who did it, they reason, how could we ever convince a jury?”

    • emptywheel says:

      Brilliant–that at least marks when in 2006 they brought in Lisi.

      Though that was by no means the first that Grassley got involved. He was cited in the original complaint (linked above) for sending angry letters in the September 2002 time frame.

  1. Mary says:

    4 – hmm,so in 2006, Lamb is reassigned to Knoxville and someone seems to have lit a fire under Grassley, who does do a lot of decent whistleblower work. Grassley starts wanting some info and he finds out that along with Lamb being out and a new leader in – the FBI has placed a blanket prohibition on any briefings to Congress about Amerithrax.

    That’s pretty ballsy, for the FBI to just thumb the nose and say, “we won’t talk to any of you on any committees about any of this, no matter what you are asking”

    • bmaz says:

      There is precedent, I think, for not discussing ongoing criminal investigations with Congressional committees is there not?

    • emptywheel says:

      The FBI had reason to cut off briefings–Hatfill was including a lot of the briefings and details in his motions to compel discovery in this time frame.

  2. behindthefall says:

    @ Oct 5, 2001: Stevens, not Sevens. Perhaps put in little more, such as: “a photo editor for the Florida based tabloid, Sun, employed by American Media Inc”

    • Artep says:

      The letter was sent to the photo editor of the National Enquirer. Ivins had no connection, however George W. Bush had a grudge. In early 2001, the Enquirer had published the picture of Jenna Bush, falling down drunk and looking like she was humping another girl’s leg. I’m sure you remember the photo. Bush did.

      • host says:

        I posted this, part of an NY Times 03/2002 article, near the top of post 66….

        …”The disclosure about Mr. Alhaznawi, who died on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, sheds light on another front in the investigation. Senior law enforcement officials said that in addition to interviewing Dr. Tsonas in October and again in November, they thoroughly explored any connection between the hijackers and anthrax. They said the F.B.I. scoured the cars, apartments and personal effects of the hijackers for evidence of the germ, but found none.

        Dr. Tsonas’s comments add to a tantalizing array of circumstantial evidence. Some of the hijackers, including Mr. Alhaznawi, lived and attended flight school near American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla., where the first victim of the anthrax attacks worked. Some of the hijackers also rented apartments from a real estate agent who was the wife of an editor of The Sun, a publication of American Media”…..

        Possibly fits into the “revenge against the Inquirer”, musings….planting a backstory, months after the fact, to tie in the 9/11 hijackers…AND help make suspicions like Artep’s even more unlikely to ever surface?

        • Artep says:

          I remember watching that explanation on tv. At the time, it seemed plausible especially given the Iraqi anthrax connection. Interesting!

          What I find remarkable, when you look at motive, Ivins doesn’t have one. The FBI has stretched logic to the breaking point to invent one. On the other hand, the Bush administration’s motive is clear as a picture … right down to the last detail.

  3. behindthefall says:

    re October 22, 2001: Secret Service reports traces of anthrax on letter opening machine in White House:

    What ever happened to that part of the story? Were spores ever found farther along the line than the ‘letter opening machine’? (I would imagine that there must have been a HUGE flap to examine every piece of mail that had come through for x days before, but did they come up dry?) I had (mis-)remembered events as spores having only gone to Democratic senators in the Senate Office Bldg.

  4. behindthefall says:

    Do you know that a google search for text from this post returns this very post? That’s fast!

    • PetePierce says:

      Oral Cipro would have to be taken for 18 weeks or so to confer immunity and there is no guarantee that would have any efficacy against pulmonary anthrax –that’s about as long as the items on Joker Jean Duley’s rapp sheet.

      If ole Cheney was given Cipro (orally) on 9/11/01 and had been subjected to a lethal dose of powder fine enough to cause pulmonary anthrax on October 18 five weeks later that would not have done anything to keep him from needing IV Cipro and respiratory support after contracting pulmonary anthrax. So much for the “health care plan anthrax prevention plan” for the #2 executive in the U.S. Banana Republic government. Ditto the tip to “journalist” Richard Cohen. Taking Cipro shortly before the letters were mailed wouldn’t have done diddly squat to help him had he been exposed to fine particle anthrax letters.

      Score points for stupidity for the FBI destroying the Ames anthrax.

      Was Duley in on the happy hours the FBI hosted with idiot leaker facilitator Kelli Arena from CNN? Have Kelli Arena and Jean Duley been seen in the same room at the same time?

      Great jobs by Glenn and Marcy in digging out so many details.

      • Hmmm says:

        Pete, do you have a late-2001 date for the FBI destruction of the Ames anthrax culture collection?

        It occurs to me that this new genetic test that the FBI is basing all the Ivins accusations on can’t be used as a test on the Ames cultures, since they no longer exist. Great big Hmmm there.

        • PetePierce says:

          I don’t know if that information is available and I haven’t seen it yet. “Ames” for Ames Iowa, is really a misnomer, because what was labled an Ames strain and Glenn Greenwald and others refer to was actually manufactured in a lab in Texas but a container which understandably came from Ames Iowa caused the misnomer:

          It was originally isolated at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory at Texas A&M University. The Ames reference came from the label on the special container used to ship the sample in 1980. The USDA Veterinary Services Laboratory supplies hundreds of the containers to labs across the country and had supplied the container to Texas A&M. The containers are marked with the Ames lab’s address.

          Ames anthrax famous, but strain from other state

          I may have missed it, but given the FBI’s conduct in general, I doubt if they have revealed detailed information in dealing with other strains of Anthrax.

          In the coming days and next couple weeks there are going to be so many pieces proferred for this puzzle that it’s going to be difficult to sort what’s legit and what’s not.

          • stryder says:

            The Times Of London
            August 09, 2005
            Saddam’s germ war plot is traced back to one Oxford cow
            By Dominic Kennedy

            A BRITISH cow that died in an Oxfordshire field in 1937 has emerged as the source of Saddam Hussain’s “weapons of mass destruction” programme that led to the Iraq war.

            An ear from the cow was sent to an English laboratory, where scientists discovered anthrax spores that were later used in secret biological warfare tests by Winston Churchill.

            The culture was sent to the United States, which exported samples to Iraq during Saddam’s war against Iran in the 1980s. Inspectors have found that this batch of anthrax was the dictator’s choice in his attempts to create biological weapons.

            • PetePierce says:

              Cows and other grazing animals have been the source of Anthrax which is why the first page or so of most medical or microbiology texts discussing Anthrax will talk about hides.

              In the article I linked on Ted Turner’s Bison breaking out with anthrax last week, the vet quoted with the state of Montana or the Vet school there–can’t remember which said as Bmaz and others have noted that Anthrax is fairly common in grazing animals but that they hadn’t had a human case of Anthrax in Montanta case despite that in a large number of years since 1961 to be exact.

              Bison dead of anthrax at Ted Turner’s ranch
              By JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State Bureau

        • prostratedragon says:

          Working from Glenn’s unanswered questions, FBI consented to destruction of Ames samples in Oct 2001.

          Here’s another of his timeline points that looks potentially appropriate to me:

          – An anonymous letter to the FBI, in the latentcy period between the sending of the first anthrax letters and their being made public, that accused an Arab-American scientist formerly of the Ft. Detrick facility of being a potential bio-terrorist; the man had already been forced out of the Ft.D job by a group that seemed markedly anti-Arab.

          An early attempt to try to establish a conveniently deflecting scapegoat? A politically useful one? Or maybe just an opportunity to keep making trouble for someone that the letter writer didn’t like?

        • Nell says:

          The FBI didn’t destroy the Ames anthrax culture collection or anything of the kind.

          What happened was that the Daschle letter anthrax was used up or rendered useless for further testing by the lab people that they had testing it (not at Ft. Detrick).

          The Leahy letter wasn’t found until mid-November, and the delay in testing it was at least partly due to the debacle of the Daschle sample tests — they gathered scientists to advise them on a protocol to maximize information and minimize damage to the Leahy sample, and also to develop a protocol for handling of samples from other labs handling the Ames strain so that anything learned could stand up as evidence.

          Can’t say it enough: the Chemical & Engineering News overview from December 2006 is a valuable grounding.

          • Hmmm says:

            I could certainly be wrong, I’m just scooping up sources and reporting them. Can you quote what part of your source says there was no destruction? Many other sources say that there was.

          • PetePierce says:

            The FBI didn’t destroy the Ames anthrax culture collection or anything of the kind.

            Well, I’ll give you an “A” for being adamant, but how do you know that the FBI did nothing of the kind because I’m prepared on the basis of what is establish fact to make quite a list of the keystone cop stupid blunders that the FBI has made in this case and some of it spent my fucking tax money. I’d be the first to applaud Hatfill having a few million to live on, since they made Dr. Hatfill damn near unemployable because that’s the way frightened people behave despite the fact that he lied about his resume in a surrealistic list of degrees that only a board certified moron would buy. They put him through hell and they used leaks and inuendo that wasn’t substantiated to do that.

            So I’d appreciate knowing how you know what was destroyed in Iowa, Texas, or any labs where anthrax is used for research.

            You may be correct Nell but how do you know thisI’ve learned not to believe everything I read in a newspaper, however from this article that Glenn G. has relied heavily upon:

            SF Gate: Anthrax probe hampered by FBI blunders
            Agents unprepared for complexities of case

            Still, many experts — including some on whom the FBI has relied — said the anthrax investigation has taken some wrong turns.

            To wit:

            – Several weeks ago, the FBI said it had no objection to the destruction of a collection of anthrax samples at Iowa State University. But some scientists involved in the investigation now say that collection may have contained genetic clues valuable to the criminal inquiry.

            – Criminal investigators have not visited many of the companies, laboratories and academic institutions with the equipment or capability to make the kind of highly potent anthrax sent in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. At places they have conducted interviews, the investigators often seemed to ask general questions unlikely to elicit new evidence, several lab directors said.

            – And just this week, more than a month after the first death from inhalation anthrax, the FBI issued a subpoena asking laboratories for the names of all workers and researchers who have been vaccinated against anthrax. Meanwhile, the FBI is only now establishing electronic bulletin boards to allow members of scientific groups to interact with criminal investigators.

            “The bureau was caught almost as unaware and unprepared as the public was for these events,” said Bill Tobin, a former forensic metallurgist who worked for the FBI’s crime lab in Washington. “It’s just unrealistic to ask 7,000 agents to overnight become sufficiently knowledgeable about bioterrorist agents and possible means of theft of those items.”

            Last month, after consulting with the FBI, Iowa State University in Ames destroyed anthrax spores collected over more than seven decades and kept in more than 100 vials. A variant of the so-called Ames strain had been implicated in the death of a Florida man from inhalational anthrax, and the university was nervous about security.

            But scientists in and out of government say the rush to destroy the spores may have eliminated crucial evidence about the anthrax in the letters sent to Congress and the media.

            If the mystery of its origins could have been solved, scientists might have been able to track the germ’s distribution over the years. And that, in turn, might have given investigators important clues to the killer’s identity.

            The FBI says it never explicitly approved nor objected to the destruction of the cultures.

            “We didn’t recommend one way or another whether they should destroy it,” said Larry Holmquist, a spokesman for the FBI in Omaha, Neb., which runs the bureau’s Iowa operations. “But we did say it had no evidentiary basis.”

          • Hmmm says:

            Ah, mea culpa on re-reading — the sources say the FBI authorized the destruction of the culture samples, not that they actually did the destruction. That was imprecise of me, and I apologize.

            • PetePierce says:

              Some sources say it was destroyed inclluding the SF Gate article who says they contacted the lab that held them so I guess it gets down to whih sources are right.

              Ames Antrhax spores and other batches destroyed–the google

              NYT: Geographic Gaffe Misguides Anthrax Inquiry

              This raises a possible public health concern and increases the possibility that last fall’s bioterrorist could have simply dug anthrax out of the dirt in Texas.

              ”We isolate a lot of anthrax here,” said Lelve G. Gayle, director of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. He said the Ames strain now appeared to be widely scattered in natural settings. It was found in a dead goat on a Texas ranch in 1997.

              The new history of Ames, some of which was reported yesterday in The Washington Post, is being investigated by the F.B.I. along with the National Intelligence Council, which does federal threat assessments, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

              Some of the NYT articles during 2002 were co-written by Judy Miller–some not.

              Ames Batches Destroyed says SF Gate

              Last month, after consulting with the FBI, Iowa State University in Ames destroyed anthrax spores collected over more than seven decades and kept in more than 100 vials. A variant of the so-called Ames strain had been implicated in the death of a Florida man from inhalational anthrax, and the university was nervous about security.

              But scientists in and out of government say the rush to destroy the spores may have eliminated crucial evidence about the anthrax in the letters sent to Congress and the media.

              If the mystery of its origins could have been solved, scientists might have been able to track the germ’s distribution over the years. And that, in turn, might have given investigators important clues to the killer’s identity.

              The FBI says it never explicitly approved nor objected to the destruction of the cultures.

              “We didn’t recommend one way or another whether they should destroy it,” said Larry Holmquist, a spokesman for the FBI in Omaha, Neb., which runs the bureau’s Iowa operations. “But we did say it had no evidentiary basis.”

              I’m going to hope and presume that SF Gate contacted the labs at Iowa and that’s what they told them. It wouldn’t be the first time DOJ has destroyed evidence and said it wasn’t relevant for the defense bar, or for them after they destroyed it. That happens all too frequently.

              • Nell says:

                It says there in plain English that it was not the FBI’s idea to destroy the cultures, but the university’s. I agree with you and the scientists quoted in the SFGate article that the bureau should have said no, preserve them, they might come in useful. But that’s completely different than ordering or causing the destruction of the samples.

                • PetePierce says:

                  Here’s a paste of the “plain English” Nell with later statements that the FBI was indifferent by the FBI but not by the scientists/officials at Iowa State University in Ames. “After consulting with the FBI” seems pretty plain to me.

                  Since the governor alerted the FBI and they descended on Ames in droves in the early years of the investigation, it appears that they were involved in the disposition of those samples. The quote reads in plane English:

                  Last month, after consulting with the FBI, Iowa State University in Ames destroyed anthrax spores collected over more than seven decades and kept in more than 100 vials. A variant of the so-called Ames strain had been implicated in the death of a Florida man from inhalational anthrax, and the university was nervous about security.

                  The FBI provided no leadership or opinion one way or the other which is curious Nell, and some people thought they should have been preserved. Given the esoteric labelling of samples and strains back to the 1920’s whose handlers/scientists can no longer clarify what strains they were, it’s difficult to know what was destroyed.

                  I said that many sources (presumably who had interviewed people at the labs) said they had been destroyed. The FBI has been ambiguous about whether they actually entered into the decision to destroy strains of Anthrax. From the SF Gate article as I quoted. It’s quintiseentially ambiguous because the University of Iowa explicitly says they consulted with the FBI before destroying the samples–so the FBI certainly didn’t object and many people including anthrax scientists are criticizing them for that:

                  –To wit:

                  Several weeks ago, the FBI said it had no objection to the destruction of a collection of anthrax samples at Iowa State University. But some scientists involved in the investigation now say that collection may have contained genetic clues valuable to the criminal inquiry.

                  SAMPLES DESTROYED
                  Last month, after consulting with the FBI, Iowa State University in Ames destroyed anthrax spores collected over more than seven decades and kept in more than 100 vials. A variant of the so-called Ames strain had been implicated in the death of a Florida man from inhalational anthrax, and the university was nervous about security.

                  But scientists in and out of government say the rush to destroy the spores may have eliminated crucial evidence about the anthrax in the letters sent to Congress and the media.

                  If the mystery of its origins could have been solved, scientists might have been able to track the germ’s distribution over the years. And that, in turn, might have given investigators important clues to the killer’s identity.

                  The FBI says it never explicitly approved nor objected to the destruction of the cultures.

                  “We didn’t recommend one way or another whether they should destroy it,” said Larry Holmquist, a spokesman for the FBI in Omaha, Neb., which runs the bureau’s Iowa operations. “But we did say it had no evidentiary basis.”

