Justice Department Filing Casts Doubt on Guilt of Bruce Ivins, Accused in Anthrax Case/ PBS, McClatchy, ProPublica

From Mike Wiser, Greg Gordon and Stephen Engelberg come the following story:

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.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

The increased hours started in the middle of summer because that it when the problems with Bioport arose and they were tasked to help.

They did not continue in 2002 because it was no longer permitted. The entire arguments was an artifact.

The Amerithrax Investigative Summary explains:

"Drying the spores likely would have attracted attention unless the perpetrator accessed the equipment at night. Drying anthrax spores requires either a sophisticated drying machine called a lyophilizer, a speed-vac, or a great deal of time and space to let the spores air-dry – that is, to allow the water to evaporate – in the lab. Because drying anthrax is expressly forbidden by various treaties, overt use of any of these methods, if noticed, would have raised considerable alarm and scrutiny. "

The lab notes showing what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab on the dates that the government claimed he had no reason to be in the lab were withheld by the DOJ — indeed they still have been not been produced by DOJ. For each of the dates, the Army has produced the lab notes showing that the DOJ's claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab was mistaken. The first of such lab notes, sufficient without more to demolish the DOJ's claim, were produced on May 11, 2011. But there are still more documents being withheld by DOJ which were removed from USAMRIID and thus are not available to be produced by the Army. GAO should investigate the withholding of the the highly pertinent documents by DOJ that was key to setting up its false claim."

DOJ has refused to produce the documents produced in Stevens — those not subject to a protective orders — on the grounds that the public would not be benefited from being informed on the matter. Compliance with FOIA should be addressed by GAO in its probe.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Village Voice blog –

Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, was officially labeled the Anthrax killer posthumously, accused of killing five people with contaminated letters and spooking all of the post-9/11 United States. Though much of the U.S. press, including the Washington Post and CNN, initially accepted Ivins's guilt as fact, certain media critics like Salon's Glenn Greenwald have long questioned the FBI's version of events. (The Post, along with the New York Times, would later call for further investigation on their opinion pages.) "[O]ne of the most glaring of the many deficiencies in the FBI's case is the complete lack of evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, placing Ivins at the New Jersey mailboxes (the proverbial 'scene of the crime') on either of the two dates on which the anthrax letters were sent," Greenwald wrote in the summer of 2008. Lo and behold, in February, the Times and others relayed the findings of a new report which concluded that "the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins." This month, a closer look casts even more doubts.
PBS Frontline reports, "On July 15 … Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins' lab — the so-called hot suite — did not 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."

Ivins is "more likely than not" the Anthrax killer, the government maintains. But! "Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores, and the FBI's eight-year, $100 million investigation never proved he mailed the letters or identified another location where he might have secretly dried the anthrax into an easily inhaled powder."

A PBS documentary on the case, in association with McClatchy Newspapers and ProPublica, is currently in the works.

Old Atlantic Lighthouse
Old Atlantic Lighthouse
10 years ago

The specialized equipment is not plastic plates in plastic bags?

The weapons treaty folks didn't realize you can just air dry it?

It seems like the government is giving up on the whole he grew it in plastic bags in the trash bin theory.

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

Tell us again about all that extra time Ivins spent in the lab making Anthrax powder Ed.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

Anthrax Sleuth wrote: "Tell us again about all that extra time Ivins spent in the lab making Anthrax powder Ed."

The only thing interesting about this "news" story from McClatchy is what they DID NOT report.

They did NOT report that the information they found was in a Motion for a Summary Judgment filed the by government.

Some months ago, Maureen Stevens' lawyers changed their lawsuit because they could not win if Ivins was the culprit. If Ivins was the culprit, the government couldn't be held responsible for the actions of a lone mentally ill scientist who performed a criminal act in secret, entirely on his own and against all established rules and procedures.

So, Maureen Stevens' lawyers had to change their case to argue that Ivins didn't do it, and the government is therefore liable for what some UNKNOWN culprit did despite all the established rules and procedures at USAMRIID.

Today's Frederick News-Post explains why the government filed a motion to have the case thrown out or closed in their favor:

Dismissing the notion that Ivins was the killer also negates the lawsuit, the Justice Department argues, because not being able to prove who the killer was and what his or her methods were means the plaintiffs [Stevens] cannot prove where the government showed negligence.

The other motion to dismiss the case revolved around the argument that, regardless of whether Ivins was the real killer, the plaintiffs cannot prove that USAMRIID policy or procedure, or the breach thereof, led to anthrax attacks.

The blahblah about the lyophilizer is pure nonsense. The government never said that a lyophilizer was required to make the dry powder. They said it was just one way to dry spores. The lyophilizer came up mostly because Ivins LIED about not knowing how to use it. He was the custodian of the item, and he taught others how to use it.

This is all much ado about nothing.

It may become something if Judge Hurley agrees with the government and puts an end to Maureen Stevens' lawsuit.

At one time, I thought Maureen Stevens had a solid case. But, I've learned a lot about how "negligence" is determined in a court of law. She's got an extremely tough case — if she has any case at all.

Ed

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

Old Atlantic Lighthouse wrote: It seems like the government is giving up on the whole he grew it in plastic bags in the trash bin theory.

No, the government never even attempted to argue exactly how Ivins made the anthrax powders.

That was a very smart move, since if you try to state exactly how you figure something was probably done, you are on a fool's errand.

It's better to just state that Ivins had MULTIPLE ways to make the anthrax, and, if pressed, the government could show one or two different ways without ever claiming that any way is the "exact" way that Ivins did it.

Other facts show that Ivins was the anthrax mailer, not the specific techniques he used to make the attack powders.

Ed

BugMaster
BugMaster
10 years ago

"Drying anthrax spores requires either a sophisticated drying machine called a lyophilizer, a speed-vac, or a great deal of time and space to let the spores air-dry – that is, to allow the water to evaporate – in the lab."

Not exactly. But the alternative technique could not have been undertaken on Fort Detrick property without someone noticing. (And if attempted at home, Mrs. Ivins would have noticed as well!).

The FBI states that there is no evidence that Ivins had access to any additional clandestine workspace.

Unless he had access to an ultracentrifuge that he could have used without notice for an extended period of time (an ultracentrifuge contains a refrigerated vacuum chamber where the rotor is normally placed).

Even then, its use would have had to remain undiscovered for an extended period of time (48 hours or more?).

An ultracentrifuge is a very expensive specialized piece of equipment. I don't think they had a lot of these sitting around unused in the hot suites.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

For the reasons explained by Dr. Worsham and Dr. Little…
and Dr. Byrne and Dr. Heine and Dr. Andrews and and Dr. Adamovicz… he did not have multiple ways. As they explain in their sworn testimony, he didn't have any.

Not only did he have a reason to be in the lab on each of the days — contrary to DOJ's claim — but he could not have used the lyophilizer as US Attorney claimed in his press conference and as prosecutors urged on July 29 to Paul Kemp.

DXer
DXer
10 years ago

In a July 18 report, emptywheel reminded us of the Byrne and Andrews depositions. They are just as powerful as the Worsham deposition. I liked the Worsham deposition given that she was such an authoritative speaker before the NAS, as she led off the explanation about the 4 morphs on behalf of the FBI.

But the Little deposition is the most powerful of all given its concrete particulars.

