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Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks
(2009-2014 Edition)

& Analysis
Ed Lake

detect (at) newsguy (dot) com

The discussion blog for this web site is at

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My original analysis and working hypothesis,
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Thoughts and Comments
  Latest references (top)
Latest references (end)

  12 FACTS which  show that a child wrote the anthrax letters
Ed Lake describes his book "A Crime Unlike Any Other"


(click on the name to link to the page)
Where & When Bruce Ivins Made the Anthrax Powders ... Allegedly
How Bruce Ivins Made the Anthrax Powders ... Allegedly
FOIA Pictures of Bruce Ivins' Laboratory
FOIA Pictures of Bruce Ivins' Office
The Bruce Ivins Timeline
The Errors That Snared Dr. Bruce Ivins
Bruce Ivins' Consciousness of Guilt
The Coded Message in the Media Letters (the "smoking gun")
Dr. Ivins' "Non-Denial Denials"
Evidence vs. Beliefs
The Mysteries of the AFIP "Report"
The Facts Say: A Child Wrote The Anthrax Letters

The Attack Anthrax Pictures
The annotated version of the Aug. 18, 2008, roundtable discussion
Van Der Waals Forces & Static Electricity: How they affect bacillus spores
The Steven Hatfill Timeline/The Attempted Lynching of Steven Hatfill
The Campaign to Point the Finger at Dr. Hatfill
Dr. Hatfill & The "Clueless" Media
The Media & Iowa State University
PBS Frontline vs. The Anthrax Facts
Anthrax, Assaad, Terror and the Timeline
Other Theories About the Anthrax Case
The Illogical al Qaeda Theory
Mohamed Atta did NOT write the anthrax letters
Reviews of my first book
My comments about other anthrax-related books


This web site was started on November 22, 2001 to keep track of facts related to the anthrax attacks which had become a major news event during the previous month.  I found that most people only wanted to discuss beliefs, opinions and conspiracy theories.  I wanted to see what the facts said.  Plus, news stories were appearing and then being deleted, and I needed a place to retain the articles which contained new information.  So, for the next seven years I accumulated facts and references and analyzed all the data I could find.  In March of 2005, I even self-published a book describing what the first three years of my analysis had found. 

On August 1, 2008, the news broke that the person the FBI believed to be the anthrax mailer had committed suicide.  His name was Dr. Bruce Ivins, and he worked at the USAMRIID labs at Ft. Detrick, MD.

The conspiracy theorists and True Believers who had argued their beliefs and opinions for the prior seven years were not persuaded by the FBI's evidence.  They continue to argue their beliefs and opinions, claiming that the FBI cannot prove Dr. Ivins was guilty.  After all, if the FBI was right, that would mean they have been wrong for seven years.  And that couldn't be, even though they don't even agree with each other about key facts:

Some still believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
Some still believe Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks
Some still believe a vast Jewish conspiracy was behind the attacks.
Some still believe the Bush administration was behind the attacks.
Some still believe the CIA was behind the attacks.
Some still believe pharmaceutical companies were behind the attacks.
Some still believe a writer was behind the attacks in order to sell books.
Some still believe Dr. Steven Hatfill was behind the attacks.
Some still believe a different scientist was behind the attacks.
Some still believe that a military person was behind the attacks.
Some still believe their next door neighbor was behind the attacks.

Some still believe the attack spores were "weaponized" with silica or silicon and that anyone who says otherwise is either lying or incompetent.  They still believe there must be some vast criminal conspiracy to cover up the real facts, because they simply do not believe anything the government - and particularly the FBI - says.

Some still believe that Dr. Ivins did not have the ability to make the attack anthrax. 

And, perhaps most bizarre of all, some still believe that there is some similarity between the "investigation" of Dr. Steven Hatfill (who was eventually exonerated) and the investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins.  The facts show that the two cases could not be more different.  Dr. Hatfill was the victim of an attempted lynching by conspiracy theorists, people in the media and some politicians.  They worked together for six months to get Dr. Hatfill arrested for a crime he didn't do.  The FBI's Hatfill "investigation" was purely political and based upon "tips" from those same conspiracy theorist scientists who claimed the FBI was "covering up" for Dr. Hatfill when the FBI's investigation found nothing to tie him to the mailings.  The Ivins investigation, on the other hand, was the result of years of detailed scientific analysis and an equally detailed criminal investigation.

The Case Against Dr. Ivins

The facts say that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer:

1.  He was in charge of the RMR-1029 flask containing the "mother" spores which produced the attack anthrax "daughter" spores.  He was in charge of "the murder weapon."

1.1  He tried to destroy "smoking gun" evidence that he had encoded a hidden message inside the media letters, but the evidence was recovered and clearly points to Dr. Ivins as the anthrax mailer.

1.2  He was a diagnosed sociopath.  In 2000, a year before the anthrax mailings, Ivins had talked with his mental heath counselor about his plan to poison a "young woman."  The counselor called the police, but because Ivins hadn't provided a name, there wasn't anything they could do.  The facts indicate the woman was Ivins' former assistant, Mara Linscott.  Ivins evidently changed his mind about poisoning her.

2.  The FBI investigated everyone else who had access to the RMR-1029 flask and eliminated all of them as suspects.  Eliminating potential suspects is routine police procedure.

3.  He had worked with Bacillus anthracis for over 20 years and had all the necessary expertise and equipment to prepare the spores in the anthrax letters.  He could routinely make a trillion spores a week.

4.  He accessed the locked suite (B3) where the RMR-1029 flask of spores was stored at the times the attack anthrax would have been prepared.

5.  He worked alone and unsupervised in his lab for long hours at night and on weekends during the time the attack anthrax would have been prepared.

6.  He had no scientific reason or verifiable explanation for working those hours or at those times.

7.  In December of 2001, Dr. Ivins secretly swabbed and bleached more than 20 areas in his lab, destroying possible evidence.   In April of 2002, he did it again.  Both cleanings were unauthorized and against protocol.  His explanations for doing it were contradictory to his actions.

8.  Investigators examined another flask of Ames anthrax spores created by Dr. Ivins for his own use in his work and found that a percentage of the spores in flask RMR-1030 contained silicon just like what was in the attack spores.

9.  It was not commonplace for him to work long evening hours in the Bacteriology Division's Suite B3 before the anthrax attacks or in the months after the anthrax attacks.  His long hours in Suite B3 at that time broke his normal work pattern.  Suite B3 was a BioSafety Level-3 area.

10.  He had multiple motives for sending the anthrax letters.

11.  He tried various ways to mislead investigators when they started to suspect him.

12.  He had no verifiable alibi for the times when he could have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters.

13.  He was known to drive long distances and to use various methods to mail letters and packages so they could not be traced back to him.

14.  He had various connections to the New Jersey area where the anthrax letters were mailed.  The ZIP Code used in the return address on the senate letters was 08852.  It belongs to Monmouth Junction, NJ.  According to a letter in Ivins' files, his ancestors on his father's side came from an area then known as Monmouth, NJ.  Plus, Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL, is where the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority (an obsession of Ivins') was founded.

15.  He had serious mental problems, which appear to include murderous impulses.   He'd been seeing psychiatrists since 1978.

16.  The pre-stamped envelopes which were used in the attacks had print defects, and one of the post offices which sold those envelopes was a post office which Dr. Ivins used.

17.  His wife ran a day care center at the time of the attacks, Ivins had many contacts with children, and the facts indicate that a child of about 6 was used to do the actual writing on the anthrax letters.

18.  Investigations found no evidence that someone other than Dr. Ivins sent the letters.

19.  There is no evidence that Dr. Ivins could not possibly have sent the anthrax letters.

20.  People commit suicide to escape justice.  People who are unfairly accused sue their tormenters.

Although the case was officially closed on February 19, 2010, there may still be some additional facts pointing to Dr. Ivins' guilt which have not yet been disclosed by the FBI, specifically information related to his sessions with his psychiatrist or psychologist.  That information is still "under seal" by court order.

Meanwhile, those who cannot accept the FBI's findings continue to use every tactic they can to cast doubt upon the FBI's findings.  They have no proof of Dr. Ivins' innocence, so all they can do is try to make it appear that if there is any doubt - reasonable or not - about Dr. Ivins' guilt, then he must be innocent.

Conspiracy Theorists and True Believers 

Because they often support each other in opposing the FBI's official findings, it is sometimes difficult to tell a Conspiracy Theorist from a True Believer.  But, there is really are very distinct differences:

Conspiracy theorists often do not know or care who sent the anthrax letters, they only know that "the government" cannot be trusted, "the government" is lying about something, and they want to expose it.

True Believers feel they know beyond any doubt who sent the anthrax letters, and anyone who does not believe as they believe - including the FBI - is just not looking at the right facts.

Both will do anything and everything they can to get the undecided and uncertain to join with their cause.  And there are differences in their tactics as the go about their recruiting: 

The #1 tactic used by conspiracy theorists is junk science.  They wildly misinterpret facts about the case, they claim their bizarre misinterpretations prove something, and they demand that those misinterpretations and baseless claims be either accepted or disproved.
The #1 tactic used by True Believers is to accuse the non-believer of being "closed minded" and to wear down the non-believer as he tries to prove he is not "closed minded."

There's really no point to arguing with a True Believer.  Back in 1951, Eric Hoffer published his landmark book "The True Believer" in which he stated that the only way to change a True Believer's mind is to convert him to a different belief.  So, unless you are prepared to do that, it's best to just avoid them.  They will bury you in irrelevant facts if you don't avoid them, they'll claim that if you do not read everything they read and interpret everything the way they interpret them, then you are ill-informed and your opinion is worthless.

Conspiracy theorists, however, appear ready to debate some of the relevant facts of the case.  They just move on to different facts if they are proven wrong about their first set of facts.  Example:

The initial theory about the anthrax being "weaponized" was that the attack spores were coated with bentonite and the government was covering up that fact.  That theory was quickly shown to be false.  When the next theory that the attack spores were coated with fumed silica was also disproved, they moved on to a new theory that the attack spores had tiny particles of silica glued to them to defeat van der Waals forces.  When that was shown to be nonsense, they moved on to a theory that the spores were treated with a waterproofing substance that would coat the spore coat without leaving any trace on the exosporium. 

The conspiracy theorists and True Believers seem to have a few followers in Congress.  Perhaps there will also be some Congressional hearings.  I hope so.  Congressional hearings seem to be the only way to clarify certain details about others who were caught up in the investigation. 

Thoughts and Comments
by Ed Lake

Updates & Changes: Sunday, December 28, 2014 thru Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31, 2014 - Well, it's time for my final comment on this web site.  My new web site is now working (as of about (3:25 p.m. CT on Jan. 1).  Here's the link:

Meanwhile, arguments rage as normal on my interactive blogOne Anthrax Truther is now trying to argue that the releasing of the Amerithrax Investigative Summary Report is "extra legal," implying that there was something wrong (but not illegal) with doing such a thing.  Or maybe he believes that anything that is not illegal is "extra legal."  Either way, it another argument over definitions of words instead of a discussion about the facts and evidence in the Amerithrax investigation. 

A different Anthrax Truther is still arguing his opinions and beliefs and continues to refuse to explain anything.  On Lew Weinstein's blog he just posted about FIFTEEN hilarious diatribes where he calls me "The Nincompoop" and rants on and on and on about how I disagree with his view of things, therefore I must be wrong.  When I get some time, I'll probably respond to some of the more absurd ones on my interactive blog.  It could be fun to show just how silly his arguments are. 
This points out once again why I'm going to stop writing comments for this site: The only thing left to comment on are the screwball arguments from Anthrax Truthers.  I'll probably continue to argue with them on the interactive blog, but I won't be summarizing the arguments here.  Which leaves nothing related to the anthrax attacks of 2001 to write about.  The case is closed.  Dr. Bruce Ivins did it.  The people who disagree have only opinions and beliefs, and they refuse to intelligently discuss facts and evidence.  Arguing opinions and beliefs is a waste of time.  End of story.

I'll modify the first paragraph in this comment to include a live link when my new web site becomes available.  Other than that (and unless something totally unexpected occurs) ...

Bye bye.  It's been a very interesting 13 years.

I wish everyone a very happy New Year!

December 28, 2014 - Unless something totally unexpected occurs, this will probably be my final Sunday comment on this web site.   The Amerithrax investigation is closed, we know who the killer was, the evidence has been made public, and there are no known plans to present more evidence of any kind.  Therefore, there doesn't seem any reason to continue to argue endlessly with Anthrax Truthers who refuse to discuss facts and evidence and will only argue opinions and beliefs.

So, on December 31, 2014, I plan to post my last regular weekly message here.  The next day, Jan. 1, 2015, I plan to start posting to a different web site (, which does not yet exist) where I can discuss any of the many other subjects that are of interest to me, but which would be off-topic here: books, writing, movies, TV, current events, history, psychology, science, mysteries, etc.

My ownership of the domain name doesn't expire until Jan. 18, 2017.  And paying $6 a month to keep the site hosted on-line is something I can certainly continue for at least another two years.  If someone publishes a new book about the anthrax attacks, or if there's some startling news, I'll still  have the option of writing about it on this site or discussing it on

Last week on my interactive blog (which will continue to operate normally after Dec. 31), the subject of circumstantial evidence came up for the umpteenth time.  Looking for new ways to explain the subject to Anthrax Truthers who simply cannot believe that circumstantial evidence would ever be allowed in any court, I first found the "model" (or standard) jury instructions used in the Ninth Circuit Court:


Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence, that is, it is proof of one or more facts from which one can find another fact.

