DOJ Wants to Have Its Culprit and Withhold Some Materials, Too

News reports say something is going to happen today with the anthrax case. But it’s not sure what. NPR reports that DOJ is going to declared its case solved–even while it doesn’t close the case.

Officials close to the anthrax investigation have told NPR that the FBI will declare the case of the 2001 anthrax letters solved Wednesday, but that the case will remain open so agents can follow up on some recent leads.

FBI Director Robert Mueller is expected to brief victims of the attacks, which killed five people and sickened 15, Wednesday morning. The bureau is expected to have a press conference Wednesday as well, though officials have yet to formally announce it.

Forgive me for my skepticism. But when even the traditional media is catching up to Glenn in discovering the circumstantial nature of the case against Ivins, I find this "solved but not really" status really dubious. Here’s the AP on the three gaping holes that at least appear to remain in the government’s case:

The key to the investigation was an advanced DNA analysis that matched the anthrax that killed five people to a specific batch controlled by Ivins. It is unclear, however, how the FBI eliminated as suspects others in the lab who had access to the anthrax.

And then there’s the question of motive. Authorities believe the attacks may have been a twisted effort to test a cure for the toxin. Ivins complained of the limitations of animal testing and shared in a patent for an anthrax vaccine. But for now, it’s not clear what, if any, evidence bolsters that theory.

Investigators also can’t place Ivins in Princeton, N.J., when the letters were mailed from a mailbox there. And the only explanation for why the married father of two might have made the seven-hour round trip is bizarre.

No motive, no way to place Ivins at the scene of the crime, and no apparent way to eliminate the other people (Fox cited four suspects in March based on an email the FBI also has) who could have committed the crime. So, at least from what we’ve seen, just circumstantial evidence and a breakdown after badgering from the FBI. I guess the way we solve crimes in this country is to confront people in shopping malls to see if the person in question commits suicide as a result.

Now, NPR says DOJ may do a document dump, as soon as today.

The Justice Department is expected to ask a federal judge to unseal most of the case documents so they can explain why they think Ivins is their man.

But of course, since they aren’t closing the investigation, the documents will be selective, meaning we still don’t get to assess the larger case.

I understand DOJ’s desire to bring closure to this issue, and it may be that Ivins really was the terrorist and really did act alone. But this prosecution by press conference still feels really fishy.

  1. WilliamOckham says:

    OT: I should place this comment on the last thread, but here goes.

    Did you notice that the timeframe for the alleged forgery matches up with the missing OVP email timeframe (September 2003)? Probably just a coincidence, right?

  2. plunger says:

    The “Foreign Terror Attack” that wasn’t.
    The “Iraqi Anthrax” that wasn’t.
    The Sorority House that doesn’t exist.
    The Autopsy that didn’t happen.
    The “Therapist” that wasn’t one.
    The “Political Motive” that does not exist.
    The “Suicide Note” that doesn’t exist.


    Al Qaeda does not exist.
    Osama Bin Laden does not exist.
    There were NO hijackers on 9/11.
    There were NO cell phone calls from planes on 9/11.
    No commercial “plane” hit the Pentagon.

    Cheney + Rumsfeld = 9/11 + Anthrax.

    All the same attack

    Here’s the FBI Agent charged with covering up BOTH attacks

    Here’s where the co-conspirators trained to implement their plan

  3. behindthefall says:

    It strikes me that the DNA evidence is being used as though it were the same as fingerprinting or paternity determination. But that’s actually a jump. Do we know that much about the anthrax genetics? Spores are weird, too; they sit around for decades, their genetics unchanging, while their location may go all over the map. If there are a low number of strains out there, then certain combinations could appear in many different places. I have thought about this for about 30 seconds, but off the top of my head, I would not buy the science without a lot more examination.

    The rest of the case is hard to distinguish from a frame.

  4. Nell says:

    If the FBI or DoJ had any hand in getting Duley to seek the peace order, or knew she was doing it and didn’t stop her, then the Ivins family needs to sue them — and twice what Hatfill got wouldn’t be enough.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If I were Dr. Ivins’ family, when the dust settles and more essential facts have emerged, I would scour Metro DC for the best lawyer they can find who’s willing to sue the FBI, Duley and her practice. Probably hard to find in the same lawyer. Duley seems vulnerable, as does the practice that employed her (one reason everyone but Duley is keeping mum). This isn’t about vengeance or greed. It’s about the one thing Washington abhors, and it’s not illicit sex, greed or public corruption. It’s about allocating liability for negligent, reckless or willful behavior that’s caused great harm.

      One can also hope the new Attorney General would investigate this investigation. But Obama’s surrogates, especially Cass Sunstein, are already selling his followers on the “we shall overcome” only those hurdles that lie ahead. Correcting past wrongs? Not so much.

      • brendanx says:

        when the dust settles and more essential facts have emerged, I would scour Metro DC

        Felicitous phrasing.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Spore me the puns, please.

          No slight intended to any of the weighty interests involved in this mess. Only that like Insp. Morse reciting group nouns, a “murder” of ravens, a gaggle of geese, a “body” of pathologists, humor is sometimes required to get through the day’s issues.

    • bmaz says:

      Nell I am almost sure that the FBi spoon fed Duley much of what appeared to be her most fearful and damning information

      • lllphd says:

        i agree; see 32

        and i cannot emphasize enough that the case against ivins on his emotional instability is worth NOTHING unless they can show his instability also emerged in fall 01, and not just the past few months when the fbi was stalking and harassing him.

  5. brendanx says:

    Today’s Post stuff is juicy, though it starts with the tendentious assertions of an unnamed scientists:

    Late last fall, Bruce E. Ivins was drinking a liter of vodka some nights, taking large doses of sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs, and typing out rambling e-mails into the early morning hours, according to a fellow scientist who helped him through this period.

    Two named sources, on the other hand, describe Ivins as a teetotaler:

    Byrne said he remembers offering Ivins a beer one night several years ago when Ivins made a rare appearance at a party at Bushwaller’s, an Irish pub in the heart of Frederick where their crowd of scientists sometimes gathered. “He declined,” Byrne recalled. “He said he had a family history of alcoholism.” Gerry Andrews, who worked with Ivins at Fort Detrick for nine years and was the bacteriology division’s chief from 2000 to 2003, said that it was rare for Ivins to join the other researchers after work for beer and that Ivins drank so little he was kidded about being a teetotaler.

    And it includes more about Duley, like

    “Heroin. Cocaine. PCP,” said Duley, who then used the name Jean Wittman. “You name it, I did it.”

    and the fact that Duley started working with Ivins “about six months ago” (but it can’t be pinned down), and that Ivins suspected her of cooperating with the FBI, which she was.

    It includes more on how Ivins was harrassed, and puts his episode of unconsciousness in this context:

    According to the scientist (Andrews), who said he spent about 80 hours with Ivins to help him recover from his addiction, the FBI agents pressured Ivins’s children, and they were pressuring Ivins in public places. One day in March, when Ivins was at a Frederick mall with his wife and son, the agents confronted the researcher and said, “You killed a bunch of people.” Then they turned to his wife and said, “Do you know he killed people?” according to the scientist. The same week, Ivins angrily told a former colleague that he suspected his therapist was cooperating with the FBI. On March 19, police were called to Ivins’s home and found him unconscious.

    According to court records, Ivins saw the mysterious Irwin, though no date is established. Neither Irwin nor Duley have returned phone calls.

    • chrisc says:

      WaPo article says Jean Duley was on “home detention”

      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.

      Did she also work as a therapist, as Ivin’d therapist during her home detention? WaPo says that the it is still “unclear” when Ivins first began to see Duley.

      According to a court filing last month, Duley said she had known Ivins for six months. Another source said Ivins began to see her after he left Suburban Hospital.

      Ivins was in Suburban in April/May.

      On June 29, the Frederick News Post ran a story with a picture of Jean Duley (offering a bottle of drugs) and quoted her and identified her as “program director” at Comprehensive Counseling Associates.

      So Duley is on “home detention” for a drug/alcohol related offense, but she is working as program director at a clinic where she hands out drugs and counsels addicts. (Actually the article doesn’t say she handed out the drugs, it just shows a pic of her offering the bottle of drugs. )

      I wonder if she gave drugs to Ivins.

      • brendanx says:

        I wonder if she gave drugs to Ivins

        That was always one of my first questions and I don’t think the answer, “no, she was just a theripist” is enough. She certainly did a lot of drugs!. They also won’t pin down when she started with him, so her involvement in the episode of unconsciousness is still an open question.

        That article induces vertigo, frankly, for the amount of inconsistencies it contains and crazy alleyways that it opens up. I’m glad more capacious minds than mind are on the job.

  6. wavpeac says:

    So was the vaccine supposed to be something given in advance that innoculates against anthrax, or was it designed to be given after an anthrax attack and after exposure? (would this have been it’s peak performance?) What was the mechanism for the vaccine?

    If it’s to be given in advance, then the motive assigned makes no sense. If the vaccine was strongest being used right after a verified anthrax attack (with some of the strongest forms known to man) then testing in this way might fit?

    I haven’t heard or may have missed the mechanism for the vaccine that he was developing.