Government Inches Closer to Admitting It Hasn’t Solved Anthrax Attack
Posted on July 18, 2011 by emptywheel
As a number of you have noted, ProPublica is out with a story on yet more evidence why Bruce Ivins was probably not the anthrax killer. Here’s the deposition they cite in their story; his former colleague Patricia Worsham described how USAMRIID didn’t have the facilities to dry the anthrax used in the attack, and certainly not the quantities that were used in the attack.

I think I summarized it before to a certain extent, in that I don’t believe that we had facilities at USAMRIID to make that kind of preparation. It would have taken a great deal of time; it would have taken a huge number of cultures; it would have taken a lot of resources that would have been obvious to other people within containment when they wanted to use those resources.

We did not have anything in containment suitable for drying down anything, much less a quantity of spores. The lyophilizer that was part of our division was in noncontainment. 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 the area, and I might have expected some of them to become ill.

Just as interesting is the argument the lawyers for Maureen Stevens–Bob Stevens’ wife–made when withdrawing their earlier stipulation that Bruce Ivins was the killer. They cite two former supervisors of Ivins, William Russell Byrne and Gerard Andrews, explaining why they thought Ivins couldn’t have made the anthrax used in the attacks.

Byrne argued that, had Ivins used the lypholizer to dry the anthrax, it would have left evidence.

He reiterated that if the laboratory’s equipment (lypholizer) had been used to lypholize that powder, you would have been able to find evidence of it pretty easily (76/23). The powder would have gotten everywhere insider the lypholizer.

And Andrews explained that the volume the equipment in Ivins’ lab was insufficient to make the amount of spores used in the attack.

Dr. Andrews stated: “No, I don’t believe he had the equipment, in my opinion.” He said that the equipment in BSL3 had limitations in that the lypholizer was a low-volume lypholizer that could handle maybe up to 50 mils at a time in separate small tubes. He opined “where would he do it without creating any sort of contamination is beyond me, but it has been speculated that the lypholizer may have been moved into a Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinet to prevent spores from flying everywhere. I would think the physical size of the lypholizer would be difficult to get the entire, or the speed vac to get the entire apparatus under the hood. It might be possible to get the apparatus under the hood; however, there would be contamination of it inside the hood if that was the case.

Byrne and Andrews also address Ivins’ training–that is, lack of training on weaponizing anthrax.

Right now, to try to salvage this suit, the government is arguing that the plaintiffs have no evidence of anyone else making the anthrax, but that since Ivins’ supervisors didn’t think he had the capability to make the anthrax, the government can’t be held liable for the anthrax that killed Bob Stevens.

But along the way, evidence like this–as well as further evidence that Ivins didn’t have sole control of the anthrax–is making it more and more clear that the government hasn’t solved this case.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Ed,

If Ivins was legitimately busy after hours during the weeks prior to the attacks and did not use the lyophilizer, how and when did he likely produce the weapons?

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Partial post by Mister Lake:
——————————-
The blahblah about the lyophilizer is pure nonsense. The government never said that a lyophilizer was required to make the dry powder. They said it was just one way to dry spores. The lyophilizer came up mostly because Ivins LIED about not knowing how to use it. He was the custodian of the item, and he taught others how to use it.

This is all much ado about nothing.

———————————
But it was Ivins' 'extra time' in the lab that was supposedly so 'suspicious' and 'unexplained' etc. If he wasn't making powdered anthrax there——and these latest revelations are pointing in the direction that there's little chance he was——-then who cares WHAT he was doing?

Let's see what the government was saying a week after Ivins committed suicide: the August 6th newsconference: (speaker is U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor)
———————————-
Second[bit of evidence among 6 listed at that time], as a renowned expert in the production and purification of anthrax spores, Dr. Ivins was one of a handful of scientists with the capability to create spores of the concentration and purity used in the attacks. The affidavits allege that, not only did Dr. Ivins create and maintain the spore batch used in the mailings, but he also had access to and experience using a lyophilizer. A lyophilizer is a sophisticated machine that is used to dry pathogens, and can be used to dry anthrax. We know others in Dr. Ivins' lab consulted him when they needed to use this machine.
———————————
Leaving out the fact that Ivins couldn't have used the lyophilizer amounts to deception via omission. A pattern with the government's case.

US Attorney Taylor continued:
———————————
Third, in the days leading up to each of the mailings, the documents make clear that Dr. Ivins was working inordinate hours alone at night and on the weekend in the lab where the flask of spores and production equipment were stored. A review of his access records revealed that Dr. Ivins had not spent this many "off hours" in the lab at any time before or after this period. When questioned about why he was in the lab during those off hours prior to each of the mailings, Dr. Ivins was unable to offer any satisfactory explanation.
———————————–
This too has been exposed as at best a half-truth.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93415845

Worthwhile on the above: (alibi)
http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/dxer-dr-bruce-ivins-alibi-and-the-withholding-of-information-required-by-law-to-be-disclosed/

(inexplicability of silicon content) http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/silicon-additive-clearly-observed-in-daschle-powder-the-fbi-tried-for-8-years-to-duplicate-this-obvious-silicon-additive-and-failed-they-cannot-explain-it-nor-can-they-link-it-to-dr-ivins/

(alibi again)http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/dxer-the-big-picture-may-seem-complicated-but-most-simply-dr-ivins-in-fact-had-an-alibi-on-917-that-was-when-his-group-therapy-met/

Etc.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "But it was Ivins' 'extra time' in the lab that was supposedly so 'suspicious' and 'unexplained' etc. If he wasn't making powdered anthrax there——and these latest revelations are pointing in the direction that there's little chance he was——-then who cares WHAT he was doing?"

I don't know where you got that misunderstanding, but it could be from the PBS NewHour clip that suggested that kind of total nonsense.

Ivins was almost certainly making anthrax powders in his lab on those evening and weekend times for which he had no explanations.

The PBS interview suggests that the civil division of the DOJ somehow suggested that Ivins did not use his lab at all to make the attack anthrax. I've seen no suggestion of that anywhere except in that PBS news clip.

It's ridiculous. It's bad reporting by PBS. If it were true, the "Notice of Errata" filed by the government yesterday would have included a lot more than just a correction about the lyophilizer, and the Anthrax Truthers would be trumpeting it all over the place.

It's bad reporting from PBS.

"Leaving out the fact that Ivins couldn't have used the lyophilizer amounts to deception via omission.

In your opinion. In reality, the DOJ was just leaving open all the possible ways Ivins could have dried the powders. The fact that it would have been extremely difficult for Ivins to use the lyophilizer isn't proof that he didn't use the lyophilizer.

"This too has been exposed as at best a half-truth."

On the contrary, the links you provide to arguments on Lew Weinstein's web site are links to nonsensical, bogus claims. The posters make claims but provide NO EVIDENCE in support of their claims. They show documents but the documents prove the government's argument, not the arguments by "DXer" and others posting to Weinstein's site.

There is absolutely NOTHING that shows that Ivins had alibis for the time of either one of the mailings. The posters to Lew's site will claim that the "window of opportunity" for the first mailing isn't as large as the government says. Maybe not, but there was still plenty of unaccounted-for time for Ivins to drive to Princeton and back for both mailings. And that means Ivins had no abibi.

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Pastial post by Mister Lake:
—————————-
There is absolutely NOTHING that shows that Ivins had alibis for the time of either one of the mailings.
==================================
But the "time" of the October mailing was never nailed down by the investigators! It could have been October 9th, October 8th, October 7th, even October 6th.