You are to consider both direct and circumstantial evidence. Either can be used to prove any fact. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence.


"It is the exclusive function of the jury to weigh the credibility of witnesses, resolve evidentiary conflicts and draw reasonable inferences from proven facts. . . . Circumstantial and testimonial evidence are indistinguishable insofar as the jury fact-finding function is concerned, and circumstantial evidence can be used to prove any fact." United States v. Ramirez-Rodriquez, 552 F.2d 883, 884 (9th Cir. 1977) (quoting United States v. Nelson, 419 F.2d 1237, 1239-41 (9th Cir. 1969)). See also United States v. Kelly, 527 F.2d 961, 965 (9th Cir. 1976); and Payne v. Borg, 982 F.2d 335, 339 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing United States v. Stauffer, 922 F.2d 508, 514 (9th Cir.1990)).
* * *
It may be helpful to include an illustrative example in the instruction:

By way of example, if you wake up in the morning and see that the sidewalk is wet, you may find from that fact that it rained during the night. However, other evidence, such as a turned-on garden hose, may provide an explanation for the water on the sidewalk. Therefore, before you decide that a fact has been proved by circumstantial evidence, you must consider all the evidence in the light of reason, experience, and common sense.
Then, searching further, I found that the Eighth Circuit Court provides this model for jury instructions:
4. Anything you see or hear about this case outside the courtroom is not evidence, unless I specifically tell you otherwise during the trial.

Furthermore, a particular item of evidence is sometimes received for a limited purpose only. That is, it can be used by you only for one particular purpose, and not for any other purpose. I will tell you when that occurs, and instruct you on the purposes for which the item can and cannot be used.

Finally, some of you may have heard the terms “direct evidence” and “circumstantial evidence.” You are instructed that you should not be concerned with those terms. The law makes no distinction between
direct and circumstantial evidence. You should give all evidence the weight and value you believe it is entitled to receive.
And the Tenth Circuit Court provides this model for jury instructions:
[There are, generally speaking, two types of evidence from which a jury may properly determine the facts of a case. One is direct evidence, such as the testimony of an eyewitness. The other is indirect or circumstantial evidence, that is, the proof of a chain of facts which point to the existence
or non-existence of certain other facts.]

[As a general rule, the law makes no distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence. The law simply requires that you find the facts in accord with all the evidence in the case, both direct and circumstantial.]
Of course, all eight other circuit courts say basically the same thing: The law makes no distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence.

While doing further research for ways to explain circumstantial evidence to Anthrax Truthers, I also found this about DIRECT evidence:

It is also important to note that direct evidence such as eyewitness identification and confessions given by suspects are fraught with potential problems as demonstrated by the investigations into 300-plus exonerations of wrongfully convicted individuals by the Innocence Project. The leading cause of wrongful convictions, especially in sexual assault cases is eyewitness misidentification, a prime example of direct evidence. Eyewitness identification has proven to be unreliable in approximately 75% of the 300 DNA exonerations, yet remains very persuasive as direct evidence for judges and juries. False confessions given by defendants, and incriminating statements made by jailhouse snitches and others have been found to occur in approximately 25% of all the DNA exoneration cases to date. Once jurors hear this type of direct testimony, it is nearly impossible to un-ring that bell.
Interestingly, I also found a web site HERE which contains this survey:
QUESTION: Is circumstantial evidence enough for conviction?

8% Say Yes
92% Say No
Only 11 people answered the question. The one person who disagreed with the other ten said,
Most trials are based on CE [Circumstantial Evidence].

Most criminal cases that go to trial are based on circumstantial evidence. If there is direct evidence like video they don't go to trial. Those cases are usually plea bargained. Cases that actually go to trial are almost always based on circumstantial evidence. It's difficult for the defense to get around a video that shows the defendant robbing the 7-11.
The one person who said "yes" was looking at the FACTS. The other ten are just voicing IGNORANT OPINIONS.

Another article HERE agrees with the plea bargaining statistics:

Some 95 percent of felony convictions are the result of plea bargains, with no formal evidence ever presented, and most never bother with an appeal.
The claim by some Anthrax Truthers that there is "no evidence" against Bruce Ivins seems based totally on ignorance of the law and how the law (circumstantial evidence in particular) works.  But, it also seems they cannot possibly be totally ignorant of the law when it's been explained to them dozens of times.  Thus, it also appears that they may know the law, they just don't have anything intelligent to argue.  And that seems to mean that they may argue something they know is false, rather than admit that there can be anything that may show their own personal theory is wrong.  

When you've argued with Anthrax Truthers for over 13 years without ever changing a single mind, it's time to conclude that Truthers are either incapable of changing their minds or they believe that if they argue long enough they'll will eventually "win" when the other person gives up and goes away.

I'm not giving up or going away.  I'm just not willing to argue against mistaken beliefs and ignorant opinions anymore.  And Anthrax Truthers refuse to discuss the facts and evidence of their own theories, much less the facts and evidence which shows Dr. Ivins was the anthrax killer.  So, after this coming Wednesday, this site will be going into a "wait state" until some meaningful new facts and evidence are found.

Updates & Changes: Sunday, December 21, 2014, thru Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 26, 2014 - I see that the controversial movie "The Interview" did open on Christmas in some theaters after all.  Back on December 18, I wondered " about how STUPID it was for Sony Pictures to make a movie about assassinating a living Head of State."  Today I noticed that The Wall Street Journal's film critic, Jack Rainer, agrees with me.  His review is titled "'The Interview': Should the movie have been made in the first place?"  Rainer asks,
What was Sony thinking? In the history of corporate bonehead decisions, the financing and distributing of a slobbola comedy about the assassination of a sitting world leader has to rank right up there with the New Coke.
“The Interview” is not exactly hard-hitting political satire. It’s more like a gross-out jamboree with just enough political window-dressing to make it seem “daring.” (Much is made of the fact that the Supreme Leader is reputed by his people to be so superhuman he has no need to go to the bathroom.) But even if the film were sharper, even if it was made by satirists on the order of Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern in their “Dr. Strangelove” days, I would still argue that greenlighting such a film is a blunder. The exercise of free speech does not exempt one from the consequences of stupidity.
Movies, even dumb movies like “The Interview,” are staged in the world arena, and it’s clueless for Hollywood to pretend otherwise. Those who denounce Sony for setting a terrible precedent by pulling the film are only half right. What about the precedent of making the movie in the first place?
Right now, there are throngs of people going to the movie because (they claim) it's their patriotic duty.  What bugs me most is that, if Redbox offers it for rent some day, my curiosity is probably going to force me to waste $1.50 to rent it, even if it's a near certainty I won't be able to sit through the whole thing (it's not my kind of movie).  Hopefully, it won't come out via RedBox.  Maybe it will be shown for free on the FOX Network years from now.  With luck, by that time my remaining curiosity will only force me to watch five or ten minutes of it - or none at all.

December 25, 2014 - I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2014 - The misinformation (and occasional information) just keeps flowing.  On this Christmas Eve,  Chemistry World Magazine has published a GAO-related article titled "FBI’s 2001 anthrax investigation was flawed."  Here is what I consider the most interesting section of the article:

The investigation was undertaken partly because of questions raised by a National Academies study released in 2011, which determined that the FBI’s scientific data did not rule out other possible sources of the weaponised anthrax spores in the letters.

The GAO also found that one of the four genetic tests the FBI used on the anthrax samples had a 43% false negative rate. ‘That just really dropped my jaw, and it should be very embarrassing to the FBI that they still relied on that,’ says Jim White, a now retired molecular biologist with expertise in fermentation technology and microbial growth. Two of the three other genetic tests that the FBI relied on had false negative rates in the 20% range.

The FBI issued a response saying it has ‘complete confidence’ in its scientific results. The agency said the genetic tests it used were ‘well validated’, and that it has reviewed the results of all scientific analysis conducted during the course of the investigation and is satisfied by its quality. The FBI further noted that the scientific results alone were not the sole basis for concluding that Ivins committed the attacks.

But White and others argue that the information and questions that have surfaced in recent years warrant reopening the case.

I wondered how Chemistry World found Jim White.  Why is he the only outside source they quote? 

I did a Google news search for "Jim White"+anthrax and found him mentioned in nay-saying articles
HERE, HERE and HERE.  So, he seems to be an "expert" the media can call when they need someone to argue against official government findings.

The Amerithrax investigation does NOT need to be "reopened."  The people who argue against the FBI findings seem abysmally ignorant of the existing evidence in the case against Dr. Ivins.  Reopening the investigation won't solve that problem.  It would probably just make things worse.  What is needed is for the specific issues of concern to be addressed and thoroughly explained.

The difference between scientific proof and legal proof needs to be explained.

The difference between a scientific investigation and a criminal investigation needs to be explained.

The evidence showing that the attack spores were NOT "weaponized" with silicon needs to be better explained.

The ways that Bruce Ivins could have made the attack spores need to be explained (or it needs to be explained that telling all the terrorists in the world how easy it was for Dr. Ivins to make the anthrax spores could be counter-productive).

The way circumstantial evidence works in court may need to be thoroughly explained.

Of course, past experience (particularly with the JFK assassination) has shown that explanations often do no good.  People will still believe what they want to believe.  But, having the official (or unofficial) explanations publicly available will allow NEW researchers to find valid explanations amid the flood of conspiracy theories and ignorant reporting that currently dominates the Internet and library shelves.

The anthrax attacks of 2001 are now largely forgotten by the public.  The only people who seem to mention the attacks these days are the conspiracy theorists and others who feel that only they know "the truth" about who sent the anthrax letters.  Both want to convert the world to their beliefs.

A library of rational explanations and evidence is needed to counter their rantings.

Of course, I'd like to see my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other: What The Facts Say About Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins and the Anthrax Attacks of 2001" in that library.

December 23, 2014 - On their "Homeland Security Today" web site, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") has produced an on-line article about the General Accountability Office's ("GAO's") review of the  FBI's Amerithrax investigation.  Unfortunately, the article has the misleading title "Major Gaps in FBI’s Investigation of 2001 Anthrax Attacks, GAO Finds."  However, it's a relatively fair article that contains one paragraph in particular that is worth repeating, plus a second that helps clarify the situation:
GAO found the genetic tests that were conducted by the FBI’s four contractors were generally scientifically verified and validated and met the FBI’s criteria. However, the FBI lacked a comprehensive approach — or framework — that could have ensured standardization of the testing process.

“The use of a standardized approach to verification and validation from the beginning could have more definitively established the performance of all the genetic tests,” GAO reported. “It could have helped in communicating expectations clearly, ensuring confidence in results generated by any genetic tests developed.”
So far, that seems to be as far as anyone (other than me) has been willing to go to argue that what the FBI did was valid for the purpose of finding the anthrax killer, even though it did not establish standardized procedures that can also be used in future cases. And, of course, there's no reason to believe that there will ever be a "future case" where morphological variants (i.e., "morphs") will play a key role.

To me, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to argue that the FBI should have put the Amerithrax investigation on hold for a few years while procedures that might never be used again could be "standardized" and validated.  At most, it can be argued that they should not have announced that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer until those procedures had been standardized and validated.  But even that doesn't make much sense, since IT WOULD NOT LIKELY CHANGE ANYTHING other than the confidence level related to test results.

People who have other theories about the case believe that it might somehow have shown that their favorite "suspect" was really the killer, but that is nonsense.  How would that any more than a wildly remote possibility if the criminal investigation cleared all other suspects and pointed to Dr. Ivins alone?

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that anyone but me will be arguing that the science used in the Amerithrax investigation was more than adequate to convict Dr. Ivins.  No one else wants to get into endless debates with conspiracy theorists and others who only argue their beliefs and who have no meaningful evidence to support their beliefs.

And I am reaching the point where I no longer see any worthwhile purpose in such endless debates, either. 

December 22, 2014 - After 13 years of arguments, there are still things to be learned and discovered about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  And the best way to discover them is to argue with people who have a totally different view of things than you do.

Yesterday on my interactive blog, I got into yet another argument with "DXer" about the hidden message Bruce Ivins encoded into the anthrax letter sent to Tom Brokaw.  (Click HERE for a large image of the complete Brokaw letter.)  DXer has been arguing for years that the horizontal line in the T in "NEXT" is not double-lined (traced over), even though it clearly is darker than all other line strokes in the word.

T in NEXT 

When I showed him the image above, he once again inexplicably argued that it is the X that is double-lined, not the T.   On Lew Weinstein's blog he even wrote:

As anyone can see, whether expert or not (and without magnification), the “X” is double-lined. Now why on earth did Agent Steele not tell us the “X” was double-lined — was he trying to make an imagined code fit his Ivins Theory?
But, as anyone can see, whether expert or not (and without magnification), the "X" is definitely NOT double-lined.  Yes, there is a stray horizontal mark on the upper right part of the X, but there is NO double-lining or tracing over of any part of the X.  Here's another look at the word "NEXT' when converted to black and white and with the contrast adjusted:
stray line in the word NEXT
I can see how DXer might carelessly and mistakenly argue that the X is "double-lined."  It does look like the upper right corner of the X was somehow peeled away to show that there are two strokes, one atop the other.  But that's obviously not what happened.  That extra mark does NOT trace over anything.  It's a mark that doesn't belong.  And the X is clearly not as thick and dark as the top of the T, which is very obviously double-lined.