          • PetePierce says:

            The FBI didn’t destroy the Ames anthrax culture collection or anything of the kind.

            The more sources I read, the more sources say they did just that and further some of the very old vials of anthrax preserved from the 1920’s no less had cryptic labelling making precise ID of strains in doubt. Apparently they didn’t take the time to apply modern genotyping to all of these strains and they have told many papers including the NYTimes that they destroyed all kinds of batches and some of them were Ames.

            The FBI hasn’t been definitive on what was destroyed and its possible significance (characteristically) one way or the other.

            A NATION CHALLENGED: THE DISEASE; Geographic Gaffe Misguides Anthrax Inquiry

            Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa sent armed troopers and Iowa National Guard soldiers to safeguard Iowa State University’s cache of anthrax microbes, which were kept in more than 100 vials. Some news reports said the attack germs had been stolen.

            Officials in the College of Veterinary Medicine tore through old files and read cryptic labels on vials but could find no documentation that any of their germs were the Ames strain. They could find nothing to support Dr. Knudson’s 1986 paper that said Ames had originated in an Iowa cow.

            ”We figured it had to have come through here, but we couldn’t prove it,” recalled James A. Roth, an assistant dean.

            In early October, the college destroyed its anthrax collection after deciding that the germs were not worth the trouble of the new high security. In an Oct. 12 statement, the college pointed a finger at its neighbor, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, saying it ”appears” to have shipped the Ames strain to Fort Detrick.

            But officials there could also find no evidence of Ames. ”The Army said they got it from us,” recalled Tom Bunn, head of diagnostic bacteriology there. ”But we have no records of this being in our laboratory.”

            Still, most federal and private analysts concluded that the germ had arisen in Iowa, been isolated at Iowa State, shared with the agriculture lab and from there shipped to Fort Detrick.

            By December, analysts were speculating that since Iowa State had destroyed anthrax cultures dating to 1925, perhaps one of those early strains was the true Ames.

            Based on that interpretation, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a private expert in biological weapons at the State University of New York at Purchase, concluded in widely cited December report that the powdered anthrax in the attack letters ”may be a remnant of the U.S. biological weapons program.”

            But in December, based on interviews and a review of documents, some from Dr. Knudson’s file, investigators began to unravel the true Ames story.

            Dr. Knudson acknowledges his mistake, saying, ”It’s good to get this clarified.”

            Officials at Iowa State could not agree more. Critics had widely faulted the university for destroying its anthrax collection, saying important evidence in the attacks might have gone up in smoke.

            ”My life would have been a lot easier if it was known as the College Station strain rather than the Ames strain,” Dr. Roth said.

            Questions linger. An official of Iowa State’s veterinary school has been subpoenaed to testify in early February before a federal grand jury in Washington about the school’s handling of anthrax germs.

            But the discovery of the true history of Ames has raised new concerns in Texas, where the soils appear to be widely contaminated with the lethal strain. In 1997, a goat on a Texas ranch hundreds of miles from the original site of the Ames discovery died from a type of anthrax that turned out to be genetically identical to Ames.

            • PetePierce says:

              I think Bmaz has accurately assessed the disingenuousness of the bits and pieces the FBI has been leaking, and while Duley seems to be an apt metaphor for the absurdity of the FBI’s story.

              I see no where a source that says that the many strains destroyed by Iowa State University were done behind the government’s back. Every source I’ve read quotes the university as saying they consulted with the government. And in fact, the 1920s labelling of some of the vials makes it impossible to know what strains they were unless they were all genetically tested and it’s not clear they were.

              Additionally there is clear US Code and CFR which would have governed the destroying of those strains and the governor of Iowa was intimately involved in all things Anthrax there who is quite conservative and it is doubtful his attorney general would have advised him to “go fuck the government and not notify them.” There is no statement whatsoever by FBI saying that anything was destroyed behind the government’s back–in fact just the opposite. They are saying “so what” but it would have made a lot more sense to identify every strain genetically. It’s not clear that was done with strains destroyed at Iowa State by Iowa State personnell apparently with the full knowledge and blessing of the FBI.

              While the blogs are interesting there are two major principles as far as safety that are being ignored that will emerge strongly in the next few weeks. One the press has already began to capture–that there may have been a collosal mistake by the government in encouraging the exponentially proliferating number of institutions that are now working with anthrax and deadly microbes.

              The other is the flat statement that we medically have no defense whatsoever if someone were to deploy Anthrax and any other major deadly pathogens that rapidly kill against the public in the U.S. We have absolutely no defense because medicine hasn’t reached the stage to obtain one.

              As to having 60 million vaccines that have no proven efficacy against Anthrax when the spores are in powder fine enough to be absorbed by the alveoli that take two years to confer immunity and we have a population pushing 305 million in this country alone, I’m not sure what that stockpile is supposed to be used for. If an anthrax attack is unleashed you aren’t going to have emails to DHS to say “Yo people get ready–get your vaccine now that takes several shots over an 18 month period that works after two years with a yearly booster against cutaneous anthrax.”

              The truth is we have no defense against anthrax used to kill. None. Zip. Nadda.

              I have seen a sententious vacuous letter in the NY Times today proclaiming we are much better prepared after the first mailing. It is full of flowerly meaningless language and has not one fact to butress that contention because we aren’t. We don’t have one scintilla more defense against an acute pulmonary anthrax attack then we had in 2001 and may not have for decades.

        • PetePierce says:

          I’m sorry. Glenn Greenwald puts it as 10/01 in one of his two very detailed articles.

          Journalists, their lying sources, and the anthrax investigation

          Why did the FBI gives its consent in October, 2001 for the remaining samples of the Ames anthrax strain to be destroyed, thereby losing crucial “genetic clues valuable to the criminal inquiry”? [San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9/2001];

          Glenn’s source is:

          San Francisco Gate: Anthrax probe hampered by FBI blunders
          Agents unprepared for complexities of case

    • Quzi says:

      All that I remember is that some WH staff members were taking Cipro weeks before the anthrax attacks. That always sounded fishy to me.

  5. ballerinaX says:

    Can someone explain to me what an “obsession with a sorority is?, to me this just sounds so random, like something from Mad Libs. Kinda like you are never less than for feet from a spider, I’m sure there is always something near a mailbox

    • SparklestheIguana says:

      Can someone explain to me what an “obsession with a sorority is?, to me this just sounds so random, like something from Mad Libs. Kinda like you are never less than for feet from a spider, I’m sure there is always something near a mailbox


      Is it now 4 feet from a spider? I read it was 8 feet. Spiders are closing in on us. Must be global warming….or, they just hate us.

  6. PetePierce says:

    Okay–it’s tough to know which is the bigger drama-queen, Brett or the Pack who almost paid him $20 million to do nothing and decided it was better to pay him to compete to be a starter and like most other teams to have quaterback competition and let the old man who complete 66% of the passes he through for 28 touchdowns see if he can be the starter by opening game. Oh whoops…..

    I thought I’d stumbled into packergeeks but this is “Anthrax Geeks”–the bacteria for which the United States has no acute defense whatsoever if fine powdered pulmonary anthrax is unleased and has a vaccine not approved to prevent pulmonary anthrax and has 60 million doses but pushing 305 million people. That’s only enough vaccine that has to be given over two years’ time and laced with a yearly booster for 19.6% of the population. That ain’t gonna help an acute attack.

    Ya gotta love all these “addiction treatment groups.” I’ve seen people who have been recovering addicts for all of 3 months elevate themselves to addiction counselors with a lot less credentials than Paris and Britney. I wonder what ole Jean Duley was addicted to? Was it EtOH et. al? Boy Dooley sure seems to be a reliable source.

    Has Duley been teaching at any driving schools lately?

    And is Mary Kay Olson one of the cutsey twins involved in the Anthrax lulapalooza? She’s asking for

    immunity from the DEA investigation immunity from what?

    Prevent Defense:

    Ain’t no vaccine that works faster than about 2 years and requires a yearly booster–ain’t no pills that will work unless you take Cipro and Tetracycline for 18 weeks and we don’t have enough and then it’s malpractice to give tetracycline to kids under age 8 or pregnant women because it inhibits osteogenisis/mineralization of bone and causes gray teeth in utero. Besides we don’t have enough and we certainly have not shown the will to spend money on a faster vaccine that actually works against particles small enough to cause the lethal pulmonary anthrax.

    Ivins anthrax details for all timeline makers

    WAPO Articles to Marinate Your Timeline

    After the leadership switch, it is not clear whether/when the FBI was asking people in Princeton New Jersey near the mailbox that was the origin if they had seen Ivins or included Ivins in their pictures. They sure as hell included Hatfill.

    “I couldn’t find my zipper if it were stiched and I really had to pee Mueller” waited years before dusting mailboxes in Princeton New Jersey until May 2002 to locate the area as Tom Daschle correctly points out. That’s not a very efficient time line.

    And who let the doggies out? Turns out bloodhounds should be banned from law-enforcement and relegated to the halls of “gee ain’t they cute with them big ears” and to be used by hunters who arm themselves with guns but not the animals they hunt with guns to level the playing field.

    Law enforcement sources at the time said the bloodhounds’ reactions at Dr. Hatfill’s apartment were one reason for the F.B.I.’s intense focus on him. But independent bloodhound handlers said it was highly unlikely that a useful scent could be obtained from letters that might have been handled by the perpetrator with gloves, had rubbed against thousands of other scents in the mail and then were irradiated to kill the dangerous spores.

    In law enforcement vernacular that’s called a big “Woof Woof Whoopsie Daisey”!

    One great part of my timeline is that while after 5 years the Federal Bungling Investigators = FBI did not have enough evidence to present to the Grand Jury and I have always known a Grand Jury could indict a ham sandwhich and has, but apparently not Bruce Ivins. So he kept his security clearance to handle and have access to the most dangerous pathogens on the planet.

    Y’see the FBI can bust that first time crack dealer or more than twenty Chinese immigrants who unwittingly sold Pseudafed with no link to a meth lab and hold them during pre-trial but their prime suspect who has access to the most dangerous germ warfare microbes on the planet? Naw not so much–they kept Ivins’ high security clearance in place to the end–if Bruce Ivins even has anything to do with the mailings.

    And Boy that DOJ OPR did a bang up job when they concluded stupidly that there were no leakers at DOJ and the FBI who were Kelli Arena’s main source at various happy hours. It’s happy now that ole Kelly seems to be off the air.

    And a big shout out to progressively fattening porcine Nancy Grace since the federal suit against her has been allowed to go forward and hopefully she’ll pay some real bucks out to the family of Melinda Duckett for helping to kill her.

    CNN and Nancy Porky Grace can’t quash suicide lawsuit

    • PetePierce says:

      It’s spelled Psuedafed and not Sudafed by me with a purpose. The idiots in the FDA have it restricted as OTC and keep records of Sudafed or sudoepehederine (which is actually ubiquitous in about 800 antihistamines that are OTC and RX) because they think stupidly that serious meth labs would go grocery to grocery and drug store to drug store buying meds with penny anti Sudafed in them.

      • masaccio says:

        In fact, I know that people do this. Several of the drivers in a trucking company were caught stealing boxes of sudafed to sell to meth labs.

        • PetePierce says:

          Yep but I should have made myself clearer. Sudafed and other ephederines can make methametamine to be sure. State laws restricting pseudafed as a Schedule V narcotic do little to stop meth labs by restricting purchases for Joe Blow with a cold. It takes a large quantity of sympathomimetic amines to make a meth lab.

          To get a meth lab up and running to make enough product for distribution you’re going to need to steal boxes, not get small packages of OTC sudafed from retail outlets and it would take a helluva lot of prescriptions of the 600-800 combination meds in which pseudoephererin was included ranging from about 4mg to 12.5 mg. per capsule as one of the ingredients for URI congestion symptoms.

          Also now large companies like Pfizer and small companies have switched for a while to Sudafed PE since 2005 to prevent conversion to crystal meth, although plenty of regular psedoephederine is on shelves.

          I was getting at this contraversial prosecution and frankly the total lack of success the feds and states have had in pushing Psuedafed’s classification as a Schedule V Narcotic that must be tracked in preventhing crystal meth manufacture from simple OTC sale of medications for symptoms of viral congestion.

          Cultural Differences Complicate a Georgia Drug Sting Operation

          ROME, Ga., July 29 – When they charged 49 convenience store clerks and owners in rural northwest Georgia with selling materials used to make methamphetamine, federal prosecutors declared that they had conclusive evidence. Hidden microphones and cameras, they said, had caught the workers acknowledging that the products would be used to make the drug.

          But weeks of court motions have produced many questions. Forty-four of the defendants are Indian immigrants – 32, mostly unrelated, are named Patel – and many spoke little more than the kind of transactional English mocked in sitcoms.

          So when a government informant told store clerks that he needed the cold medicine, matches and camping fuel to “finish up a cook,” some of them said they figured he must have meant something about barbecue.

          The case of Operation Meth Merchant illustrates another difficulty for law enforcement officials fighting methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that can be made with ordinary grocery store items.

          Many states, including Georgia, have recently enacted laws restricting the sale of common cold medicines like Sudafed, and nationwide, the police are telling merchants to be suspicious of sales of charcoal, coffee filters, aluminum foil and Kitty Litter. Walgreens agreed this week to pay $1.3 million for failing to monitor the sale of over-the-counter cold medicine that was bought by a methamphetamine dealer in Texas.

          But the case here is also complicated by culture. Prosecutors have had to drop charges against one defendant they misidentified, presuming that the Indian woman inside the store must be the same Indian woman whose name appeared on the registration for a van parked outside, and lawyers have gathered evidence arguing that another defendant is the wrong Patel.

          The biggest problem, defense lawyers say, is the language barrier between an immigrant store clerk and the undercover informants who used drug slang or quick asides to convey that they were planning to make methamphetamine.

          “They’re not really paying attention to what they’re being told,” said Steve Sadow, one of the lawyers. “Their business is: I ring it up, you leave, I’ve done my job. Call it language or idiom or culture, I’m not sure you’re able to show they know there’s anything wrong with what they’re doing.”

          For the Indians, their lives largely limited to store and home, it is as if they have fallen through a looking glass into a world they were content to keep on the other side of the cash register.

          “This is the first time I heard this – I don’t know how to pronounce – this meta-meta something,” said Hajira Ahmed, whose husband is in jail pending charges that he sold cold medicine and antifreeze at their convenience store on a winding road near the Tennessee border.

        • PetePierce says:

          You’re describing an operation that would be typical of the Soprano crew’s producers or a deal they would cut stealing boxes–I’m decrying the stupidity and lack of efficacy and time wasting of states requiring pharmacies to track the 800 or so meds that are OTC and some prescription that contain tiny amounts of pseudafed, and far and away most of that 2005 has been converted by manufacturers to a sympathomimetic decongesting amine that cannot be used to make crystal meth–phenyepherine.

          The problem has become that if you have the sniffs and are not pushing on your doc to incorrectly and promiscously Rx an antibiotic which won’t impact a viral congestion and will make bugs more resistant in the community to those antibiotics, that drugs like phenyepherine are considerably less effective so the patient with symptoms is going to get a drug with less efficacy to help with their annoying wet handkerchief syndrome as they wait to get over their viral cold/URI.

    • emptywheel says:

      No, when the started showing pix in Princeton, they showed ONLY Hatfill–that’s one of the reasons he alleges he was retaliated against for going public.

  7. LS says:


    October 9, 2001: Daschle and Leahy letters postmarked

    Timing too close for coincidence….aimed at arriving on 9/11????

    WTF is this????

  8. LS says:

    Btt…this is significant…

    September 18, 2001: Less lethal “media” anthrax letters postmarked

    How long did it take to “prepare” the anthrax before mailing it???? Six days?

  9. chrisc says:

    Sept 30, 2001
    Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Andy Card hit the Sunday talk show talk up a chemical,biological or nuclear attack by al Quaeda in the US and abroad, aided by “enemies of the United States.”