How then can you expect ANYONE to "prove" (and this is the investigation's burden, not the suspect/defendant's)what he was doing on the night of X, if you don't tell him when the night of X was?!?!?!?

Another volcano-crater-size hole in the government's case that would never have passed muster in a real court of law. Only the PR offense launched from August of 2008 to the issuance of the Final Report could obscure such investigative failings. But PR isn't the same thing as law.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote; "How then can you expect ANYONE to "prove" (and this is the investigation's burden, not the suspect/defendant's)what he was doing on the night of X, if you don't tell him when the night of X was?!?!?!?"

That's the problem, then. You don't understand the law, and you don't understand what an alibi is.

The government showed with other evidence that Ivins committed the crime. Ivins claimed he didn't.

The first mailing explains the problem with alibis better. Ivins had no alibi for the period between 11:30 p.m. on the 17th of September and 7:15 a.m. or so on the 18th. He claimed he was at home asleep, but he couldn't prove it. And he had talked often about how he would leave on long trips, and he wife wouldn't know anything about where he went. So, his "alibi" for those 8 hours or so was that he was at home asleep.

Alibi's are a matter of proof when the defendant says he has an alibi. Ivins had no real proof.

So, it would have been up to the jury to decide whether he really had an alibi or not. If Ivins said his alibi was that he was at home asleep, but the rest of the evidence says he committed the crime, then the jury can decide he was NOT at home asleep. His alibi was a lie.

The same basic facts hold true for the second mailing. It's up to the jury to decide if he could have done the crime during the period when he could not account for his time.

It isn't up to the government to find an alibi for every moment of Ivins' time.

Ed

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

I failed to notice that on the 20th, one of the Anonymi asked me, "If Ivins was legitimately busy after hours during the weeks prior to the attacks and did not use the lyophilizer, how and when did he likely produce the weapons?"

The question, of course, is a trick question because it assumes that Ivins was "legitimately busy" during the times he spent in his lab at night and on weekends when the could not explain what he was doing there. He was NOT legitimately busy during those times. If he had been, he could have explained what he was doing.

And, the facts say he didn't use the lyophilizer to dry the spores. He most likely air-dried the spores, probably adding heat to dry them faster.

Ivins knew how to air-dry spores because it would happen naturally every day if he didn't take measures to prevent it from happening.

If you know how to prevent spores from drying out, you also know how to dry spores.

(1) Ivins most likely accumulated his supply of spores by scraping them off of culture plates that had been allowed to grow to maturity inside autoclave bags for weeks. He most likely kept the supply in a beaker in the cold room, where no one would question an extra beaker among hundreds.

(2) Ivins most likely simply centrifuged the media spores to get rid of excess water, and then he air-dried the media powders. That's why the powder appeared non-homogenous. It was the result of centrifuging a non-homogenous glob that was 90% matrix material and only about 10% spores.

(3) For the senate letters, he most likely spent those unexplained evening times repeatedly centrifuging and washing his remaining supply of spores to get rid of the matrix material. He then air-dried those purified spores and put them in the senate letters.

(4) During his unexplained, unsupervised night-time hours, he most likely air-dried the spores inside one or more bio-safety cabinets to prevent contamination of the lab.

The facts indicate he started accumulating spores long before 9/11 – possibly as much as a year before 9/11. 9/11 was just the trigger that caused him to turn a very vague plan into a specific plan.

He had the spores, he had the time, he had the equipment, and he had multiple motives

Among his motives was an expectation that he could get the vaccine development program going full speed again and get his life's work back on track. He succeeded in doing that – until the evidence began to accumulate showing him to be the anthrax mailer.

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Partial post by Mister Lake (responding to me):
——————-
One of the Anonymi wrote; "How then can you expect ANYONE to "prove" (and this is the investigation's burden, not the suspect/defendant's)what he was doing on the night of X, if you don't tell him when the night of X was?!?!?!?"

That's the problem, then. You don't understand the law, and you don't understand what an alibi is.
———————————–
I notice this is an old rhetorical trick of yours: you announce A PRIORI (before even showing where your interlocutor is ALLEGEDLY in error) that the person who disputes your position is lacking in understanding in a field.
———————————
(back to Mister Lake):

The government showed with other evidence that Ivins committed the crime. Ivins claimed he didn't.
—————————-
That "with other evidence" part is a bait-n-switch. Why can't you keep to the topic: WHOSE responsibility it is to prove the person was, or LIKELY was, at the scene of the crime in a timely way?
(Short answer: the investigator/prosecutor's responsibility, not the suspect's/defendant's; but if they DO claim the 'lack of an alibi' is somehow key, then THEY have to say when the crime took place). But I'm willing to be proven wrong: you simply have to cite cases where the Supreme Court ruled that:

1)defendants have an obligation to come up with alibis.

2)prosecutors don't have to say when a crime occurred and the defendant STILL has to come up with an alibi.
———————————
But I'll save you a LOT of time, Mister Lake, dragging out hefty volumes in the old law library: there are no such SC rulings, no such precedents.

'Lack of alibi' as a form of evidence in the government solution to Amerithrax isn't based on law, it's based on PR. PR you've been boostering for about 3 years now.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

More from Mister Lake (addressing me):
The first mailing explains the problem with alibis better.
———————————
Don't think so, but I'm willing to entertain the possibility
——————————–
(back to Mister Lake)
———————————
Ivins had no alibi for the period between 11:30 p.m. on the 17th of September and 7:15 a.m. or so on the 18th. He claimed he was at home asleep, but he couldn't prove it. And he had talked often about how he would leave on long trips, and he wife wouldn't know anything about where he went. So, his "alibi" for those 8 hours or so was that he was at home asleep.
———————————–
This, in TYPICAL Ed Lake style leaves out the most important things:

1) they didn't ask Ivins for an 'alibi' for YEARS (2001-2004 at the least).

2) THEREFORE when they finally DID ask him what he was doing Sept 17-18th 2001 he probably gave an attempted reconstruction: 'I usually sleep between midnight and six at a bare minimum, so chances are I was asleep MOST of that time'.

Is this 'having an alibi'? It is if there's no reason to believe the man was in Princeton, New Jersey!
And the investigation gave NO evidence Ivins was in NJ, either in Sept or Oct of 2001 (ie the entire months!). In baseball, the tie goes to the runner. In our judicial system, the benefit of doubt goes to the defendant.
———————————
(back to Mister Lake):

Alibi's are a matter of proof when the defendant says he has an alibi. Ivins had no real proof.
———————————
(Ironic parenthenical note: But according to the FBI/Ed Lake, Ivins was never even a suspect, let alone a 'defendant', only a 'person of interest'!)

Again, as in so many areas, Mister Lake has REVERSED the burden of proof and convinced himself that it is HIS OPPONENTS who don't understand the law!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Last of 3 comments: Written by Ed Lake:
————————-
It isn't up to the government to find an alibi for every moment of Ivins' time.
———————————-
No, it's up to the government to come up with a PLAUSIBLE TIMELINE of when (and where and how) a crime was committed. And one that fits the KNOWN whereabouts of the supect.

That's all the more true when the government is making de facto accusations about crimes that took place YEARS previously (when Ivins committed suicide, it was 6 1/2 years after the Amerithrax crimes) and when those crimes took place HUNDREDS of miles away from a person's residence/workplace.

The government never placed Ivins within a hundred miles of Princeton in the relevant timeframe. Major hole in the case.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "1) defendants have an obligation to come up with alibis.