That made me wonder about other explanations.  Did the writer accidentally move the paper while drawing the X?  Or did his hand twitch?  The odd mark reminded me of some similar stray strokes I'd previously noticed on the Brokaw letter but had never thoroughly analyzed.  Here are some of the more obvious ones:
stray lines in words

When you view these "stray marks" (along with a few others, mostly at the bottoms of vertical lines, like the vertical lines in the E's in AMERICA and GREAT above), they appear to be lines left when the writer moved on to draw the next line in the same or next character but didn't fully lift the pen from the paper first.   He did the same thing, but to a lesser degree, when he addressed the Brokaw envelope

Who does that sort of thing when they write?  Mohamed Atta certainly did NOT do things that way  Click HERE for examples of his handwriting.  So, we have more facts and evidence debunking DXer's beliefs.

I'd certainly like to see some opinions from handwriting "experts" as to what those stray marks indicate.  My personal opinion is that the stray marks indicate that the writer was very carefully writing while copying the text from another document.  He had to continuously check to make certain what he needed to draw next.  And while he did so, he failed to fully lift the pen from the paper.  Thus he left the stray marks.  My personal opinion is that this indicates a child-like lack of hand-eye coordination, something one only develops as they gain experience with writing in any language.  But, I'd certainly like to see the opinions of true "handwriting experts" on this. 

December 21, 2014 - Yesterday, I finished reading the 77-page General Accountability Office's (GAO's) review of the Amerithrax investigation, and, as expected, it includes none of the approximately 23,863 suggestions made by DXer and other Truthers.  I never expected it would, but I had hoped it might do more than what was done.  On the first page of the report the GAO explains why the review was performed:
GAO was asked to review the FBI’s genetic test development process and statistical analyses. This report addresses (1) the extent to which these genetic tests were scientifically verified and validated; (2) the characteristics of an adequate statistical approach for analyzing samples, whether the approach used was adequate, and how it could be improved for future efforts; and  (3) whether any remaining scientific concerns regarding the validation of genetic tests and statistical approaches need to be addressed for future analyses.
They were asked to do something similar to what the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) did in 2011, and - not surprisingly - they came to a similar conclusion.  They focused on how science should be done, not on how a criminal investigation is done.

It's stated repeatedly in the report that the FBI feels that the scientific requirements for a definitive scientific answer have to do with "academic" needs, not with the needs and conditions of a criminal investigation.  I totally agree.  And the GAO says in their Report Highlights page:
GAO did not review and is not taking a position on the conclusions the FBI reached when it closed its investigation in 2010.
At the time the Amerithrax investigation began in late 2001, there was no such thing as "microbial forensics."  The so-called "scientific investigation" part of Amerithrax was, in effect, an experiment to see if meaningful information could gathered by an ad hoc collection of scientific techniques that had never been used in such a way before.  There was no lab waiting to perform such work for them.  There were no established procedures to follow in such a case.  Even the outside contractor labs which helped in the case each its own way of doing things.  Totally new procedures had to be developed for the Amerithrax investigation - some of them via trial and error. 

It was all done to determine who sent the anthrax letters, NOT to establish a scientific methodology that would be applied to all such cases in the future.

The GAO seems to understand this.  From page 31 of the GAO report:
The combination of limited communication among the contractors, varied timing in the validation efforts, uncertainties the FBI faced as the investigation unfolded, and increasing knowledge about the repository samples made it clear, with hindsight, that the contractors’ verification and validation approaches were likely to differ.
From page 51:
Although we identified several aspects of the FBI’s scientific methods we reviewed that could be improved in a future investigation, we recognize that in 2001, the FBI was faced with an unprecedented case. Determining the source of the spores in the envelopes was complicated by many factors, including the uncertain provenance of samples in the FBI repository, an unknown mutation rate for B. anthracis under laboratory growth conditions, and the performance of the genetic tests under “realworld” conditions
From page 52:
Although the complexity and novelty of the scientific methods at the time of the FBI’s investigation made it challenging for the FBI to adequately address all these problems, the agency could have improved its approach by including formal statistical expertise early in the investigation and establishing a statistical framework that could identify and account for many of the problems.
Yes, they could have done that.  But, how much time would that have added to the investigation, and at what cost?  Which is more important: to catch a mass murderer who has used a weapon of mass destruction, or to get the science refined to the point where very few would dispute it?  The media, politicians and people with theories about the case were already screaming that it was all taking longer than seemed necessary.

Page 52 also includes an explanation of what would have been involved in getting a more definitive answer about the morphs found in the attack spores and how long it might have taken (with my highlighting and underlining):
A key scientific gap—how stable genetic mutations are in a microbial genome and thus their suitability as genetic markers—remains an issue. Lack of this knowledge has implications for both the development of genetic tests, or other investigative approaches and technologies, and the analysis of the results they generate. For example, how likely it is that the same genetic mutations will arise independently in separate cultures is currently unknown, and so is whether different culture conditions can change the ratio of the mutations significantly enough to provide a negative rather than a positive result. DHS-funded research into the evolutionary behavior of variants in the genome of B. anthracis and other microbial agents and the use of genome sequencing is a step in the right direction because the FBI is planning to use sequencing in future investigations to analyze all the material in evidence samples. However, in determining the significance of using mutations as genetic markers, an understanding is still needed about the stability of genetic mutations. DHS’s ongoing research is likely to take several years and some of the technologies it entails, such as whole genome sequencing, are still evolving. Therefore, it is not clear when and whether this research alone will address this gap.
One could argue that catching the criminal needed to be done first, and then they could have refined the science.  It typically takes a year or two to get to trial in a murder case.  There would have been nothing between arrest and trial preventing the FBI from continuing to refine the statistics about how often different types of mutations form in Bacillus anthracis cultures and under what conditions.  There's absolutely NO reason to think it would have changed anything.  The science - questionable as it may be - led to the killer.  But, the scientific evidence was NOT needed to convict Ivins.  In a trial it would be as important as finding who owned the murder weapon.  It's a piece of circumstantial evidence which by itself means nothing, since others also had access to it.  The science just pointed investigators in the right direction.  It didn't identify Bruce Ivins as the only possible killer.

Conspiracy theorists and Anthrax Truthers seem to argue that, if the science hadn't pointed to flask RMR-1029 as the source for the "murder weapon," someone else might have been proven guilty of the crime.  The problem is: They cannot explain how that would be logical.  They just believe that there is a massive amount of evidence somewhere that points to their favorite suspect, and if the FBI hadn't gone astray by using "flawed" science, that massive heap of still undiscovered evidence might have been discovered, and the "real" culprit(s) might have been caught.

The evidence says the real culprit was caught.  The science used may not have been "perfect," but "perfect science" clearly wasn't needed.  There is absolutely NO reason to believe that "perfect science" would change anything significant.

Science could definitely answer some unanswered questions.  And there are probably thousands of scientists looking for grant money to allow them to seek the answers. 

The chances do not seem very high for there being another case any time soon where tracking down morphs to find the source of a bacteriological weapon will be needed. But, it would be nice to have a database of statistics ready in case it ever happens again. 

Science has already proved that the silicon in the attack spores was accumulated naturally, not via any man-made weaponization process.  However, it would be nice if someone could demonstrate how it was "most likely" done.  The facts and evidence seem to indicate it could be something as simple as growing spores outside of an incubator - at room temperatures.  The problem, of course, such information won't change many minds.  The conspiracy theorists who believe the attack spores were weaponized with silica or silicon have already demonstrated that they won't accept any evidence which disproves their beliefs.  They'll just find some "expert" somewhere who disbelieves the findings, and they'll cite him as proving that nothing has been proved, and that the possibility of "deliberate weaponization" still exists.   

On the positive side, the GAO report did add a new word to my vocabulary:
Stochastic is synonymous with "random." The word is of Greek origin and means "pertaining to chance" (Parzen 1962, p. 7). It is used to indicate that a particular subject is seen from point of view of randomness. Stochastic is often used as counterpart of the word "deterministic," which means that random phenomena are not involved. Therefore, stochastic models are based on random trials, while deterministic models always produce the same output for a given starting condition.
On page 62 of their report, the GAO makes its recommendations:
To ensure that a structured approach guides the validation of the FBI’s future microbial forensic tests, we recommend that the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation work with the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a verification and validation framework. The framework should be applied at the outset of an investigation involving an intentional release of B. anthracis, or any other microbial pathogen. It should (1) incorporate specific statistical analyses allowing the calculation of statistical confidence for interpreting the results and specifying the need for any additional testing to fully explore uncertainties relative to the type of genetic test being validated and (2) applied and adapted to a specific scenario and employs multiple contractors.

In addition, we recommend that the Director of the FBI establish a general statistical framework that would require input from statistical experts throughout design and planning, sample collection, sample processing, sample analysis, and data interpretation that can applied and adapted to address a specific scenario involving an intentional release of B. anthracis or any other microbial pathogen.
What this will do is allow the FBI to state in court with (as an example) "90% certainty" that bacteria used in a crime originated at a specific source.  However, since the data is stochastic, no one can be 100% certain the findings are correct.

The problem is, there will always be conspiracy theorists and Truthers who will argue that anything less than 100% certainty means that their favorite theory is still possible.  And, until someone can prove with 100% certainty that what they believe is 100% impossible, they're just going to continue to believe what they want to believe.

Updates & Changes: Sunday, December 14, 2014, thru Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20, 2014 - There are numerous news stories about the GAO report this morning.  All basically say the same thing: The science in the Amerithrax case wasn't perfect.  Only it's phrased as: the science was "flawed."  At the bottom of this web page, I'm adding links to the articles which aren't just repeats of other articles.  They include articles from The New York Times, PBS Frontline (with ProPublica & McClatchy), The Frederick News-Post and The Boston Globe.  

Conspiracy theorist Dr. Meryl Nass is also voicing her opinion on her blog:

If you actually say, out loud, that the FBI faked its search for the anthrax criminal(s), flushed $100 million down the toilet in its most expensive case to date, and deliberately avoided conducting a credible investigation to find the anthrax letters perpetrators, then you question the entire edifice of US law enforcement and imply a conspiracy around an anthrax letters coverup at the highest levels of government, as suggested in Professor Graeme MacQueen's recent book. And that, ladies and gentlemen, you are simply not permitted to do.
In reality, of course, you are "permitted" to do that.  You just have to accept that most people will then consider you to be a true conspiracy theorist from the Lunatic Fringe.

December 19, 2014 (C) - I just returned from the health club, and the first thing I noticed when I turned on my computer was that the news media is already writing dubious news articles about the GAO report.  The Associated Press has released an article titled "Report: FBI's Anthrax Investigation Was Flawed."  In other words, the FBI's investigation was not "perfect."  The AP article begins with this:

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator.

The 77-page report from the Government Accountability Office says the FBI's research, including novel microbial forensic tests, did not provide a full understanding of how bacteria change in their natural environment and in a laboratory. This failure to grasp the reason for genetic mutations that were used to differentiate between samples of anthrax bacteria was a "key scientific gap" in the investigation, the report says.

The GAO also found a lack of rigorous controls over sampling procedures and a failure to cite the degree of uncertainty in measurement tools used to identify genetic markers.

"Although the complexity and novelty of the scientific methods at the time of the FBI's investigation made it challenging for the FBI to adequately address all these problems, the agency could have improved its approach," the report said.

The GAO didn't take a position whether Ivins, who worked at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, made and mailed the anthrax-filled envelopes.

I haven't yet read the GAO reports, but  I did notice this on page 2:
GAO did not review and is not taking a position on the conclusions the FBI reached when it closed its investigation in 2010.
In other words, it wasn't part of the GAO's job to re-investigate the case.  That should thoroughly upset every conspiracy theorist and Anthrax Truther.  However, the Truthers will probably all be pleased by reactions from a politician and from Dr. Ivins' lawyer that have been added to later versions of the AP article:

The GAO report was requested by a trio of congressional members led by Rep. Rush Holt, D-New Jersey, whose district includes the Princeton mailbox used in the attacks. Holt, who is retiring at the end of the year, said Congress should demand a comprehensive, independent review of the investigation to ensure that lessons have been learned.

"The GAO report confirms what I have often said — that the FBI's definitive conclusions about the accuracy of their scientific findings in the Amerithrax case are not, in fact, definitive," Holt said in a written statement.

Ivins' attorney, Paul F. Kemp, said he hopes Holt's plea doesn't fall on deaf ears.

"There's no evidence he did it," Kemp said.

Did the FBI ever claim that their scientific findings were "definitive"?  I seriously doubt it.  It appears to be just a politician distorting things to make a false argument.  The same with Mr. Kemp's absurd remark. 

December 19, 2014 (B) - Ah!  The GAO report appeared while I was on my old computer doing some weekly updating chores.  Click HERE for the 77-page pdf file.   The report is titled "Anthrax: Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could Be Improved," which doesn't sound very dramatic or earth-shattering.  And, it looks like it's time for me to break for lunch and then head to the health-club for a workout.  I'll start going through the report when I get back.  Unless I see something particularly fascinating, I may save my comments until Sunday. 

December 19, 2014 (A) - Well, today's "the day" -- supposedly.  I hate relying totally on an Anthrax Truther blog for information, but I haven't been able to  find any other source which also says the General Accountability Office's (GAO's) review of the Amerithrax investigation is due out today. 