    Mr. Rumsfeld said the Pentagon believed that several nations that support international terrorists have either developed or are trying to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, and that the dissemination of those weapons seemed a realistic concern.

    ”It doesn’t take a leap of imagination to expect that at some point those nations will work with those terrorist networks and assist them in achieving and obtaining those kinds of capabilities,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.


    Appearing on television, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the United States remained under threat of new attacks within its borders

    Andy Card

    ”I’m not trying to be an alarmist,” Mr. Card said on ”Fox News Sunday,” ”but we know that these terrorist organizations, like Al Qaeda, run by Osama bin Laden and others, have probably found the means to use biological or chemical warfare.”

    Yet there wasn’t any particular evidence or new intelligence to support their comments.

    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.

  10. Hmmm says:

    Some legislation-related dates, according to wikipedia:

    October ??, 2001: PATRIOT Act of 2001 introduced in House

    October 12, 2001: USA Act (HR 2975) passes in House

    October ??, 2001: USA Act of 2002 (S 1510) introduced in Senate

    October ??, 2001: Feingold amendments pass in Senate

    October 23, 2001: Sensenbrenner introduces USA PATRIOT Act (HR 3162) in House, incorporating HR2975 + S1510 + HR3004 “Financial Anti-Terrorism Act”

    October 23, 2001: Feingold vehemently opposed to USA PATRIOT Act, Leahy expresses reservations

    October 24, 2001: House passes USA PATRIOT Act

    October 25, 2001: Senate passes USA PATRIOT Act

    October 26, 2001: Bush signs USA PATRIOT Act into law

    Late January, 2003: Charles Lewis releases leaked draft “PATRIOT II” bill

    July, 2005: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 passes House & Senate

    December 31, 2005: Sunset date for miscellaneous parts of USA PATRIOT Act

    February, 2006: USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006 passes House & Senate.

    December 31, 2009: Sunset date for roving wiretaps (section 206) and access to business records under FISA (section 215) provisions of USA PATRIOT Act

  11. lllphd says:

    marcy, contact larisa, pronto:

    An Anthrax tip…
    To my colleagues in the press running around after the Anthrax story, I have gotten an interesting comment that could be a tip worth following. Let me be clear, I do not know who this is or if the person is using their real name or if any of the allegations are true. But I am also not investigating this story for an article as I am traveling for a different story at the moment. I have the commentators email and will share it with reputable journalists so long as there is an agreement that the person’s contact information remain private until you are able to get a release from him. Contact me at my RS account.

    For those of you on this story, I think you should see if you can locate the person named and see if you can authenticate that it was them who posted the comment. If it pans out, then your next question to the FBI will be obvious (hint: the son):


    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

  12. lllphd says:

    p.s. i googled this dr. gerry higgins, and there are several. the only one that seems viable for this post at larisa’s would be here:…..ginsg.html
    he has a MS in computer graphics from u of md. among other things of interest.
    yet, why was he tooling around larisa’s site?

    still, ya gotta wonder… worth looking in to.

  13. sailmaker says:

    Might want to add:

    On September 13th Woolsey wrote conflating 9/11 and Iraq. (OT I know, but watch how fast he conflates anthrax and Iraq).…..m/iraq.htm

    On September 19th and 20th the PNAC folks had a meeting that resulted in a letter to Bush advocating attacking Iraq, which didn’t hit the MSM until October 12th. (Powell was not invited)…..letter.htm

    On October 11th the FBI issued a terrorist alert.

    On October 12th Cheney went on the News Hour and suggested that anthrax and Iraq might be related…..10-12.html

    On October 18th McCain went on Letterman to talk about anthrax and Saddam

    On October 18th Woolsey wrote in the Wall Street Journal about “The Iraq Connection”…..d=95001338

    Woolsey’s trip to England (to establish a connection between the first World Trade Center bombing and Iraq) was paid for by then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Woolsey was supposed to meet with Mullah Omar on Oct. 8, but we started bombing Afghanistan on October 7th and the meeting was called off.…..es_woolsey

  14. stryder says:

    then there’s the money

    Posted on Fri, Dec. 09, 2005
    How a company cashed in on anthrax

    Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – In a two-year span, the nation’s only licensed anthrax vaccine maker went from pleading poverty to announcing $100 million in acquisitions, including other pharmaceutical companies and a new manufacturing plant near Washington, D.C.

    It’s a pattern that’s worked well for BioPort Corp.: Tell the Pentagon or Congress that it doesn’t have the money to keep going, negotiate a new deal, then count the extra cash rolling in.

  15. sailmaker says:

    Might want to add:

    FBI issues terror alert Oct. 11

    October 12th Cheney was on the News Hour kind of conflating anthrax and Iraq.

    October 15th Bush was conflating anthrax and Iraq

    October 18th McCain was on Letterman conflating anthrax and Iraq

    October 18th Woolsey was writing in the Wall Street Journal conflating anthrax and Iraq. Wolfowitz had paid for Woolsey’s trip to England (a fool’s errand to connect the first World Trade Center bombing with Iraq).…..d=95001338

  16. sailmaker says:


    I pressed the submit button and nothing appeared to happen. Sorry for the dups at 26, 35, and 38.

  17. Hmmm says:

    July 9, 2008: Duley alleges Ivins makes threat

    Maybe “Ivins leaves threatening phone messages for Duley (per Duley’s July 24 complaint)” instead?

    July 10, 2008: … Ivins … then … taken for psychiatric evaluation

    Maybe “Ivins committed to Shepard Pratt psychiatric facility (per Duley July 24 complaint)” instead?

    • emptywheel says:

      Note, I think there’s reason to distrust Duley, and want to leave the timeline open to understanding of Duley’s role as something other than she claims. And since her claims are, at this point, uncorroborated, I will leave them as allegations.

  18. lllphd says:

    march 19, 08: ‘unconscious man’ in ivins’ home; taken …where? hospital? why unconscious?

    july 10: ivins hospitalized at shepard pratt psychiatric facility

    July 16: ivins checked out

    also, at some point prior to july 24, duley is informed ivins will be charged with ‘5 capital murders’ (yet the grand jury is not scheduled for her testimony until aug. 1??).

    when did duley first see ivins and why? and how? how was that arranged? how did he get her name?

    larisa has had conversation with duley’s boyfriend, and that is just beyond weird. she’s seeking privacy, for instance, but wants the press to know they’ll be shocked when they learn the truth.

    i’m eager to know more about the timeline on ivins’ last few months. the interviews with colleagues i’ve seen just do not add up to the story that’s being pumped. could it be as stupidly simple – or as simply stupid – as the fbi latches on to ivins’ cleanup error??

    i feel like animal house has taken over law enforcement in this country.

    • emptywheel says:

      Note both the Shepard Pratt and the checked out on July 16 is not verified–other stories put the check out date at July 23, and the Shepard Prat as a second hospital.

    • PetePierce says:

      Whatever Israel has, like our vaccines, it still needs nearly a couple years to confer immunity and a booster. Whether they have more of that relative to their 7,283,000 population than the approximately 19.6% of long term vaccine for cutaneous anthrax. Neither country has anything proven to prophylax against the anthrax that is the deadly threat.

      • klynn says:


        I would include any timeline information from the anthrax investigative pieces from the Hartford Courant. It’s difficult to track down some of them due to the work being pulled from HC’s archives. Some different public health sites have”captured some of the articles such as here:…..mylab.html

        Dr. Mary Beth Downs told investigators that she had come to work several times in January and February of 1992 to find that someone had been in the lab at odd hours, clumsily using the sophisticated electron microscope to conduct some kind of off-the-books research.

        After one weekend in February, Downs discovered that someone had been in the lab using the microscope to take photos of slides, and apparently had forgotten to reset a feature on the microscope that imprints each photo with a label. After taking a few pictures of her own slides that morning, Downs was surprised to see “Antrax 005″ emblazoned on her negatives.

        Downs also noted that an automatic counter on the camera, like an odometer on a car, had been rolled back to hide the fact that pictures had been taken over the weekend. She wrote of her findings in a memo to Langford, noting that whoever was using the microscope was “either in a big hurry or didn’t know what they were doing.

        Documents from the inquiry show that one unauthorized person who was observed entering the lab building at night was Langford’s predecessor, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who at the time no longer worked at Fort Detrick. A surveillance camera recorded Zack being let in at 8:40 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1992, apparently by Dr. Marian Rippy, a lab pathologist and close friend of Zack’s, according to a report filed by a security guard.

        Zack could not be reached for comment. In an interview this week, Rippy said that she doesn’t remember letting Zack in, but that he occasionally stopped by after he was transferred off the base.

        “After he left, he had no [authorized] access to the building. Other people let him in,” she said. “He knew a lot of people there and he was still part of the military. I can tell you, there was no suspicious stuff going on there with specimens.”

        Zack left Fort Detrick in December 1991, after a controversy over allegations of unprofessional behavior by Zack, Rippy, Brown and others who worked in the pathology division. They had formed a clique that was accused of harassing the Egyptian-born Assaad, who later sued the Army, claiming discrimination.

        Assaad said he had believed the harassment was behind him until last October, until after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

        He said that is when the FBI contacted him, saying someone had mailed an anonymous letter – a few days before the existence of anthrax-laced mail became known – naming Assaad as a potential bioterrorist. FBI agents decided the note was a hoax after interviewing Assaad.

        But Assaad said he believes the note’s timing makes the author a suspect in the anthrax attacks, and he is convinced that details of his work contained in the letter mean the author must be a former Fort Detrick colleague.

  19. wavpeac says:

    No, no, no this does not make sense.

    There is no way in hell after pleading guilty to a DUI Duley would be allowed to keep her job doing a group. NO way. This makes no sense that she was allowed to do group under these circumstances. Technically she would be considered “impaired”. No way. That was her second DUI..they would do a substance abuse eval, likely would want her to attend out patient treatment at the least, and perhaps inpatient. Following that they would want her to go to a halfway house. While in a half way house herself, she would not be allowed to work in this field. You have to have at least a year of recovery in most treatment centers and demonstrate recovery. No way. They don’t allow substance abuse counselors to continue practicing while they are “in the disease”. YOu don’t jump in and out, without treatment. They don’t consider it recovery unless you go through a specific “set of hoops” usually including halfway house or continued outpatient.

    Secondly, they had already searched Ivins house by the time the remark was made about the anthrax killer in court. That would suggest to me that he would have been considered a strong suspect. How the Mukasey/Leahy discussion make sense then? Now if they had begun to focus on him in maybe just a few weeks before that comment, it would be possible they were not aware. However, if they searched his home in November of 2007, they would have enough information to know if there was a strong suspect and what the evidence was. The statement seemed too strong to fit this scenario. In this scenario or at least the one the gov’t is blaring is “we were honing in on someone and were very closed to catching him.”

    Doesn’t make sense.

    Those were just two things that jumped out at me. Maybe I am wrong about how other states handle impaired therapists. We could look up MD law and find the licensure laws (since she had a substance abuse counseling license) and find out what the parameters are for active addiction. But in my state it would not have been allowed. IF she were a licensed mental health counselor she would perhaps be allowed to counsel with supervision on “other issues” but not addiction. Even in Domestic violence counseling a therapist or treater cannot work in d.v within one year of having a violent relationship. (as victim)

    I am sure she would have been in need of money. Bachelor level therapists don’t make much at all. And legal fees and addiction treatment (which would have been required if she were to retain her job at all) would be very expensive.

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe I missed it, but other than Duley’s statements, has there actually been indication from anything that he had a substance issue?

      • lllphd says:

        i haven’t seen anything explicit. but one should wonder just why ivins ended up referred to duley in that clinic in the first place. the march 19 incident when he was found unconscious and then hospitalized? was he drunk? drugged? was it a suicide attempt? if so, why was he released so quickly (oh, silly me; insurance limits), why did he remain in her care (if he had indeed been in her care prior to that), and why did he continue with security clearance?

        more troubling, though, is duley’s history. in answer to wavpeac, i suppose there is some reason to suspect that duley’s supervisors and/or state board were unaware of her dui if she failed to inform them. one has to wonder just why she lost her job; was it the probation? or her ultimate bungling of this case? i mean, her client committed suicide immediately after her restraining order. also note, that list of ten court cases for duley, four of them were the same date, 12/23/07, but different case numbers. does this mean four counts? they threw the book at her; did she spend any time in jail?

        as a mental health professional, i have lots of questions about duley. why was she ivins’s therapist? (or, theripist, as she prefers.) how did he get referred to her? if she was assigned him when he was hospitalized, it would likely have been the march 19 incident when he was found unconscious. but that was just over three months ago, not the six she claims. was there another earlier hospitalization? moreover, if the march 19th hospitalization was due to a suicide attempt, why was she – a flat out novice – assigned to his case?? even if she’d been assigned him earlier, why was she – a novice – kept on the case?

        i checked the MD social work site, and it does not appear she is licensed. if that’s true, how was she ‘program director’ of anything? the shepard pratt site does not list either irwin or duley as clinicians in any of their MD facilities. dr. irwin has an office listed, but i can’t find any evidence. in fact, i can’t find any evidence of ms. duley’s employment; were did she work? who was her boss? her boyfriend said she ‘had to quit,’ but was she fired? there are no accusations of threats of homicide or suicide from anyone but this woman, though she claims dr. irwin has even more incriminating clinical evidence than she accuses. where did she get that?

        dr. david irwin is listed as a forensic psychiatrist; he did his internship at letterman and walter reed army med centers. this is quite bizarre; why was ivins seeing a forensic psychiatrist? forensic psych is legal matters, competency and mental status during the crime. irwin of course will be unable to come forward with info about ivins because of confidentiality issues, but it seems odd that he would have been anyone’s choice, except perhaps ivins’s lawyer’s. and that would have been only to assess competency to stand trial or build a mental state case. had his lawyer wished to build a case that the fbi was ruining his life, as he has been asserting in the press, i honestly cannot figure why he would suggest a forensic psychiatrist. someone needs to ask that atty if he referred ivins to irwin, and if so, why, and if not, who did and why.

        i am also quite curious as to whether or not ivins and hatfill had been in communication after the fbi shifted their focus.

        but mainly, my concerns are with duley, as my area of expertise is just screaming with alarm. something is just so wrong here. one crazy thing here (besides my sudden obsession with this!): i just googled duley via whitepages and got the satellite of her home. it’s actually not clear which is her home, but one address has several buildings and the other a swimming pool. for what that’s worth.

        the whole thing is totally bizarre. methinks the fbi has gone way beyond its incompetence with hatfill. (has anyone interviewed him yet??)


        • Hmmm says:

          But how do we know Ivins was really seeing Irwin as a patient? Just from Duley’s P.O. appearance? I wonder whether the FBI might have hired Irwin as a ‘forensic psychiatrist’ to profile Ivins from afar? Duley talks about seeing Irwin’s notes — did the FBI show them to her?

          • lllphd says:

            oh exactly; we don’t. and thanks for emphasizing that, as i guess it seemed so obvious i didn’t list it. so many questions. but somehow his name is involved, and you’re right, the feds could easily have shown her his notes. though, again, were she worth anything as a professional, she’d question that, without a release from ivins.

            if the fbi hired irwin to profile ivins from afar, as you suggest, that is unethical. i’m quite sure of that, as i researched it years ago when some whacked out maniac at the hoover institute tried to assert that al gore was narcissistic. (i emailed him he was in breach of his professional ethics, a fact the AMA would not view kindly, and he wrote back the most incredibly nasty email, just dripping with ‘who cares? the ama don’t’! creepy.)

        • bmaz says:

          …that list of ten court cases for duley, four of them were the same date, 12/23/07, but different case numbers. does this mean four counts? they threw the book at her; did she spend any time in jail?

          This is a weird docket setup; can’t tell if she was actually ordered to incarceration or not. However, I think it pretty likely that all four charges are the same incident; my guess is that maybe two were alternate DWI sections (here you get a charge for driving under the influence and a separate charge for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater), one was the “backup charge” i.e. the offense that she was stopped for such as speeding, weaving, etc., and the fourth either a second backup offense or some type of license violation such as not having it in your position, not having proof of insurance, or the like.