2) prosecutors don't have to say when a crime occurred and the defendant STILL has to come up with an alibi.'

You're distorting the argument and misstating the law.

The government does NOT have to determine the exact time of a crime such as the mailing of a threat letter. They just have to show that the letter WAS mailed, and it MUST have been mailed by the defendant during some general time frame.

The defendant does NOT have to come up with an alibi. It is better for his defense if he can do so, but he is presumed innocent, and it's up to the prosecution to convince the jury that he committed the crime, regardless of the exact time of the mailing.

Here's the definition of "Alibi" from a law dictionary:

Alibi. A STATEMENT OR CONTENTION by an individual that he or she was so distant when a crime was committed, or so engaged in other provable activities, that participation in its commission was impossible.

So, providing an alibi is the responsibility of if the defendant. It's his primary proof of innocence. If he cannot provide an alibi, that fact can and will be used against him in court.

The idea that the government cannot prosecute anyone for murder unless they catch him before he forgets his alibi is preposterous. There is no Statute of Limitations for murder.

You wrote: "it's up to the government to come up with a PLAUSIBLE TIMELINE of when (and where and how) a crime was committed. And one that fits the KNOWN whereabouts of the supect."

The second part of that statement is totally ridiculous. It is NOT – repeat NOT – the government's responsibility to know where the suspect was at any time.

It IS the government's responsibility to come up with a plausible timeline for when the crime was committed. And they did that. And the government must show evidence that the defendant could have committed the crime during that general time frame. They did that, too.

The time when Ivins mailed the senate letters is established by knowing when the letters were picked up from the mailbox. Due to the Columbus Day Holiday, the letters picked up and postmarked on October 9 could have been sitting in the mailbox since the 6th.

Ivins had an alibi for some of the time from the 6th to the 9th. For example, the logs show he worked in his lab on the evening of the 8th. So, he couldn't have been in Princeton at that time. But there was plenty of time during those four days for Ivins to drive to Princeton and back.

The evidence says that Ivins worked alone when he created the anthrax powders. And he openly admitted to sneaking out of his house to go on long drives to commit other crimes or to do things that couldn't be traced back to him.

The fact that there is no way to pinpoint the exact time when the letters were placed in the mailbox would be accepted by the jury as fully understandable.

There have been hundreds of successfully prosecuted cases involving letters sent through the mail, and it is doubtful that ANY required knowing exactly when the suspect dropped the letter into the mailbox. It is not necessary to know the exact time of a mailing to determine that a person MUST have mailed the letter during a general time frame.

The jury would have seen and heard all the evidence against Ivins, and they would have found Ivins guilty without concern for the exact times of the mailings.

Juries understand it it's not possible to know where someone was at every moment in time years ago. They take that into consideration when they render their verdict.

Ed

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

I ran into the 4,096 space limit when posting my previous post. So, I'll add a few points in this new post:

One of the Anonymi wrote: "Mister Lake has REVERSED the burden of proof"

Totally false. I didn't claim that the defendant has to prove himself innocent. I just said that if the prosecution shows that Ivins MUST HAVE mailed the senate letters sometime on the 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th of October, the prosecution is not required to account for every minute of Ivins' time during those four days.

If Ivins could account for his time, then it would be good for his defense, but it is not a requirement that he do so, either.

Everyone in the world (with one possible exception) knows that it is not always possible to account for a person's every minute during a four day period six years ago.

Everyone in the world (with one possible exception) knows that it is not always possible to fix the exact time of a crime.

The jury looks at what IS possible and also at what IS NOT possible.

Some murder cases begin with finding a body that has been dead for months or years, and it is not possible to establish the time of death any more precisely than to within a week or month – or year.

Burglaries are very good examples of crimes that can be committed at unknown times. For example, a break-in home burglary could have been committed at any time during the two weeks when a family was on vacation. Or, a burglary of a store could have occurred at any time between when the store was closed on Saturday afternoon and when it was opened up again on Monday morning.

If they catch the burglar (or the murderer), OTHER EVIDENCE will be used to show that he committed the crime. The prosecution probably wouldn't even attempt to establish the exact time of the crime. It's not necessary. It's only necessary to show that the accused committed the crime, regardless of the exact time.

If the accused can provide a solid alibi, the case would never get to court.

The case goes to court because the evidence says the accused committed the crime AND because he has no solid alibi.

The defendant does NOT have to provide a defense. But, if he has a solid alibi, it would be a good idea to tell someone about it before the case goes to court.

The prosecution is required to show the defense any exculpatory evidence before going to court. Evidence of a solid alibi would be exculpatory evidence.

If neither side can provide a solid alibi, then it's up to the jury to decide if the evidence shows that the defendant was guilty or not.

Ed

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

I just noticed that one of the Anonymi wrote: "But according to the FBI/Ed Lake, Ivins was never even a suspect, let alone a 'defendant', only a 'person of interest'!"

That's preposterous. No one in the FBI nor I ever said or implied such a thing.

Ivins was a suspect about to be indicted for multiple murders and terrorism.

It was HATFILL who was never formally identified as a "suspect" by the FBI. It was HATFILL who was identified as a "person of interest" by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Page 67 of FBI File #847444 is an April 11, 2007 document requesting "periodic surveillance" of Ivins because "Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks."

Ed

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

Just imagine for a moment the absurdity about this case.

Mister Ed and the FBI swear it must have been the mild mannered, non violent scientist.

It can't be the self admitted murderer who kept his victim's shoes as a souvenir.

According to Mr Ed and the FBI it had to be the church going organ player.

Never mind that the FBI found a freakin' silencer when they searched the self admitted murderer's belongings.

Never mind that the FBI found Cipro hidden in a coffee can in the self admitted murderer's belongings.

When the DOJ handed out $6 million to this self admitted murderer even my Mom said "that means the FBI was involved."

And when I think back to the TV news stating how the agents searching the self admitted murderer's belongings were at the same time apologizing to him; when I think back to the things the Special Agent I was dealing with said; things like "go ahead and search through your trash, your on the antibiotics." Or, "You can't tell anyone about this." And, my favorite "You can stop taking the antibiotics." A blatant practicing of medicine without a license.

I believe Mom is correct.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Partial post by Ed Lake, denying that Hatfill, but not Ivins, was a suspect:
——-
Page 67 of FBI File #847444 is an April 11, 2007 document requesting "periodic surveillance" of Ivins because "Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks."
==================================
And what do we know of Hatfill's travail? Among OTHER things, Hatfill had his foot run over by a G-man surveillance vehicle! Some "person of interest"! THEN the G-man (or perhaps the G-man riding shotgun) added literal insult to injury by citing HATFILL for 'creating a hazard' (evidently his foot caused some danger to the vehicle?)
———
In case Mister Lake STILL doesn't get it: "person of interest" is a euphemism for 'suspect', which is why the treatment of Hatfill and Ivins was so similar. To wit:

1)the surveillance (allegedly in the 2002 to 2006 period this was to prevent 'person of interest' Hatfill from sending MORE anthrax letters through the mail(something a SUSPECT would possibly do)); in the case of Ivins it involved (but was not limited to) sending one or more femaile FBI agents on a cruise Ivins was taking to both observe him and to get some incriminating statement from him. In vain. The naive Ivins had to be TOLD by a pal (Heine?) that the female attention was just the usual undercover surveillance.