Searching the GAO's web site for the word "Amerithrax" finds no new report.  But, there's also section on their web site where new reports are listed by day issued.  Click HERE.  It shows 3 reports on other subjects were issued yesterday by the GAO, 5 on Wednesday, 5 on Tuesday and 1 on Monday.   But, as of this moment (8:45 a.m. Central Time), no report on any subject has yet been released today.  I also note that they released EIGHT (8) reports last Friday.  Based upon that singular tidbit of data, Friday seems like a big report-issuing day for them.  I'll be checking the GAO's site periodically during the day. 

December 18, 2014 - I've been thinking for some time about how STUPID it was for Sony Pictures to make a movie about assassinating a living Head of State.  I can see some individual being that STUPID, but there must have been hundreds of people involved in the project.  How could it get APPROVED?  It simply amazes me.

I bring up this subject because (A) I don't have anything related to the anthrax attacks of 2001 to write about today, and (B) because someone  just sent me two links to articles about the Sony cyber attack. 

The first article is from Wired Magazine and is titled "The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy."  The second article is from The New York Times and is titled "U.S. Said to Find North Korea Ordered Cyberattack on Sony."  The Wired article begins with this:

The New York Times reported this evening that North Korea is “centrally involved” in the hack, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials. It’s unclear from the Times report what “centrally involved” means and whether the intelligence officials are saying the hackers were state-sponsored or actually agents of the state. The Times also notes that “It is not clear how the United States came to its determination that the North Korean regime played a central role in the Sony attacks.” The public evidence pointing at the Hermit Kingdom is flimsy.

Other theories of attribution focus on hacktivists—motivated by ideology, politics or something else—or disgruntled insiders who stole the data on their own or assisted outsiders in gaining access to it. Recently, the finger has pointed at China.

The two articles make very interesting reading.  I've seen news stories before about "cyber attacks,"  but I've never seen them strung together and compared the way they are in these two articles.  Here's part of the New York Times article:

The Sony attacks were routed from command-and-control centers across the world, including a convention center in Singapore and Thammasat University in Thailand, the researchers said. But one of those servers, in Bolivia, had been used in limited cyberattacks on South Korean targets two years ago. That suggested that the same group or individuals might have been behind the Sony attack.

The Sony malware shares remarkable similarities with that used in attacks on South Korean banks and broadcasters last year. Those intrusions, which also destroyed data belonging to their victims, are believed to have been the work of a cybercriminal gang known as Dark Seoul. Some experts say they cannot rule out the possibility that the Sony attack was the work of a Dark Seoul copycat, the security researchers said.

The Sony attack also borrowed a wiping tool from an attack two years ago at Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, where hackers wiped off data on 30,000 of the company’s computers, replacing it with an image of a burning American flag.

I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this latest cyber attack.  The first lesson is: Don't make movies about assassinating a living Head of State, no matter how terrible or insane that Head of State may be.  It's just plain STUPID.  The second lesson is: Don't underestimate the number or capabilities of Internet nut cases who are just looking for some way to mess with organizations and people they don't like.

December 17, 2014 - On my interactive blog, I thought I was making some progress in showing "DXer" that he has no meaningful evidence to support his belief that Adnan el-Shukrijumah was the anthrax mailer instead of Dr. Bruce Ivins.  DXer can't even provide any meaningful evidence that Shukrijumah was within two thousand miles of Princeton at the time of the anthrax mailings.  Nor can he provide any meaningful evidence that al Qaeda had access to the contents of flask RMR-1029. 

I have to include the qualifier "meaningful" when I talk about evidence with DXer, because he is likely to argue that the fact that Shukrijuma was alive at the time of the anthrax mailings is circumstantial evidence that it is possible that he could have been the mailer.  It would be impossible if Shukrijumah were dead, but if he was alive, no one can say it is "impossible."  So, by adding the qualifier "meaningful" I hope I can avoid arguing about "evidence" that doesn't prove anything other than that it was "possible" for Shukrijumah to be the mailer.

About all DXer can do is argue that al Qaeda was interested in using anthrax as a weapon, which no one argues against.  As DXer tried to argue his beliefs over the past few days, he repeatedly demonstrated that the facts said he was WRONG, not right.  Then, when I thought I was making some progress in demonstrating that he has no meaningful evidence to support his beliefs, he suddenly shifted the argument to being about Bruce Ivins.  As a result, I told him I would just ignore his emails and his attempted posts to my interactive blog unless he addressed his primary belief: that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks.  Arguing over details like when Bruce Ivins committed the KKG burglaries will not solve anything.

Interestingly, a second Anthrax Truther posted a comment last night which shows he still does not understand circumstantial evidence.  Here are the key points in his post:

1) DXer is right: there's no evidence Ivins made either trip to Jersey, no evidence he was in Jersey in the entire calendar year of 2001.

2) Lake is right: there's no evidence that Shukrijumah was in New Jersey, or, for that matter, in the US in September-October of 2001.

That doesn't exclude the possibility that such trips were made WITHOUT LEAVING ANY SIGN WHATSOEVER, but as to a 'skein of evidence', it simply does not exist ...  the trips are merely being INFERRED

You may yet persuade people of your suspect's guilt by OTHER skeins of evidence, but not via a non-existent skein pointing to (merely putative) trips, trips which may never have been made. 
And, here's the key part of my response:
True. The trips to New Jersey made by Dr. Ivins are "inferred" or logically deduced. That is how circumstantial evidence works. But no trip by Shukrijumah to New Jersey at the time of the mailings can be inferred by the available evidence. The evidence infers just the the OPPOSITE, that Shukrijumah was nowhere near New Jersey at the time of the mailings.

It's the "OTHER skeins of evidence" which "infer" that Ivins made the trips to New Jersey. No one has argued that Ivins' trips to New Jersey are evidence of his guilt.

DXer, on the other hand, IS arguing that evidence that Shurkijumah MAY have been somewhere in the Western Hemisphere at some time after 9/11 is meaningful evidence that Shukrijumah was in New Jersey to mail the anthrax letters. It is NOT meaningful evidence of any kind related to the anthrax mailings.
I doubt very much that this will alter the second Truther's mistaken beliefs about circumstantial evidence.  He will probably always mistakenly argue that unless you have direct evidence specifically showing that Dr. Ivins drove to New Jersey to mail the letters, then Ivins could never have been convicted of being the mailer because you have no evidence he did the actual mailing.

The DOJ does have an abundance of circumstantial evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Ivins prepared the anthrax letters, that he acted alone, and that he had no alibi for the time when the letters could have been mailed.  That evidence "infers" that Ivins must have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters.  And such an inference is totally acceptable in any criminal court in America - regardless of whether the Truther accepts it or not.    

December 16, 2014 - Someone sent me a link to an article titled "CrowdSolve wants to turn amateurs into true detectives" about a plan to create a web site where amateur detectives can theoretically help solve crimes.

The idea being that people with lots of free time on their hands will be able to find a nugget seemingly missed by harried police officers in-between arguments with the chief.
The article also says,
Of course, as with any project in 2014, the site won't be launching without users putting hands into their pockets. CrowdSolve is currently asking for donations on Indiegogo, with a target of $50,000 necessary before the documents can begin to flow. The bulk of that cash will be used to obtain the relevant documents ready for a launch around August next year.
I think the first "crime" they should try to solve is the apparent con game of trying to get $50,000 to access court documents.  They claim it costs $1 per page.  But, that's from the time when a person had to go in person to the court house to get a clerk to make a Xerox copy of a document.  It seems unlikely that many courts in the USA still do things that way.  A recent article HERE showed an exception where a California state court started charging $1 a page because they were "cash strapped" and needed more revenue to keep the court functioning.  For federal cases, PACER currently charges 10 cents per page, they have a maximum of $3 for a single document, and they don't charge you anything if you don't access at least $15 worth of pages in a fiscal quarter. 

Beyond that, the article does show another problem: How amateur detectives can easily point to the wrong people.  They cite the Boston Bombing case as an example.

December 14, 2014 (B) - For what it's worth, Lew Weinstein's blog now says:
The GAO report, based on new information, is expected Friday, December 19, 2014.
If it happens, I should have something interesting to write about next Sunday.

December 14, 2014 (A) -
If the General Accountability Office (GAO) is going to release their review of the Amerithrax investigation "sometime this fall," it will have to be done this week.  Winter begins next Sunday.  Lew Weinstein says, "I’m told by GAO the report will be issued the week of Dec 15."  That's this coming week.  So, we'll soon see if it actually happens or not. 

Meanwhile, "DXer" from Lew Weinstein's blog tried endlessly to argue his beliefs on my blog last week, and in the process he again showed how illogical his beliefs are.

He argued (once again) that the reason al Qaeda terrorists taped the anthrax letters shut and took several precautions to make certain no spores could escape from the letters was because the terrorists wanted to avoid killing an American mailman.  DXer posted this in support of his belief: – Transcripts
Nov 15, 2001 … Target: Terrorism: Look at Al Qaeda’s Dreadful Recipe Book … and was given three chapters of the manual, in order to prove it’s existence. … The poisonous letter is the title of one section [on] poison inks. … “Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant,” it goes on, “so it would not kill the mailman.
The problem with that reasoning is, of course, the person who sent the letters did NOT wipe the inside of the envelopes with silicone sealant, and the letters DID kill two postal employees. So, the anthrax mailer was NOT following al Qaeda's "Recipe Book."  Looking at the actual CNN transcript that DXer quoted from, I noticed that he appears to have deliberately left out a key clause:
The poisonous letter is the title of one section [on] poison inks. "Write a letter to the victim mentioning very exciting and very interesting news," it reads. "Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant," it goes on, "so it would not kill the mailman."
The anthrax letters contained a SINISTER THREAT LETTER, they did not include "a letter to the victim mentioning very exciting and very interesting news."  So, again, the anthrax letter mailer did NOT follow the "Recipe Book."  Does the "Recipe Book" instruct terrorists to include medical advice in their "poisonous letters"? Dxer is just twisting and distorting things to make them fit his beliefs.

There's good reason for Bruce Ivins to have taped the letters shut and to have included medical advice in the text of the letters.  He wanted to avoid killing anyone.  But, it's silly and illogical to claim that al Qaeda was following the "Recipe Book" when they sent the letters, since the letters clearly do NOT follow the "Recipe Book."
DXer also argued (once again) that the return address on the Senate anthrax letters is a bunch of al Qaeda codes.  He wrote this about using Franklin Park, NJ, in the return address:

El-Shukrijumah may have been announcing by the address who the sender was — speaking in a code as he taught his colleagues (like Binyam) plotting with Padilla to do.
As it happens, there's a park called "Franklin Park" in the Florida town of Franklin Park, just across the street from where DXer's imagined anthrax mailer, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, attended a mosque.  So, in DXer's fanciful theory, the reason Franklin Park was used in the return address was because el-Shukrijumah wanted to announce "by the address who the sender was - speaking in a code."

But, DXer also believes that Mohamed Atta did the actual writing on the letters and envelopes (even though the handwriting is clearly NOT Atta's handwriting).  So, why would Atta include a code telling his fellow terrorists who the mailer was going to be?  Why wouldn't Atta use a code to tell his fellow terrorists that he WROTE the letters?

And, why would either one of them need to announce to fellow terrorists who the mailer or writer was?  And why use a code? 

Here's the return address used on the Senate anthrax letters:
Why not use Franklin Park, FL, in the return address?  And are we to believe that it was just a coincidence that the letters were mailed only 10 miles from Franklin Park, NJ?  We know why Ivins used Monmouth Junction's ZIP code, but why would an al Qaeda terrorist use it?  DXer also needs to explain why an al Qaeda terrorist would travel to Princeton, NJ, to mail the letters.  Bruce Ivins had a good reason.  He was obsessed with the KKG sorority, he'd broken into their offices in the past, and the mailbox he used was the closest mailbox to the KKG office in Princeton.  He could look over the KKG office while there. 

It would be interesting to see how DXer rationalizes why the letters were mailed from Princeton, New Jersey.  Presumably, he will simply dream up some new "code" that only he can see in the return address, and it will explain why Princeton was used.

DXer also argues that one reason al Qaeda sent the anthrax letters is because,

Zawahiri seeks his justifications in the hadiths — which is why he would have used the extremely virulent Ames strain of anthrax. The hadiths commanded that one use the weapon of one’s enemy.
But, the Ames strain was never used as a weapon by America (the "enemy").  The Ames stain was first discovered in 1981 and the US bioweapons program (which used the Vollum1B strain) was shut down in 1969.   

The illogical al Qaeda Theory just gets more illogical every time DXer tries to argue in favor of it.

judge commenting on evidence vs
Lastly, I've created a new thread for my interactive blog using the cartoon above to get it started on the subject: Evidence vs Opinions.  DXer has been using the thread to offer his opinions about a 2014 PhD thesis by Michael Garvey.  Dr. Garvey's thesis is that more work needs to be done to fully establish Microbial Forensics as a accepted scientific discipline.  It appears that in DXer's opinion, this somehow means that Dr. Garvey in some way doesn't agree with the findings of the Amerithrax investigation.

As far as I can tell, Dr. Garvey offers no opinion on Dr. Ivins' guilt.  The only relevant opinion he offers is a statement on page 94 where Dr. Garvey says,
"this author does not believe that the material recovered from OCONUS [Outside the CONtinental United States] missions was related to the 2001 anthrax attacks.In other words, Dr. Garvey doesn't believe DXer's theory that the attack anthrax was made in Afghanistan.

