anthrax updates: leahy, boyle, grassley, coverups & 2 groups

leahy not satisfied with the anthrax investigation
from empty wheel: The biggest news from a blogger chat with Patrick Leahy at the DNC today came in response to a question I threw out as we adjourned – about whether or not he was convinced with the FBI’s case in the anthrax case. We had this exchange:

emptywheel: Do you think Ivins acted alone? Are you convinced Ivins sent the anthrax letters?

Leahy: No, I’m not satisfied. I think someone was involved either before or after. I’m not satisfied with the answers I’ve gotten.

I suggested that he had seen significantly more evidence than the public had seen-he gave me a funny look; I’m not sure what that meant. He said SJC will do a hearing with Mueller in mid-September. Leahy expects some hard questions from both Democrats and Republicans.

govt biological weapons legislator: anthrax inside job coverup continuing
govt biological weapons legislator: anthrax inside job coverup continuingfrom steve watson: A former government biological weapons legislator appeared on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones show yesterday to discuss his detailed knowledge of the cover up of the 2001 anthrax attacks, which he is adamant were perpetrated by criminal elements of the US government in an attempt to foment a police state by killing off opposition to hardline post 9/11 legislation. Dr Francis A. Boyle literally helped write the law with regards to terrorism, as he was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that was passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush Snr.

charles grassley on the anthrax investigation
from glenn greenwald: For today’s edition of Salon Radio, I spoke with GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa who, to his credit, has been the leading critic in the Senate of the FBI’s anthrax investigation. Sen. Grassley wrote an August 7 letter to Attorney General Mukasey and FBI Director Mueller complaining about the FBI’s secrecy and botched investigation and demanding answers to multiple key questions. In the interview, Sen. Grassley reveals that the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Pat Leahy (of which Grassley is a member), will now hold hearings to investigate the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins.

project anthrax & the coverup (part6): vaxgen’s donald francis & aids; the thai experiments; the mailings as fascist ‘cinical trials’
project anthrax & the coverup (part6): vaxgen's donald francis & aids; the thai experiments; the mailings as fascist 'cinical trials'from alex constantine: The anthrax mailings and the development of vaccines were inseparable projects – these involved animal and human experimentation. On August 3, 2008, USA Today explained the work that Dr. Ivins did at Ft. Detrick, specificially – terminal animal experiments:

“Ivins performed research that required exposing research animals to airborne anthrax, according to a 1998 report in the journal Vaccine. The goal was to test whether a new vaccine could guard against anthrax inhaled in a bioterrorist attack.” The strain of anthrax employed “in Ivins’ vaccine experiments was a wet form sprayed into the faces of macaque monkeys through a mask.”

top anthrax expert: ‘maybe there’s 2 groups’ of anthrax killers
from george washington: William Patrick is the leading U.S. expert on weaponizing anthrax, and has multiple patents in anthrax weaponization. Patrick made an interesting point in a November 2001 article in USA Today:

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

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

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

The anthrax sent in the first letters was coarse, brown, “sandlike”, and clumpy. The anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was white and very fine.

ivins tried to mislead fbi on anthrax
from usa today: The FBI said Monday that Bruce Ivins, the bioscientist whom they say launched the 2001 anthrax attacks, helped them figure out how to collect the anthrax samples needed for the investigation. On Feb. 27, 2002, Ivins submitted a sample that didn’t meet those standards. The FBI destroyed his sample without testing it, said Vahid Majidi, assistant director for the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.

fbi admits it destroyed evidence in anthrax case
from ap: FBI scientists early on had — but destroyed — the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins, now the government’s top suspect. FBI Assistant Director Vahid Majidi (vah-HID muh-JI-dee) said the initial anthrax sample that Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators did not meet court-ordered conditions for its preparation and collection. Majidi said the sample kept at the FBI lab was destroyed because the bureau believed it might not have been allowed as evidence at trial. Not until after April 2004 did investigators trace strains of genetically-unique anthrax back to Ivins’ lab at Fort Detrick, Md. (This version CORRECTS that sample might NOT have been allowed.))

why people who question the anthrax attacks won’t question 9/11
from 9/11 blogger: I think I’ve figure out why many people who question the government’s explanation for the anthrax attacks don’t question the official story about 9/11.

Specifically:

* 9/11 involved much greater loss of life – while 5 people died in the anthrax attacks, close to 3,000 died on 9/11

* While none of us have seen gruesome images of the victims of the anthax attacks, we watched horrific images of 9/11: planes slamming into buildings, people jumping out of the Twin Towers, the Towers collapsing . . .

* 9/11 was the first attack on the U.S. by “foreign terrorists”. As such, it was the point at which America took the fork in the road away from traditional notions of liberty, justice and the Geneva Convention and towards the “war on terror”

9/11 and the anthrax attacks – and the government’s “investigation” into both – were actually very similar in many ways, as I will show in my next essay.

However, while many people can see how ridiculous the government’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins as the “sole culprit” is, they are so traumatized by the 3,000 dead, the horrible images, and the status of 9/11 as the “day when everything changed”, that they simply will not allow themselves to honestly and fully investigate 9/11.

anthrax, hatfill & more: additions to the complete 9/11 timeline
from history commons: Most of the new entries published by the 9/11 Timeline this week deal with the anthrax scare. The main drug used to combat anthrax was Cipro, which a high government official advised some reporters to take shortly after 9/11. Although an inquiry was launched into a coverup of problems with it in May 2000, the FDA endorsed the drug two months later. Hoax letters similar to the later anthrax mailings were sent to Fox News from 2000, and one may have been received by a Florida tabloid in mid-September 2001. The anthrax attacks are associated with the Patriot Act, which Democratic Senator Russ Feingold blocked on October 9. Two other Democratic senators were then targeted by the killer, and 28 congressional staffers tested positive for the disease. Congress then passed the bill without reading it.

anthrax fall guy ivins reminds frederick, maryland locals of the frank olson ‘suicide’ case of 50yrs ago
anthrax fall guy ivins reminds frederick, maryland locals of the frank olson 'suicide' case of 50yrs agofrom peters new york: The story of Frank Olson was documented in the months before 9/11 in an article in the New York Times magazine section. Written by his son’s Harvard schoolmate, Michael Ignatieff, we learn from the story that “Frank Olson’s specialty… had been the development of aerosols for the delivery of anthrax.” In the years immediately preceding his death, Olson was one of the top officials at the government’s biological weapons laboratory at Fort Detrick.

In 1953, Olson was found on a New York City sidewalk, his body bloodied and broken, apparently after a fall from his hotel room. The details of his death, ruled a suicide, remained a mystery for more than twenty years. But in 1975, an article in the Washington Post revealed that, contained in a report issued by the then-recently concluded U.S. President’s Commission on CIA Activities was an account of a scientist who had been administered a dose of LSD without his knowledge, suffered side-effects from the drug, went to New York under CIA escort for psychological treatment, and jumped out of a hotel room window.