  7. JimWhite says:

    Is there a precedent for declaring a case closed and not closed? I will claim partial “I told you so” on this one. I suggested a couple of days ago on one of Glenn’s threads that I didn’t think DOJ would close the case because then Mueller and Mukasey could be brought in for serious questioning by Congress. I also wavered a bit on that, since this Congress has done such a piss-poor job of oversight. It looks to me like DOJ is thinking the same way, choosing to keep “parts” of the investigation open just long enough to get us through the next election so that if Congress grows a spine they can still dissemble about an “ongoing investigation”.

    Will there be investigation and prosecution for those who leaked grand jury information before any official document dump by DOJ? Is that a felony?

  8. Loo Hoo. says:

    Guantánamo Detainee Convicted by Military Panel

    A panel of six military officers convicted a former driver
    for Osama bin Laden of a war crime Tuesday, completing the
    first military commission trial.

  9. JimWhite says:

    Document dump coming today:

    The chief judge of Washington’s federal courthouse on Wednesday unsealed hundreds of pages of documents in the FBI’s nearly 7-year investigation of anthrax mailings that killed five people.

    The move by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth came after consultation with Amy Jeffress, a national security prosecutor at Justice, and as FBI Director Robert Mueller prepared to brief the families of anthrax victims on details of the case.

    The documents that Lamberth authorized to be released include at least 14 search warrants aimed at Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins, whom federal investigators were closing in on as he committed suicide last week. The records include the government summaries used to justify the search warrants, the warrants themselves and summaries of what FBI agents seized in each search.

    Time to clean the reading glasses, folks.

  10. wavpeac says:

    I am suspicious of box office mail. (anyone could have set it up in Ivins name). I am also suspicious of a.m emailing. Those could have been sent by someone else. (like someone trying to pressure him or set him up).

    All they would have to do is hijack his I.P address at work or at home to make those e-mails look like him.

    tinfoil hat, I know, but it’s a possibility. Not as concrete as “ten people saw him drunk out of his mind at a family gathering” or “two dui’s” or “hit someone and then ran” or “car accident and high bca” those would provide better proof of his “problem”.

  11. JaneS says:

    When I read EW’s anthrax timeline which I thought suggested there was some kind of quid pro quo between the FBI and the therapist, I thought it was tinfoil-y. But today’s Wapo makes the very same suggestion. As usual, I enjoy getting my news here well in advance of when the traditional media will bring it to me.

  12. Quzi says:

    Looks like the judge ordered some documents unsealed on the case:

    “The documents that Lamberth authorized to be released include at least 14 search warrants aimed at Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins, whom federal investigators were closing in on as he committed suicide last week. The records include the government summaries used to justify the search warrants, the warrants themselves and summaries of what FBI agents seized in each search…

    Among other things, the papers are expected to reveal how the FBI narrowed the scope of its investigation to the scientist…

    The judge indicated that it would take until at least midday or early afternoon Wednesday to clear the clerical hurdles to a full public release of the documents, which were to be posted on both the Justice Department’s and federal courthouse’s Web sites.”

  13. plunger says:

    Fearmongering = Profit

    Jerome Hauer’s Role

    Why did Cheney, CEO of Halliburton, acquire Dresser Industries, whose liabilities included billions of dollars in Asbestos-related lawsuits?

    In 1998, Dresser merged with its main rival, Halliburton, and is now known as Halliburton Company. Dick Cheney negotiated the $7.7-billion deal, reportedly having done so during a weekend of quail-hunting. In 2001, Halliburton was forced to settle the asbestos lawsuits that it acquired as a result of purchasing Dresser, causing the company’s stock price to fall by eighty percent in just over a year.

    Cui Bono?

    Washington Post Article re: Dresser acquisition that made NO SENSE

    How did Cheney ensure that the biggest Asbestos liabilities would go away?…..823-03.htm


    How did Bush play his part?

    GW included the issue in his State of the Union speech in 2005:

    “To make our economy stronger and more competitive, America must reward, not punish, the efforts and dreams of entrepreneurs. Small business is the path of advancement, especially for women and minorities, so we must free small businesses from needless regulation and protect honest job-creators from junk lawsuits. (Applause.) Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back by irresponsible class-actions and frivolous asbestos claims — and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year.”


  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meryl Nass, an MD and anthrax researcher, among others, claims that it may be possible to trace a sample of anthrax spores to a specific laboratory, but impossible to trace it to a single researcher. Her blog appears to be a useful resource and counterweight to conflicts within the law enforcement community and the slovenliness of the MSM.

    When an anonymous source says a sample can be traced to “a batch controlled by Ivins”, that source is being Clintonesque. The language suggests something was within Ivins’ personal possession, when in fact, it may have been merely produced at his facility, like saying XX was a car produced at BB’s plant. OK, but which worker did the dirty deed?

    The trail seems to grow cold at “the plant gates”, one reason that seven years on, the FBI can’t eliminate many from its list of suspects. A circumstance that reduces its claim to have solved the case into simply one more suspect in this debacle. The invention of a case-is-closed-but-still-open category, like Cheney’s invention of serendipitous security classifications to suit his whim, appears to be no more than a new propagandistic device to cover the old technique of declaring victory and quitting the field.

    Tracing a substance to a single facility is like narrowing one’s list of suspects to the passengers on the Orient Express. Their origins, histories, abilities, access and motivations are all different. Concluding that Ivins is the One, from data released so far, is throwing a dart at a wall and hoping it sticks.

    • oboblomov says:

      I think the deception could be worse than that.

      Without spelling out exactly what is uniquely common to the anthrax in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins’ lab, it doesn’t exclude such absurdities as saying Ivins used the Ames strain therefore he is the killer — or Ivins worked on anthrax and therefore is the killer.

      This is another anthrax-sniffing dog story.

  15. SebastianDangerfield says:

    Seems to me that upset, rambling e-mails about the FBI persecuting his family are rather understandable given that the FBI was, um, persecuting his family.

    • yellowsnapdragon says:

      ’specially after he discovers that his therapist is working with the FBI to get him.

  16. klynn says:

    Came across this……..etaddr.htm

    I suspect the computers taken from the library will be used to create evidence along the lines of this theory…

    IT people here at EW’s, how would the FBI “fake” a search by Ivins in a backdated fashion? Like, can they go back and before 9-11 insert this kind of search and make it appear Ivins did it?

  17. PetePierce says:

    DOJ has a paradigm that always witholds discovery or destroys key evidence that doesn’t fit their picture. They have a majority of federal judges that came from their ranks and a considerable percentage of those who didn’t who have no federal litigation experience or any experience in a courtroom as an attorney. Welcome to the Bannana Republic USA Marcy.

    We have a cowed and compliant judiciary that has been allowing them to withold evidence, use heresay testimony, tape any conference with defense lawyers, and generally ignore Federal Rules of Evidence. Try reviewing the rulings in any federal trial–it’s no accident that upwards of 90% of them go for their Bretheren the prosecution–and the same thing is going to happen in this dog and pony show.

    Wait until you see the holes in their evidence against one Bruce Ivins as the one unsub.

  18. formerGeorgian says:

    Looks like much of the blogosphere is dumping on Ms. Duley. Could we withhold judgement a bit longer until we get more facts.

    Clearly, court records suggest she’s had a rough life, perhaps being a battered wife, certainly with a failed marriage, and with drug and financial problems, too (which may have arisen from the marriage failure).

    But try for a more complete picture, please. Go look at the many letters she’s written to the local newspaper, and do a search for the surname Duley. Be sure to select “Archives” in the selection box next to the search box. You’ll see 19 stories, some being about others with her surname. But in the Archives Results, you’ll also see a long list of letters she’s written. You may be surprised at what they reveal about her.

    • bmaz says:

      No, I won’t withhold judgment of Duley. At best, she is an unstable addict and substance abuser that had no place being in the position she was in and has acted bizarrely and unprofessionally. That is at at best mind you; I’ll make any bet you got that it is going to get much worse as to Duley’s inappropriate and quite likely illegal, conduct. Concern trolling on Duley is lame.

      • JimWhite says:

        bmaz: Can you fill us in on the criminal penalties for leaking grand jury information? (Not that prosecution will actually occur, but there must be laws on the books saying it’s wrong.)

        • bmaz says:

          Yikes, I don’t know off the top of my head exactly. It can be punished multiple ways, i.e. as a civil contempt of court, criminal contempt of court or as obstruction of justice; so there is a large lattitude and range of punishments possible.

    • lllphd says:

      i would suggest that you do some looking, as well.

      ms. duley has a record of dui in the past two years, and has still functioned (?) as a substance abuse counselor? that is unethical. and may well be illegal in MD, i don’t know.

      and if you look carefully at her record, it may not be so one-sided that she was a battered wife. the first domestic charge involving her was brought by her ex against her. if she had significant substance abuse problems, the likelihood that she perpetrated violence is not low. moreover, the likelihood, given her own description of her own history, does not suggest that she was pitifully driven to drink by an abusive husband. she was a biker who tried everything on and off the shelves, according to her own admission.

      the words here are not judging her as a person, but as a professional. and as someone in a position to have so much influence over an individual such as dr. ivins and his life. many here have openly noted that she was used by the fbi. that does not judge her harshly, but the fbi. it is not flattering to her, but not much about her life, and certainly about her ‘professional’ demeanor, is flattering. but that is her own doing.

      • PetePierce says:

        ms. duley has a record of dui in the past two years, and has still functioned (?) as a substance abuse counselor? that is unethical. and may well be illegal in MD, i don’t know.