Updates & Changes: Sunday, December 7, 2014, thru Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13, 2014 - Hmm.  I'd forgotten that the FBI caught the guy in the Syracuse, NY, area who had been sending out hoax anthrax and ricin letters since 1997.  A headline dated yesterday afternoon on reads:  "Cicero man admits he was the mystery mailer who sent 21 fake anthrax letters over 15 years."  Cicero, NY, is a few miles north of Syracuse.  Here's what some of his letters looked like:

text of hoax
                                anthrax letters

According to the article:

A Cicero man admitted today that he sent nearly two dozen mailings filled with white powder and a deadly threat between 1997 and 2012.

Brian D. Norton, 59, pleaded guilty in federal court to conveying false information threatening injury or death.

He admitted sending 21 letters containing what he falsely claimed was anthrax or ricin to people, schools and organizations starting in 1997.

His arrest in June was the result of a 17-year investigation by FBI agents.

Back on June 11 of this year, I wrote about the FBI catching the guy.  So, we now also have a confession. 

December 12, 2014 - This morning, when I did my regular daily Google search for anthrax+2001, up popped a very interesting article about the "Ebola crisis" that existed for most of October.  It's from CIDRAP (the Center for Infectious Disease Research And Policy), and it is titled "COMMENTARY: When the next shoe drops - Ebola crisis communication lessons from October."  It begins with this:

In contrast to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which started in late 2013 and will last well into 2015 or longer, the US "Ebola crisis" was encapsulated in a single month, October 2014. But there may well be US Ebola cases to come, brought here by travelers or returning volunteers. And other emerging infectious diseases will surely reach the United States in the months and years ahead.

So now is a propitious time to harvest some crisis communication lessons from the brief US Ebola "crisis."

We're putting "crisis" in quotation marks because there was never an Ebola public health crisis in the United States, nor was there a significant threat of one. But there was a crisis of confidence, a period of several weeks during which many Americans came to see the official response to domestic Ebola as insufficiently cautious, competent, and candid—and therefore felt compelled to implement or demand additional responses of their own devising.

It describes 4 "lessons" that should have been learned from the "crisis":
1. Don't over-reassure
2. Acknowledge uncertainty
3. Don't overdiagnose or overplan for panic
4. Tolerate early overreactions; don't ridicule the public's emotions
And it ends with this:

Treat the public like grownups

Aiming to convince the public that there was no cause for Ebola alarm, officials and experts used overconfident over-reassurance and absolutist invocations of "the science." And then they had the gall to ridicule the public as hysterical and panic-stricken. We hope that before the next unfamiliar and frightening infectious disease arrives, officials and experts will practice treating the public like grownups.

The reason the article popped up during my search was because the anthrax attacks of 2001 are briefly mentioned:

The CDC's pre-Dallas policies were promptly changed once they proved inadequate. But [CDC Director Tom] Frieden hadn't warned that errors and policy reversals were to be expected as officials climbed the Ebola learning curve. Instead, he reiterated often his contention that Ebola was well-understood and would succumb to tried-and-true public health measures.

(By contrast, after some initial overconfident over-reassurances during the 2001 anthrax attacks, Frieden's predecessor Jeff Koplan, MD, MPH, warned that public health officials would learn things in the coming weeks that they would then wish they had known when they started.)

There's a great deal of very interesting material in the article, including some links to additional material in the final section: "Other crisis communication lessons."

While it's about "crisis communication," it also relates to the reactions you'll get from conspiracy theorists.  In the world of conspiracy theorists, admission of uncertainty by a public official is the same as an admission of incompetence.  And any statement implying certainty that turns out to be incorrect is the same as "being caught in a lie," which is viewed as "proof" of a conspiracy.

While there are certainly some "crisis communication" lessons that can be learned from the "Ebola crisis," there are also people out there who will consider such lessons to be instructions on how to manipulate the public in order to lead them away from "the truth."  So, no matter how well you communicate with "the public," there will always be some "Truthers" who will believe what they want to believe.

December 11, 2014 - Someone just sent me an email with a link to an article titled "What Would Joseph Pulitzer Think of Rolling Stone?"  While the bulk of the article is about how Rolling Stone magazine botched that rape story at the University of Virginia, it also has this comment about the anthrax attacks of 2001:
[Sabrina Rubin] Erdely [the author of the Rolling Stone article] did find time to interview Wendy Murphy, whom she introduced to readers as an attorney who has filed Title IX lawsuits. She’d have been better identified as the activist who made incendiary and spurious public statements in the Duke lacrosse hoax. It’s disturbing how these same people -- and the same news outlets -- keep arising in stories. Al Sharpton, Tawana Brawley’s champion and Crown Heights riots provocateur, is now organizing protests over the police shooting in Ferguson. The New York Times, cheerleader of the fake Duke lacrosse claims, led the witch hunt against Steven Hatfill.

That case was reported properly by diligent Los Angeles Times investigative journalist David Willman. It was not Hatfill who terrorized the East Coast with anthrax, it was government scientist Bruce Ivins, who killed himself when the FBI finally closed in. Willman, who won an earlier Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on the Food and Drug Administration, would have made Joseph Pulitzer proud. Rolling Stone magazine—not so much.

The article is about inaccurate news reporting.  I don't think the section above is a very good summary of the anthrax attacks of 2001, but at least it seems to indicate that the anthrax attacks haven't been totally forgotten.

December 10, 2014 - In case anyone is interested, the "CIA Torture Report" can be found HERE in unsearchable pdf format, and it can be found HERE is a searchable text format.  I did a search for the word "anthrax" and found it on 5 pages.  Most of it is meaningless and largely redacted, but page 111 contains this:
April 3, 2003. KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] also named three individuals who, he said, worked on an al-Qa'ida anthrax program that was still in its "earliest stages."
And on page 112 it says:
After CIA interrogators "demonstrated the penalty for lying," al-Barq again stated that "I made the anthrax" and then immediately recanted, and then again stated that he made anthrax.

Two days later, al-Barq stated that he had lied about the anthrax production "only because he thought that was what interrogators wanted."
Also, someone sent me a link to an interesting article from the conspiracy theory web site which describes a work of art about 9/11 conspiracy theories that will be included in the 9/11 museum in New York City.  Here's the artwork:

9/11 conspiracy theory artwork

The artist is Anthony Freda, who has contributed provocative political art to publications like The New York TimesTimeRolling StoneEsquireThe New Yorker, and Playboy.  According to the article:
Museum officials told Freda that “9-11 Questions” will rotate with other works on display and that it may also be included in traveling 9/11 art shows organized by the museum. But he concedes that museum officials, now that they own it, can do whatever they want with the piece — including locking it in a vault forever.
December 9, 2014 (B) - Overnight, I received three emails from DXer.  The first email contained this section of page 068 from Dr. Ivins' notebook #4010 (click HERE for a larger version):

Ivins notebook 4010 page 068

The intent of the email was to show that I still haven't fully corrected my mistake about when flask RMR-1029 was created.  The note describes how RMR-1029 was created, it is signed at the bottom by Bruce Ivins, and it is dated "22 Oct 97."

So, I again stand corrected.  In yesterday's comment, I stated that, while I could be wrong, it was my
"my understanding that 22 Oct. 1997 was the date that the project was approved and the RMR number was assigned."  That "understanding" was clearly wrong.  It means absolutely nothing to the Amerithrax investigation, of course.  However, I always appreciate being shown when I have an understanding that is incorrect.   

Vastly more interesting is the fact that that notebook entry also shows that DXer is wrong in arguing that flask RMR-1029 was stored in Building 1412 for some time.  The note says,
The spores were then dispensed into 2 equal lots, 500ml/lot, in polycarbonate screw-capped flasks (sterile).  They were store in the B3 cold room at 2-8 C. 
So, in addition to Dr. Ivins' statement to the FBI that flask RMR-1029 was never stored in Building 1412, we now have a written statement to that effect in Dr. Ivins' own notebook. When the flasks were created they were stored in the Suite B3 cold room, i.e., room B311, two doors down from Ivins' lab in B313 in Building 1425.  That should put an end to the matter.  The fact that scientists in Building 1412 had a different number (#7737) for the contents of flask RMR-1029 means nothing.

The second email contained only this in the subject line:
I'm embarrassed for you because there are 217 mistakes like this - we're stuck at #1 because you refuse to correct your mistake
I hope they consider the mistake corrected.  I do.  And I appreciate being corrected with facts and evidence, instead of with opinions and beliefs.

The third email was a long, rambling opinion about "the reason Dr. Ayman Zawahiri would have used the extremely virulent Ames strain."  It begins with this:

Zawahiri seeks his justifications in the hadiths — which is why he would have used the extremely virulent Ames strain of anthrax. The hadiths commanded that one use the weapon of one’s enemy.
The problem is, of course, that the Ames strain was never used as a weapon because it makes a very poor weapon.   Yes, it is "extremely virulent" if left untreated.  But, it's easily treated.  Just about any antibiotic can kill it.  Vollum is still the anthrax strain of choice for making bioweapons.  And there are MANY other anthrax strains that would make a better weapon than Ames.  Ames was selected for use in making vaccines because it killed a vaccinated cow and because it reproduces very rapidly. 

DXer has argued that same misunderstanding in the past, and still hasn't corrected his mistake.  When it's pointed out to him that the anthrax mailer took several precautions to prevent anyone from being harmed by the anthrax in the letters (taping the letters shut, wrapping the spores in the pharmaceutical fold, including warnings in the letter, etc.), DXer will just argue that "the hadiths" also include reason for doing that.  He demonstrates that he does not use the scientific method, he instead argues only opinions, and he has an opinion that fits any counter-argument.

December 9, 2014 (A) - This morning, someone sent me a link to a recent Scientific American article titled "Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?"  It says,

About a third of Americans, for example, believe the “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama is a foreigner. About as many believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” by the Bush administration.

The idea that such beliefs are held only by a bunch of nerdy white guys living in their parents' basements is a myth. Surveys by Uscinski and Parent show that believers in conspiracies “cut across gender, age, race, income, political affiliation, educational level, and occupational status.”
That's been my experience, too.  Some of the top conspiracy theorists I've dealt with are lawyers and college professors.  That's what makes them so fascinating.  They all have different theories, yet they all basically think alike.  Each thinks that he or she is the only one who really sees "the truth."  And you can't really get them to argue with one another.  Their focus is always to argue against "the government" and against anyone who agrees with the government findings.  And when doing that, they look at the other the conspiracy theorists as allies.

A college professor recently wrote a review of Graeme MacQueen's book "The 2001 Anthrax Deception" for  The review is dated Dec. 5 and the reviewer, Prof. Edward Curtin, gushes on and one about how MacQueen uses a "plethora" of facts to support his conspiracy theory: 

MacQueen, in countering anti-conspiratorial thinkers of the left and right who approach such issues with minds like beds already made up, explains his method thus: “The tools of investigation are no different from those used to test other proposals. We use evidence and reason. In some cases we will be able to make confident assertions and in other cases we shall have to acknowledge that we are speculating, but even in this second case we will do our best to ground our speculation in evidence. Ideology, national loyalty, outrage and ‘common sense’ will not do the job.”
What kind of "evidence and reason" is he talking about?  An example:

The anthrax letter attacks began on September 18, 2001 when the first letters were mailed from Princeton, New Jersey. Between October 3 and November 20 twenty-two people were infected with dried anthrax spores and five died. Between October 6 and October 8 especially highly refined and aerosolized anthrax letters were sent to two key Democratic Senators, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Before October 3 when the first case, that of Robert Stevens who died two days later, was diagnosed, the FBI claimed that “no one except the perpetrators knew…that the attacks were in progress.”

Yet The New York Times, between September 12 and October 3, made reference to the possibility of biological or chemical terrorist attacks 76 times, 27 references specifically to anthrax. Many of these warnings came from government leaders.
So, there must have been a conspiracy if the media was worried about the possibility of an anthrax attack before there actually was an anthrax attack.  That's the same logic I mentioned on Sunday that Pearl Harbor conspiracy theorists use.  If you are worried about the possibility of an attack before there actually is an attack, then you must have had prior knowledge of the attack - or even helped to arrange it.

The world of conspiracy theorists has no place for intelligent people who pay attention to what is going on in the real world.  In the world of conspiracy theorists, if there is a "possibility" of an attack, then the government should put an end to that possibility.  That's what we pay taxes for.  If "the government" can't eliminate the "possibility of an attack," then they are either incompetent or they are working to allow the attack to happen for some political reason.  It's all so simple and logical - if you're paranoid.

December 8, 2014 - Yesterday, "DXer" sent me an interesting email which I posted to my interactive blog.  The main purpose of the email was to point out a "mistake" I made on my supplementary web page about The illogical al Qaeda Theory.  On that page I wrote,
1.  The belief is that some scientist member of al Qaeda (or just some Muslim scientist named xxxxx xxxxxxx) was given access to a B3 suite at USAMRIID in May 1998.  While there, the scientist was given a sample of the Ames strain.   (But records show that the first sample taken from flask RMR-1029 which was removed in Sept. 1998.)  Click HERE for more details. 
DXer said in his email:
That’s not what the records show. The records show that the first known sample taken from Flask RMR-1029 were from March 1998. The inventory he relies upon has been noted by Ivins to not reflect all the transfers and yet Ed relies on it because of a lack of mastery of the documents.