          As to Dr. Irwin, no clue, but that does sound like a possible CV and background that a classified government operation might refer to for evaluation; but that would be really inconsistent with Duley working under him.

          • lllphd says:

            agreed that it’s not likely duley worked for irwin. but i can’t figure out WHO she worked for! if anyone. did i see somewhere that she was a program director? can’t locate that. can’t locate anything that expressly states her employment or work status, location, company, clinic, anything.

            except that her boyfriend (the bong inventor) said she had to quit. quit what, exactly? and why would they have to spend money on an atty because she was talking to the fbi?? and what of that teaser he shared? just too creepy.

            she does mention ivins was going all homicidal in a group session she conducted, but i find it hard to believe that not a single one of those members has come forward, despite a hard and fast rule in groups that no one ever shares anything outside the group.

            so, anyone out there taking larisa up on her offer to connect a reporter with the dr. gerry higgins of the fascinatingly personal comment (see 29)? that one deserves some serious delving.

            • bmaz says:

              I was under the impression that she was a group director/leader (discussion group), but had no licensing or certification by the state. Not positive of that, just is my recollection.

              • lllphd says:

                yeah, me too, though also listed as ‘program director’, though cannot locate those sources now to save my life. obviously read them back when i was drinking this particular brand of the koolaid.

        • wavpeac says:

          Just read this after I posted my lengthy post. Okay so she wasn’t licensed, why did the paper originally report she was? Assumed? And I agree how did a forensic scientist with a military background get involved in this?

          The box office also sends a suspicion for me. First of all, it’s not relevent to the case. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have worked with lots of men, there are lots of things men do that they don’t talk about- and I have heard many things in my career. While it makes him sound a little quirky it doesn’t speak to “sociopath”.

          What factual information do we have that is not hearsay. Other than glowing reports from his coworkers and colleagues who don’t believe this is true?

          We have bad hearsay and good hearsay. We have a crazy treater acting erratically and unprofessionally. We haven’t really heard from the psych yet have we? Other than Duley’s report of what he said?

    • chrisc says:

      Am I reading this correctly:
      Duley pleds guilty to the DUI on 4/24/08.
      She gets 2 yrs, but 1yr 9mos are suspended.
      Does that mean she she served a 3 mo sentence which was what?? supervised probation???
      Her sentence starts 4/17/2008 The 3 mos would be over with on 7/17/08 – a week after getting Ivins committed and a week before she gets the restraining order.

    • behindthefall says:

      I’m very curious about how Ivins got put together with Duley in the first place. There’s nothing that makes it a good idea.

    • PetePierce says:

      In many states so called “free lance addiction counselors” spring up leading groups in all kinds of settings. They aren’t really on the radar of medical or professional boards who license health care professionals, and they and their statements show up in courts all the time. Therefore they aren’t regulated, and few of them know what the hell they’re doing. Money for someone is usually a common denominator.

      In one instance a sociopathic psychologist was making big bucks by peddling these people to all kinds of groups who used them and paid for them including US Probation who charged probationers who were conscripted to go to weekly meetings $5 a pop. They were often billed as “therapists” but many of them were social workers who had no experience with addiction other than their own addictions.

      Also involved in one situation were a large group of osteopathic psychiatrists who had not been able to pass the ABPN board exam after taking it multiple times. When confronted with this situation, they disappeared.

      They don’t necessarily register with any licensing facility as to their “free lancing” and the Administrative Office of Courts i.e. federal probation has been caught using these clowns with some very embarassing consequences (screwing patients for one) and many of them haven’t kicked their addictions themselves. I’ve seen them used to threaten people as well until AOC’s bluff was called when it’s been called to the attention of a federal judge or the legitmate licensure boards which can be effective in stopping them in their tracks. I’m not sure what the hell this Jean Duley was besides a frequenlty drinking driver. Descriptions of her and her antics sure smack of the many so-called therapists who are free lancing as “addiction counselors.”

      For that matter I have seen plenty of scandals in so-called legitmate psychiatric hospitals come and go in the last several years and the vast majority of them have involved greedy fraudulent billing by large corporations and some shrinks who happened to be caught. Some of them were prosecuted successfully, and often there were consent agreements signed by the corporations with large fines and refunds. Maybe a few of them are involved in Mukasey DOJ’s new vogue of DPAs or Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

      Although this “Jean Duley’s” participation in this story seems bizarre, she is symptomatic and not surprising of the shit quality that the government often gets when they are deploying physicians who work for them in the capacity Dixon seemes to have been/or not–maybe she was independent of the gov but they seemed to be listening to her to some extent. This is a far cry from the many hard working and talented people doing research for the gov at places like the CDC or the NIH and possibly at research facilities like the ones where Dr. Ivins was.

      Out of fairness to Ivins and for so called “homeland” security this story needs to be told. It appears every day as if there may have been gross compromises to this investigation and national security by Bush and Cheney and their administration. The story that Mueller was leaned on by Bush to implicated AQ and commplied and some of the theories floated by Gerald Posner on KO night after night may unfortunately turn out to be true.

    • PetePierce says:

      I might add on more than one ocassion, I’ve seen DOJ call witnesses who were supposed to be credentialed and an exmaination of their credentials and their background made the AUSA damn sorry that they didn’t perform due dilligence. I don’t know if it’s in the government water or not but it sure seems to be a trend that is not infrequent. I’ve also seen them called to testify about a patient that they never actually examined by DOJsters–welcome to the Bananna Republic of the USA. They were subsequently flayed on cross and it cost the government in each case.

    • emptywheel says:

      One of my thoughts is that Duley may have played on the Ivins stuff to get attention to try to salvage her own life. We know Duley no longer works at the facility where she was counseling Ivins. So she may have twisted the Ivins stuff in some kind of reaction to her second DUI, knowing that she’d be fired. As Larisa has noted, if she’s gone broke from legal fees, it’s because of the DUIs, not the protective order. Which suggests she’s partially using the Ivins story as a means to cope with her own DUIs and subsequent economic trouble.

      • wavpeac says:

        Yes, I would buy that. I realize that there are a lot of bad therapists and addiction counselors out there. But supposedly she was a licensed drug and alcohol counselor. In our state the Licensed alcohol and Drug Abuse counselor is licensed from the same organization as the mental health counselor, nurses, docs etc…(with different boards). A DUI is public and is printed in papers, professionals who get them cannot hide them. Judges in our town have had DUI’s and it made the papers. If she had two DUI’s there is no way she could maintain her license. There is no way she could hide the fact that she had the DUI.

        It may have been a “projection” yes, but I still cannot imagine that in a a mid size or small town, that her record would go unnoticed. I feel uncomfortable about the fact that there is NO corroboration of his drinking problem by “fact”…does the family aknowledge this (beside bro..but didn’t see anything like that stated).

        A box office is easy to set up without leaving any finger prints as to who actually set it up and picked up mail. It would be a very convenient way to make someone else look “crazy”.

        I am waiting for more concrete evidence of his problems.

        Duley is a great example of an alcoholic. Her record makes her disease obvious. In most cases the disease eventually makes lots of facts that corroborate the disease process. However, problem drinkers…not alcoholics often do not have legal problems, life problems and relatonship problems. They may function with little or no negative consequences and would be distinguished from those with the disease.

        I don’t know it doesn’t fit my clinical knowledge.

        Also most alcoholics are recognized long before Ivin’s age. Occasionally in retirement the drinking exacerbates to the level of “disease” but again, there people become very impaired. Was he not showing up at work. Showing up drunk. What were the symptoms of his problem??

        So far there are no facts to hang a hat. Maybe they are there, but they haven’t been reported. A post office box doens’t cut it for me. Nor do the reports from Duley about Ivin.

        Need more facts.

        • brendanx says:

          Alcoholics also get themselves into more trouble than just DUI’s. They might get themselves into situations where they can be blackmailed, or into money problems where they can be bribed (this explains the sad case of Christopher Hitchens, by the way).

          • wavpeac says:

            that’s my point…there is always eventually corroborating evidence. Thank god. As a therapist it would be impossible to treat if not for the fact that folks get themselves in to “big” public problems. Over time it becomes obvious. Right now I don’t see Ivins as having “those” kinds of issues. Usually there are more than one.

            • wavpeac says:

              Bush for example…has several factual “problems” corrorborated that would tell most of us professionals that he had a problem at one time. And we know that alcoholism as a rule does not just “fade away” because you pray hard.

              • JThomason says:

                I would recommend Gregory Bateson’s essay on prayer and alcoholism in Step’s to an Ecology of Mind. The therapist’s bias, by the way, is part of the “drama” Alice Miller describes.

                • wavpeac says:

                  I love Bateson and have the book “Steps to an Ecology of the Mind”. I studied his book in a study group with a professor Ameritus from University of Pennsyslvania who is long gone. I am not sure how to apply this to Ivins, however, but agree about the drama.

                  My favorite word from Bateson: Schizmogenesis

                  A good description of buscho!!

        • lllphd says:

          i’ve spent a little time in frederick; it’s medium to small, but large segment of the population is bedroom baltimore/dc, as well as the university and defense stuff. so it loses the small town flavor.

          that said, it still makes no sense that her 2006 and 2007 citations held no professional consequences for her. or at least, did not cause her to lose her license. if anyone is so inclined, the above link shows how to get info on disciplinary actions.

          there has not been a single report from coworkers or neighbors of any alcohol or drug behaviors, not even suspicions. his brother’s report that he could believe bruce could do this because ‘he thought he was god’ is not to be believed as they had not spoken in over twenty years. in fact, for a brother to say something like that about his sibling in such a situation, especially given the remarkably consistent reports to the contrary from those who’ve known and worked with him for decades, i’d say the statement says more about the brother than it does about bruce.

          and one more thing (for now, anyway), none of those associated with ivins, not even his therapist, had a thing to say about this utterly silly ’sorority obsession’!! i mean, had this been a driving force, duley would surely have mentioned it, especially given what should have been her professional concerns about potential victims (not placing a lot of money on that notion, but there it is).

      • lllphd says:

        sure. but WHERE did she work, exactly?? and how did she know the details about ivins’s case? the 5 murders, the subpoena, etc.? i’ll assume that she had been talking to the fbi for weeks, as her boyfriend has stated. if that’s true, then it makes just as much sense that she brought those things up in her sessions with ivins as it does that he told her. given her flimsy training/background/creds, not to mention her bizarre history, i’d bank on the former. which would give great credence to the notion mentioned here (j green? sorry, it’s all a blur) that he was feeling finally and utterly betrayed by his therapist, who is supposed to support and advocate for him.

        and this truly is the ethical responsibility, even if ivins did commit those murders; a therapist is only under obligation to report if there is a stated threat of harm to self and/or others. period. a guy walks in and says i’m the anthrax murderer, and the ethical obligation is to maintain confidentiality until the guy threatens to do it again. same with lawyers.

        we just don’t know enough about this woman and her situation, but what we DO know is beyond creepy. yet what we are debating about here is not given any air time on MSM, so the world believes he was crazy, and that’s that.

        speaking of putting the pressure on, we gotta do it.

        by the by, marcy, did you respond to larisa’s offer?

  20. bmaz says:

    Chris – Link went to a info/search page, so no specific info on Duley (maybe cut and paste it if you still have it). Many jurisdictions have either statutes or non-statutory regulations that give 2 for 1 credit on jail sentences for non-violent offenders. As you are probably aware, in LA County, a person sentenced to 3 months might be out in 10 days. Can’t tell what happened in Frederick County to Duley without more info. I’ll say this (of course I’ve been saying it since the second Duley’s involvement was published), this chick is freaking nuts. There were all the obvious reasons not to make a spectacle of yourself in the notorious anthrax case, but on top of that, to do it while you are on probation for repetitive DWI convictions is simply mind boggling.

    • chrisc says:

      Yeah, maybe somebody made a little deal with Jean Duley.
      Maybe she did some favors for them and she got something in return.
      She might have been kindof needy.

      Using public records databases, I find another name linked with hers- Jean C Duley Wittman.
      Searching in the MD judicial case search database
      I found a Jean Wittman who got divorced in 3/99.
      In 9/99, she had a bankruptcy case. Looks like she couldn’t pay a $1080.73 bill to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

      Also of interest is the name Robin L Duley who is also linked to Jean C Duley. Robin has a couple of mentions in the MD judicial case database- the most recent is for possession of marijuana. Earlier ones are complaints about threatening phone call, what looks like a paternity claim and some money troubles with her condo.

      Jean C Duley is probably around 45 yrs old, Robin is almost 39- so they are probably only related as in-laws.
      For the record, Jean’s husband William A Duley does not have any entries other than the ones related to his divorce and the mutual battery charges. I thought it was interesting that he charged her with battery before she also filed a battery charge against him.

      • bmaz says:

        This report is weird. How does the sentence start 7 (April 17) days before she is sentenced (April 24)?? The only way I am familiar with this occurring is when the defendant is in custody prior to sentencing, but I see no evidence of that here. Also, the entire fine of $500 seems to have been suspended. I wonder if her only sentence was to 2 years probation (i.e. no incarceration) with all but 3 months suspended? Still doesn’t explain how it starts before she was sentenced. Weird docket info…

        • bmaz says:

          And, I would have to say, if that is true, it is an awful light sentence for a repeat DWI offender within a 24 month period

        • chrisc says:

          Yeah, I don’t get it.
          As if we needed more info to conclude that Jean Duley is a real piece of work, her boyfriend, Mike McFadden is talking. I looked up a Michael Duncan McFadden in the MD database, and he has some issues too!

            • bmaz says:

              He patented a bong! Excellent. Hilariously enough, this is the most admirable thing I have seen out of the whole Duley portion of this story.

              • lllphd says:

                yeah, my thoughts, pretty much. albeit 1973. but still…. something of a redeeming quality.

                so i’m with nell on the slumber scene. daylight will be painful in only a few hours. have not been this obsessed in a long time.

                freakin’ fumbling bozos of incompetence. where is elliot ness when we need him?

            • chrisc says:

              Maybe bong sales were slow.
              The boyfriend had some money issues (with his ex????) and also Ford Motor won a $3000 and a $12000 judgement against him in 2006. He pleaded guilty to a criminal charge in 1996 for failing to perform a contract and acting as a contractor w/o a license. In Dec 2006, he was charged with 4 counts: 1) expired registration, 2) driving with a suspended license, 3) possessing suspended license and 4) operating unregistered motor vehicle.
              Charges 2&3 were dropped and he pleaded guilty for 1&4 and paid fines.

        • emptywheel says:

          There are four entries associated with that offense, as well as a February notation that I couldn’t figure out. The earlier of the four entries, though, lists April 10 as the date.

          So something happened between April 10 and April 24 that got them to go easy on her and downgrade the offense from DWI to DUI (or is it the reverse?)

        • chrisc says:

          If someone were to go before a grand jury as a witness, would there be a routine question asking the witness if there were any charges pending against them or if they were on probation? Duley was supposed to go before a grand jury in late July- I’m not sure if she did. Could the back timing of her probation start date be an attempt to have her be probation free when she is questioned by the grand jury??

          Also that local article where Duly discusses the use of a particular drug for treatment purposes- perhaps that is an attempt to give her some sort of cred as an “expert witness.”

          • bmaz says:

            As to the background question in front of the GJ, no not usually unless it is a conviction related to the case before the GJ. A DWI is neither a felony nor a crime of moral turpitude that would be normally be considered proper witness impeachment evidence.

            • chrisc says:

              Thanks, I think I remember it as a question for ME from my last stint at jury duty.
              It was one of a number of written questions all jurors had to answer on a form, IIRC.
              So, I wondered if witnesses might also be asked to fill out such a form.

