Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The mail anthrax attacks:

even more followup. Back in March I ran across a piece that noted the man accused of carrying out the attacks was, well, just 'accused'; there was no actual proof he did it, no confession. Now we have this:
The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago.

Shortly after Ivins committed suicide in 2008, federal investigators announced that they’d identified him as the mass murderer who sent the letters to members of Congress and the news media. The case was circumstantial, with federal officials arguing that the scientist had the means, motive and opportunity to make the deadly powder at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md.

Now, however, Justice Department lawyers have acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins’ lab — the so-called hot suite — didn’t contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.
Earlier this year, a report by the National Academy of Sciences questioned the genetic analysis that had linked a flask of anthrax stored in Ivins' office to the anthrax in the letters.
In excerpts from one of more than a dozen depositions made public in the case last week, the chief of USAMRIID's bacteriology division, Patricia Worsham, said the lab lacked the facilities in 2001 to make the kind of spores in the letters.

Two of the five letters, those sent to Democratic U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Thomas Daschle of South Dakota, were especially deadly because they were so pure that they floated with the slightest wisp of air.

Worsham said the lab's equipment for drying the spores, a machine the size of a refrigerator, wasn't in a contained lab.

"If someone had used that to dry down that preparation, I would have expected that area to be very, very contaminated, and we had nonimmunized personnel in that area, and I would have expected some of them to become ill," she said.

In its statement of facts, the government lawyers also said that producing the volume of anthrax in the letters would have required 2.8 to 53 liters of the solution used to grow the spores or 463 to 1,250 petri dishes. Colleagues of Ivins at the lab have asserted that he couldn't have grown all that anthrax without notice
Damn, you think maybe?

So. It could be argued that the DoJ is saying this to protect the government from the lawsuit mentioned in the article; in which case they've opened up the "So if he couldn't have made it in the lab, where the hell DID he make it? Did you somehow manage to miss a whole friggin' lab somewhere? Or did he dismantle it right under your noses?" mess all over again. And they've also opened the "DID he do it?" question.

What a bloody mess.

I should note, if you read the comments at the end of this article, you'll find an awful lot of 9/11 truther idiocy floating about, along with "The Bushitler did it to get rid of the Democrats!" stupidity. Ever notice how he was simultaneously evil genius enough to set up various things, but- in this case for instance- the intended targets are still walking around using up oxygen?

1 comment:

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi said...

remember the camel club

Still play pretend?
Rupert Murdoch
Rudy Giuliani
Bernie Kerik
911 Racket