I have uploaded and linked the FBI’s expanded log of known withdrawals from Flask 1029 (based on the documents that the FBI was able to obtain).
The Reference Material Receipt Record says that the date the contents of RMR-1029 were "Received at USAMRIID" was "22 Oct 97."  But then it shows "Amount In" as "1000 ml" on 9/17/98.  Here's the first page of that document (click HERE for a larger version): 

                                inventory log

It's my understanding that 22 Oct. 1997 was the date that the project was approved and the RMR number was assigned.  But, I could be wrong.  In any event, it's my understanding that it was a major project.  It took a long time to actually assemble and purify the contents of the flasks that eventually contained material RMR-1029 and were put into inventory.  But, again I could be wrong. 

DXer also provided a link to "the FBI's expanded log."  It's HERE.  But, the image at that link is not in context, so I had to search for the original.  I found it on page 8 of FBI file "24 of 59," where it is the last page of a FBI report that begins on page 6.  The "expanded log" does indeed have some entries prior to September 17, 1998 when flask RMR-1029 was officially created with 1000 milliliters of spore concentrate and the first sample was removed.  Here's that part of the "expanded log" showing three removals prior to the Sept. 17, 1998, log entry, two in March 1998 and one in May:

FBI log checking
                                on RMR-1029 entries
It's unclear exactly what was going on at that time.  The contents of flask RMR-1029 were received in batches from Dugway and from Ivins' own work.  The spores had to be purified and tested before exactly 1000 milliliters were poured into two 500 ml flasks and the inventory for RMR-1029 began.  Exactly what was dispensed on May 13, 1998 - and to whom - is unclear.  The link I used on my web page doesn't explain anything.  And DXer won't provide sources and details of what he thinks happened.  

In his June 19, 2012, comment on my interactive blog DXer wrote something that is almost indecipherable (and of course he doesn't provide links to any sources):
And you talk about tours of USAMRIID when in fact Bruce Ivins GAVE virulent Ames to a former Zawahiri associate as part of research that was conducted at the BL-3 at USAMRIID. As part of his official duties. As evidenced by numerous patents by the DARPA-funded researchers.

Tarek Hamouda thanked Patricia Fellows, Dr. Ivins' chief accuser, for her technical assistance and thanked Bruce Ivins for supplying the Ames. 
I can't be certain that the May 13, 1998 entry does not refer to that transfer, and I don't know for certain exactly what was transferred.  So, I think the easiest thing to do is to just remove the two sentences from my web page about the al Qaeda theory rather than rephrase or try to explain things.  I've done that.  And I modified an update comment at the bottom of the page to try to clarify things a bit.

December 7, 2014 - Hmm.  Today is both Sunday and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the 73rd anniversary of the Sunday, December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  That would seem to make it an opportune time to plug my novel "Clipper," which is available for Kindle owners for just $2.99.  The attack on Pearl Harbor is the central event in "Clipper."

Cover of
                                      the novel "Clipper"

This subject is not entirely off topic, since one reason I got interested in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was all the conspiracy theories that were spawned by Pearl Harbor Truthers in the decades that followed the attack.  I've actually met some Pearl Harbor Truthers over the years.   I remember talking with one at the Austin Film Festival in 2001, just a few weeks after 9/11.  I don't recall his name, but he was rail-thin, in his 50's or 60's, very tense and driven, and also thoroughly dedicated to spreading this theory that Pearl Harbor was made possible via a U.S. government conspiracy: President Roosevelt allowed Pearl Harbor to happen so that America would be drawn into World War II.  The Truther didn't particularly like me telling him that my novel "Clipper" debunked all such conspiracy theories.  It was like he was on a mission, dedicating his life to getting people to learn "the truth" about Pearl Harbor.  Of course, he was also at the Austin Film Festival to try to sell his screenplay about the conspiracy.

I've probably argued with some Pearl Harbor Truthers on the Internet, too.  But, it was long ago, in the early days after the anthrax attacks.  My personal library still contains some key books on the subject, books that look at what really happened, not what Truthers believe happened.  "At Dawn We Slept" is a prime example of a book that describes what really happened.

 "Clipper" is a novel that debunks the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories by showing what the facts and evidence say as seen through they eyes of fictional characters who go on a real life, epic and historical adventure, encountering key real people from the time.  A week before Pearl Harbor, the main character, Professor Jessica McCann, is asked to go on an important mission for the U.S. government.  She leaves San Francisco on November 30, 1941,
aboard a Pan Am Clipper bound for Pearl Harbor.  There, she is to meet with a Japanese naval officer, an old friend she grew up with and still exchanges letters with.  But the officer is unable to make his planned Pan Am flight heading east from Macao, and he instead boards a tramp steamer bound for Darwin, Australia.  An "epic adventure" ensues as Professor McCann heads for Australia to meet him there while powerful forces in American and Germany work to make certain that Jessica McCann's mission fails.

If you go to the sample chapters of "Clipper" on, you'll see that nearly everyone in the story is expecting war to break out with Japan at any moment.  While no one even remotely thinks the Japanese are planning to attack Pearl Harbor, they are all fully expecting that Japan will at any moment attack the Philippines and invade Indochina, which would start a war with America.  It was only the average American who was totally surprised when Japan started the war. 

That can be compared to the anthrax attacks.  There were many people in the government expecting al Qaeda to use some kind of bioweapon on America after the failed attempt to bring down the North Tower of the World Trade Center in February, 1993.  To many Americans, it is incomprehensible to expect such a thing.  You don't expect or plan for an attack by terrorists or foreigners, you do something to stop the attack.  And, if you expected an attack and did not stop it, then you are either incompetent or you conspired to allow the attack to happen, which is what conspiracy theorists believe about Pearl Harbor and the anthrax attacks.  (I don't think anyone was ever dumb enough to believe it was really Americans who bombed Pearl Harbor, the way some believe today it was really Americans who perpetrated 9/11.)

Checking through my old journals, I see I was writing "Clipper" in 1990. When I was done writing he book, I found an agent to help me market it.  He was a top agent who really loved the book and more or less came out of retirement to help me find a publisher.  He tried about 50 publishers, but couldn't get a sale.  He passed on to me some comment letters from editors.  I recall one said my novel was like a series of adventures, instead of one single story.  Another editor wrote me to say he was going to mention the idea to one of his writers, Ken Follett.  Ken Follett later wrote a totally different book about an adventure aboard a Boeing-314 Pan Am Clipper.  It was called "Night Over Water."  The editor sent me a copy when it was published in 1991.

Eventually, my agent and I gave up on finding a publisher for "Clipper," and I moved on to writing screenplays.  I got a Hollywood agent interested, and he tried selling several of my screenplays.  Although one screenplay was optioned for awhile, none was ever produced into a movie.

Then I got involved in on-line arguments about the anthrax attacks of 2001, and I wrote two self-published non-fiction books on that subject.

(Somewhere in a closet I have copies of manuscripts for three or four other novels I wrote before "Clipper" (and before the age of home computers, which means they're not on disks) but couldn't get an agent or publisher interested.  Some people don't understand about hobbies - particularly writing as a hobby.  They think if you don't make money, you should stop doing it.  I get enjoyment from the writing process, just as I do in writing for this web site.  Getting paid for doing it would just be a bonus.)

And now I'm trying to find the time to get back to work on the second in a series of three new science fiction novels.  I haven't written a word for it since mid-August, largely because converting to a new computer is taking up so much of my time.  I also keep thinking that I should set up another web site where I can write about things that are not connected to the anthrax attacks of 2001 - like books, movies, current events, TV, psychology and other interests of mine.  I just keep waiting for the General Accountability Office (GAO) to publish their review of the Amerithrax investigation so that I can wrap things up on this web site.  It was supposed to happen "sometime this fall," but fall will be over in two weeks, and there's still no sign of that GAO review.

A couple arguments last week showed me it is getting close to the time when I need to wrap up things on this web site.  One Truther wrote:

If you cannot make your argument without intentionally lying, Ed, it reveals the weakness of your argument.

And if you are not intentionally lying, it just reveals you to be incredibly stupid.
And a different Truther wrote:
That [the details of his theory] will eventually be understood by those with an open mind. In 2020, or 2022. Or whenever. With any 'luck' at all, Mister Lake won't live to see it.
I've got a lot of things I'd rather be doing than arguing with people who don't know the difference between saying an idea is stupid and saying a person is stupid, and arguing with people who hope you will soon be dead.

All prior Thoughts and Comments are also available.
Click HERE for year 2014 - Part 3.
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The FBI's summary report of the Amerithrax case
The revised version of the FBI' summary report of the Amerithrax case
Search warrants and attachments to the Summary report from the DOJ's web site
The 2,720 pages of supplementary files for the Amerithrax case in the FBI's "vault" (Click HERE for my notes about those pages)
Dr. Bruce Ivins' emails while at Ft. Detrick from USAMRIID's web site
NAS "Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI's Investigation of the Anthrax Attacks of 2001" - Timeline of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks

Edited version of the Hatfill v Ashcroft et al lawsuit Court Docket
Edited version of the Hatfill v Foster/Vanity Fair/Readers Digest Court Docket
Edited version of the Hatfill v The New York Times Court Docket
Edited version of the Maureen Stevens vs The United States lawsuit Court Docket (with full depositions)
Edited version of the Maureen Stevens vs Battelle Memorial, et al lawsuit Court Docket
UCLA's "Disease Detectives" site about the anthrax outbreak of 2001
Frederick Police Department's report on Ivins' Suicide
Report of the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel

Click HERE to view references from 2005 through 2008.
Click HERE to view pre-2005 references.

NOTE: The (X) following references below includes a link to my copy of the articles, which may or may not be visible on-line.


The New York Times - Jan. 3, 2009 - "Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect’s Troubled Life - (X)
Scientific American - Jan. 5, 2009 - "A steady stream of clues pointed to Ivins during FBI anthrax investigation" (X)
CNN - Jan. 6, 2009 - "'Let me sleep,' anthrax suspect wrote before suicide" (X)
Associated Press - Jan. 6, 2009 - "Records reveal anguish of anthrax suspect's wife" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Jan. 23, 2009 - "
Army releases some Ivins e-mails" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 4, 2009 - "Science Found Wanting in Nation's Crime Labs" (X)
Science Magazine - Feb. 7, 2009 - "
U.S. Army Lab Freezes Research on Dangerous Pathogens" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 9, 2009 - "Army Suspends Germ Research at Maryland Lab" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Biodefense lab starts inventory of deadly samples" (X) - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Lawer: Evidence against Bruce Ivins 'Undercut'" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Most Research Suspended at Fort Detrick" (X)
Scientific American - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Army anthrax lab suspends research to invertory its germs" (X)
Nature - Feb. 25, 2009 - "Anthrax investigation still yielding findings" (X)
New Scientist - Feb. 27, 2009 - "Revealed: Scientific evidence for the 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
Rush Holt - Mar. 3, 2009 - "Holt Introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation" (X) - Mar. 3, 2009 - "Holt seeks congressional anthrax commission" (X)
FBI Press Release - Mar. 6, 2009 - "FBI responds to Science issues in Anthrax case" (X) - Mar. 7, 2009 - "FBI's Evidence in Anthrax Case Leaves Puzzling Scientific Questions" (X)