2)multiple residence and/or vehicle searches. In BOTH the Hatfill and Ivins cases this produced: nothing. (I have the impression the draining of that Maryland pond was connected to a Hatfill-done-it scenario too, but I could be wrong). At any rate: if they get VOLUNTARY access to your house (as Hatfill gave them to do the first search) and then they get a search warrant for FURTHER searches, you're a suspect, whether the G-men use that term or some pretentious euphemism.

3)social isolation. Both Hatfill and Ivins experienced this: the government told friends/acquaintances/coworkers to avoid them because of, you got it, the investigation. For Ivins this was one of a few fatal factors. Anyone who saw Hatfill's interview on NBC some time ago realizes that Hatfill is STILL shaken by his expereinces as a suspect (oops! My euphemism slipped! "Person of interest".)

4)Dangling a lot of money in front of loved ones. Both Hatfill and Ivins experienced this: Hatfill's girlfriend was told 'We know Hatfill did it; we just need you to confirm that he admitted it behind closed doors'. The (Malaysian?) girlfriend stood firm (and of course Hatfill had made no such admission and of course such an approach says 'suspect', big time.) In Ivins' case it was his children who were told the same thing by the G-men (though the reward money may have grown by that time). (There are other elements to unit the Hatfill and Ivins treatments at the hands of the G-men but I'll leave off here)

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "Partial post by Ed Lake, denying that Hatfill, but not Ivins, was a suspect"

Once again: Hatfill was NEVER an official suspect. Ivins WAS an official suspect.

"In case Mister Lake STILL doesn't get it: "person of interest" is a euphemism for 'suspect'"

No. There is no legal meaning to "person of interest," but cops sometimes use it when referring to someone who is NOT a suspect, but who has information or who could become a suspect.

The public (and some in the media) sometimes consider "person of interest" to be a euphemism for "suspect."

There is no similarity whatsoever in the way Hatfill and Ivins became media personalities.

Hatfill was fingered by conspiracy theorists, the media and politicians who DEMANDED that Hatfill be investigated as a suspect in the anthrax mailings. There was never any evidence indicating Hatfill was the anthrax mailer. But the conspiracy theorists claimed that was because the FBI was covering up for Hatfill. The facts always said that Hatfill didn't do it.

Ivins didn't become a "suspect" until sometime around 2004 when the facts started to point to him. From that point on, the facts just continued to accumulate.

Unlike the searches of Hatfill's apartment, the searches of Ivins' home were done totally out of the public eye. The public didn't know that Ivins was a suspect until AFTER he committed suicide.

The tactics used by police to rattle a suspect and to get him to make some kind of confession or incriminating mistake may seem improper to people who think the person is innocent, but they are totally within the law.

The FBI and Post Office investigators checked the alibis and facts about HUNDREDS of "persons of interest." They found evidence to eliminate all of them except Ivins as potential suspects.

You may not think it is proper to check into the life of an innocent person, but there's often no way of finding out who is guilty except by an investigation that separates the definitely innocent from the possibly guilty.

No one would ever have heard of Hatfill if the conspiracy theorists hadn't gone to the media to try to get them to believe that the FBI was covering up for Hatfill. The Hatfill situation is an example of the media putting an innocent man on trial in public. They became a brainless lynch mob. The FBI and DOJ's actions are an example of effect that can result from such brainless actions by conspiracy theorists, the media and politicians pandering to the media and the public.

Ed

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

Any time someone uses the term conspiracy theorist they instantly lose all credibility.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Partial post by Ed Lake:
—————
One of the Anonymi wrote: "Partial post by Ed Lake, denying that Hatfill, but not Ivins, was a suspect"

Once again: Hatfill was NEVER an official suspect. Ivins WAS an official suspect.

"In case Mister Lake STILL doesn't get it: "person of interest" is a euphemism for 'suspect'"

No. There is no legal meaning to "person of interest," but cops sometimes use it when referring to someone who is NOT a suspect, but who has information or who could become a suspect.
===================================
Somehow I don't think 'cops' do. LAWYERS are another thing. PR people are another thing.

And what you really mean by "official suspect" is: PUBLICLY PROCLAIMED SUSPECT. But just because something isn't proclaimed publicly doesn't mean it isn't the reality.

Your claim that Hatfill was "NOT a suspect" when they had him under 24 hour surveillance, obtained and executed search warrants on his residence (even after he submitted to a voluntary search of his residence), told his girlfriend that they 'knew' Hatfill did it and merely wanted her confirmation, ran over his foot with a surveillance vehicle etc. isn't going to convince anyone.
But it DOES undermine your personal credibility in the matter.
——————————-
(Another partial by Mister Lake)
——-
The tactics used by police to rattle a suspect and to get him to make some kind of confession or incriminating mistake may seem improper to people who think the person is innocent, but they are totally within the law.
——————————–
Let me repeat the key phrase from the above: "rattle a suspect".

So Hatfill was a 'suspect' after all, huh? Since the 'tactics' were identical to those used against ("sensitive") suspect Ivins.
———————————
(Back to Ed Lake)
The FBI and Post Office investigators checked the alibis and facts about HUNDREDS of "persons of interest." They found evidence to eliminate all of them except Ivins as potential suspects.
================================
A hint: if they are 'checking' your 'alibi', you're a suspect. It's obvious and Mister Lake's reluctance to admit the obvious means that every judgement he makes in this case is tilted in the government's favor (ie he'll swallow anything the FBI puts out, including the absurd 'amino acid code' whose efficacy impressed no one BUT Mister Lake).
==================================
(more by Ed Lake)
—-
No one would ever have heard of Hatfill if the conspiracy theorists hadn't gone to the media to try to get them to believe that the FBI was covering up for Hatfill. The Hatfill situation is an example of the media putting an innocent man on trial in public. They became a brainless lynch mob.
=================================
I wonder if you ever asked Mister Hatfill about that. I'm fairly confident that although he (obviously)might be a little sore at Nicholas Kristof, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (though neither one of those two worthies ever publicly gave his name and only described his background in terms that those who ALREADY knew him would be able to identify him)et alia. his real sense of outrage was/is likely directed at the investigators/leakers. Since they cost him his post at LSU and just made his life miserable. Once he gave his press conference in August(?) of 2002 the so-called 'lynch mob' had hurt him as much as it could. It was the investigation that crucified him for YEARS thereafter.

Absurd when you realize:

1)he hadn't worked at USAMRIID since 1999 (ie 2 years before Amerithrax).

2)he had worked in the virology division (ie hadn't even had access to bacteria like anthrax in 1997-9).

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

(continued)

3)he had dedicated his life(like Ivins) to PROTECTING people from toxic biological agents.

4)he was a suspect for various (bad) psychological (mis-)readings of him as a person.

Add me to the list of those who maintain that if Hatfill had committed suicide in the 2002-2005 period, he would likely have been the fall guy.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "I wonder if you ever asked Mister Hatfill about that."

Actually, yes, I did. He called me, and we talked on the phone five times in mid-2003. And I've talked with his lawyer a few times.

Hatfill called me in mid-2003 after Rosenberg went on another one of her rants and was claiming that a mockup of a mobile lab that Hatfill had constructed for use by troops preparing to invade Iraq was actually a working lab. It was just a "shell" Hatfill designed to help soldiers and pilots to identify such a lab so they won't blow them up.

The problem with dealing with Rosenberg was that she was a little old lady in her 70s who didn't have a dime to her name. So, suing her could simply generate sympathy for her. Thus, there was no effective way to stop her from voicing her conspiracy theories – particularly since she never mentioned Hatfill by name.