            • PetePierce says:


              Last time I checked there is no member of the defense bar looking to impeach any witness in a grand jury proceeding. As you know quite well, a federal grand jury is a government dog and pony show. I have seen and you have seen some of the most impeachable scum of the earth with far worse crimes than a DUI made the darling of a grand jury parade of snitches in order to secure an indictment who have had their ass torn to shreds once a trial begins where at that point the defense has a chance to weigh in.

              A grand jury as far as witnesses is anything that walks goes and can be couched and presented in any light. Sure the peanut gallary can ask questions but the set up is geared to intimidate them, and the government has full control of what is revealed in a grand jury.

              Rules should have been overhauled long ago to allow targets to procure attorneys who could be present in a grand jury.

              Once an indictment is secured, the target is already damaged severly and financially and sometimes the government does all it can to hide the way they skewed grand jury testimony from scumbag witnesses who may or may not be called at trial.

              Further witnesses can say about anything they want and the factuality is not challened in a grand jury proceeding. I have seen them change their stories radically from what they proferred to the grand jury once at trial when they know there are people in the room that can contradict them and call bullshit on them and their bullshit.

              • bmaz says:

                There are certain instances where the presenting prosecutor has an affirmative duty to disclose, even in a GJ. My real thought was that misdemeanor DWI crimes don’t even generally come in to petit juries, much less grand juries.

                • PetePierce says:

                  That’s for certain and I agree with your total assessment of this hodgepodge of cobbled inuendos that is shaping into the government’s case. An incredible amount of man hours and money and resources have been spent, and it’s unfortunate that the FBI seems to want to home toward any convenient hypothesis and then launch a cascade of inuendos at different individuals trying to get them to confirm their hypothesis however many holes it has. They damange a lot of people in the interest of conjuring up a story that may have little or noghing to do with the truth.

          • lllphd says:

            chris, i haven’t seen where duley references any medications; can you cite that? she is patently ill-equipped to be making more than a passing note of what medications were listed, but that’s another matter.

            and would the GJ know three months in advance when they planned to convene for this case? would the fbi know when they planned to go bring it before them? not sure any ‘back-dating’ of the probationary period is anything more than some standard pattern for the court. or something a lawyer would be better equipped to clarify here.

            • chrisc says:

              There is an article in the Frederick News Post dated June 29, 2008. There is still a picture of Jean Duley holding a bottle of suboxene on the website but it looks as if the text may have been “updated” from the last time I read it.
              The original text can be viewed here In the original text, Duley was named as “program director” at Comprehensive Counseling Associates” in Frederick MD.

              In December, Comprehensive Counseling became one of three practices in Frederick County to prescribe suboxone, which Duley calls a “miracle drug” for those addicted to pain medication. The center now prescribes suboxone to about 50 clients.
              Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, containing enough buprenorphine (an opioid) to eliminate cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. The pill also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist, which blocks the user’s ability to get high on any other drug, Duley said.


              While suboxone addresses the neurological aspect of addiction, Duley said giving medication without regular therapy defeats the drug’s purpose. She facilitates a support group at the center three times a week, and suboxone users are asked to attend at least once a week.

    • PetePierce says:

      That there are a number of google and other search engine hits alleging he stole anthrax and that the spotlight isn’t on him:

  21. Hmmm says:

    Holy crap, new NYT story up.

    But the investigators found some personal quirks, according to law enforcement officials and people who knew the scientist well. They found that Dr. Ivins, who had a history of alcohol abuse, had for years maintained a post office box under an assumed name that he used to receive pornographic pictures of blindfolded women.

    Years ago, he had visited Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority houses at universities in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, an obsession growing out of a romance with a sorority sister in his own college days at the University of Cincinnati — although someone who knew him well said the last such visit was in 1981.

    They had even intensively questioned his adopted children, Andrew and Amanda, now both 24, with the authorities telling his son that he might be able to collect the $2.5 million reward for solving the case and buy a sports car, and showing his daughter gruesome photographs of victims of the anthrax letters and telling her, “Your father did this,” according to the account Dr. Ivins gave a close friend.

    As the investigation wore on, some colleagues thought the F.B.I.’s methods were increasingly coercive, as the agency tried to turn Army scientists against one another and reinterviewed family members.

    One former colleague, Dr. W. Russell Byrne, said the agents pressed Dr. Ivins’s daughter repeatedly to acknowledge that her father was involved in the attacks.

    “It was not an interview,” Dr. Byrne said. “It was a frank attempt at intimidation.”

    Dr. Byrne said he believed Dr. Ivins was singled out partly because of his personal weaknesses. “They figured he was the weakest link,” Dr. Byrne said. “If they had real evidence on him, why did they not just arrest him?”

    • PetePierce says:

      We will get a big fanfare conference with John Miller and Mueller and a few other FBI muckety mucks. But I for one will take anything they say as part fiction with errors of intentional distortion and omission. I will never trust they fully on any topic at this point and this came way before the Anthrax Investigation Fiasco.

      I consider the FBI as tinfoil hat as it gets.

    • GregB says:

      Case closed, he’s obviously a perverted sadist. Funny how this is being used to discredit him when it would be a qualification for interrogation duty at Guantanimo.


      • Hmmm says:

        The Army issued final rules last week that would cover workers who act in an aggressive or threatening manner. Those employees would be denied access to toxic or lethal biological agents under the revised regulations. Other potentially disqualifying personality traits include “arrogance, inflexibility, suspiciousness, hostility . . . and extreme moods or mood swings,” according to the document.

        But “arrogance, inflexibility, suspiciousness, hostility . . . and extreme moods or mood swings” rules out about 95% of serious scientists, wouldn’t it?

  22. bell says:

    On October 3, 2001, an Egyptian-American scientist named Dr. Ayaad Assaad sat
    terrified in a vault-like interrogation room at an FBI office in Washington D.C.
    It was not yet known that a pair of letters containing deadly anthrax had been
    mailed to NBC Newsman Tom Brokaw and US Senator Tom Daschle. Five people would
    die as a result of the anthrax mailings which had been mailed from New Jersey.
    Billions of pieces of mail were delayed, costing the US Post Office to suffer
    huge losses. The news media ran nothing but anthrax stories night and day. Politicians
    and commentators speculated that Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were behind
    the letters. Why was the FBI questioning Asaad?Before the anthrax murders were committed, someone had sent the FBI an anonymous
    letter accusing Dr. Assaad of being a bio-terrorist with a grudge against the
    United States. [11] 134
    The letter was sent on September 25th – before the first anthrax case was even
    diagnosed. The FBI agents soon were convinced that the anonymous letter was a
    hoax and a frame up attempt. Assaad was cleared of suspicion and released. Assaad
    later told The Hartford Courant of Connecticut:

    ‘”I was so angry when I read the letter, I broke out in tears. Whoever this
    person is knew in advance what was going to happen and created a suitable, well-fitted
    scapegoat for this action. You do not need to be a Nobel Laureate to put two and
    two together.”

    all of this seems to point back directly to Philip Zack

  23. Nell says:

    Not sure that a start-to-finish timeline is all that helpful for answering the specific question about what brought about the change in FBI focus in 2006. (Though for more detail in the 2005-6 period Ed Lake’s news archive might be of use.)

    It is very helpful, though, for the purpose of taking us back to the atmosphere of fall 2001, so thanks for doing this. And thanks to many here for additional items. It’s difficult to overstate the impact the anthrax deaths had in increasing the atmosphere of terror, particularly up and down the east coast — death arriving in something as universal and everyday as the mail.

    In that light, I’d note that the first article treating torture as an open question, a discussable option, appeared in at the height of the anthrax scare: Sunday, Oct 21, 2001, on page A6 of the Washington Post, by Walter Pincus. It was as clear an example of a ‘trial balloon’ as I’ve seen in fifty years of reading the paper. Sadly, the atmosphere was such that in that article even the usually admirable David Cole raised the ticking bomb scenario.

    The article was not met with the wave of revulsion and protest it deserved; instead, it was followed by more of the same — notably, Jonathan Alter’s Newsweek column of November 2 and an “everybody’s talking about torture” followup by Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times on November 5.

    When, a few weeks later, Bush and Rumsfeld announced that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to “enemy combatants”, I assumed that torture was already de facto policy in Bush and Cheney’s clearly widening war, and would soon be becoming official.

    • skdadl says:

      Interesting connection — makes me think back to Valtin’s questions about Shiffrin’s still-classified query to Lt-Col Baumgarten at JPRA concerning SERE techniques in or about December 2001.

      Amusing to hear that Tony Fratto thinks of the WSJ and a Pulitzer Prize as “gutter journalism.”

    • emptywheel says:

      Actually, I was hoping the timeline would do several things:

      1) Capture some of the push behind trying to blame this on Iraq, which also led to carelessness about US samples and scientists
      2) Push the Hatfill as culprit narrative, including the crummy evidence to do so
      3) Identify changes in the team that may mean those who made the first two decisions were ousted after FBI recognized its error
      4) Identify what or when the FBI started getting serious about Ivins
      5) Show how DUley’s troubles coincide with the intenstified–but still not justified by evidence yet–attention on Ivins

      • Nell says:

        Re the ‘Hatfill as culprit’ timeline:

        By December 2001, the administration was already making physical, logistical preparations for the invasion of Iraq. They were diverting resources from Afghanistan (appropriated by Congress to go after those responsible for the September 11 attacks) to the Iraq preparation. And they were laying the propaganda groundwork, the biggest piece of which was the State of the Union address in late January.

        Inconveniently for those who wanted to push the al Qaeda-Iraq-terror Big Lie, there was a counter-drumbeat about the connection of the anthrax to U.S. military anthrax. It was in late November or early December 2001 that Barbara Hatch Rosenberg delivered her paper at a Geneva bioweapons conference pointing to a scientist from a government lab. Rosenberg did another public paper in March 2002. Nicholas Kristof ran his finger-pointing columns on May 24 and July 2, 2002. I’m not sure when she met with members of Congress. Anyway, it’s impossible to overlook the effect her campaign had on the FBI focus on Hatfill.

  24. Nell says:

    This section of Ed Lake’s archive, on the timing (Sept. 25) of the Quantico letter that was designed to get the FBI to harass Dr. Assaad, makes the Richard Cohen Cipro tip business a lot less mysterious. There was a bunch of anthrax and bioattack talk in the media, some clearly govt-fed, some not so clearly.

  25. Nell says:

    Got to get to bed, but one last thought on EW’s question about the shake-up in the investigation: Five-year anniversary of Sept 11 attacks, media vocal and irritable due to pressure created by Hatfill suit…

  26. R.H. Green says:

    IIIphd @ 81,
    I too am obsessing on this topic. I seem to recall that when Ivins first was found inconscious, he was given the option of a voluntary admission for observation. I have been assuming that is where he made contact with “his psychiatrist” who,in the course of conducting a psychological evaluation may have included such buzz words as “homocidal”, “sociopathic”, but I seriously doubt,(and especially in the context of these terms) the words, “with clear intent” in his evaluation report. (How could such be clear to an examiner in such a context? And if it was clear, howcum no report to authorities?)
    I mention this because I noted that when Ms Duley was petitioning the JP for a restraint order, she mentioned these buzz words, and I kept asking myself, “Where did she get this information about Ivins. It’s true, he may have disclosed this to her himself. However, given her level of credentialing, I doubt if she had the privelige of having a copy of the evaluation report faxed to her. Without these legitimate means, what is left?
    Further, in that same court hearing, Ms Duley stated that Ivins was about to be charged with 5 murders; but again, one has to ask, “How did she know that sort of thing?”. I seem to recall someone commenting that she had been referred by the FBI to get the restraining order from the Fredrick, MD Justice Court. If this is true, it becomes prudent to ask,”Why was she in contect with them in the first place?” All this raises in my mind the possibility that the FBI is the conduit for all the priveliged informaion that she had about Ivins. Was she being cranked up to raise the pressure on Ivins, to get him to confess?
    This foil hat is getting tight.

  27. bmaz says:

    From…..ews”>Tuesday’s WaPo:

    Bruce E. Ivins, the government’s leading suspect in the 2001 anthrax killings, borrowed from a bioweapons lab that fall freeze-drying equipment that allows scientists to quickly convert wet germ cultures into dry spores, according to sources briefed on the case.

    Ivins’s possession of the drying device, known as a lyopholizer, could help investigators explain how he might have been able to send letters containing deadly anthrax spores to U.S. senators and news organizations.

    The device was not commonly used by researchers at the Army’s sprawling biodefense complex at Fort Detrick, Md., where Ivins worked as a scientist, employees at the base said. Instead, sources said, Ivins had to go through a formal process to check out the lyopholizer, creating a record on which authorities are now relying. He did at least one project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that would have given him reason to use the drying equipment, according to a former colleague in his lab.

    DARPA? Really? This makes it sound totally different than his anthrax research; so what DARPA project would that be? And he had a reason to have the machine, and the article quotes some other expert as saying the same result as this machine provides could be obtained multiple other ways. So exactly what does this prove?

    I tell you what, the way this crap is being pitched, leaked and spun out, it all sounds damning. Kind of. But I can flat out tell you that a good defense lawyer would eat this stuff up like a PacMan game gobbler upper. And then spit it out. So far, they have released a bunch of individually innocuous, or at least what could be explained as innocuous as easily as culpable, acts and force tied them together with the bizarre wacked out Duley material. This has every bit as much a characteristic, as a whole, of a bootstrapped pile of bunk as it does a case of guilt. So far, it is arguable that there is not enough real information to even get the charges past a preliminary hearing probable cause determination; much less a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. They better come up with infinitely stronger and better stuff than this; but is they had it, don’t you think it, at least partially, would have been coming out already? I do.

    • R.H. Green says:

      bmaz @ 95
      Do you think, if you were going to commit such a henious crime as this, that you’d check out some unusual lab equipment, under your own name, and not expect to draw some heat, when that equipt was critical to making the weapon.

      • bmaz says:

        Not a chance in hell. And i would not have delivered the anthrax in a state that pointed so directly at me; I would have made it look like Chinese anthrax, or Russian anthrax or something. This guy who did the mailings, pulled all this covert work up of the material under the nose of the super locked down Fort Deitrich and who did everything else to avoid any detection basically left his drivers license at the bank teller’s window as he robbed her. Um, in a word, no.

        • PetePierce says:

          I agree strongly. For that reason alone, I find the FBI’s story that they are probably going to lay on the world tomorrow or a few days hence simply beyond belief. Part of this is their unsconscionable sloppiness and cascade of stupid decisions along the way plus their investigation bent and distorted by whatever purposes Bush & Co. had in trying to link the Anthrax to AQ or other foreign terrorists.

          When the FBI releases their story soon, I believe there will be many more holes, and questions rather than answers.

          • Artep says:

            How convenient, no pesky defense lawyer to pick apart your circumstantial bullshit. Sorry, this case needs to be brought to trial before a jury, not leaked out by a complicit press. Every talking point that’s been made can be traced back to Duley’s affidavit. Who coached her?

            “If they had real evidence on him, why did they not just arrest him?”

      • bmaz says:

        From the same WaPo article

        Other biodefense experts noted that the drying step could have been carried out with equipment no more complicated than a kitchen oven

        Another bootstrapped piece of evidence; and I assume even if it was used, any of the other numerous people who had access to the same lab had access to the dryer too. This case is a mish mash of cobbled together crap so far; it must be taking them a while to manufacture the compelling part…

    • bmaz says:

      I’ve seen most of that before, but not quite as strongly and positively stated; hope Suskin has the goods to back it up. He is certainly a heck of a lot more credible that the White House though.

      • prostratedragon says:

        Let’s see, I recall hearing that there was a high-level Iraqi informant on the wmd apart from all the phonies who’ve been debunked, but nothing about what he actually said, let alone that he might’ve been stashed away with some hush money.

        There were the ex post reports from the Iraq Survey Group that Saddam was finally told about the collapse of wmd programs in Dec 2002 or thereabouts; this is probably in the ISG timeline at the CIA website. Presumably this informant knew both those pieces of information in real time. Maybe he tried to pass them along, in fact I’ll bet he did.