Associated Press - Mar. 7, 2009 - "Ruling lets anthrax suit go forward" (X)
Los Angeles Times - Mar. 8, 2009 - "Anthrax hoaxes pile up, as does their cost" (X)
USA Today - Mar. 10, 2009 - "15,300 government workers have access to agents of bioterror" (X)
The Times of Trenton (Opinion by Rush Holt) - Mar. 12, 2009 - "Preventing Bioterrorism" (X)
New Scientist - Mar. 13, 2009 - "Columbus innocent over anthrax in the Americas" (X)
USA Today - Mar. 14, 2009 - "Tracing anthrax's American roots" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 24, 2009 - "Letters mimicking anthrax scare sent to Congress" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 31, 2009 - "Judge dismisses lawsuit over anthrax letter" (X)
The Scotsman - Apr. 4, 2009 - "Dorothy H. Crawford: World waits for ground-breaking anthrax evidence" (X)
Seed Magazine - Apr. 14, 2009 - "The Anthrax Agenda" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Apr. 15, 2009 -
"Judge urges settlement in 'National Enquirer' anthrax case" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Columnist/Opinion) - Apr. 22, 2009 - "Cold Comfort" (X)
The Washington Post - Apr. 22, 2009 - "Deadly Pathogens May Have Gone Missing at Fort Detrick" (X) - May 6, 2009 - "FBI Anthrax Investigation Under Scientific Review" (X)
The New York Times - May 7, 2009 - "F.B.I. to Pay for Anthrax Inquiry Review" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (editorial) - May 14, 2009 - "End Of Story?" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (commentary by Barry Kissin) - May 24, 2009 - "The Lynching Of Bruce Ivins" (X)
Associated Press - May 28, 2009 - "Prosecutor in anthrax, Blackwater cases resigns" (X)
Frederick News-Post - June 17, 2009 - "USAMRIID finds more than 9,200 unrecorded disease samples" (X)
Associated Press - June 17, 2009 - "9,200 Uncounted Vials Found At Army Biodefense Lab" (X)
The Washington Post - June 18, 2009 - "Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More Pathogens" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 2, 2009 - "Committee to review FBI anthrax investigation" (X)
Microbe - July 2009 - "Questions Linger over Science behind Anthrax Letters" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "
Anthrax case: Amerithrax debate lives online" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "Anthrax case: Seeking an Ending" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "
Anthrax case: Studies scrutinize lab security, shy away from federal investigation" (X)
Associated Press - July 26, 2009 - "US on verge of closing anthrax probe after 8 years" (X)
The Washington Times - July 30, 2009 - "Lessons learned from the anthrax letters" (X)
Associated Press - July 30, 2009 - "Review begins of FBI science in anthrax case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 31, 2009 - "Group begins scientific review of FBI's anthrax investigation" (X)
Frederick News-Post (editorial) - July 31, 2009 - "Dubious study" (X)
Nature - July 31, 2009 - "Anthrax investigation probe undeway" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Aug. 1, 2009 - "Experts urge panel to deepen forensic understanding" (X)
The Washington Post - Aug. 1, 2009 - "Lawmaker 'Skeptical' of Anthrax Results" (X)
USA Today - Aug. 3, 2009 - "Anthrax case not closed: Panel reviews Bruce Ivins, mail probe" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Aug. 12, 2009 - "A Shocking Mockery" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Aug. 13, 2009 - "Fort Detrick passes national accreditation" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Sept. 25, 2009 - "Panel continues study of anthrax mailings" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Sept. 26, 2009 - "Expert: Anthrax spore coatings not unique" (X)
USA Today - Oct. 5, 2009 - "Behind the scenes, system sniffs for biological attacks" (X)
BBC - Dec. 17, 2009 - "Anthrax found in dead heroin user from Glasgow" (X)
The Wall Street Journal - Dec. 19, 2009 - "A Conspiracy-Theory Theory" (X)
Newsweek - Dec. 21, 2009 - "Red Mind, Blue Mind" (X)
Digital Journal - Dec. 27, 2009 - "NH Woman Critically Ill With Anthrax" (X)
The Associated Press - Dec. 27, 2009 - "Drums a possible source of anthrax in N.H. woman" (X)
Medical News Today - Dec. 29, 2009 - "Anthrax Found in Drums Linked to Infected Woman" (X)
Associated Press - Dec. 30, 2009 - "Anthrax case: Drum suspicions are detailed" (X)

Washington Examiner (Opinion) - Jan. 1, 2010 - "Who was behind the September 2001 anthrax attacks?" (X)
The Associated Press - Jan. 11, 2010 - "Fed panel wants more scrutiny of biolab workers" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Opinion) - Jan. 24, 2010 - "The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved" (X)
The Washington Examiner (Opinion) - Jan. 29, 2010 - "Anthrax attacks still unexplained" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Letter to Editor) - Jan. 31, 2010 - "Anthrax Case: FBI Used Good Science" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 19, 2010 - "
Ivins' attorney: Anthrax case to be closed today" (X)
The Associated Press - Feb. 19, 2010 - "AP Source: FBI formally closes anthrax case" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 19, 2010 - "F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Letter Case" (X)
Reuters - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Anthrax investigators looked at 1,000 suspects" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 19, 2010 - "'Ġodel, Escher, Bach' author downplays FBI anthrax case link" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Q&A: Anthrax and Ivins Case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Anthax investigation closed" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. closes case on anthrax letters" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "FBI investigation of 2001 anthrax attacks concluded; U.S. releases details" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. closes 2001 anthrax case" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 20, 2010 - "Anthrax myth persists despite evidence" (X)
The New York Times (opinion from Nov. 10, 2001) - Feb. 20, 2010 - "On the trail of the anthrax killers" (X)
The Wall Street Journal - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. Closes Case in Anthrax Attacks" (X) - Feb. 20, 2010 - "DOJ Rationalizes Away Polygraph's Failure to Catch Alleged Anthrax Killer" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "Government  closes 'Amerithrax' case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 23, 2010 - "FBI report fails to end questions about Ivins' guilt" (X)
The Daily Princetonian - Feb. 24, 2010 - "FBI closes anthrax letter investigation" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 24, 2010 (opinion) - "Haste Leaves Anthrax Case Unconcluded" (X)
Asia Times - Feb. 25, 2010 - "Doubts cloud closing of anthrax case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 26, 2010 -
"Bill for more investigation of '01 anthrax case passes House."  (X)
The Times of Trenton - Feb. 26, 2010 - "Holt: Last word not in on anthrax case" (X)
The New York Times (editorial) - Feb. 28, 2010 - "The F.B.I.'s Anthrax Case" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Feb, 28, 2010 - "FBI reports chronicle Ivins investigation" (X) - Mar. 1, 2010 - "The Strange World of Dr. Anthrax" (X) - Mar. 1, 2010 - "Anthrax Letter Scientist 'Obsessed' with Bondage, Sorority"  (X)
The Trentonian - Mar. 1, 2010 - "The Smoking Gun reports: Anthrax mastermind was cross-dresser" (X)
The Register (UK) - Mar. 2, 2010 - "The anthrax scare: Case and flask closed" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Mar. 4, 2010 - "Police: Ivins not linked to other unsolved cases" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Mar. 4, 2010 - "Holt seeks investigation into FBI's case against Ivins" (X)
Anderson Cooper 360 - Mar. 5, 2010 - "Inside the mind of the suspected anthrax killer" (X)
Courier News (opinion) - Mar. 7, 2010 - "Bioterror preparedness needs a boost from congress" (X) - Mar. 10, 2010 - "Lawer Doubts Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
CNN (opinion) - Mar. 12, 2010 - "Can the House trust the Senate?" (X)
Bloomberg - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Obama Veto Is Threatened On 2010 Intelligence Budget Measure" (X)
Bloomberg - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Obama Veto Is Threatened On 2010 Intelligence Budget Bill (Update 1)" (X) - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Protecting agencies from oversight, Obama threatens to veto intelligence funding" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Mar. 20, 2010 - "Adminstration rejects call to further probe Amerithrax" (X)
Pittsburgh Review-Journal (Opinion) - Mar. 21, 2010 - "Anthrax questions" (X)
Accuracy In Media - Mar. 24, 2010 - "Obama Obstructs Oversight of FBI in Anthrax Case" (X)
The Huffington Post - Apr. 14, 2010 - "Crying Wolf: The Terrorist Crop-Duster" (X)
The Atlantic - Apr. 16, 2010 - "The Wrong Man" (X)
MSNBC - Apr. 16, 2010 - "Exonerated anthrax suspect: FBI harassed me" (X)
Foreign Policy - Apr. 19, 2010 - "The Elite Med Squad That Saved You from Anthrax" (X) (Glenn Greenwald) - Apr. 21, 2010 - "Unlearned lessons from the Steven Hatfill case" (X)
UPI (Opinion) - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Outside View: Anthrax Letters: Was Bruce Ivins Hounded to Death?"  (X)
The New York Times - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Colleague Disputes Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
Science Magazine - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Ex-USAMRIID Scientist Defends Bruce Ivins Using Back-of-the-Envelope Math" (X) - Apr. 23, 2010 - "Colleague Says Anthrax  Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case" (X) - Apr. 27, 2010 - "Co-worker says Ivins didn't make anthrax letter spores" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - May 1, 2010 - "Anthrax attacks, cont'd" (X)
The Racine Journal-Times - June 11, 2010 - "The Armchair analyst: Ed Lake has spent nine years tracking the anthrax investigation" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (blog) - Sept. 16, 2010 - "GAO to Take Look at FBI Anthrax Probe" (X)
The New York Times - Sept. 16, 2010 - "New Review in Anthrax Inquiry" (X)
The Times of Trenton - Sept. 16, 2010 - "Holt: FBI anthrax investigation is itself subject of probe" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Sept. 17, 2010 - "GAO to review FBI's Ivins investigation" (X)
The Washington Post - Oct. 4, 2010 - "William C. Patrick III, 84, dies (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 10, 2010 - "William C. Patrick III, Expert on Germ Warfare, Dies at 84" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion by Barry Kissin) - Oct. 16, 2010 - "In the shadow of 9/11" (X)
The Frederick News-Post -Nov. 30, 2010 - "Amerithrax experts debate FBI findings, insist Ivins was innocent" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Dec. 5, 2010 - "Researcher tells how anthrax may have been made" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 5, 2010 - "Ivins' lawyer, colleague share details FBI left out" (X)
Homeland Security Today - Dec. 9, 2010 - "Science Report on FBI Anthrax Probe Delayed Again" (X)
The New York Times - Dec. 9, 2010 - "F.B.I. Asks Panel to Delay Report on Anthrax Inquiry" (X)
The Miami Herald - Dec. 9, 2010 - "FBI seeks delay in outside review of anthrax probe" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 10, 2010 - "Amerithrax review delayed after FBI releases more docs" (X)
Science Magazine - Dec. 10, 2010 - "New FBI Material Delays Academy Report on Anthrax Attacks" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 11, 2010 - "National Academy of Science review panel surprised by FBI's last-minute document release" (X)