        This happens all the time and state court judges stupidly often look the other way in cases where they testify about their fellow addicts. Addiction is a huge business and a large percentage of it under the wing of psychiatrists and psychologist wants to make money period. A lot has happened to diminish reimbursement for psychiatrist and psychologists in the last several years and they fight measures that hurt them financially continually. Some with no scruples will employ anything that walks to “lead groups” and as long as they sign off on the supervision of groups this perpetuates. There are no real criteria for who can lead an addiction group in most states–they are pretty informal, and remember the licensed psychologist or psychiatrist often signs off on them but is not present and doesn’t know what the fuck goes on in them.

        I have seen this time and time again. They go for large government contracts often like Federal Probation or State Probation or the bumbling clusterfucking FBI, which is negotiated by one of the most entrenched institutions in the federal government that is seldom questioned, the Administrative Office of the Courts.

        • lllphd says:

          well, i know psychiatrists can sign off on things without actually observing them, and often do even without reviewing them, but what you describe is a nightmare i was completely unaware of! my area does not bring me into contact with that one, so i guess i’ve remained in something of a cocoon.

          enough reforms in my own area of practice are way overdue (starting with the godforsaken apa), but what you’re saying suggests the govt agencies also require oversight. actually, i’m working on that along other lines right now, so i’ll keep what you say in mind. thanks.

  19. Mary says:

    2/20 – I don’t know anything at all about the science. One kos commenter (so all this is already a fwiw wo knowing anything about that commenter) on one of the Ivins threads yesterday indicated that, with about 3500 tests of genome sequencing being done in a massive review by a group of credible scientists, the anthrax involved was found to have an “inversion” (I don’t know what that means) of either the chromosome or the plasmid, but they are not saying which yet.

    They said that inversion is found only in the anthrax flask which was designated as Ivins. So that would get to his flax as the source flask. However, the commenter indicated that 9 other people would have handled that strain, the “Ivins Flask Strain” and that it would likely have been shipped to other laboratories.

    They also indicated that something which weighed against Ivins was that originally he and his lab were saying that they “never” make a dry powder from their flask strains, but then it was discovered that Ivins had something called a lyophilizer and does make dry powder, unbeknownst supposedly to his lab.

    None of that is conclusive of anything and I don’t know if it is correct and I don’t understand the science – but I thought it was interesting as far as providing an explanation of what they might mean by source flask etc.

    I wonder a bit at all the pressure on the children – not just that some of it seems really questionable, but as to why they seemed to think the children would know something to justify that strong a push – taking pictures of dead victims to a institutionalized, depressed daughter seems almost like someone was hoping more that she would find a way to kill herself than answer questions. But it makes you wonder what they thought the two kids could know. It also makes you feel like Mueller’s guys were given the ok to try some reverse SERE tactics of their own.

    OT – if 123 from the thread below is correct, that is a tremendously sad commentary on what the major news networks and the Democrats now running Congress believe is important as well. Doors are beaten down to put military propagandists and Karl Rove on air, but David Kay isn’t on the A list?

    • klynn says:

      They also indicated that something which weighed against Ivins was that originally he and his lab were saying that they “never” make a dry powder from their flask strains, but then it was discovered that Ivins had something called a lyophilizer and does make dry powder, unbeknownst supposedly to his lab.

      Glenn debunks this here:

      The leaked “scientific” evidence is no better. If anything, it’s worse. The Washington Post today reports — all based on anonymous leaks — that “key to the probe” is the fact that Ivins “borrowed from a bioweapons lab that fall freeze-drying equipment that allows scientists to quickly convert wet germ cultures into dry spores” and that “the drying device, known as a lyophilizer, 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 article further claims that “the device was not commonly used by researchers at the Army’s sprawling biodefense complex at Fort Detrick, Md.”

      But that appears to be completely false. Here is the abstract of a 1995 research report, for which Ivins was the lead scientist, reporting on discoveries made as part of their research into anthrax vaccines (h/t substantial). This is the method they described using:

      The efficacy of several human anthrax vaccine candidates comprised of different adjuvants together with Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) was evaluated in guinea pigs challenged by an aerosol of virulent B. anthracis spores. The most efficacious vaccines tested were formulated with PA plus monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) in a squalenel lecithin/Tween 80 emulsion (SLT) and PA plus the saponin QS-21. The PA+MPL in SLT vaccine, which was lyophilized and then reconstituted before use, demonstrated strong protective immunogenicity, even after storage for 2 years at 4°C. The MPL component was required for maximum efficacy of the vaccine. Eliminating lyophilization of the vaccine did not diminish its protective efficacy. No significant alteration in efficacy was observed when PA was dialyzed against different buffers before preparation of vaccine. PA+MPL in SLT proved superior in efficacy to the licensed United States human anthrax vaccine in the guinea pig model.

      Clearly, Ivins’ legitimate work researching anthrax vaccines entailed the use of a lyophilizer. As the commenter notes, “If you google ‘lyophilize’ and ‘anthrax’, most of the pages returned are about anthrax vaccines, which is what Dr. Ivins was working on at Ft. Detrick.”

      Glenn’s Tuesday post

    • brendanx says:

      They also indicated that something which weighed against Ivins was that originally he and his lab were saying that they “never” make a dry powder from their flask strains, but then it was discovered that Ivins had something called a lyophilizer and does make dry powder, unbeknownst supposedly to his lab.

      The lyopholizer evidence, leaked to the Post yesterday, seemed persuasive, but Glenn Greenwald investigated and more persuasively called it into question yesterday evening.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Many of those circumstances are contradictory. A strain labeled the “Ivins flask strain” but which was handled by nine other researches and was shipped to other labs would appear to create many suspects. I can only defer to others more qualified to form an opinion, such as Dr. Nass.

      Glenzilla refers to a paper on which Ivins was the lead author that describes freeze drying techniques, so presumably he did use such equipment at his facility and handling it would not have been unusual. That machinery apparently required “signing out”, leaving an obvious trail even the FBI could follow. If the anthrax attacker was planful enough to evade being designated a prime suspect for seven years, then signing out the “murder equipment” would not be consistent behavior for that person.

      • klynn says:

        If the anthrax attacker was planful enough to evade being designated a prime suspect for seven years, then signing out the “murder equipment” would not be consistent behavior for that person.

        EOH, you are too perceptive!

  20. klynn says:

    It will be interesting to see how the FBI deconstructs the return address on the Daschle and Leahy letters to tie them to Ivins.

    There is more to that return address than meets the eye. I bet folks here working on deconstructing research could do a great job narrowing the parameters in order to open up more loopholes in the investigation… Especially with all the biotech firms in the area with the potential of doing anthrax research, that is, in the area from which the letters were mailed.(Greater Princeton, NJ)

    From what I read, anthrax samples were often traded for research purposes between scientists doing the research. Did someone in Ivins’ lab have contact with any biotech firms within the 25 mile radius of where the Daschel/Leahy letters were mailed? Was a sample passed on for “framing” purposes?

  21. lllphd says:

    sheez. the doj is scrambling on this one. such unmitigated desperation.

    first of all, wavpeac makes a very good point.

    and second of all, to emphasize ivins’s mental state AFTER the fbi started stalking him does NOT make their case. in fact, it may well hang them instead. actually, they would need to show that ivins was exhibiting similar – and worse – behavior back in the fall of 01 to convince anyone with any sense that he was capable of the letters.

    and third, along with the point that this guy was a very vocal DEMOCRAT who did not hesitate to publicly state his opinions, for him to execute these crimes does not make any sense. not only does this NOT fit the profile of some maniac lurking in the shadows plotting murder for profit, it also is completely orthogonal to the maniacal rants of the actual letter writer.

    piecing together the shards of what we have here so far, this is my take, fwiw:
    ivins may have had a history going way back of poorly controlled drinking, consistent with family history. he sought help and gained good control for many years, as he was able to behave as if a ‘teetotaler’ for most of his life. this, along with a thriving career, happy family, and strong community and professional relationships (that alone does not fit a mass murder profile), he’s a model scientist and member of society.

    his life moves along as normally as anyone’s could in this crazy age, but when the fbi starts asking him questions last fall, he gets nervous and starts drinking again. consistent with his history of recovering from poor control, he seeks his colleague and friend’s assistance in staying on the wagon, as well as professional help at the counseling assn where duley works, and is assigned to her group.

    it does not appear that dr. irwin is on staff there, and would not be since he is a forensic psychiatrist. my suspicion is that the fbi brought him on board some time later, perhaps thru the ft. detrick facilities, in an agreed eval. which would have made ivins even more nervous.

    however, consistent with colleagues’ and neighbors’ experience of the man, ivins was not guilty, and so could not be fully condemned by the fbi, only harassed. so they continued, and likely upped the ante. his nervousness increased, as did his drinking and reliance on meds for sleep and calm, hence the march 19th incident when he was found unconscious and hospitalized.

    i would guess it was about that the fbi contacted duley and began working on her. i would not doubt for a second that they swore her to secrecy, telling her how grave and utterly important her role was for the safety and security of the nation, blablabla. i also suspect that, at some point in their individual sessions, she – either following the fbi’s orders or not being able to help herself – confronted ivins on his alleged crime, and he became outraged, feeling intensely betrayed and helpless (yes, as in seligman’s learned helplessness; shades of the torture tricks).

    during this time, the fbi also approaches the son and daughter of ivins. the fact that the fbi did these things to ivins’s kids, among so many other things that will come out sooner or later that were all consistent with their harassment of hatfill, is no doubt being carefully sat upon by the attorneys for those kids and ivins himself. they have their own clients and cases to consider here.