        With all the dodgy pieces of paper that were waved around in ‘02 though, I don’t think I recall this one, and certainly it’s new that anyone has done more than conjecture that some might have been forgeries, let alone that they have been told that the job was at the request of USG.

  28. yonodeler says:

    I haven’t read all of the above comments to know whether anyone has linked to Kevin Drum’s post telling about a pair of serious allegations against the White House. One allegation concerns White House pressure on the CIA concerning Iraq-9/11 intelligence; the other concerns pressure on the FBI concerning Iraq-anthrax evidence.

    • yonodeler says:

      Excuse me. For the second allegation, from the New York Daily News, instead of “pressure on the FBI concerning Iraq-anthrax evidence,” the topic was pressure on the FBI to produce evidence that the antrax attacks of 2001 were carried out by al-Qaeda.

      • Neil says:

        Now the pressure on the FBI is to close the case, both self-imposed and from on high. It’s an election year.

  29. R.H. Green says:

    Frakly, I,m beginning to wonder about this “super locked-down” site. I haven’t been able to piece together all this talk about Ivins being involved in some cleanups of spills at his coworkers—what, desk? In a nuke plant, and other high-risk site, thre are report forms for “inadvertant releases” and policies and procedures that are supossedly strictly enforced. And yet here he is wiping up after himself or someone else, and discloses it months later? What’s going on?

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      You have to keep in mind that it’s Bush’s goal to destroy the government before 1/20/09.

    • yonodeler says:

      It’s hard to imagine any scientist at the site leaving even tiny amounts of weapons-grade anthrax lying around. I mean, they have an HVAC system that moves air, and they do human things such as breathe and sneeze, don’t they?

      Opportunities for frame-up theorizing will be bountiful.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, I was being facetious when I said “super locked down”. The joint has an atrocious security history totally independent of Ivins. There were numerous people that were apparently credentialed to have access to what Ivins did, and who knows how many that were not, but who nevertheless had access. There is some evidence that scientists from other govt. labs routinely came and went al well.

  30. prostratedragon says:

    Ron Richer (?).
    John Maguire.

    Two CIA men on the record as in the chain of the forgery* creation. Off the record, the order was passed on from Tenet, who got it from on high, shall we say.

    Suskind always gives a direct and forceful-sounding interview, never more so than today.

    * Forging in 2003 of a letter purportedly from Habbush to Saddam referencing Mohammed Atta as having trained in Iraq.

  31. prostratedragon says:

    Oh, I’m going to have to read this story … I don’t see why Habbush wouldn’t just say “Well, what the hell” and start complaining loudly when they tried to bandy the forgery about. What would he have to lose at that point, assuming as I would in his place that the ploy would introduce a new source of randomness to the question of his terminal date.

  32. MarieRoget says:

    Thanks for all yr. work putting together this timelime, ew. I’ll ask the same question I did yesterday over @ main FDL- how to effectively prompt an investigation into this? Even the idea of a de rigueur autopsy being performed on Ivins was 86ed, something minimally necessary to determine that the cod wasn’t some pathogen he had been exposed to @ Ft. Detrick.

    Every news article I see still calling his death an apparent suicide. Will the family speak out if the innuendo & sliming keeps up on Ivins? One wonders if family & friends have been told to stay silent no matter what is being dribbled out to the media.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, seeing as how the guy who has prime oversight over DOJ and with it FBI was one of the main targeted victims of this attack, I would imagine SJC will be jumping on this pretty aggressively after the break.

      Remember, as both victim and SJC chair, Leahy will get two kinds of briefings, and he’s got a decent nose for bullshit.

  33. pmorlan says:

    From emptywheel’s timeline:

    February 22, 2005: DOJ demands that Hatfill have identity of leakers to pursue privacy case

    Contrary to plaintiff’s assertion, because his claim for damages requires him to establish that any disclosure of information protected by the Privacy Act was “intentional or willful,” he cannot prevail without establishing the identity of the individual who made any such disclosure and the circumstances surrounding the disclosure.

    February 23, 2005: Hatfill moves to question Van Harp (who admits contacts with many of the journalists who reported on Hatfill

    Here’s another interesting event that didn’t get much serious followup in the media.

    Va. Defense Facility Locked Down
    Similar Incident at Pentagon Spurs Queries About Coordination

    By Jamie Stockwell and Allan Lengel
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, March 15, 2005; A01

    A sensor at a Department of Defense mailroom in Fairfax County signaled the presence of a suspicious biological substance yesterday, forcing hundreds of workers to remain inside three buildings for almost six hours.

    The lockdown came just hours after the mail facility at the Pentagon, about four miles away in Arlington, was evacuated and closed. The Pentagon took that action yesterday morning after tests conducted last week came back positive for anthrax, officials said. Later tests at the Pentagon were negative.

    Spokesmen for the Pentagon and the Fairfax fire department initially said the events at the Pentagon and in the Baileys Crossroads section of Fairfax were unrelated. But last night, a Virginia official said the events might be linked. In addition, emergency officials responding to the Fairfax incident said they were not aware of the Pentagon evacuation, causing Virginia’s top homeland security official to say that coordination by the Defense Department would have to be reviewed…..12_pf.html

    • pmorlan says:

      This passage is from another WaPo article ater the event on 3/14/05.

      The events began last Thursday when one of four swab samples taken daily from sensor filters at the Pentagon delivery facility tested positive for anthrax at Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc. in Richmond, a Pentagon subcontractor. The finding was confirmed by a highly accurate polymerase chain reaction test and forwarded Friday to the prime contractor, said Robert B. Harris, president of the Richmond lab.

      Pentagon officials say they were notified Monday morning of the finding. That afternoon — apparently by coincidence, military officials said — a machine on the eighth floor of the Fairfax complex that receives mail from the Pentagon sounded an airborne biohazard alarm.

      Military officials said that although Army scientists at Fort Detrick confirmed the initial positive finding, quality control problems at the lab probably spoiled the sample.

      “We stand by our results, and the work is ongoing,” said Harris, whose company has processed 2,000 samples from the Pentagon over two years. “To say the way the release was made was premature, unfortunate and unwarranted is an understatement.”

      A federal health official familiar with Pentagon operations said its lab practices vary from those of civilian agencies, complicating the interpretation of scientific data…..01768.html

    • pmorlan says:

      On a related note to this story. Back on March 16, 2005, the NYT reported the following:

      Anthrax Scare Is Attributed to a Testing Error

      ASHINGTON, March 15 – Health officials believe that a mix-up of samples in a Defense Department contractor’s laboratory was behind an anthrax scare Monday and Tuesday that rattled the stock market, set the White House on alert, shut three post offices in the Washington area and led to more than 800 people being offered antibiotics.

      A senior military official said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday night that “quality control problems” at the contractor’s laboratory appeared to have caused the bioterrorism false alarm.

      The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that any laboratory testing for anthrax usually kept a sample of anthrax on hand to calibrate equipment. He said evidence suggested that the sample had somehow contaminated an air filter from a Pentagon shipping center that had been sent to the laboratory for routine testing last Thursday.

      The error was compounded when the same contaminated sample was then sent for a confirmation test to the Army’s biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The Army laboratory confirmed the positive test at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

      Only after dozens of other swabs from walls, floors and machinery in the Pentagon shipping facility were tested and all proved negative did officials conclude that the initial positive test must have resulted from the laboratory error, the official said.

      The Defense Department official declined to identify the contractor, which does routine anthrax testing on air filters from the Pentagon shipping facility. Another government official said it was a private laboratory in Richmond, Va.…..;position=

      While trying to track down the contractor that the anonymous government source would not identify I did a google search for bio labs in Richmond and found a company by the name of Commonwealth BioTechnologies, Inc. In their 8k SEC filing they documented that they were in fact the company that gave the positive reading. They further documented their internal review of that test. They stick by their original POSITIVE results. It’s interesting reading.

      Commonwealth Biotechnologies, Inc. Completes

      Internal Review of Procedures

      Source of Positive Test Sample May Never be Known with Certainty

      RICHMOND, VA (March 23, 2005). In its role as subcontractor, Commonwealth Biotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ SmallCap Market: CBTE) reported a positive test outcome for the presence of B. anthracis cultured from a swab taken from a pre-filter in the remote mail sorting facility located at the Pentagon on Thursday, March 10, 2005. CBI provided these results to its contracting officer in a timely way on Friday, March 11, and then reported the results of confirmatory testing done over the weekend of March 12 to its contracting officer on Monday, March 14. The positive nature of this particular test sample was subsequently confirmed in two independent federal laboratories. However, additional tests of swabs taken from the same filters have all been negative.

      Since then, there has been public speculation as to the possibility that the source of the positive test outcome was laboratory contamination of the test sample which took place in CBI’s laboratory. Because the March 10 swab sample tested positive, CBI conducted a rigorous internal audit of its administrative and laboratory processes to try and ascertain whether the test outcome was the result of inadvertent laboratory cross-contamination. This review process has now been completed.


      Statement by Dr. Robert B. Harris, President and CEO of CBI

      “In the past two years, CBI has tested more than 2,000 individual samples taken from the remote mail sorting facility at the Pentagon. In addition, since 2000 when its BSL3 lab came on-line, CBI has conducted laboratory experiments and analyses on more than 34,000 samples containing anthrax, DNA from anthrax, and other noxious biological agents. In all this time, there has never been one instance of a false-positive result due to laboratory contamination or due to any other factor. While contamination is always a possibility, CBI has in place and enforces rigorous operating procedures and quality assurance protocols focused on minimizing the likelihood of sample cross–contamination within its BSL3 laboratory.”

      In the last week, CBI’s quality assurance group has conducted an extensive review of our administrative and laboratory procedures and has re-examined our facility for the presence of viable environmental pathogens. None of these tests has come back positive. Among the findings of this review:

      • There is no evidence in the BSL3 for the presence of surface contamination or air-borne contamination.

      • At the time of the sample processing for the Pentagon, no other anthrax–related work was being done.

      • CBI has no on-going work which requires us to work with anything but the vegetative form of anthrax.

      • CBI has no on-going programs dealing with anthrax spores.

      • CBI’s strict protocols which prohibit analyzing test samples in the presence of a positive control sample were strictly adhered to.

      • Video records of the BSL3 lab on the day in question show that the testing was carried out per the operative protocols, that the required decontamination procedures of the workspace prior to working with the sample were followed, and that no gross deviations in standard procedures occurred.

      • The internal review process also recommended minor modifications to the procedures and protocols used for analysis of these test samples. These changes, which have already been implemented, can only serve to improve CBI’s overall process.


      “While contamination cannot ever be absolutely ruled out, there is no evidence which directly links the positive test outcome to surface-to-sample, sample-to-sample, or air-to-sample contamination. Unfortunately, the source of the positive sample may never be known with certainty. From CBI’s point of view, we did our jobs and faithfully reported the positive test result to our contractor. We have a legal and contractual obligation to report these results, regardless of the underlying reason a sample tests positive. In light of the outcome of our internal review, CBI stands behind the results it provided. After CBI reported its results to its contractor, CBI had no influence on any subsequent decisions. CBI will continue to fully cooperate with all appropriate authorities and will help in any way to further any on-going investigations.”…..&pdf=

      • pmorlan says:

        Although the source for the NYT story did not identify the lab I did find that a WaPo story did identify this lab.

        The events began last Thursday when one of four swab samples taken daily from sensor filters at the Pentagon delivery facility tested positive for anthrax at Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc. in Richmond, a Pentagon subcontractor. The finding was confirmed by a highly accurate polymerase chain reaction test and forwarded Friday to the prime contractor, said Robert B. Harris, president of the Richmond lab


        Military officials said that although Army scientists at Fort Detrick confirmed the initial positive finding, quality control problems at the lab probably spoiled the sample.

        “We stand by our results, and the work is ongoing,” said Harris, whose company has processed 2,000 samples from the Pentagon over two years. “To say the way the release was made was premature, unfortunate and unwarranted is an understatement.”

        A federal health official familiar with Pentagon operations said its lab practices vary from those of civilian agencies, complicating the interpretation of scientific data.…..768_2.html

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m not sure I buy that. Detrick scientists have reason to want to claim that there was no powdered anthrax in the facility, bc if there was it means they’re involved in potentially offensive work and can be shut down. The report that Ivins had the machine for drying antrhax explains this away, too.

  34. JimWhite says:

    Sorry to have missed this thread earlier. Two suggestions:
    I’m not so sure about calling the early mailings all “less lethal”. Stevens died of inhalation anthrax and the building was extensively contaminated, so at least that envelope, not recovered, was quite deadly.

    I don’t remember which article (maybe one of the LATimes articles), but it was reported that Ivins showed up with the Red Cross volunteers when the pond was drained. The FBI recognized him and sent him home.

  35. GregB says:

    Thus concludes this episode of Pin the Blame on the Donkey.

    Bradblog says that Ivins was a registered Democrat.

    Move along.


  36. orionATL says:

    three short questions:

    – what could have been ivin’s motive for doing this? not that anyone would know at this point, but one doesn’t just go to a lot of trouble to send out deadly spores just on a lark (not least because of personal risk).

    – with respect to duley and ivins, why were they even in contact?

    put differently, why was a very seriously mentally ill person placed in a group therapy session with others? this sounds like shrink malpractice.

    – does lt. col. zack retain any military connections – or did he in 2001? if so, what were they? i’m looking here for some connection between the anthrax scare and the bush admin’s psy ops plan to set us up to invade iraq.

    and a comment:

    – the release of sex stuff on ivins – secret mail box, bound female fixations – implies to me a serious effort by the doj/fbi to make ivins appear a really bad guy. in this country, just killing five people isn’t enough. but allegations of sexual perversion will be duly recorded and accepted by the media and the populace – ask karl rove about the effectiveness of this premier smear tactic.

    so the doj/fbi releases details of a dead man’s sex life – what class (what desperation).

  37. victoria2dc says:

    EW- I saw this at one of the links you provided. I didn’t check to see if it contains anything you don’t have, but I’m pasting it here just in case it might be helpful.…..9gov1.html

    Sept. 17 or 18, 2001: Five anthrax letters likely mailed from Trenton, N.J., and postmarked Sept. 8 arrive at news organizations in New York and Florida. Only the letters addressed to the New York Post and NBC News are recovered; the existence of the others is inferred from the pattern of infection.

    Oct 4: A photo editor at the National Enquirer in Florida is confirmed to have inhalation anthrax, the first known case in the U.S. since 1976.

    Oct. 5: The photo editor dies, the first of five fatalities in the anthrax attacks.

    Oct. 6 to Oct. 9: Two more anthrax letters are mailed from Trenton, postmarked Oct. 9.

    Oct. 15: Letter to former Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) is opened and tests positive for anthrax; the enclosed anthrax is described as a “fine, light tan powder.”

    Oct. 16 and 17: Senate and House offices are closed.

    Oct. 19: Tom Ridge, then director of the White House Office of Homeland Security, tells the media that anthrax spores found in the letters to the Enquirer, NBC News, and Daschle are “indistinguishable,” meaning they are from the same strain.

    Oct. 21 and 22: Two Washington, D.C., postal workers who handled anthrax letters die.

    Oct. 25: Ridge updates the scientific analysis of the anthrax samples, telling reporters that the anthrax from the Daschle letter was “highly concentrated” and “pure” and that a binding material was used. The Daschle spore clusters, he says, are smaller when compared with the anthrax found in the letter delivered to the New York Post. He describes the Post anthrax as coarser and less concentrated—”clumpy and rugged”—than the Daschle anthrax, which he says is “fine and floaty.” Still, he says, the material from both samples is the same Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax.

    Oct. 29: Maj. Gen. John S. Parker at a White House briefing says silica was found in the Daschle anthrax sample, and the anthrax spore concentration in the Daschle letter was 10 times that of the New York Post letter.

    Oct. 31: A New York woman dies of anthrax. Maj. Gen. Parker testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation & Federal Services about the anthrax found in the Daschle letter.