The FBI agents following Hatfill around were generally sympathetic to his plight. Hatfill would talk with them from time to time. They knew they didn't have any evidence against him, and all the evidence they had said he was totally innocent. BUT, there was pressure coming down from above to either fully clear him or find something that could be used to arrest him.

As I recall, Hatfill told me that it was the lawyers in the DOJ who were applying all the pressure on the FBI to find evidence that they could use to stop the pressure that was coming down from up high.

Of course, Hatfill didn't win any friends in the FBI when he ditched their tail on him while he was driving back to Maryland from Louisiana. That pissed off a lot of FBI agents by making them look like fools.

The actions to quash the job he was seeking in Louisiana came from the DOJ, not the FBI.

The Hatfill matter was highly complex. The FBI had no evidence that he did it, but they had powerful people applying pressure on them to find the evidence. And, in a situation like that, you can also have a few FBI agents who think that Hatfill MIGHT have done it.

Officially, though, while some DOJ lawyers and some FBI agents might have suspected that Hatfill could have been the anthrax mailer, there was never any evidence against him, never any pending indictment, and he was never officially a suspect.

Rosenberg was Kristoff's source. Kristoff DID eventually name Hatfill and state that all his columns about "Mr. Z" were really about Hatfill. Hatfill filed a lawsuit against the New York Times. It was tossed out because Hatfill was considered a "public figure," and therefore he'd have to establish MALICE to win. The NY Times articles resulted from stupidity, not malice.

Hatfill filed a lawsuit against Vanity Fair and Readers Digest. I think he probably collected twice as much from them as he collected from the government.

No one is entirely free from blame in the Hatfill mess, but it all began with Rosenberg and a few of her cronies when they developed their conspiracy theory and went public with it.

"AnthraxSleuth" is still arguing on this forum and elsewhere that Hatfill was the anthrax mailer.

Ed

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"The Hatfill matter was highly complex. The FBI had no evidence that he did it" –ED

Wrong as usual Ed.

The FBI continues to ignore a material witness and physical evidence.

But, by all means keep preaching your agenda.
Perhaps Ed, you can explain to us all how you were so sure that Hatfill was innocent the week his name surfaced in the media.

""AnthraxSleuth" is still arguing on this forum and elsewhere that Hatfill was the anthrax mailer. "–Ed

That's b/c I have the goods to back that argument up.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

AnthraxSleuth wrote: "Perhaps Ed, you can explain to us all how you were so sure that Hatfill was innocent the week his name surfaced in the media."

It was pretty clear that Barbara Hatch Rosenberg was a conspiracy theorist and that she had nothing to support her theories. There were news stories stating that she was a conspiracy theorist. Her statements required vast conspiracies involving thousands of people. It was clear that the Nicholas Kristoff at the New York Time was buying into total nonsense, because he couldn't produce anything that didn't come from Rosenberg.

Plus, the FBI kept saying that her theories were nonsense.

That was all before I heard the name "Steven Hatfill" for the first time. When he appeared on the news to defend himself, his statements made a thousand times more sense than anything ever said by Rosenberg. For example, the CIA "safe house" Rosenberg talked about was a condo owned by a friend, and Hatfill had never been there except to parties.

"The FBI continues to ignore a material witness and physical evidence."

"That's b/c I have the goods to back that argument up."

Clearly, you don't. If you did, you could simply take it to the media. But, obviously they don't believe your "evidence" any more than the FBI does.

As I recall from emails you sent me years ago, you cannot even get a laboratory to agree that the so-called "anthrax" you claim to possess is actually anthrax.

So, you have nothing, but you continue to claim you have "evidence."

If you have "evidence," why do you think that no one in the FBI, the media or in the entire world believes you or your "evidence"?

Ed

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"a condo owned by a friend, and Hatfill had never been there except to parties." –ED

I love how you talk in circles.
Never been there… except he had been there. Your just funny Ed.

Almost as funny as the FBI's contradictory circle jerk. My FOIA result: The FBI can't release your file b/c it would reveal investigative techniques. But here is a page from your file that states, "We did not investigate this."

Perhaps you should go back to your original theory that a bowling alley attendant did it Ed.

And like I said. Ignored material witness that named your "person of interest" in November of 2001. And ignored physical evidence.

In cop world it's called fumbling the case. And it's something that's done when the cops know where the evidence leads and don't want to go there.

Personally, from my experience with a certain "Special Agent" He seemed to know from day one to cover this up.

Special Agent: "You can't tell anyone about this."

And another one of my favorite quotes. After discussing being in the same message board at the same time as 2 of the victims I got this.

Special Agent: "That's just a coincidence."

Spin all you want Ed.
I have the goods and the docs.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

AnthraxSleuth wrote: "I have the goods and the docs."

Then why don't you take your "goods" and "docs" to the media?

There are media people hunting for evidence that the FBI was wrong about Ivins. McClatchy newspapers and ProPublica.org would LOVE to find evidence that Ivins didn't do it.

If you have taken it to the media, why don't they believe you?

Do you think the media also "doesn't want to go there?" Why? They certainly seem to want to go there.

Ed

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"There are media people hunting for evidence that the FBI was wrong about Ivins. McClatchy newspapers and ProPublica.org would LOVE to find evidence that Ivins didn't do it." –ED

After witnessing the New York Times sit on the Bush admin illegal wire tapping story for 2 years, through a national election no less, you really believe that Ed? Really? Seriously?

Allow me to educate you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1E7s7XaV7E&playnext=1&list=PLFCCC4E4CBE2BD7F2

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

AnthraxSleuth wrote; "After witnessing the New York Times sit on the Bush admin illegal wire tapping story for 2 years, through a national election no less, you really believe that Ed? Really? Seriously?"

Okay, let's sum up your beliefs:

1. You believe that you have "goods" and "docs" to prove that Ivins was not the anthrax mailer. Your "goods" and "docs" point to someone else.

2. You believe the FBI has some kind of agenda to falsely accuse Bruce Ivins, and that is why they aren't interested in your "goods" and "docs."

3. You believe the government controls the media and won't let them use your "goods" and "docs," even though some in the media seem to take pleasure in exposing even the tiniest mistake by the government.

4. No one else in the world believes your "goods" and "docs" prove anything of value.

5. The fact that no one believes your theory just means that everyone in the world is either controlled by the U.S. government, or they are too stupid to understand your "goods" and "docs."

So, because absolutely no one believes your "goods" and "docs," your plan is to post your beliefs on various web sites until you convince everyone that you are the only person in the world who really knows the truth.

In all the years you've been posting to forums, have you made any progress at all in converting people to accept your theory?

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

AnthraxSleuth,

You are very articulate and a pleasure to read. But you should provide the evidence you claim or sit on your hands.

Your insistence over years that you received anthrax (combined with your failure to have it tested) is as nutty as Mr. Lake's insistence that is 99% certain a First Grader wrote the letters.

Ed believes he has the goods and docs that prove his case — no one who looks at the docs he has uploaded agree with him.

No one in the world believes in that the docs he uploaded prove anything of value.

The fact that no one agrees his theory just demonstrates that they are too stupid to understand the docs given that Ed has insisted for a decade that they show it is 99 % that a First Grader wrote the letters. He thinks it demonstrates that they are "True Believers" when instead his argument demonstrates that HE is the True Believer. He shows an incredible lack of self-awareness that the arguments he makes apply to him.