    Ivins is so enraged by these things, especially the approaches to his children, he does not feel he can trust anyone any longer, even his lifelong colleagues at work. in fact, i would not put it past the fbi to have told him that all his colleagues felt he did this and were talking the them about him and their suspicions. the behavior duley describes later in her restraining order doc – though clearly exaggerated (and will someone in that alleged group please have the courage to come forward and expose these exaggerations, if they are??) in this bizarre woman’s pique – is actually understandable in light of what he’s suffering. he vents these frustrations and anger in the july 9 group, and is committed, then released.

    irwin was likely called in here, either by the fbi or his employer; it does not make sense to me that ivins’s own lawyer would have made that contact, and forensic professionals are typically only contacted by some legal official or an attorney. and i would say the timing of irwin’s involvement was probably after this hospitalized, or during it, and clearly before the 24th when duley submitted the restraining order, in light of duley’s assertion in the RO doc that ivins’s psychiatrist had reported the diagnosis of homicidal sociopath. however, irwin’s insertion into the case does NOT necessarily mean he is the source of that diagnosis (which does not match current professional nomenclature), or of those assertions about his history of such behaviors. these sound suspiciously like things the fbi would have told her irwin told them (likely bypassing that niggly little annoyance of truth). because of patient confidentiality restrictions, we will not likely know this and other details surrounding irwin’s involvement until he is deposed in a civil suit. although the doj might trot out these assertions IF they do in fact coincide with dr. irwin’s professional opinions.

    actually, it will be interesting to see if they do use irwin’s assertions in the doc dump; if they don’t, then he may not have even asserted them. if they do use his assertions, it will be interesting to see how they hedge them. irwin might well have listed ivins’s expressions of rage at that time, and likely did, but he would not likely have used the phrase duley did. a good professional might have possibly suggested something like antisocial personality disorder as a RULE OUT diagnosis, with recommendations to explore history of such behaviors in his past. but the use of the phrase duley relied on smacks of some layperson’s mangling of whatever info might have been shared. duley is included in that lay category, along with the obvious fbi; even if a professional in her capacity should know the proper nomenclature, she clearly did not.

    by the time ivins leaves the hospital this second admission, his job and career are looking like toast, his life is week old toast, and his family and marriage are no doubt suffering horribly. why would he NOT feel betrayed by duley and feel she is the cause of his life’s demise? making his phone calls to her all the more understandable. would that he had instead gone to her supervisors and the state board of licensure to complain. but what is one to do when the frikkin’ fbi is stalking you?

    it is also not clear to me – given that the levels of the tylenol and sleeping meds were not reported that i have seen – that ivins actually committed suicide. given how the pressures escalated, and how his self-medication escalated with them, it seems just as plausible that it was an accidental overdose. so far we have no suicide, which is something i would have expected from a scientist, a man with so many loving connections in his life, and who was so inclined to pen his thoughts in moments of concern as he so clearly demonstrated wtih his letters to editors over the years.

    anyway, this is just how i’m piecing things together, given what we know so far. and mind you, i was one amongst many who, as soon as i heard the news reports that ivins was called homicidal and suicidal by his own ‘theripist’, was willing to nod in sad reflection that such folks are out there. it didn’t take long to get from there to here, tho.

    thanks, marcy, for keeping this up front.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Dr. Irwin is a “forensic psychiatrist”, ie, a profiler, he may have reconstructed Ivins’ past without ever having talked to him, especially if the FBI, at that point in its investigation, wanted to stay in the background in hopes that Ivins would let his guard down. Who knows, including the FBI?

    • lllphd says:

      oops, i just realized that the last graf says:
      ’so far we have no suicide….’ which of course should have read ‘no suicide NOTE.’

      sorry ’bout that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It would seem appropriate for the ME to release the levels of codein and Tylenol found from tox screens. Questions abound. For starters, was the codeine/Tylenol self-administered or forced? Were the levels of those two drugs sufficient to cause death within the relevant time frame, consistent with observed symptons? Don’t they themselves prove that the death was “suspicious” or possibly linked to a crime, mandating an autopsy?

      Did those two drugs mask others or an unrelated cause of death? What else, if anything, did the tox screens show? Was there any underlying pathology, eg, a brain tumor, that might explain erratic behavior?

      Even if the codeine/Tylenol was self-administered and sufficient to cause death, the motivation is unclear. The FBI suggest it was involvement in the anthrax attacks and the nearness of an indictment (fed to the media by the FBI via Duley’s curious court filing; other reports suggest the FBI was weeks away from asking for an indictment).

      There are several other plausible reasons based on the public data. The FBI was brutally interrogating Ivins’ family, implying ruination to more than Dr. Ivins himself. The example of Hatfill and others wrongly pursued for years by the FBI would have given Ivins reasonable cause to fear great harm even had he committed no crime (on which I take no position).

      Despite the FBI’s questioning, Ivins remained at work until the Duley episode. It was her obtaining the “protective order” — allegedly in response to Ivins’ “erratic behavior” — that created a public record that justified suspending Ivins’ security clearance and employment. At about age sixty and after thirty-five years working at the same facility, that alone would have been devastating.

      As with everything else about this case, far too little is publicly known to accept the FBI’s claims at face value. Ditto its voluntary and partial disclosure of records. Mr. Cheney, for example, is renowned for his ability to cherry pick the right fruit for disclosure to create false impressions.

      • brendanx says:

        Include alcohol in the mix. Like the bottles of vodka helpful fellow scientists, PCP-stoned biker chicks and Shady Grove psychiatrists may have been forcing down his throat

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Oh, man, I thought you were talking about the new Miss Buffalo Chip at Sturgis. Drugs and alcohol and biker chicks and chaps and pickle eating contests. Whoever claimed John McCain grew up just made it up.

          • brendanx says:

            I don’t think everyone else here yet know that Duley was/is a self-confessed “motorcycle gang member”.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              I was thinking of a blond heiress that St. John offered up as the new Sturgis Miss Buffalo Chip. He probably thinks buffalo chips are served with pretzels and wings. It wouldn’t excuse his weak attempt at being a friendly, informed, Mavericky kind of guy with rock solid judgment.

              • PetePierce says:

                I anxiously await Cindy’s participation with bannanas and nudity. I know she can afford some kickass Harleys and cars.

      • lllphd says:

        earl, i agree on both your points. the forensic shrink, irwin, could have been engaged eons ago to profile the antrhax killer/s, without ever having seen ivins. the comments used by duley could have come from the fbi’s forensic profile and not from a bona fide psychiatrist assigned to ivins. in fact, the personal history notes sound far more like they came from such a profile than a real, in-person eval. this is why it would be of particular interest to see if irwin would answer the question ‘was ivins your patient’ with a dodge due to pt confidentiality, or a flat denial.

        the second point about the meds and an autopsy are also well-taken. in fact, ivins had a blood disorder (which he worried was secondary to the vaccine he was obliged to take because of his work) that might well increase his susceptibility to alcohol and most other meds. the fact that no autopsy has been conducted, or that any results are so shrouded in secrecy, is just more grist for this Fumbling Bozos of Incompetency fiasco.

        • PetePierce says:

          Maybe I’ve been watching too many CriminalMinds but given the $55 million bucks or so the FBI spent of our money whil nailing Hatfill and leaking out the wazoo to nitwits at ABC and CNN and NYT who implicated Hatfill and now have come up with this purported story, I wonder what happened to competence at the BAU/FBI and I know it’s in the toilet at DHS.

          Whether Ivins had a hematologic disorder or not, it only would have taken 15-20 of any type tylenol to kill him whatever else was on board or whatever concomittant diseases he had period.

          I know one thing. He’s dead. If an anthrax attack happens near you, you’re dead. That’s about the only constant I have to go on in this scenario thus far.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Your observations raise another issue. What might a full, independent autopsy reveal about Dr. Ivins work? Might it reveal pathologies related to the accumulated effects of his work?

          No government would welcome such evidence or speculation about it. It would affect all researchers doing similar work, their families, friends and neighbors. It needn’t be contagious, it need only be a by-product of working in secret, government-funded bio-weapons labs for three and a half decades.

    • 2strange says:

      What troubles me is the method of suicide. Acetaminophen OD is not a quick painless way to go. Alcohol exacerbates liver failure, but that can take days. Here’s a description taken from:

      The pain-reliever acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol, also makes people sick to their stomachs at first, but then gets more deadly. The drug changes into toxic particles that are usually neutralized by glutathione, one type of coenzyme found in the liver. In overdose, if it isn’t pumped out in time, the toxic particles deplete all of the glutathione, causing the painful death of an hepatic coma. Even relatively late in the process surrogate glutathione can save the liver, but if the organ does become diseased the results can be similar to those of hepatitis: jaundice, itchy skin, depression, long-term listlessness, inability to eat much.

      “The liver detoxifies poisons that build up in the body,” McKinney said. “If you destroy the liver it’s like never taking the garbage out. Specifically the most common build up is ammonia in the blood, which you know if it goes too far will put you in a very deep coma, and then kill you.”

