Sunday, July 26, 2009
You've heard that the FBI is paying scientists to study their novel theory linking Ivins with the killer anthrax.
But you may have forgotten that the FBI is simply trying to link the anthrax strain in Ivins' lab to the white powder used in the attacks. The FBI is not trying to rule out the hundreds of other people who had access to the exact same strain.
As an article today from the main paper in the Fort Detrick area - the Frederick News Post - writes:
For Ivins' family and former colleagues who have maintained his innocence, a closed case will mean the FBI is putting faith in circumstantial evidence and a scientific fact-finding process that brought investigators to a flask of anthrax spores under Ivins' control, but accessible to more than 100 people.
"We don't convict beakers in this country," said Rockville attorney Paul Kemp, who represents the Ivins family. "We prosecute, convict or acquit human beings"...
Jeff Adamovicz, head of the bacteriology division after Andrews left in 2004, said the fact that samples obtained by the FBI were voluntarily submitted weakens the case significantly.
He is also certain other labs possessed RMR-1029.
Dangerous pathogens, known as select agents, are regularly sent between both public and private labs that are registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shipments from USAMRIID are recorded on an internal form and with the CDC, Adamovicz said.
"The FBI knows full well the distribution of that strain," said Adamovicz, who left USAMRIID in 2007.
He said he has no evidence to suggest any specific person or entity is responsible for the attacks, but wanted the FBI to fully explain how they ruled out two sites where RMR-1029 was likely to have been produced and shipped: U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah and Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio...
Indeed, there is no evidence linking the drying machines at Fort Detrick to the killer strain. As the above-linked Frederick News Post article states:
Russell Byrne, one of Ivins' former colleagues, is a former director of the bacteriology division. He likened the scenario to someone using their own gun to kill somebody and leaving it on their desk.
He said there was no genetic evidence found in any of the USAMRIID lyophilizers, a machine that would have been required to dry the spores into a powder.
Remember, it takes very high-grade military machinery and know-how to weaponize anthrax to the lethality of the killer powder that was mailed after 9/11.
And as I've previously pointed out, scientists at Ft. Detrick said that they don't have the type of equipment necessary to weaponize anthrax, but other military facilities do. Yet the FBI has refused to investigate or test the equipment at other government labs known to have produced dried, weaponized anthrax of the type used in the attacks.
Moreover, a recent test shows that the killer anthrax may have come from somewhere with a unique contamination signature.
The fact that the government is only trying to prove that a specific beaker contained the liquid form of killer anthrax - but is not offering any real evidence that it was Ivins who took the anthrax and somehow weaponized it in a way that only a handful of people in the world know how to do (and which Ivins did not know how to do) - more or less shows that the government is not even trying to prove Ivins' guilt, but is simply trying to distract people by "convicting a beaker".
And see this.