Justice Department lawyers filed a brief on July 15 that said Bruce Ivins did not have access to equipment in the Fort Detrick hot suites that would have enabled him to make the dried anthrax found in letters to two Senators.
… the filing in a Florida court did not explain where or how Ivins could have made the powder, saying only that the lab “did not have the specialized equipment’’ in Ivins’ secure lab “that would be required to prepare the dried spore preparations that were used in the letters.”
The filing was in response to a lawsuit against the government filed by the family of Bob Stevens, the first person to die from mailed anthrax in 2001.
Justice department lawyers have also claimed that
“drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties,” and “overt use of any of these methods, if noticed, would have raised considerable alarm and scrutiny.’’
Yet the government has dried anthrax, and contracted with the corporation Battelle to produce dried anthrax for a government project. Our government has in the past used the argument that only offensive programs are banned by the Biological Weapons Convention, and that if the intent is to use dried anthrax for a defensive purpose, then it is allowed.