So because no one believes in his goods and docs, Ed plans on maintaining a website until he can convince everyone so they really know the truth. He regularly reports that he is writing his "book" in which he tries to make his idiocy look reasonable. (And yet he doesn't even read the books published on the subject or consult the literature).

In all his years of posting he has made no progress in having a single person accept the theory (beyond the web poster he stole the idea from in December 2001).

The crazy belief that they were targeted with anthrax is actually not uncommon — I know of two others. One a woman in Florida and one, a PR executive who had a very responsible position, in NYC. (Unlike Ed, he was very self-aware and his theory actually was plausible).

Obsessions with children, OTOH, usually is associated with an obsession with sexual matters. They involve different pathologies.

But the key is: put up or shut up. You say that two of the victims posted in a forum you were in. That's not true. With google archive, the messages or fact of posting could be confirmed if it were true. In any event, they did not even post on the internet.

By analogy, here, Dr. Ivins' first counselor claimed she travelled to WTC each night upon receiving instructions and that she got sick from the debris. That's not true. Similarly, she claims she travelled to Afghanistan each night and was chased by nasty Taliban astral entitles. That's not true. And so when she claims that Dr. Ivins attempted and took steps to poison a woman friend of his, there is zero reason to think it is true. There is no corroboration contrary to what Ed claims. Those that checked on the story found the counselor's concerns were not in fact justified.

Anthrax Sleuth, you are a pleasure to read but stick to making claims for which you actually provide the supporting evidence.

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"Anthrax Sleuth, you are a pleasure to read but stick to making claims for which you actually provide the supporting evidence."–Anon

Thanks for the support. And I mean that seriously. I have no problem with constructive criticism.
Let me just say. Taking on the DOJ in their own rigged forum ie. courtroom, is very difficult, expensive and time consuming.

I will release everything. I promise you that. Complete with the names of everyone involved and all supporting documentation.

I have also taken measures to insure this release should something happen to me. So it's coming out no matter what.

"You say that two of the victims posted in a forum you were in. That's not true. With google archive, the messages or fact of posting could be confirmed if it were true. In any event, they did not even post on the internet."–Anon

Not true, there are many things scrubbed from the web. Ottillie and Cathy used their real names when posting. The screen name I posted under in that message board was bubbajclinton. Using Google archive I can not find any of my own postings. And I assure you I posted for about 3-4 weeks after 911. Where are those posts?

As I said. I will "put-up".

However, let me just say I never wanted to be an author and I certainly never wanted to be involved in this mess.
When the feds starting investigating Hatfill I figured I would sit tight and let them do their job. I was also urged to do this by someone working inside the investigation with the feds. I have sent verification of this to Dr. Nass. She could confirm this if she pleases.

I am working on a release as fast as I can.
Stay tuned and thanks again for the support. It is a good motivator.

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"So because no one believes in his goods and docs, Ed plans on maintaining a website until he can convince everyone so they really know the truth."–anon

I could not agree with you more about Ed. I do wonder what his motivation to be obsessed with this case is. My motivation should be clear. A jerk poisoned me and then stalked me. The stalking only ceased after the feds starting breathing down his neck. So, my motivation is personal.

Another point about google archive and google cache. After your comment I did some research and neither show my employer's cached site or my original website from that time.
So, the idea that anything that was live on the internet 10 years ago should still be able to be located in archives or cache just is not the case.
I do hope the news network that this evidence would be located at does have an archiving system for their websites from that period. Of course as the "Special Agent" told me: "That's a coincidence."

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

AnthraxSleuth wrote: "I could not agree with you more about Ed. I do wonder what his motivation to be obsessed with this case is."

Finding something fascinating is not the same as being obsessed. One thing I find fascinating is the psychology of those who do not accept the FBI's findings.

Here we have two different people ("Anonymous" and "AnthraxSleuth") with two totally different theories. The only things they agree about is that the FBI is wrong, and, because I find the FBI's case to be compelling, I must also be wrong.

One has a theory that Muslims did it. The other has a theory that an American scientist (NOT Bruce Ivins) did it.

Neither has anything approaching the amount of evidence against Bruce Ivins to support their own theories. They simply do not believe the FBI's evidence, they believe their own evidence, as meager and vague as it may be.

Why do they think the FBI is wrong? Because if the FBI is right, that would mean "Anonymous" and "AnthraxSleuth" must be wrong, and that appears to be inconceivable – for both of them.

Yet, they don't agree with each other. But they stand united against the FBI's case – and against anyone who accepts the FBI's evidence.

That's fascinating.

BTW, the FBI's mountain of evidence against Bruce Ivins omits a couple items that are either "inconclusive" or "undetermined."

The handwriting evidence is "inconclusive." No two "experts" seem to agree on how the writing was done, since most agree that it doesn't appear to match Bruce Ivins "normal" handwriting.

The exact method Ivins used to create the attack powders is "undetermined," since it could have been done in many different ways, and there is nothing that definitively proves which method was used by Ivins.

I have an hypothesis about the handwriting that I offer up to everyone to disprove. No one can. It stands as the best hypothesis, since all other hypotheses can either be seriously challenged by "experts" or involve unproven theories about some other culprit.

I have an hypothesis about how Ivins created the attack anthrax that I offer up to everyone to disprove. No one can. It stands as the best hypothesis because it explains ALL the facts.

There's a big difference between having an hypothesis about some "inconclusive" or "undetermined" piece of evidence in the Ivins case and having a totally different theory about who committed the anthrax attacks of 2001 that no one else in the entire world seems to believe.

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Dr Nass' principal posters are

(1) someone who thinks that Mrs. Lundren, aged 94, who provably did not own a computer or have access to one, posted on a forum with him, and that he received anthrax that he never bothered to have tested in 10 years, and never even bothered to scan the outside of the envelope. Even through a triple baggy, it is a simple matter to scan.

and

(2) a guy who thinks that it is 99% certain a First Grader wrote the letters.

Dr. Nass should moderate her forum.

In the meantime, y'all can continue wasting your time.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

I'm NOT the previous anonymous. I just had to write to point out (another) mistake in Mister Lake's presentation of the situation, this in his comment of today at his site (partial):
—————–
But, unlike the twenty-five others, I am not alone in my conclusion that Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters. There are thousands at the FBI and DOJ who also believe that Ivins sent the anthrax letters. Plus the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel. Plus Paul Keim (per page 337 of David Willman's book), Nancy Haigwood (who identified him as a possible suspect to the FBI), probably John Ezzell and Patricia Fellows (who wore a microphone to tape Ivins), and many many others. On the other hand, when you find people (like Ivins' friends, Henry Heine, Gerard Andrews and Russell Byrne) who do not believe the FBI's evidence, each of those people will almost certainly have their own unique theory about who did do it. So it will be 1 against the world over and over and over and over and over again.
———————————
It is merely Mister Lake's CONTENTION that 'thousands' at the FBI and DOJ believe Ivins the culprit. Short of a poll, conducted in secret, of the entire DOJ it is difficult (ie one can only speculate), how many persons INVOLVED IN AMERITHRAX—-and why would you want to know the opinion of persons at DOJ who were busy with OTHER cases?—–are subrosa dissenters on Ivins' guilt. I'm PRETTY SURE special agents aren't encouraged to publicly express doubts about cases closed by their superiors. Career considerations.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Ed knowingly mischaracterizes Dr. Keim's present view:

Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? | Magazine

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_anthrax_fbi/all/1

Mar 24, 2011 – But the facts showed that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins was the … Among them was Paul Keim, who first identified the anthrax … “I don't know if Ivins sent the letters,” he says with a hint of both irritation and sadness. ..