      Both McKinney and Bedard told me about people who took Tylenol or phosphorous, which also destroys the liver (and incidentally produces phosphorescent vomit). In both cases, they slept off the initial sickness and recovered for five days — during which time they decided suicide was a mistake after all and they wanted to live. But the liver had been destroyed and after five days each of them started to feel very sick, passed into deep coma, and died. “He knew it would happen and that there was nothing we could do about it,” Bedard said, “and his friends and family knew it, and for five days they sat in the hospital together waiting for it.” Bold added)

      It’s also easy for some one to ingest a fatal dose of Acetaminophen accidentally, especially if alcohol is involved. What transpired between the time he took the fatal dose and before he slipped into a coma?

      • PetePierce says:

        I covered this as did Kirk James Murphy, M.D. who is an eclectic and excellent writer a couple days ago when Marcy first started posting on the Bruce Ivins clusterfuck. One point about Tylenol from the prospective of someone who has treated ODs for years in an ER:

        1) Often you don’t know what they took and it’s in combo. The patient can’t tell you–they are often but not always barely conscious from alcohol having taken these pills in combination because of depression. You don’t always know the timeline.

        2) I would take issue with the “not a quick…way to go.”

        If you have a Tylenol overdose and you may have to combat whatever else your tox results tell you has been ingested, often Opiates and sure there are dozens of combos of Tylenol and Opiates like codeine, you need to move fast getting a Done Nomogram that tells you what the level is you’re going to use Mucomyst inhalation or IV Mucomyst against it.

        The earlier you start Mucomyst (N-acetylcysteine)the more likely you are to prevent liver necrosis. I haven’t had a patient with a massive OD of Tylenol have more than transient sequelae yet and I don’t plan to if I can get them fast enough.

        Focus On: Acetaminophen Toxicity and Treatment: American College of Emergency Physicians

        If you use inhalations often this course is recommended. Some people have shortened it.

        52 hours of intravenous N-acetylcysteine (loading dose 140mg/kg, followed by 12 maintenance doses of 70mg/kg every 4 hours) is equivalent to 72 hours of oral N-acetylcysteine (loading dose 140mg/kg, followed by 17 maintenance doses of 70mg/kg every 4 hours) as an antidote for acetaminophen overdose is often recommended. It depends on the Done Nomogram and the amount they took.

        An adult can kill themselves by simply ingesting 20 Extra Strength Tylenol if it is not promptly treated and a child can do it with less.

        You always have to be on your guard because Tylenol is ubiquitous, cheap and obtained from anywhere that sells OTC meds and lots of med cabinets and pockets of people on the street.

        The big threat this Ivins controversy points up is not from Tylenol, but that we have no real defense against a panoply of bioterrorism agents, particularly Anthrax in the USA at this second as I’ve pointed out.

        Many states are wasting millions on Tamiflu which is indicted in every major medical journal over the last several years as doing nothing for an H5N1 pandemic (remember the press about that a couple years ago) and does a lot to spread resistance. Governors have stupidly purchased stockpiles of expensive Tamiflu despite the warnings of physicians that they were wasting their time and our money doing it.

        New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, and the Infectious Disease literature is repleat with the inefficacy and dangerous resistance caused by trying to use Tamifluesque angents to prevent an H5N1 pandemic. It only helps the virus to mutate with even greater resistance and helps a pandemic progress and kill more people.

        Welcome to the Bannana Republic of the United States of America. The bioterrorism center for DHS is stupidly stockpiling it as well despite the warnings from its own NIH who researches it including Anthony Faucci, M.D.

      • lllphd says:

        this is pretty interesting. i’m not educated on the details of various drugs and their fatal dosage rates, but i’ll voice again my concern re: ivins’s blood disorder, which would have also undermined the integrity of his liver eventually.

        this description you give should alert us all to the importance of an autopsy. actually, the info given so far suggests at least a blood test was administered when he was hospitalized (where he lived for a couple of hours before expiring).

        the fact that the symptoms you describe are not present here, at least that we know, suggests more was going on, either by way of ingested substances (i doubt etoh was involved) or his own deteriorating condition.

        i recognize the resistance to prolonging this nightmare, but i do hope the family has insisted on an autopsy, to be done privately.

    • R.H. Green says:

      Working thru the comments, I have to stop and offer a word of support for your analysis of things so far. Your “obsession” has led to a more conprehensive treatment of a mass of details than mine, but I want to say that the picture you present is highly consistent with my thinking on this (FWIW). I think your observation of “shades of torture tricks” bears amplification.
      Consider this. We have an account of government inverstigators approaching a suspect in a shopping mall and accusing him in front of his wife (and possibly his children, friends, neighbors, passers-by, etc)of killing five people. If this assertion were KNOWN to be true, an arrest would have been appropriate. Since this is NOT KNOWN, it is unconscionable to make such public declarations, and must have been done for a purpose. I presume this purpose was to isolate Ivins from his social support group, to cast doubt about him in the minds of those around him, such as wife, children, cworkers, neighbors, and so help me, the man’s therapist. If you are right about a confrontation during a group session, it has the affect of manipulation of the bonds of trust that must develop among the group members, a trust that is vital to the the theraputic process of group therapy.
      Social isolation is one of the techniques used in the “handling” of the enemy combatants, and I suppose one could
      then progress to viewing the anthrax mailer as a terrorist, and subject to Patriot Act provisions, which unless I’m mistaken has provisons for use inside the US.
      Early on I became suspicious of Duley’s testimony at her RO hearing. Yes the nomenclature was off, but for me , nomenclature derives from psychological theory, which brings in the shadowy Dr. Irwin. His use of medical model thinking grates against my Behavioral orientation. To me the focus of analysis is on what one DOES, and in what context, as opposed to what one IS. Ms Duley was presenting testimony as to what Ivins IS, “a revenge killer”. A simple question: How does she know that? The answer brings up, as she testified, a psychological diagnosis provided by someone, but we are not sure who(or how obtained, again context),but this reliance on some permanant psychological characteristics strongly suggests the thinking of a profiler. While this sort of thinking is pervasive in the mental health field, I’d want to look at the evaluation report to see what treatment recommendations were included, if any. The lack meaningful treatment considerations, in light of the the seriousness of this matter, would indicte to me an investigative, rather than a therapeutic basis for the evaluation, and thus pointing at a forensic analysis. Again, for what it’s worth.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s very helpful. And it brings me back to my question, whether Irwin, if involved as Duley implies, is a profiler rather than as therapist. The “is” vs. “does” model seems a law enforcement focus rather than one that assumes one’s impulses or tendencies can be controlled or directed, through will and social encouragement, toward more socially constructive ends.

        That last observation seems a bit Twilight Zone-ish, however, considering that at our government’s direction and control, Dr. Irvin worked on biological weapons.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            My observation that “the patient’s” behavior could be directed to more constructive ends via therapy, self-help and social encouragement, when he works on biological weapons. (Though that assumes he’s designing them rather than designing how to defend against them.)

            • R.H. Green says:

              Oh. I thought maybe you were referring to my last observation; tsk, tsk, such self-absorbtion. My understanding is that Dr Ivins’ professional focus was on developing defenses (vaccines)against biological warfare, no matter what other activities were going on at the fort. He should be commended for applying himslf to the thankless task, especially when you consider the dangers involved. Now with regard to what he MAY have been up to in an unprofessional focus, one would think that the positive mental health of those in such high-risk occupations would be of paramount importance in the minds of those whose task it is to manage facilities such as Ft Detrick.

  22. der1 says:

    EW: “I guess the way we solve crimes in this country is to confront people in shopping malls to see if the person in question commits suicide as a result.”

    sad yet seemingly true, add to that both the police and the military shooting up wedding parties, guilt before proven innocent. the verdict in the Hamden show trial is another layer.

    can we or should we expect Obama to clean all this up? I have my doubts: “Writing from the Netroots Nation conference, The Nation’s Ari Melber detailed what he calls “Bipartisan Attacks on the Rule of Law,” and specifically highlighted the fact that close Obama adviser, Professor Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago, “cautioned against prosecuting criminal conduct from the current Administration” during a Conference panel. As Melber wrote:

    Prosecuting government officials risks a “cycle” of criminalizing public service, [Sunstein] argued, and Democrats should avoid replicating retributive efforts like the impeachment of President Clinton — or even the “slight appearance” of it.”…..index.html

    keep rattling the cage, Olbermann seems to listen most of the time.

    • klynn says:

      I say, “Take the risk. Criminalization of public service is exactly what this country needs in order to rekindle the call to public servanthhood to individuals with character grounded in the rule of law. Cass is full of it.”

  23. Mary says:

    8 – In other news, the International Court has issued an arrest warrant for the White House chef on “material support” charges for feeding a war criminal operating out of uniform in the global theatre of war.

    It is anticipated that the chef’s lawyers will offer a pretzel in mitigation.

    It’s all really been just a matter of waiting for the decapitated chicken to quit running around. Since the Democrats combined to help push through the MCA, this was all foregone. Stack up players like Levin, Susstein, Obama, Clinton, etc. and I can’t find a reason to vote for them. The “Republicans are worse” theme has lost me, when you turn control over to the Dems and they do the very same things, but STILL blame the Republicans.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think many of Obama’s most energetic would be supporters feel the same way, which may turn what could have been a rout into a squeaker.