2011 - Feb. 14, 2011 - "Report on FBI's anthrax findings to be released Tuesday" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Review Faults F.B.I.'s Scientific Work in Anthrax Investigation" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Anthrax report cast doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Evidence linking anthrax to Bruce Ivins 'not as definitive as stated,' panel says" (X)
CNN - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Scientific review reaches no conclusion on source of anthrax" (X)
NPR - Feb. 15, 2011 - "FBI Faulted For Overstating Science In Anthrax Case" (X)
ABC News - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Panel Review Questions FBI Theory in Anthrax Attacks after 9/11" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Panel can't rule out other sources of deadly anthrax spores" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Ivins case's inconvenient issue: his polygraph" (X)
Nature - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Science falls short in anthrax investigation" (X)
CIDRAP News - Feb. 15, 2011 - "NRC: Data insufficient for firm conclusion in anthrax case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Report casts doubt on FBI's investigation of anthrax attacks" (X) (opinion) - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Serious doubt cast in FBI's anthrax case against Bruce Ivins" (X)
New Scientist - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Scientists critical of FBI's anthrax conclusions" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Sen. Leahy on anthrax case: 'It's not closed.'" (X)
CIDRAP News - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Anthrax expert says NRC report supports FBI" (X)
The Washington Post (Editorial) - Feb. 17, 2011 - "Answers in 2001 anthrax attack are still elusive" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Feb. 19, 2011 - "NAS on Amerithrax" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 20, 2011 - "One year after FBI closes Ivins case, doubts still linger" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Feb. 21, 2011 - "Flawed Science" (X)
The Boston Globe (Editorial) - Feb. 22, 2011 - "Consider the case solved" (X)
The Brown and White - Feb. 25, 2011 - "Gast heads panel discussing anthrax letters" (X)
Stanford Medicine - Feb. 25, 2011 - "New review of anthrax case discussed by review committee vice chair" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 28, 2011 - "Trouble in the air at Ft. Detrick" (X)
The New York Times (letter to the editor from Rush Holt) - Mar. 1, 2011 - "The Anthrax Attacks" (X)
University of Maryland (press release) - Mar. 7, 2011 - "University of Maryland School of Medicine publishes scientific paper on 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
UPI - Mar. 8, 2011 - "Science behind anthrax letters revealed" (X) - Mar. 8, 2011 - "Institute for Genome Sciences plays key role in investigation of anthrax attacks" (X) - Mar. 8, 2011- "Now, the story can be told - how scientists helped ID 'Amerithrax'" (X)
NPR - Mar. 9, 2011 - "Lab Vs. Courtroom: Different Definitions Of Proof" (X) - Mar. 14, 2011 - "Anthrax in 2001 Letters was Traced to Maryland by Genetic Mutations" (X) - Mar. 17, 2011 - "UMD: Anthrax Investigation" (X) - Mar. 18, 2011 - "Q&A: Meryl Nass" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Mar. 22, 2011 - "Report  Faults Army in 2001 anthrax mailings" (X)
The New York Times - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Panel on Anthrax Inquiry Finds Case Against Ivins Persuasive" (X)
CNN - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Suspect in 2001 anthrax case had long history of mental problems" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Expert panel faults Army in anthrax case" (X)
The Miami Herald - Mar. 23, 2011 - "FBI's anthrax suspect is likely killer, panel concludes" (X)
MSNBC - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Medical records point to doctor in anthrax attacks, report says" (X)
ABC - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Report: 2001 Anthrax Attacks Were Preventable" (X)
The Washington Times - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Panel: Anthrax-attack suspect sent up red flags" (X)
Reuters - Mar. 24, 2011 - "U.S. Experts: Army researcher was anthrax attacker" (X)
Wired Magazine - Mar. 24, 2011 - "Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?" (X)
The Times (Trenton, NJ) - Mar. 25, 2011 - "Holt remains skepical about conclusions in anthrax investigation" (X)
Wired Magazine - Mar. 28, 2011 - "Postage Stamps Delivered Anthrax Suspect to FBI" (X)
The Gazette - Apr. 7, 2011 - "Joe Volz: Frederick massacre averted?" (X)
The Washington Post - Apr. 16, 2011 - "How anthrax sleuths cracked the case by decoding genetic 'fingerprints'" (X)
The Miami Herald - Apr. 20, 2011 - "Was FBI too quick to judge anthrax suspect the killer?" (X) - Apr. 21, 2011 - "Did FBI Target Wrong Man as Anthrax Killer" (X) - April 23, 2011 - "Colleague Says Anthrax Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Apr. 30, 2011 - "Doubt of anthrax suspect's role resurfaces in lawsuit" (X) - May 2, 2011 - "Attorneys contest Ivins' guilt" (X)
McClatchy Newspapers - May 19, 2011 - "FBI lab reports on anthrax attack suggest another miscue" (X) - May 26, 2011 - "Rep. Nadler Criticizes the FBI in Letter to Director Mueller Over Anthrax Probe" (X)
McClatchy Newspapers - May 26, 2011 - "Congressman presses FBI for anthrax information" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - May 29, 2011 - "The anthrax killings: A troubled mind" (X)
The Daily Beast - June 3, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacker Bruce Ivins' Obsessions" (X)
Associated Press - June 3, 2011 - "The anthrax scare and one deeply troubled man" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion by Barry Kissin) - June 4, 2011 - "Lessons from Amerithrax" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - June 6, 2011 - "A marathon, not a sprint" (X)
The Gazette - June 9, 2011 - "A treasure trove of information about Amerithrax" (X) - June 9, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacks and America's Rush to Judgment" (X)
The Washington Post (Opinion) - June 10, 2011 - "Inside our own labs, the threat of another anthrax attack" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - June 12, 2011 - "Book Review: 'The Mirage Man' by David Willman" (X)
The Boston Globe (Opinion) - June 15, 2011 - "Revisiting Mueller and the anthrax case" (X)
Clinical Psychiatry News - June 21, 2011 - "Use of Psychological Profile to Infer Ivins' Guilt is Problematic" (X)
The Philadelphia Inquirer (book review) - July 17, 2011 - "Bungled pursuit of a killer" (X)
The Boston Herald - July 18, 2011 - "Justice Department lawyers contradict FBI findings in anthrax case" (X) - July 19, 2011 - "DOJ casts serious doubt on its own claims about the attack anthrax" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department filings poke holes in Ivins' case" (X)
The New York Times - July 19, 2011 - "U.S. Revises Its Response To Lawsuit On Anthrax" (X)
Associated Press - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department corrects court filing in anthrax suit" (X)
The Washington Post - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department corrects legal filing regarding anthrax attacks" (X)
MSNBC - July 19, 2011 -
"Government lawyers backtrack on anthrax case" (X)
Village Voice (blog) - July 19, 2011 - "Bruce Ivins Maybe Didn't Send Anthrax, Government Admits in Court Papers" (X)
The Macon Telegraph - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department retracts court filings that undercut FBI's anthrax case" (X)
The Sacramento Bee - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Dept backtracks on anthrax claims" (X)
Wired Magazine - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Department Trips in Anthrax Case.  Again" (X)
Miami Herald - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Department waffling in anthrax case could be costly, experts say" (X) - July 20, 2011 - "Government Anthrax Flip-Flop Could Boost Victim's Lawsuit" (X)
CIDRAP news - July 20, 2011 - "DOJ defense of Army lab stirs up anthrax case controversy" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - July 25, 2011 - "Another Ivins twist" (X)
The New York Times - July 26, 2011 - "Suspect's Manifesto Points to Planned Anthrax Use, But Also to a Lack of Expertise" (X)
ProPublica - July 26, 2011 - "Stephen Engelberg on the FBI's Anthrax Case" (X)
Global Security Newswire - July 27, 2011 - "Norway Killer Wrote of Anthrax Attacks" (X)
Kansas City Star - July 27, 2011 - "Judge says US must show 'good cause" to revise anthrax filing" (X)
The Miami Herald - July 29, 2011 - "Judge allows feds to revise filing in anthrax case" (X)
The Washington Post (review) - Aug. 11, 2011 - David Willman's 'The Mirage Man'" (X)
WMD Junction - Aug 22, 2011 - "New Questions About the FBI's Anthrax Case" (X)
NPR (Laurie Garrett interview) - Aug. 26, 2011 - "A look back at 9/11 in 'I Heard the Sirens Scream'" (X)
National Journal - Sept. 1, 2011 - "After 9/11, Anthrax Attacks Seemed Too Natural" (X)
CIDRAP news - Sept. 1, 2011 - "Public health leaders cite lessons of 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
The Kansas City Star - Sept. 2, 2011 - "Sen. Grassley asks Justice Department to explain contradictory acts on anthrax" (X)
Montgomery Life - Sept. 7, 2011 - "9/11 Ten Years Later" (X) - Sept. 8, 2011 - "Ten Years after 9/11: ISU Recalls Anthrax Scare" (X)
The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN) - Sept. 11, 2011 - "Pence: 'Remember the triumph of freedom'" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 11, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 1" (X)
Arizona Daily Sun - Sept. 12, 2011 - "NAU researcher thrust into the maelstrom" (X)
National Review - Sept. 14, 2011 - "Saddam: What We Now Know" (X)
The Guardian - Sept. 15, 2011 - "The anthrax scare: not a germ of truth" (X)
New Scientist - Sept. 15, 2011 - "Did research funding lead to anthrax attacks?" (X)
Asbury Park Press - Sept. 16, 2011 - "Another 10th Anniversary: Anthrax Attacks" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Book Review) - Sept. 17, 2011 - "When Death Came Hand-Delivered" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 18, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 2" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 25, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 3" (X)
USA Today - Sept. 30, 2011 - "Strides in biodefense follow 2001 anthrax scare" (X)
CNN - Oct. 1, 2011 - "Strange sorority fixation was link that led to anthrax suspect" (X)
USA Today - Oct. 2, 2011 - "Al Qaeda lab lingers in anthrax story" (X)
Wired Magazine - Oct. 2, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 4" (X)
The Daily Mail (UK) - Oct. 3, 2011 - "The laboratory crush that led the FBI to the U.S. Anthrax killer" (X)
Annals of Internal Medicine - Oct. 3, 2011 - "The Anthrax Attacks 10 Years Later" (X)
The Hartford Courant - Oct. 5, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacks Still A Mystery After 10 Years" (X)
PBS (Press Release) - Oct. 5, 2011 - "Frontline Investigates the Anthrax Mailings" (X)
University of Wyoming News - Oct. 7, 2011 - "UW Professors: Accused Anthrax Killer Couldn't Have Done It" (X)
Aberdeen News - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Ten years since Daschle received anthrax-laced letter" (X)
The Times of Trenton - Oct. 9, 2011 - "A decade on, legacy of anthrax attack lingers in Mercer County and beyond" (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Scientists' Analysis Disputes F.B.I. Closing of Anthrax Case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Frontline's 'Anthrax Files' takes hard look at FBI role in suicide of Ft. Detrick scientist" (X)
The Kansas City Star - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Fresh doubts raised on 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Clair Fraser-Liggett: 'This Is Not an Airtight Case By Any Means'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Edward Montooth: 'The Mandate Was to Look at the Case with Fresh Eyes'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Rachel Lieber: 'The Case Against Dr. Bruce Ivins'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Paul Keim: 'We Were Surprised It Was the Ames Strain'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - Nancy Haigwood: “I Had a Gut Feeling It Was Bruce”  (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI’s Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Did Bruce Ivins Hide Attack Anthrax from the FBI?" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Was FBI’s Science Good Enough to ID Anthrax Killer?" (X)
The Miami Herald - Oct. 11, 2011 - "Decade-old anthrax attacks included hit to Boca Raton offices" (X)
Science Magazine - Oct. 11, 2011 - "New Challenge to FBI's Anthrax Investigation Lends an Ear to Tin" (X)
The Macon Telegraph - Oct. 11, 2011 - "Was FBI's science good enough to ID anthrax killer?" (X)
Caspar Star-Tribune - Oct. 11, 2011 - "University of Wyoming professors seek to clear former colleague's name in anthrax controversy" (X)
The Gazette - Oct. 12, 2011 - "Questions remain 10 years after anthrax mailings" (X)
The Miami Herald - Oct. 12, 2011 - "Newly released files cloud FBI's anthrax finding" (X)
Council on Foreign Relations (opinion by Laurie Garrett) - Oct. 12, 2011 - "The Anthrax Letters" (X)
Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Oct. 13, 2011 - "The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations" - Oct. 15, 2011 - "Despite Evidence of FBI Bungling, New Probe Into Anthrax Killings Unlikely" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Oct. 16, 2011 - "Science in anthrax letter case comes under attack" (X)
The New York Times (editorial) - Oct. 17, 2011 - "Who Mailed the Anthrax Letters?" (X)
Fox News - Oct. 18, 2011 - "Doubts Persist About Anthrax Investigation 10 Years Later" (X)
The Daily Reveille - Oct. 20, 2011 - "Professor is worldwide anthrax specialist" (X)
The Washington Post (editorial) - Oct. 21, 2011 - "New questions about FBI anthrax inquiry deserve scrutiny" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (opinion by Barry Kissin) - Oct. 22, 2011 - "Anthrax whodunit" (X)
The Vancouver Sun - Oct. 22, 2011 - "Was this man the anthrax killer?" (X)
The New York Post - Oct. 23, 2011 - "Anthrax and the FBI" (X)
The Vancouver Sun - Oct. 24, 2011 - "The Hunt for America's anthrax killer" (X) - Oct. 24, 2011 - "Secret Reports: With Security Spotty, Many Had Access to Anthrax" (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 27, 2011 - "The Anthrax Investigation: The View From the FBI" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Oct. 28, 2011 - "Lantana anthrax widow settles $50 million lawsuit against federal government" (X)
NPR - Oct. 29, 2011 - "Scientific Case Still Open on 2001 Anthrax Case" (X)
Associated Press - Oct. 30, 2011 - "Settlement reached in anthrax death lawsuit" (X)
Reuters - Oct. 30, 2011 - "Deal reached in U.S. 2001 anthrax death suit: filing" (X)
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - Nov. 1, 2011 - "Amerithrax review: Lessons for future investigations" (X)
AAAS - Nov. 1, 2011 - "Ten Years After Deadly Anthrax Mailings, AAAS Event Explores Lingering Questions"  (X) - Nov. 21, 2011 - "The Day Terror Came to Oxford" (X)
Associated Press - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. to pay widow $2.5M in 2001 anthrax death" (X)
AP & Time Magazine - Nov. 29, 2011 - U.S. to pay widow $2.5M in 2001 anthrax death" (X)
CNN - Nov, 29, 2011 - "Family of 2001 anthrax victim settles with government" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. to pay Lantana widow $2.5 million for the 2001 anthrax attack that killed her husband" (X) (X)
The Washington Post - Nov. 29, 2011 - "Federal government settles suit in fatal anthrax attacks" (X)
The New York Times - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. Settles Suit Over Anthrax Attacks" (X) - Nov. 29, 2011 - "Government Settles Case Brought By First Anthrax Victim For $2.5 Million" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Nov. 30, 2011 - "Anthrax victim's wife: $2.5 million settlement brings 'a little finality'" (X)


Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Jan. 31, 2012 - "Letter to the Editor in response to 'The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations"
The Washington Post - Jan. 27, 2012 - "Justice Dept. takes on itself in probe of 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
Slate Magazine - Jan. 30, 2012 - "How fake bioterrorism attacks became a real problem" (X)
Gazette.Net - Mar. 22, 2012 - "Paul Gordon: An exercise in futility"  (X)
The Cavalier Daily - Mar. 23, 2012 - "Panel reviews 2001 attacks" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Apr. 8, 2012 - "Beyond the breach: Officials take a look at security and safety a decade after anthrax scare" (X) - Nov. 26, 2012 - "Nick Kristof: Here Are 3 Things I've Been Very Wrong About."
Racine Journal-Times - Dec. 8, 2012 - "Local Man self-publishes book about anthrax attacks"
Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Dec. 17, 2012 - "Evidence for the Source of the 2001 Attack Anthrax"


NewsWithViews - Apr. 20, 2013 - "The Media Wants Arabs Exonerated" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 28, 2013 - "Questions on anthrax suspect linger"  (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 29, 2013 - "Scientists who worked with Ivins still question government's methods" (X)
The Trentonian - Oct. 20, 2013 - State Watch: "Ready for Anthrax Sequel? (X)


Hartford Courant - April 14, 2014 - "Oxford Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of Anthrax Attacks" (X)
Accuracy in Media - May 21, 2014 - "Lies of the 9/11 'Truth' Movement" (X)
The Atlantic - Oct. 26, 2014 - "21 Days" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Oct. 27, 2014 - "The Atlantic trots out a dubious source to support an Ebola quarantine" (X)
Associated Press - Dec. 19, 2014 - "Report: FBI's Anthrax Investigation Was Flawed" (X)
The New York Times - Dec. 19, 2014 - "Inquiry in Anthrax Mailings Had Gaps, Report Says" (X)
PBS Frontline - Dec. 19, 2014 - "New Report Casts Doubt on FBI Anthrax Investigation" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 20, 2014 - "Amerithrax Detrick lab addresses flaws in FBI's Amerithrax investigation" (X)
The Boston Globe - Dec. 20, 2014 - "FBI evidence often mishandled, inquiry finds" (X)
Science Magazine - Dec. 22, 2014 - "Poor methods weakened FBI investigation of 2001 anthrax attacks, report concludes" (X)
Homeland Security Today - Dec. 22, 2014 - "Major Gaps in FBI’s Investigation of 2001 Anthrax Attacks, GAO Finds" (X)
Chemistry World - Dec. 24, 2014 - "FBI’s 2001 anthrax investigation was flawed" (X)

© 2001-2014 by Ed Lake

All Rights Reserved.