Initially, Dr. Keim was subject to the same misinformation as everyone else at United States Attorney's August 6, 2008 press conference.

This was pointed out to Ed but he did not correct his mistake.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation’s Deadliest Bioterror Attack by Jeanne Guillemin. Times Books (320 pp.).

At Amazon.com (This title will be released on September 13, 2011.)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805091041/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=redwearev-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=0805091041

We may never know who was responsible for the attacks, says the author.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "Ed knowingly mischaracterizes Dr. Keim's present view:"

From page 337 of David Willman's book "The Mirage man":

Paul Keim had always deflected the paramount question surrounding the anthrax investigation, saying that the answer was outside his discipline as a scientist. But as we began conversing over burgers and cold beers, I asked him directly: How would he vote if he were a juror weighing Ivins's guilt or innocence? The circumspect geneticist replied without hesitation: "I think he did it."

Another one of the Anonymi wrote: "It is merely Mister Lake's CONTENTION that 'thousands' at the FBI and DOJ believe Ivins the culprit.'

True. The evidence clearly says that Ivins was the anthrax mailer, so I logically concluded that the people who collected and analyzed the evidence would agree with what the evidence says, and so would any other investigators and lawyers who looked at the evidence. But, I don't know that there were "thousands" involved, so I have no problem with going back and changing that sentence to read, "There are presumably large numbers of people at the FBI and DOJ who also believe Ivins sent the anthrax letters."

"I'm PRETTY SURE special agents aren't encouraged to publicly express doubts about cases closed by their superiors."

True. However, I'm PRETTY SURE that if any had solid evidence that Ivins was NOT the anthrax mailer and that someone else did it, they would try make the evidence public somehow. There are countless reporters willing to listen and to keep the identities of their "reliable sources" secret.

Ed

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

Just to clarify Paul Keim's comments:

If you put his two comments together, you get:

"I don't know if Ivins sent the letters," but "I think he did it."

The two statements are NOT contradictory nor incompatible.

Plus, it fits with this sentence by a reviewer of Jeanne Guillemin's upcoming book:

"We may never know who was responsible for the attacks, says the author."

In other words, no "smoking gun" evidence may ever be found, but that wouldn't have prevented a jury from finding Ivins guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

In the above comment by Ed Lake he EQUATES (!!!!)

1)Paul Keim saying "I think [Ivins] did it"

with

2) In other words, no "smoking gun" evidence may ever be found, but that wouldn't have prevented a jury from finding Ivins guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

But that's EXACTLY what 'smoking gun' evidence is: something so proximate, so material, so direct etc. to the crime itself that NO 'reasonable doubt' can really exist!

A juror who merely "THINKS" the defendant did it should vote for acquittal: proof, not general opinionizing is what is called for in our system of jurisprudence.

The above post by Mister Lake shows the muddle in his mind better than anything anyone else could write.

AnthraxSleuth
AnthraxSleuth
10 years ago

"(1) someone who thinks that Mrs. Lundren, aged 94, who provably did not own a computer or have access to one, posted on a forum with him, and that he received anthrax that he never bothered to have tested in 10 years, and never even bothered to scan the outside of the envelope. Even through a triple baggy, it is a simple matter to scan.
"–anon

Assume much? Know how to spell it? Well the only one being made an ass of is yourself.
I have tried for ten years to get my samples tested. Only to be shut down by the FBI and State health dept. My state went so far as to have the Governor issue an executive order that all testing for Anthrax in my state would only be done by the CDC after it was leaked that the Westgate postal facility which handles all mail for my state tested positive for Anthrax.

A local lab I took samples to even tried to get their competitors to test it. To no avail. If you can find a way to get the CDC to test my samples I will give you $100.

As for "who provably did not own a computer or have access to one" I would love to see you prove that statement. My memory is a little rusty after 10 years but I seem to recall the feds removing a computer from her house after her death.

Ed Lake
Ed Lake
10 years ago

One of the Anonymi wrote: "A juror who merely "THINKS" the defendant did it should vote for acquittal: proof, not general opinionizing is what is called for in our system of jurisprudence."

Nonsense. You obviously have no understanding of criminal law. There are two basic types of evidence:

1. Prima facie, direct or "smoking gun" evidence, i.e., an item of evidence so conclusive that it leaves virtually no doubt about guilt. Example: Closed circuit TV tapes showing the face of the defendant as he robs a bank.

2. Circumstantial evidence or "indirect evidence," i.e., an item of evidence which by itself proves nothing, but in combination with other items of circumstantial evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Examples: No alibi, motive, past patterns, capabilities, and other items of evidence in almost every jury trial where the defendant is found guilty.

When there is prima facie evidence, there is almost never a trial, since it would be a waste of everyone's time. Instead, the culprit either admits to the crime and "throws himself on the mercy of the court," or, in order to save time and money, the prosecutors offer a deal with the defendant to plead guilty in exchange for some kind of leniency on sentencing.

"No reasonable doubt" is NOT the same as "no possible doubt of any kind."

When a jury votes, they vote on whether or not they THINK the combined evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. They do NOT vote on whether there is any possibility that he could be innocent. People can always dream up "possibilities" that cannot be disproved, but such "possibilities" are not "reasonable."

It really gets tedious trying to get people on this forum to understand that circumstantial evidence is REAL evidence, and nearly all trials are about circumstantial evidence, not prima facie evidence. These are not issues in dispute. They are clearly described in any book or website about criminal law.

Ed

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Partial post by Ed Lake (addressing me):
—————
One of the Anonymi wrote: "A juror who merely "THINKS" the defendant did it should vote for acquittal: proof, not general opinionizing is what is called for in our system of jurisprudence."

Nonsense. You obviously have no understanding of criminal law. There are two basic types of evidence:
==================================
As I noted before, Mister Lake has a rhetorical trope on the Internet: he announces before anything else that the person he is debating has "no understanding" of the subject matter under discussion. Ineffective to the observant reader: the whole purpose of reading the exchanges in their entirety is to determine who understands in a basis way the subject (here the legal requirement(s) to come to a guilty verdict).

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Another partial post by Ed Lake (addressing me):
——–
It really gets tedious trying to get people on this forum to understand that circumstantial evidence is REAL evidence,[…]
——————————-
Once AGAIN you misstate your opponents' arguments. I wrote NOTHING about "circumstantial evidence". That's another trope of yours that is self-deceptive: at every turn you announce that your opponents are hung-up on their misunderstanding of the role of "circumstantial evidence". We're not; you are.

To wit:
1)a parking ticket issued to Ivins' vehicle in Princeton NJ on one of the (potential)mailing nights would be "circumstantial evidence". And it would be MATERIAL to the anthrax case.

2)a speeding ticket issued to Ivins' on a highway between NJ and Maryland in the right timeframe would be "circumstantial evidence". It would also be MATERIAL to the anthrax case.

3)a credit card receipt or other record of a purchase Ivins made somewhere between Frederick and Princeton on a night the mailings likely occurred would ALSO be "circumstantial evidence". It would also be MATERIAL to the anthrax case.

The biggest problem for Mister Lake is: he doesn't know the difference between material evidence and non-material evidence and this shortcoming is camouflaged, if you will, by his contant harping on the word "circumstantial".

Circumstantial ya got. Material ya ain't got!

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