      Moving to the overly cautious, mythical center, beloved of purported Democratic advisers (and their Republican enemies) — but derided by much of Main Street America — may keep Obama out of the White House, and condemn the country to rule by whomever feeds McCain’s ego and pocketbook. McCain will have to do more than tell Ohio and other Midwest voters that wanting to keep their jobs (or houses) is just “a narrow, protectionist concern”.

    • R.H. Green says:

      I know. I voted for Nader, and you won’t belive the abuse I took from democrats for “helping elect Bush”.

  24. Mary says:

    34 – My understanding of the problem wasn’t so much that Ivins had a lypholizer at all, but rather that he and his lab had initially denied having one, only to have to reneg when the discovery of the lypholizer was made. And not to discount Glenn’s findings, a 1995 report is from 13 years ago and what Ivins lab had as assigned equipment and was working on 13 years later could be different. The fact that everyone seems to agree that he had to borrow the lypholizer from a different lab (probably a different lab at Ft Dettrick – different labs would be having different equipment and work there) and did NOT actually have one at the time would raise some questions in my mind as to whether or not he was or was not legitimately working on something that required the lypholizer at the time.

    Could be though – I don’t begin to understand the setting, lab dynamics or science.

    One thing that keeps striking me, though, is kind of like what struck EW in the Tenet release about all kinds of sources telling CIA there were no WMDs in Iraq being the hidden story.

    What keeps striking me is that you have Hatfill, who it turns out has some real issues with his resume and his extracuricular group association choices, and now Ivins who supposedly (and who knows on this yet with selective and unprincipled leaks) has had drinking and mental health issues for years and years and years —-

    and yet both of these guys were working on handling the most deadly of pathogens, capable of being weaponized or even used for less broad based murder.

    Who is watching this stuff? It makes it seem as if they deliberately pick a few who can become the Newsual Suspects as needed. Either that, or no one is really paying attention to what is going on there.

    • bmaz says:

      Cause they were better than Zack? Heh. This lab is a mess. It’s like having substance abusers counseling our nation’s WMD experts. Oh wait…..

    • brendanx says:

      I didn’t see anwywhere that Ivins had drinking problems “for years and years”. In fact, the on-the-record colleagues in today’s Post piece describe him as a teetotaler. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      He seemed to start drinking whole bottles of vodka all of a sudden, with the acquisition of his new companions. That would fit in with an attempt to suppress psychotic episodes, but these, too only appeared recently.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Alcohol is also socially and readily available and its abuse is common. A handy tool for those in depression as well as those seeking to mimic depressive self-abuse in another. Better than a Bic pen wielded by Jason Bourne.

        The anthrax attacks would be an ugly, awkward case were it picked up by another Attorney General and FBI director who actually wanted it solved and tried in open court. Cleaning it up, preventing that from happening, is presumably somewhere on page one of Mr. Cheney’s To Do list, after the pardons and before making permanent his politicized bureaucratic hires and his politicized rewriting of laws by way of regulatory fiat.

        The current government lied us into war; maintains secret prisons and torture chambers and uses them; the President admits it proudly and claims with religious fervor that he has the inherent right and obligation to do so; lies about the deaths of its most prominent soldiers, dressing them up as heroes when they were shot by their squad mates; and refuses to free prisoners it admits are innocent. What’s one more outed expert on WMD among all the others?

  25. skdadl says:

    I hope someone will ask Director Mueller about the FBI’s famous “rapport-building” interview techniques, specifically with reference to their confrontations with Ivins and his wife and son and daughter.

    The DoJ IG had me most of the way convinced to respect the FBI. I think I’m going back to being a sceptic now.

  26. klynn says:


    Do you know the language, scientific notation in terms of “grade” or quality of anthrax? Outside of “low” grade and weaponized grade? I’m not finding it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think the fastest way to become familiar with the jargon is to read Dr. Nass’ blog. It explains some of the basic physics and biology in plain language, and helps sort out conflicting or obviously false or poorly researched claims that make it into the MSM.

      It also helps in understanding why this common, naturally occurring bacterium can become a weapon against humans or their feed animals, and why vaccines to protect against it are an important pursuit at the secret bio-weapons facilities we don’t have.

      So far as “weaponization” issues are concerned, much discussed apparently are such things as the size of spores and their natural or artificially added coatings (especially the technology required for the latter). This appears to affect how readily they can be compacted for delivery, yet retain the ability easily and quickly to disaggregate (unstick from one another), disperse, become airborne and migrate deep into lung tissue for maximum deleterious effect.

  27. PetePierce says:

    Here is an example of sententious moralizing by this administration and its complacent sheep/shills and some complacent “medical” personnel and reality:

    From Letters to the NYT published yesterday 8/5/08:

    Re “Anthrax Case Renews Questions on Bioterror Effort and Safety” (front page, Aug. 3):

    The death of Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, a government anthrax specialist and the F.B.I.’s lead suspect in the 2001 anthrax attack, should close a sad chapter in domestic terrorism. We may never know whether the perpetrator’s intention was to draw attention to our lack of national preparedness for bioterrorism. But it is unmistakable that the legacy of the anthrax event, and the ensuing national call to arms, was a radical upgrade of our ability to respond to deliberate or naturally occurring infectious disease outbreaks.

    Some critics argue that the multibillion-dollar investment in infrastructure and research diverts funds from more pressing infectious disease problems, and they suggest that we are less secure because more scientists have access to restricted agents. But I stoutly dispute these notions, having witnessed firsthand in 2001 the confusion and helplessness of unprepared scientific and public health professionals.

    I am director of a leading Northeast academic biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research center. Our investment has decidedly increased our knowledge of select agent and naturally occurring epidemic pathogens. It has also facilitated a new generation of countermeasures in the form of new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against dangerous pathogens.
    The anthrax outbreak caught a nation off guard, but we are markedly stronger today. David Perlin

    Newark, Aug. 3, 2008


    The writer is director of the Public Health Research Institute.


    The Reality: The letter is total bullshit. I boldened the bullshit rationalizing.

    Here’s the reality on the ground. Because of the microbiology of most of these articles medicine in 2008 doesn’t have anything resembling “a new generation of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines against dangerous pathogens.” We are not significantly “stronger today.”

    That kind of thinking is Bush propaganda and the writer is defending his increased grants, money, and the status of his institution.

    Here’s the facts on the ground as NYT’s Scott Shane reported on 8/3/08 in

    Anthrax Case Renews Questions on Bioterror

    and Spenser S. Hsu outlined them and I’m quoting from the two articles:

    Modest Gains Against Ever-Present Bioterrorism Threat

    As Bart Stupak, Representative from Michigan’s 1st, hater of Accutane, and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials said in the article:

    We are putting America at more risk, not less risk.”

    ***We have spent $50 Billion on new labs, vaccines and stockpiles, although the Bush cut several billion for further research on an anthrax vaccine that can work faster than two years for the anthrax that would kill people in 2006.

    ****Craig Vanderwagen, M.D. who is the administration’s principal bioterrorism advisor gave this inane quote to NYT the other day. Dr. Vanderwagen was in charge of getting medical aid to the Katrina victims, including the many who died or were permanantly injured in a chaotic effort and was sworn in Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response on March 23, 2007:

    “Across the spectrum of biothreats we have expanded our capacity significantly…we can get pills in the mouth.”

    We sure can. And to have any scintilla of prevention for cutaneous anthrax you would have to get them in the mouth of every American for 18 weeks. That’s almost double the fingers on both hands for anyone who thinks it works, and it also is a period of 4.5 months. If someone yells anthrax is coming–you don’t have 4.5 months.! And it’s got no proven efficacy for prophylaxis against pulmonary anthrax.

    ***One 2003 study led by a Stanford scholar, for instance, found that just two pounds of anthrax spores dropped over an American city could kill more than 100,000 people, even if antibiotic distribution began quickly.

    ***“I think it’s an important risk, but frankly I’m more concerned about bombs and guns, which are easily available and can be very destructive,” said Randall S. Murch, a former F.B.I. scientist who has studied ways to trace a bioterrorist attack to its source.

    ***Nationwide, an estimated 14,000 people work at about 400 laboratories and have permission to work with so-called select agents, which could be used in a bioterror attack, although not all are authorized to handle the most toxic substances, like anthrax. With so many people involved, there is insufficient federal oversight of biodefense facilities to make sure the laboratories follow security rules and report accidents that might threaten lab workers or lead to a release that might endanger the public…”One well-placed student, technician or senior scientist — no cost, with the salary being provided courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer — and no risk, no difficulty.”

    ***Heightening the concern has been a string of accidents at certain new or expanded biodefense laboratories, several of which were not properly reported to the authorities when they took place.

    One of the first accidents was in Dr. Ivins’s lab in late 2001, when he and his colleagues were aiding the federal investigation of the anthrax attacks and spores accidentally spilled outside the secure area. He failed to report the event to his superiors and instead tried to disinfect the contaminated areas, according to an Army report,

    In early 2006, at Texas A&M University, a worker was infected with Brucella bacteria, a pathogen common in livestock that can cause flulike symptoms like fever, fatigue and joint pain, although it is rarely fatal. Later, three researchers at the same lab were infected with Q fever, another cattle-borne disease that can cause serious but generally not fatal illness in humans.