    Nov. 7: Ridge briefs the press and dismisses bentonite as an additive for the anthrax spores in the Daschle letter and says it is silicon. (Iraq supposedly used bentonite in weaponizing anthrax.)

    Nov. 16: FBI finds anthrax letter addressed to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.).

    Nov. 21: A Connecticut woman dies of anthax, the fifth and last person to die as a result of the anthrax mailings.

    Dec. 5: The Leahy letter is opened at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, a biodefense facility, at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md.

    Dec. 12: The Baltimore Sun reports that the anthrax spores used in the attacks match those produced in small amounts over the past 10 years by the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

    Dec. 16: DNA testing of the anthrax spores in the Leahy letter shows them to be the Ames strain. The Washington Post reports that the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters are identical to those produced at Dugway Proving Ground.

    Aug. 6, 2002: Then-attorney general John Ashcroft, on CBS’s “The Early Show,” calls Steven Hatfill “a person of interest” in the FBI investigation. (Hatfill has never been charged with the crime, and he is suing the Justice Department, the New York Times, and others.)

    August 2006: FBI scientist Douglas J. Beecher publishes a paper in Applied & Environmental Microbiology in which he strongly implies that the spores in the anthrax letters were not produced with additives and were not specially engineered (that is, weaponized).

  38. pajarito says:

    My highly tuned government BS meter is pegged at “Totally, Complete, Utter BS!!!!

    That is just past the “Holy Crap!” reading and it is a logarithmic scale.

  39. Neil says:

    In the pornography he purchased and had delivered to his PO Box, the women’s eyes were covered… were there’s no sense implicating them in this unholy crime of buying pornography ;-p I think this detail is about how he uses Po Box’s to create anonymity for himself.

  40. victoria2dc says:

    October 24, 2006: Grassley writes letter following up on reassignment of Lambert to Knoxville; Lisi and Montooth would have replaced Lambert

    I was surprised to learn all of the information in the Grassley/Gonzo letter linked here! It looks like the DOJ and the FBI had something to hide from Congressional investigations. Why didn’t we know that the DOJ cut off oversight? This is a significant issue… especially when we learned about Monica and the gang of churchies who had taken over the task of politicizing the DOJ. Does that mean they had infiltrated the FBI too? Lots of questions to be asked. Nancy, bring the friggin’ Congress back to work!

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m not totally ocnvinced that’s suspicious. Hatfill, in his suit, was using evidence from Congress to make his case, so I can imagine why DOJ wanted to stop briefing Congress.

  41. Neil says:

    it was FBI agents who told Jean Duley to seek a protective order against Ivins — the action that then created the record used by most media outlets to depict Ivins as a crazed psychopath.

    from Glezilla from The Fredrick News

    • wavpeac says:

      Well there we have it…if it’s true then she was used. And she was a perfect victim but for the fact that she has a credibility problem.

      No therapist I know of would use a p.o in that scenario.

      But it sure did create some public record.

  42. SparklestheIguana says:

    Ugh, there’s a new AP article that repeats the bullshit Princeton sorority-mailbox link.

    Q: Did Ivins travel to Princeton, N.J., where the anthrax letters are believed to have been mailed?

    A: Authorities cannot place Ivins in Princeton when the letters were mailed. And the only explanation for why he’d make the seven-hour round trip is bizarre. Authorities say Ivins was obsessed with the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, dating back to his own college days. The Princeton mailbox is not far from the school’s sorority office and authorities say Ivins had made unexpected visits to the sorority at other schools.…..lance.html

  43. yonodeler says:

    I suppose that, as usual, we’ll never hear anything about evidence from telephonic and Internet surveillance and records. Unless the anthrax attacks perpetrator(s) and anyone/everyone covering-up were both highly knowledgeable and unfailingly meticulous in protecting themselves when using phones and computers, there must be significant evidence in data kept by at least one IC (Intelligence Community) agency. That evidence if there is such, plus evidence from on-site surveillance recordings and entry-exit data, should have greatly narrowed the field of suspects. But we’re being expected, by those who want a sell a neat solution, to forget that the surveillance we think about as affecting ourselves somehow can pass over government employees with sensitive missions. Even in late 2001 there were surveillance capabilities in place that should have picked up significant details of activity. And it is possible that some unencrypted electronic communications by knowledgeable persons has occurred between then and now.

  44. orionATL says:

    sparkles @165

    just to add to your comment.

    one of the details i recall from the doj/fbi’s let’s-try-hatfield-in-the-press anthrax “investigation” was that one of the fake addresses used in letters mailed from new jersey was that of a fake street name identical to a subdivision in either rhodesia or south africa, in which hatfill had lived at one time.

    just the kind of detail, i thought to myself at the time, that would implicate hatfill. shows what i knew.

    now, 3-4 years later, we have the same story-structure, but the fake address this time “implicates” ivins.

    your response this time around is appropriately skeptical.

    • Nell says:

      In fairness, the link of ‘Greendale’ was not made by the FBI or DoJ, but by Don Foster in the December 2003 Vanity Fair article ‘The Message in the Anthrax’, in reaction to what appeared to be the FBI’s having come to a halt in their investigation. Foster consulted early in the case, then was not used after 2001.

      There were two sets of people pointing to Hatfill: Rosenberg, Foster, Kristof and media people and members of Congress who interviewed and gave a platform to their thinking on the case (late 2001-summer of 2002), and the FBI itself. Neither set covered themselves in glory, but the FBI’s behavior was far more intrusive and involved DoJ leaks to press. Rosenberg was a powerful irritant, but was at least on the record with everything she had to say.

      Hatfill sued some of these parties, with varying results: Vanity Fair and Reader’s Digest settled quietly, not clear that Hatfill won much of anything, publications issued statement denying they were labeling him a suspect. Govt settled by awarding him $5.8 million. Only case still open is against Kristof and NYTimes, whose dismissal was upheld on appeal this past July 15; it’s possible Hatfill’s lawyer will try to get that heard in the Supreme Court, but not particularly likely that it will be.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh, I am not familiar with the particulars against Kristoff/NYT, but the govt settlement and clearing of Hatfill may, possibly, change the ground a little.

        • Nell says:

          Didn’t seem to affect the appeals court, which ruled almost a month after the gov’t settlement with Hatfill.

          But, if I’m remembering correctly, the issues in the NYT case are much narrower, having to do with libel law and whether Hatfill was a ‘public person’ by the time Kristof first wrote about him in May 2002.

          While we’re looking for where the pressure on the FBI came from, I think we have to include Sen. Leahy. I’m not holding him responsible for the ways the FBI has behaved, but it’s difficult to read the exchange with Mukasey and not characterize it as pressure.

          • Hmmm says:

            The hammer coming down on Ivins scant hours after the SJC hearing really does jump out like a sore thumb, doesn’t it? Does anybody have exact times of day for the two July 10 events?

  45. Artep says:

    There’s no question the FBI has botched this case. To quote Ivins colleague, Dr. Byrne:
    “If they had real evidence on him, why did they not just arrest him?”

    This kind of a clusterfuck is the result of pressure applied from above. I believe the agents were told to wrap up the case. Those in charge didn’t care how it was done, they just wanted it done. To quote Byrne again:
    “It was not an interview. It was a frank attempt at intimidation.”

    My questions are: Who applied the pressure and why?

    • lllphd says:

      this is a question i too want answered. she has stated she knew him six months, don’t know if that was all as his therapist, and that she saw him once a week. also don’t know if she was actually ‘appointed,’ as in by a court, or if she was referred by his GP or perhaps the mysterious dr. irwin, the psychiatrist. whose role and timing in this whole picture remain too murky, and possibly not even real (he is real, but the only person including his name with ivins is duley).

      the website says the comprehensive counseling associates offer group therapy (that’s it! with an MD, allan levy, in charge; one of those setups) for a host of complaints, including marital and drug/etoh counseling. you just gotta wonder what has been going on in that place that they would hire this lunatic, and then keep her on past her two dui incidents.

      by the by, marcy, dui and dwi i believe are equivalent, just used in different geographies. down south, we said dwi – driving while intoxicated – and in new englad we say dui – driving under the influence. i don’t believe the two acronyms represent any gradient in charges.

  46. bell says:

    fbi probably wanted to see if ivins would crack… looks like they succeeded, but with the wrong result..

  47. leveymg says:


    Can’t go into the details now, but Ivins was involved in anthrax vaccine development for three companies, Bioport/Emergent, Coley, and VaxGen. There seems to have been a recent struggle between two of them, BioPort/Emergent and VexGen, for a large part of $5.6 nillion in federal biodefense contracts. The third company, Coley, licensed its vaccine additive to VaxGen in March, 2007. Vaxgen lost its federal contract in 2007, and in May 2008 was bought out by Emergent.

    That leaves BioPort/Emergent the sole approved provider of anthrax vaccine. There are some historical details about BioPort that I won’t go into here that I’m sure you’re aware of.

    Ivins worked on the BioPort vaccine after it manifested serious, widespread side-effects in the first Iraq War. That older vaccine was first developed in the 1950s, and was used on coalition troops in 1991 and is blaimed for Gulf War Syndrome. That vaccine is reportedly based on the Ames strain. Its production was suspended in the 1990s, but resumed in 2002-03, most recently 6 million doses were produced in 2006.

    Ivins also had a role in upgrading a “vaccine additive” for a second company, Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Ivins was listed as one of two inventors of a biodefense-related product made by Coley that has won federal sponsorship. According to their still-pending application for a U.S. patent, the inventors hoped the additive would bolster certain vaccines’ capacity to prevent infections “from bioterrorism agents.”

    From December 2002 to December 2003, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency committed $12 million for additional testing of the experimental additive. That research money was designated for Coley Pharmaceutical Group, which was developing the additive. The company was acquired last fall by Pfizer Corp.

    A newer vaccine was developed with Ivin’s help by VaxGen. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded VaxGen an $877 million contract in 2004 to produce 75 million doses of its second-generation anthrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. But HHS canceled the contract in December 2006, after problems with the vaccine’s stability caused the company to miss a deadline for starting a clinical trial.

    VaxGen’s contract was the first awarded under Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program to procure medical defenses against the effects of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.

    In March 2008, after the company’ stock crashed and burned, VaxGen sold its anthrax vaccine process to Emergent for a bargain price of $12 million. A year earlier, Emergent bought out Coley’s additive, VaxImmune vaccine adjuvant compound, making Emergent the sole potential competitor for BioPort, that still produces the only available anthrax vaccine.

    Only one thing, Emergent is BioPort.

    And, yes, did I tell you that BioPort/Emergent’s investors included the Carlyle Group and the bin Laden family? Should we be surprised that they ended up with an effective monopoly on anthrax vaccine?

    There’s an important backstory here for anyone who wants to flesh it out.

  48. SparklestheIguana says:


    Could The Washington Post’s subservient, uncritical dissemination of the FBI’s leak — Ivins had a leophilizer, which he had no reason to have! “The device was not commonly used by researchers at the Army’s sprawling biodefense complex at Fort Detrick, Md” — have been any shoddier? Do these “journalists” ever do anything other than go to Government sources, faithfully write down what they say, and then publish it in their articles without a single moment of thought or investigation? That’s a rhetorical question.

  49. orionATL says:

    by the way, bmaz,

    am i right in recalling that you had a post some months ago on “the hounds of hatfield”, recounting details of those “bloodhounds” whose responses seem to point to hatfield?

    was this the handiwork of the fbi?

    • PetePierce says:

      Yo hound doggies!

      You can clone ‘em for $50,000 in Japan. They are worthless in a court of law and it is stupid to try to rely on them. They should be used to pet, cuddle, and be jealous of their big ears. One of the many stupid things DOJ and government do is to try to proffer a gamut of entirely unscientific modalities including blood hounds alerting. Much of the time when they do they make the fools of themselves that they intrinsically are.

      I love an excuse to bring up Judge Godbold and his law clerk’s opinion after use of a bloodhound named Clyde in South Georgia which kicked to the curb the feds stupid use of trying to proffer evidence of a dead bloodhound in the 5th Circuit a couple years before it divided off into the 5th and Eleventh because the deense couldn’t exercise their Sixth Amendment rights to cross examine. And this is not an infrequently used tool by a law clerk for a reversal but when it works as an appellate issue, the results are stunning.

      UNITED STATES V ROZEN 600 F. 2d 494 (1979) Fifth Circuit

      A Series of Reversals When Government tries to Use Doggies Other than to pet

  50. joanneleon says:

    November, 2006: Democrats won elections that gave them control of both the House and the Senate. As of January, 2007, they would gain control of all the committees and have subpoena power. Cover ups would be much more difficult.

  51. chrisc says:

    Artep, I was just musing over shy her probation started before her plea.
    I was guessing that her probation might need to be over by a certain time, but as others have pointed out that probably was not the reason.

  52. joanneleon says:

    From Sen. Feingold’s website:…..riot2.html

    October 3, 2001 – Senator Feingold, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, holds the sole hearing on the anti-terrorism legislation proposed by the Department of Justice, which would later become known as the USA Patriot Act.

    October 9, 2001 – Senator Feingold objects to a unanimous consent request in the Senate that would have limited floor debate and prohibited amendments to the Patriot Act. Feingold insists on the right to offer amendments.


    From Wikipedia:

    On October 15, 2001, several suites of this building became contaminated by the release of anthrax powder from an envelope mailed to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in the 2001 anthrax attacks. The building was closed October 17, 2001, displacing hundreds of Senate staff. The building was decontaminated using chlorine gas in December 2001,[1] and the building reopened January 23, 2002.[2]

    December 2006

    U.S. Cancels Anthrax Vaccine Contract…..006/600337

    The U.S. government on Tuesday cancelled an $877 million contract with California-based VaxGen Inc. for a new anthrax vaccine.

    The cancellation came after VaxGen missed an important deadline to start human tests of the vaccine, the Associated Press reported. That failure put VaxGen in default of its contract with the federal government, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The cancellation isn’t just bad news for VaxGen. It also means that the U.S. government now has no defined plan to find a next-generation anthrax vaccine, the AP reported.

    The VaxGen vaccine was supposed to be a vital part of the federal government’s $5.6 billion Project BioShield, a program to create drug stockpiles in case of a bioterror attack.

    The current anthrax vaccine requires six shots over 18 months. The VaxGen vaccine was supposed to require no more than three shots, the AP reported.

    December 2006…..01689.html
    The cancellation means the government will continue to depend on a controversial anthrax vaccine, used by the military and made by Emergent BioSolutions of Gaithersburg, years longer than expected. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the agency remains committed to developing a next-generation anthrax vaccine but has not decided whether to hold another competition.

    “We are moving as aggressively and quickly as we can to reach that goal,” said Bill Hall, a department spokesman.

    VaxGen was picked for the project in 2004 despite having never successfully produced a drug. It was known for a failed attempt at an AIDS vaccine, and the company has had accounting and management problems, which caused it be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market.

  53. antibanana says:

    I have a hard time believing that the primary motive behind the anthrax attacks was money. I don’t believe it with respect to either Ivins or the vaccine makers.

    What’s more likely is that whoever was behind the attacks made sure that certain people and organizations benefitted financially as well–similar to those who profited from 911 as a result of certain well-placed trades.

    On the financial side, it may make sense to look for signs of foreknowledge. Significant changes in ownership might be a clue. So might relatively recent investments in businesses involved in clean-up, mail screening etc.

    Just my 2 cents.

  54. joanneleon says:

    From Chemical and Engineering News, Dec. 4, 2006…..9gov1.html

    Since finding an unopened anthrax letter addressed to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) in late 2001 and the letter’s dramatic handover to scientists at Fort Detrick in Maryland, the FBI has clamped down on information on the probe. The embargo has been so tight that a former top military scientist who now works for a government contractor tells C&EN that he was consulted before the Leahy letter, but afterward, he could get no updates on progress being made even from friends in the FBI.

    Though massive resources have been devoted to solving the case, many FBI critics attribute FBI’s silence to the fact that the probe initially was misdirected and is now stalled.