    ***Many state governors have stupidly purchased millions of dollars worth of Tamiflu. Tamiflu and its three other cousins were thought when Symmetrel hit the market back in the 1980’s to be able to ameliorate and speed common flu symptoms. Instead these drugs do next to nothing to help; they cost $60 a week, and they have upwards of a 30% side effect rate that is mimetic of flu symptoms and almost every doctor I know including myself stopped using them after Symmetrel proved to be a bitch instead of a bain and expensive for patients and insurance plans that co-pay.

    *** You will never find a head of a bioterrorism center at a major university that’s repeaing millions of grants who is reaping a rather easy salary considering most jobs in medicine taking care of patients who won’t say that institutions like his make us safer. You can’t get them to say how any more than you can get a Republican Congressman to tell us why we’re “winning in Iraq” with billions of dollars sitting in the US Federal Reserve Bank from Iraqi oil that is cauing us to have just paid $500 million in interst–and a total of $92 billion not spent according to NYT this morning.

    ***15000 people and 400 labs now have access to anthrax and other biological threats to life dubbed “sensitive agents” by the bioterror community. Dr. Ivins who may have been driven to it by the FBI had a serious Vodka and Benzodiazapine problem and in combination these two drugs caused him to be rushed to an emergency room unconscious months before his permission to work with these agents was revoked on July 10!!! I’m not making a judement on his guilt–I’m saying that if someone has been taken to an ER unconscious twice from a combo of Vodka and benzodiazapines they shouldn’t have continued clearance to work with boihazzards. That’s a no-brainer–at least until they are clean for a period of time and have undergo treatment with efficacy not a group with the unqualified addicted drunk driver and moron Jean Carol Duley.

    ***The government has not developed a general-use anthrax vaccine. A new generation of sensors that would sniff out threats more quickly has been delayed. A coordinated plan to respond to a widespread outbreak still doesn’t exist. And the rapid increase in the number of researchers registered to work with biological agents, now 15,000 people, has come without enough oversight.

    “We may be putting dangerous pathogens in the hands of people who would deliberately cause harm. We may also be putting them in the hands of people who may inadvertently or unintentionally take steps to put large numbers of people at risk,” said Elisa D. Harris, senior research scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland.

    ***The stockpile, details of which are classified, has 60 million treatment courses of antibiotics for anthrax and pneumonic plague, according to a senior federal official with responsibility for bioterrorism response. About 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine can also be shipped.

    ***The Pop Clock has us at .S. 304,797,374 right now. That’s less than 20% of the population of the US and a) it’s not proven to work for pulmonary anthrax (onlycutaneous) and it takes 18 months of boosters and an annual booster. We wouldn’t have the luxury of nearly two years warning if a terrorist group or person launched an attack. We saw that in the postal mailings in 2001 in spades and we saw the fumbling response. We don’t have any better antidote against acute anthrax today and no doctor spaying aphorisms that are devoid of medical fact as the Times letter I quoted from someone making a lot of money from bioterror intimated.

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

    That’s hardly the 2 years needed to immunize someone against cutaneous anthrax let alone if we had a vaccine against pulmonary anthrax which we do not.

    ***This is despite the fact that Washington also has sent more than $8 billion in grants to hospitals and public health agencies since 2002. The money reached more than 80 percent of 5,000 U.S. hospitals and funded 9,500 exercises in 2006 alone.

    ***But the nation still lacks plans and an organized structure to respond to a massive disease outbreak with thousands of victims. “The system still isn’t there,” Osterholm said. Hospitals strain every day with overcrowded emergency rooms, while this summer’s outbreak from salmonella infection underscores the challenges facing public health experts to trace outbreaks of even food-borne illness, he said.

    It will do little good for the federal government to distribute stockpiled medications if health-care workers aren’t there to dispense them, Osterholm said, or for the federal biosensor alarm system to ring if hospitals lack beds, nurses and tracking systems to manage patients.

    “If we know the system is not going to work with everyone having a hospital bed, a nurse and all the modern medicines they need, then we better damned well prepare for that,” he said.

    And we sure as hell are not!

    • klynn says:

      David Perlin, PhD
      Public Health Research Institute
      email | web site | publications
      Infectious Diseases Session
      The Global Challenge of Infectious Disease

      David PerlinDavid Perlin is president and scientific director of the Public Health Research Institute, a 64-year-old biomedical research organization specializing in infectious diseases. He has helped establish PHRI as one of the leading tuberculosis and opportunistic infections research organizations in the world and was instrumental in the creation of the International Center for Public Health on the UMDNJ campus in Newark, NJ. Perlin is an expert in drug-resistant fungal infections and in rapid diagnosis of opportunistic pathogens in high-risk patients. He is a member of several organizations related to bioterrorism and infectious diseases, such as the New York City Department of Health Advisory Panel on Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections. He was also a special consultant to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s investigation of the October 2001 anthrax outbreak. Most recently, he has worked with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to develop programs on TB and molecular diagnosis of emerging infections in China.

      Perlin earned his AB from Brandeis University in 1976 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1980. He pursued postdoctoral studies at the Yale University School of Medicine and at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Perlin joined PHRI in 1985; he was named scientific director in 1992 and president in 2005. He was appointed professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at New Jersey Medical School-UMDNJ in 2003.

      Goodness! Newark, NJ? Interesting.

      • PetePierce says:

        Klynn one point that often comes up when you’re trying to make several patients a day get well.

        Dr. Perlin’s resume is not the treatment for you when you are attacked by fine powdered anthrax, nor is oral Cipro, nor is the vaccine that is stockpiled by DHS. You are up a creek without a paddle.

        If an anthrax attack of powder fine enough to be absorbed into your alveoli in seconds hit your neighborhood, would either your summary of Dr. Perlin’s resume of his sententuous vaccuous letter to the New York Times help you?

        Would the fact that there are 60 million vaccines that need to be administered several times over 18 months to confer efficacy against cutaneous not pulmonary anthrax help you?

        Would the fact that in a massive attack there might not be a doctor/nurse/respiratory therapist to give you the IV Cipro or other quinalone, ancillary antibiotics like Tetracycline, and intensive respiratory monitoring while you are intibated with a CVP line in your subclavian vein in need of first rate MICU care by anesthesiologists, pulmonary subspecialists and other intesive care trained physicians and nurses help you?

        My point was NO. And it doesn’t make a difference what Perlin’s CV says. That isn’t going to save you. My point was we aren’t prepared, and the microbiology of Anthrax has left us unprepared and we may well have as many MDs and others created a dangerous monster with 15,000 personnel having access to germs used for terrorism and 450 labs that have now prolifferated.

        If we are hit by an Anthrax attack, you can try standing in front of your mirro and waving Dr. Perlin’s resume all you like, but you’ll be dead fast unless you get acute care.

        And note that Dr. Perlin’s statement made none of the points that I made. That’s why I made them. None of these people who make money from grants in their institutions talks about the fact that we need an acute antidote to protect all 205 million people in our country not to mention others, and we don’t have it.

        So I’d look for the precise care that you might need in the event of an anthrax bioterrorism attack, not 60 million stockpiled vaccines that don’t work against it at all, or stockpiled oral Cipro or any other qunionlone that bugs rapidly develop resistance to, not Dr. Perlin’s resume. It ain’t gonna save your life.

        The care you may not be able to get to in the event of an attack would.

        As I said when emergency physicians and nurses and other emergency personnel were offered the anthrax vaccine in my state, less than 20 people accepted it because they were ignorant of the side effect profile’s safety, and out of hundreds and there were studies–I participated in one throughout this country but they involved very few people in the US.

        • PetePierce says:

          Whoopsie. Heavens to Betsy and the pharmacologic spelling gods–quinolone not quinalone. And oral quinolones develop resistance fast as any physician knows or needs to know (they are promiscously Rx’d by surgeons all the time) and PO quinolones aren’t going to touch acute fine powdered pulmonary attacking anthrax, nor is any vaccine thHHSat we have currently spent billions on stockpiling.

          HHS and DHS currently have no plan for an acute bioterrorism antrhax attack (or from other pathogens) that would work, and they don’t even have the expensive sensor program up in many many areas and it would take 1-2 days to give conclusive information anyway.

          You better hope we aren’t attacked, and it doesn’t have much to do with McVacuous or Barack Obama in the near future. However, I believe an Obama foreign policy will reduce the number of people that want to hurt you or kill you dramatically. Let’s see if I’m right.

        • klynn says:

          Hey PetePierce,

          My comment and link at 76 was not in any way to belittle your noting his letter to the editor at 55.

          I TOTALLY agree his LTE letter is BS. My note at the bottom is snark for why would someone in Public Health even write this letter? What is HIS motivation? I think he has one that is far beyond any interest he may serve in public health. The fact that he is from Newark, NJ and aspects of his resume tweaked my attention from a national security perspective. And from the fact that more contacts pop up from NJ and yet the FBI cannot place Ivins in NJ on the mailing date? Jeebuz, I even think Judy Miller should be on the suspect list my than Ivins at this point.

          Hey, I’ve got a brother who is a trauma physician and a husband in human health risk. I would never disagree on the fact that Dr. Perlin’s letter is BS…I’m on your side. Next time I’ll connect the dots better.

          Perlin doth protest too little and too soon in my estimation. I wonder how much he got paid to write that LTE or on whose behalf he wrote it for? His “public health” integrity is slim to none after that letter.

          My regrets. I was not slamming your deconstruction of his letter to the editor.

          • PetePierce says:

            My regrests if I seemed abrasive. I didn’t mean to. I think I’m a bit frustrated at the lack of convincing investigation FBI has done, the fact that when I was growing up, we didn’t even begin to think people would want to attack the US with the mass killers that are now the stuff of so many movies and TV shows, and although I think the Bush administration has been poor in their approach to claiming they’d protect the socker moms while making it more dangerous for them, it’s a tall order to defend against bugs that are so dangerous for even a small number of people acutely rather than a whole country of 305 million.

            Guys like Dr. Perlin are no doubt very bright and accomplished and mean well, but they also have the buildup of their own institutions at stake, and when they make meaningless statements that we’re much better prepared I take issue with them–especially when they never spell out how.

  28. Larry says:

    Sorry if someone has mentioned this before, but re: hassling someone until they commit suicide, then declaring that this proves they were guilty, case closed; What’s the difference between the DOJ-FBI here and Nancy Grace?

  29. brendanx says:

    Who is this “fellow scientist who helped him through this period”, anyway? (from Post):

    Ivins “was e-mailing me late at night with gobbledygook, ranting and raving” about what he called the “persecution” of his family, said the scientist, a recovering alcohol and drug user who had been sober for more than a decade. The scientist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he had been contacted by a co-worker of Ivins’s at the sprawling Army biodefense laboratory in Fort Detrick and that the co-worker said the veteran anthrax researcher “has really gone down the tubes.” The scientist agreed to help Ivins, focusing on a 12-step recovery program. He was one of many people who intervened in Ivins’s life before he committed suicide last week as law officials were preparing to indict him in the anthrax attacks that killed five people.

    Is is the same “gobbledygook”, by the way, that the article details?

  30. Mary says:

    41 – “A strain labeled the “Ivins flask strain” but which was handled by nine other researches and was shipped to other labs would appear to create many suspects.” That was pretty much my point in specifying that even those reports indicated access to 9 other researchers and the other labs.

    Again on devil’s advocate, though, I’m not sure that I would say borrowing the lypholizer (and again, why did he have to borrow one if his lab was doing work that used them at the time?) was inconsistent with him escaping focus as a suspect for 7 years. It seems like a hyperfixation on Hatfill, more than anything else, is what might have helped him escape focus as a suspect initially, then years later, when you have 9 other direct handlers and other lab destinations, going back and trying to hook anything else onto the lypholizer is going to be more difficult.

    But I really don’t think from an evidentiary standpoint the reports show anything on Ivins other than a 10 person (including him) flask with shipments to other labs being the original source and what appear to be fibs about the lypholizer and an “off the books” acquisition of equipment that his lab was not supposed to have and that could have been used for making powder, and making powder was something done for all kinds of experimental purposes.

    And there are so many possible scenarios the mind boggles, even if he was somehow involved. Grab a novelist and they could make up all kinds of plots where his “involvement” if any might range from doing some private work making powder that gets lifted by someone and he doesn’t want to admit that he was breaking protocol, to making powder for a black op job that he thought was going to be used against terrorists overseas, etc. etc. etc. If he was a vocal Democrat (I hadn’t heard that) so much the better for “someone” who wanted to target Daschle and Leahy to make the source of the product something that would track back to him.

    BTW – anyone know how it is that he had his own patent for vaccine work – was that work not done under the auspices of Ft Detrick or do they not have their work product govt owned?

    I have no real opinion, one way or the other, on Ivins innocence or guilt or degree of either. I just can’t wrap my head around the FBI taking pictures of victims to the institutionalized daughter. I guess we just cling to the fact that Mukasey didn’t authorize them to bury her alive until she confessed to her father’s involvement.

    It’s all beyond creepy.

  31. Diane says:

    Marcy, closing cases by way of suicide seems to be the Nancy Grace school of investigation (harrassment).

  32. Mary says:

    52 It’s like having substance abusers counseling our nation’s WMD experts.

    Oh man, sometimes it does hurt when you’re laughing.

  33. emptywheel says:

    An earlier version of that leaked story said they could have dehydrated teh anthrax in an oven, and that the difference between samples may have been that the culprit overcooked the anthrax the first time around.

  34. numbertwopencil says:

    …Acetaminophen OD is not a quick painless way to go…

    Various reports say Tylenol 3, not off the shelf Tylenol. There’s some codeine in Tylenol 3–hence, it’s prescription only. If you take enough of it, not only does your pain go away but you quit breathing.

    It’s not an unknown way to kill yourself. For example, David Kelly, the UK bioweapons expert, took a large dose of the over the counter UK version of Tylenol 3, paracetamol, before, apparently, cutting his wrists.

    • klynn says:

      odd pattern there…Tylenol 3…

      Is there anything that the digestion of Tylenol 3 could hide in an autopsy?

      • PetePierce says:

        Not tylenol and hydrocodone which it is, but you raise an excellent point. We only have cursory descriptions of episodes where Dr. Ivins was treated in the ER and his death.

        He was reported to be drinking Vodka heavily with friends saying he was slurring and less than sharp on many phone calls over many months. Both tylenol and alcohol target the liver and can cause fatal damage fast.

        Remeber if someone is using Alchohol alone and drinking heavily, not to mention taking other meds like codeine or large amounts of tylenol enough to get into the hepatotoxicity range, they can get into critical trouble fast.

        ER’s are full of people with large blood alcohol levels alone who can go into respiratory depression quickly from the alcohol.

        From an excellent source Emedicine:

        Ethanol is easily absorbed from the stomach and small intestine. When the stomach is empty, peak levels are reached 30-90 minutes after acute ingestion. When food is present in the stomach absorption is delayed. Total absorption may take as long as 6 hours.

        Metabolism of ethanol is carried out in the liver by several enzymes, including alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system (MEOS) or CYP2E1, and peroxisomal catalase. Most (90-95%) enzymes are metabolized by alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases. MEOS accounts for about 5% but may increase to 25% in the chronic drinker. Normally, catalase makes a small contribution to ethanol metabolism; its role is more significant at high serum ethanol concentrations.

        The other obvious fact is that people who are taking amounts of alcohol and or tylenol/opiates and benzodiazapines or psychotropic drugs in general who are Dr. Ivins’ age are more of a risk for an acute MI or a CVA (stroke with those drugs on board).

        We can’t tell definitive cardiac muscle damage often within 24 hours of the cardiac muscle ischemia if there was not time for an inflammatory response to be mounted despite enzymes and other cutting edge tests that would be drawn.

        I feel terrible for Dr. Ivins’ family, his co-workers (the ones that are innocent which may be all of them) and the families and friends of people attacked. They are reliving the days that were horrible for them in 2001.

      • PetePierce says:

        I should have added the paradox of tricyclic antidepressants. People who are depressed often take them. And a relatively small amount of them can cause death as well.

        Toxicity may be observed at doses of 10-20 mg/kg/d.

        It doesn’t take many of them at once to cause significant respiratory depression in the CNS via decreased central norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake (and direct alpha- adrenergic blocade) as well as concommitant carciac death via Blockade of fast sodium channels in myocardial cells, resulting in quinidinelike membrane-stabilizing effects.

        We don’t know what Dr. Ivins took and we may not know completely for some time if ever.

        The meds he was likely to take all cause conduction blocade in the heart as well as the other effects on the liver.

        CAs as they are called or TCAs can quickly cause a ventricular arrhythmia that is lethal or complete asystole stopping the heart.

        They and alcohol not only cause CNS respiratory depression, they keep the heart from left ventricular contracting and conducting effectively.

    • PetePierce says:

      I’ve seen people close to dying with 15-20 ES Tylenol, no EtOH, no TCAs, No Codeine which as we all know can cause respiratory and cardiac depression that’s fatal in the ways I described above. It’s enough to cause massive heaptic necrosis if not treated correctly and promptly.

      Regardless of formulation, whether 325-mg and 500-mg immediate-release tablets, and as a 650-mg extended-release or in combo with a codein prep, the time from ingestion to peak acetaminophen level is approximately 4 hours. The maximum daily dose of APAP is 4 g in adults and 90 mg/kg in children. The toxic dose of APAP after a single acute ingestion is 150 mg/kg or approximately 7 g in adults. The at-risk dose may be lower in some susceptible patient populations, such as persons with alcohol abuse, malnourishment, or viral illness with dehydration. Liquid formulations peak somewhat quicker, and even extended-release preparations are almost completely absorbed by 4 hours.

      Serious consequences are avoided when therapy is begun early, and most experts recommend within 8 hours. Unfortunately a lot of patients go into a stupor from concommitant booze and if they also took antidepressants in a significant OD amount, you have your hands full. It can be damned near impossible, even with prompt gastric lavage, intubation, and dyalysis, to treat some antidepressant ODs when they block cardiac conduction.

  35. behindthefall says:

    What’s all this excitement about a lyophilizer? Now, maybe when working with pathogens there’s a special kind required (I would HOPE so), with HEPA filters and the like, but garden variety freeze-dryers? Every micro lab has one in some corner or other.

    The garden variety ones, though, give you a webby substance, typically, not an ultrafine powder. So, whatever produces a powder which would waft into the air must have a few extra wrinkles to it.

    In any event, it would help us to understand what was going on if they’d use something more descriptive than just “lyophilizer”, I think.