    Inexplicably, that silence was broken this August. Then, Douglas J. Beecher, a microbiologist in the FBI’s hazardous materials response unit, published a paper in Applied & Environmental Microbiology, a well-respected but not well-known journal. It took the media a month to publish accounts of Beecher’s article, which they generally interpreted as indicating that the FBI initially had misunderstood the nature of the anthrax used in the attacks.

    After reading those news accounts, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote the FBI, requesting that it brief the committee on the status of the investigation. Assistant FBI Director Eleni P. Kalisch summarily rejected Holt’s request.

    Kalisch said that briefing the intelligence committee on a criminal investigation would be inappropriate. She also said the FBI and the Justice Department had decided long ago to stop briefing members of Congress after sensitive, classified information found its way into media accounts citing congressional sources. A Holt spokesman told C&EN the intelligence committee received “three limited briefings in 2002 and 2003, and no committee member has ever been implicated in leaks.”

    Angered by the FBI’s refusal to brief Congress, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), in late October, blasted the FBI’s investigation for its “dead-ends” and “lack of progress.” In a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Grassley listed a litany of questions he wanted the department and the FBI to answer. He is still awaiting answers.

    Note that Rush Holt is a scientist, a PhD physicist, and is married to a physician who is a charity director at the University Medical Center at Princeton. Both have extensive ties and many contacts at Princeton University.

  55. sailmaker says:

    Leveymg at DKos has an interesting diary regarding anthrax, a backstory on who owns whom in the anthrax vaccine world/monopoly. You won’t be too surprised that those who stood to benefit from an anthrax outbreak. Not that they necessarily did the distribution deed – that IMO, was someone who didn’t know weaponized anthrax from tooth powder.

  56. ericbrewer says:

    October 28, 2001: ABC News cites Ft. Detrick scientists with bentonite claim

    Not quite correct. ABC News cited “well-placed” sources, which does not necessarily mean, and probably does not mean, Ft. Detrick scientists. Greenwald makes the same, in my opinion unjustified, leap.

    • Nell says:

      The phrasing in the timeline should be modified to reflect what is known, until ABC is willing to own up. That Ivins or anyone else then or formerly at Ft. Detrick was a source for the ABC bentonite story is a theory.

      October 28, 2001: ABC News cites “four well-placed government officials” with bentonite claim

      I agree with ericbrewer also that it’s an unjustified leap, on the basis of an unauthenticated email from Brian Ross to an unnamed reader of Glenn’s, to say even today that “ABC news cites Ft. Detrick scientists” — much less to convey what was known at the time, which is the convention in a timeline.

      “ABC News” hasn’t cited anything beyond the original story.
      We’re not absolutely sure that Brian Ross has cited anything beyond what the story says until he authenticates the email.
      Even if the Ross email is genuine (likely), “current and former government scientists” definitely does not equal “Ft. Detrick scientists”.

      G. Greenwald:

      Relating to ABC, a reader exchanged emails with Brian Ross this weekend, and Ross wrote this (the email was sent from Ross’ ABC address; yesterday, I emailed both him and ABC’s Jeffrey Schneider to request confirmation of its authenticity, and they didn’t reply):

      As we reported more than six years ago our information came from current and former government scientists. The report was discointed [sic] and denied by the White House which we reported. I believe now the scientists got it wrong although they insisted they were correct long after.

      Actually, this is the first time, to my knowledge, that Ross has ever acknowledged that his sources for the bentonite story were “current and former government scientists.”

  57. kirkaracha says:

    November 3, 2001: President Bush calls the anthrax attacks “a second wave of terrorist attacks upon our country.”

    Four Americans have died as a result of these acts of terrorism…The Postal Service and the FBI have offered a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and the conviction of the anthrax terrorists…We do not yet know who sent the anthrax — whether it was the same terrorists who committed the attacks on September the 11th, or whether it was the — other international or domestic terrorists. We do know that anyone who would try to infect other people with anthrax is guilty of an act of terror…I’m proud of our citizens’ calm and reasoned response to this ongoing terrorist attack.

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

    I’d be shocked, shocked if the WaPo buried this lede:

    Shortly before she sought a “peace order” against Ivins, Duley had completed 90 days of home detention after a drunken-driving arrest in December, and she has acknowledged drug use in her past.

    In a 1999 interview with The Washington Post, Duley described her background as a motorcycle gang member and a drug user. “Heroin. Cocaine. PCP,” said Duley, who then used the name Jean Wittman. “You name it, I did it.”

    Gee. Wonder if her buddies in the motorcycle gang just let Jean bogart her heroin stash, or if she ever shared a dose or two?

    And I wonder what the Federal statute of limitations is for “sharing”? Is that like “distribution”?

    Oh well: I’m sure she was never around anyone who trafficked.

    Gee. Wonder the statute of limitations for “distribution” is?

    Wonder if Jean first ran into criminal trouble when she was using opiates? Or cocaine? Or PCP? Or other controlled “you name it”?

    Naah. Feds and local law enforcement never make opiate abusers into long term snitches — do they?

    Bonus wonder: what criminal charges show up (or were sealed) for Jean Wittman? Any drug diversion(s)?

    Naah — the WaPopos would have already checked that out, right?

    I’d be shocked, shocked if they hadn’t.

    • Hmmm says:

      There will be 3 kinds of briefings, in order: to the victims’ families, to Congresscritters, and to the media.

      FBI Assistant Director John Miller and Brian Roehrkasse, chief spokesman for the Justice Department, would not comment on the briefing plans or what kind of evidence authorities would present.

      But both of them said that much of the media coverage since Ivins’ death had been overly speculative and, at times, misinformed.

      “What we have seen over the past few days has been a mix of improper disclosures of partial information mixed with inaccurate information and then drawn into unfounded conclusions,” Roehrkasse said. “None of that serves the victims, their families or the public.”

      He did not specify which reports were inaccurate or misleading.

      Much of the evidence that the FBI believes ties Ivins to the mailings is scientific, including advanced DNA fingerprinting techniques the FBI helped develop that matched unique sections of genetic code from Ivins’ lab to the anthrax spores inhaled by the victims at a Florida tabloid newspaper, two TV networks and elsewhere in the fall of 2001.

      “That will play prominently,” a second federal law enforcement official said of the DNA evidence. That official said the evidence does not put the anthrax directly in Ivins’ hands but traces it to a small circle of people with access to the same lab; he said other investigative information connects Ivins to the case even more strongly.

      “Most people would find it compelling. That is the best word to describe it,” said the second law enforcement official. Asked if the information would have been enough to convict Ivins, the official said: “It’s hard to say.”

      Well, “most people” can’t find Iraq on a map, so not a particularly high bar there.

  59. Hmmm says:

    WSJ story here.

    NYT Lichtblau story here.

    But Dr. Ivins’s lawyer has asserted his innocence, and a number of colleagues at Fort Detrick have defended him, saying that his recent mental state and his suicide were the result of many months of near-constant surveillance and scrutiny by the F.B.I., not a reflection of his guilt.

    One Congressional official briefed on the case said he was not persuaded that the F.B.I. had made a credible case in singling out Dr. Ivins in the group of people at Fort Detrick who had access to anthrax samples linked to the 2001 attacks.

    The F.B.I. may be able to point to odd behavior on the part of Dr. Ivins, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is under seal. But he said the attention the bureau focused on Dr. Ivins was reminiscent of a past misstep: “It looks like what they did to Hatfill. Ivins was the weirdest one.”

  60. Hmmm says:

    A third FN-P piece, opinion this time:

    Still, too much of this story stinks like three-day-old fish left on a heap of garbage in August to ever go away for good, but one fact is screamingly clear: No amount of protocols, government assurances, and security at bioterrorism laboratories, even at the high and mighty USAMRIID at Fort Detrick, can ensure that the public is safe from exposure to deadly germs.

    Lax security was reported at USAMRIID as far back as 1991, according to internal U.S. Army reports. Scientists were working overtime, unauthorized, on pet projects that had been canceled. Twenty-seven samples of virulent pathogens such as anthrax, ebola virus, hantavirus and simian AIDS went missing and only one or two were ever recovered.

    Scientists confirmed they were free to leave the base with anything they desired because their supervisors trusted them to act in “good faith.”

    Oh good gravy.

  61. Artep says:

    I think it’s important to remember what Dennis Kucinich told us in 2002

    “Let us pray that our nation’s leaders will not be overcome with fear. Because today there is great fear in our great Capitol. And this must be understood before we can ask about the shortcomings of Congress in the current environment. The great fear began when we had to evacuate the Capitol on September 11. It continued when we had to leave the Capitol again when a bomb scare occurred as members were pressing the CIA during a secret briefing. It continued when we abandoned Washington when anthrax, possibly from a government lab, arrived in the mail. It continued when the Attorney General declared a nationwide terror alert and then the Administration brought the destructive Patriot Bill to the floor of the House. It continued in the release of the Bin Laden tapes at the same time the President was announcing the withdrawal from the ABM treaty. It remains present in the cordoning off of the Capitol. It is present in the camouflaged armed national guardsmen who greet members of Congress each day we enter the Capitol campus. It is present in the labyrinth of concrete barriers through which we must pass each time we go to vote. The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President.”

    These people are scared for their lives. They face a monster with many heads and if you succeed in removing one, you still face a monster. Only now it’s wounded and more dangerous.

  62. Artep says:

    More musings: Scooter Libby’s prose

    You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover–Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work–and life.

    Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program

    Is he making a series of predictions, or is he just laying out their plans?

  63. Boston1775 says:

    I think I would add this article which appeared in The Frederick News
    Date: June 29, 2008 (DOJ settles with Hatfill June 27th.)


    Under her picture is this caption:
    Jean Duly, BSW, CSC-AD, displays a bottle of the addiction treatment drug Suboxone at Comprehensive Counseling Associates.

    Here are a few quotes from this article:

    Forty people died of drug overdoses in Frederick County in 2005 and 2006, and just four were deemed intentional suicides, according to autopsy reports reviewed by The Frederick News-Post at the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

    The number of accidental drug overdose deaths in the United States rose from 11,155 in 1999 to 22,400 in 2005, according to Leonard J. Paulozzi of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who testified to Congress about the growing problem this spring.

    And some of the main culprits may be in your own medicine cabinet..

    Narcotic painkillers contributed to 25 of the deaths of Frederick County residents who died in 2005 and 2006.

    Since the number of people dying of prescription drug overdoses is growing, their demographics are changing as well. Men are still more likely to die from drug overdoses than women, but now people in their 40s are more likely than those in their 20s or 30s to die of an overdose, Paulozzi said. Whites are now more likely to die from overdoses than blacks, and more overdoses are occurring in rural counties than in cities.
    Twenty-seven of the Frederick County residents who died of overdoses in 2005 and 2006 were men, 33 were white, and 25 were older than 35.

    Paulozzi testified that the CDC’s statistics “probably underestimate the present magnitude of the problem.”

    Eleven of the overdoses in 2005 and 2006 in Frederick County involved alcohol, either as the main cause or a contributing factor.


    I included the information about alcohol because I have read an article depicting a friend of Ivins saying that he had committed himself to helping his friend with his addiction to alcohol. I believe it states that Ivins was drinking increasing amounts of vodka. If someone else hasn’t produced the article yet, I will find it and bring it over.

    This article foreshadows the events and presents interesting statistics.

  64. Boston1775 says:

    I’d like to say, after poking fun at Ms. Duly’s misspelling the word therapist, that I find the manipulation of vulnerable people disgusting. If I took the time, I might find Ms. Duly to be an admirable person. Her personal story may be one of overcoming times of great personal struggles. She may have educated herself to help those like herself who lost years of their lives to addiction.

    I don’t know.

    But as a recent graduate she found herself counseling and running a group which included Bruce Ivins. I doubt she sought this out for herself.

    I very much want to understand who assigned this to her and how the FBI became involved with her. How did she come into the possession of those facts stated in the Peace Order?

  65. orionATL says:

    pete pierce @212

    some screen writer has GOT to make this into a scene:

    from u.s. v. rosen

    […If nothing else can be salvaged from this case, testimony concerning Clyde deserves to be perpetuated. After the dog handler described Clyde’s experience and skill this ensued:

    MR. MC ABEE (prosecutor): Your Honor, at this time, I would like to submit to the Court that the testimony concerning Clyde, the bloodhound, entitles him to be considered as an expert in this case. And that the testimony of Mr. Powell concerning Clyde will be used in that light.

    MR. ENTIN (defense counsel): Your Honor, I would have to object. I think I ought to have the opportunity to confront and cross examine Clyde.


    MR. ENTIN: Your Honor, I think that the witness can testify as to what Clyde did, as to making him an expert in terms of putting him into the mind of an animal, I don’t think we can do that. I think he can testify that he took the dog and the dog led him somewhere, but as to anything else, I really don’t think that that makes him an expert.

    THE COURT: The dog or the man?

    MR. ENTIN: The dog was an expert, but the man was only carrying his leash. It’s an unusual situation.

    THE COURT: Well, I think if you give a full background of the dog’s training and the dog’s ability to smell . . .

    MR. MC ABEE: . . . It has happened in the state of Georgia on several occasions where a bloodhound such as Clyde have (sic) been qualified in State Court, sir.

    MR. ENTIN: Your Honor, I’m not saying we can’t qualify the dog, we can’t qualify the witness.

    MR. MC ABEE: Well, in this particular instance, Your Honor, it’s unlikely, Clyde has since died, I believe, so we don’t have Clyde to bring in before the Court.

    THE COURT: I’ll let him testify.

    MR. ENTIN: What about the application of the dead man’s rule?

    THE COURT: We don’t have communication between a dead dog so I’m going to let it in.

    Though successful in this appeal, counsel for appellant undoubtedly will always regret that in this colloquy, now enshrined in the official reports, he overlooked the confrontation clause of the Constitution.

    The conviction is REVERSED with directions to enter a judgment of acquittal…]

    – confront and cross-examine a blood hound

    – confront and cross examine a dead blood hound (seance leader with special training required; i bet the fbi knows just where to find such an expert witness.)

  66. Nell says:

    I have to take issue with this timeline entry also:

    October 29, 2001: General John Parker mis-reports that silica found in anthrax sample

    Gen. Parker did not misreport that, and the Chemical and Engineering News article doesn’t say he did. Silica was found in the anthrax sample.

    What was misreported, by Ridge on Oct. 25th (and by named and unnamed sources in the press around that time), was that the spores were coated with silica, and/or that the spores were “weaponized” in the sense of having been coated with any additive to prevent clumping and encourage aerosolization.

    Gen. Parker did not say or imply that. As he’s the most definitive debunker of the bentonite claim, and one of the most careful government spokespeople at the time, I’d hate to see him immortalized in the timeline as having led anyone astray.

    See my comment here for an excerpt of his statement on the 29th and a link to the transcript.

  67. Nell says:

    No, I’m wrong. Gen. Parker passed on the AFIP’s incorrect report that silica was found in the sample (though he never said or tried to give the impression that it was there as a coating or weaponization substance). What was found in the sample was silicon, and the C&E News piece does correct that. Silica is silicon dioxide. Silicon may be a natural part of the spore coat of Bacillus anthracis spore coat; it is in the related B. cereus.

  68. Nell says:

    Did anyone see Judith Miller’s hoax anthrax letter but her? That is, did it get turned in to the FBI, or…?

    I’m not finding any source online that confirms her getting the letter, though I seem to remember reading a few years ago the recollection of someone else who was at the Times then, recounting that she ran around telling people about it.

  69. dydymus says:

    I always thought that the October 5th death of Bob Stevens of the Sun and the ensuing 24/7 all anthrax all the time coverage (I remember my city paper containing nothing but bio terror weapons fearmongering on all 12 pages for several days) was to get people into a tizzy so that the bombing of Afghanistan could begin, which it did 2 days later on October 7.

    Please put that in your timeline, and think on it. The anthrax scare was the pretext and context for the invasion of country number one Afghanistan, which was just a pretext to get to Iraq number 2, and finally to Iran number 3, which they are now working on.