by Ed Lake
& Changes: Sunday, September 14, 2014, thru Saturday, September 20,
September 19, 2014 - It appears that
we now have another interesting case of "experts arguing with
experts." This one is in the hunt for
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. I just noticed that Duncan Steele and
his group of outside experts have published a document that disagrees
with the official experts as to where flight MH370 can most likely be
found. Click HERE
for the pdf version or HERE for the html
The outsider version is based upon opinions and beliefs, of
course. They accept that the satellite data and communication
facts say MH370 went down somewhere in the South Indian Ocean along the
"7th arc," i.e., around where MH370's final "handshake" with ground
stations occurred. The outsiders, however, believe that MH370 was
headed in a more southerly direction, therefore was further south along
the arc than what the Air Transportation Safety Board (ATSB)
believes. They also argue:
ATSB considered thousands
of paths, with many possible speeds tested. However, the most
likely scenario chosen by ATSB (low BTO and BFO errors) had a TAS
of 400 kts. But ATSB provides no
rationale for a pilot to have made a deliberate selection of this
speed. If the aircraft was flying under the control of the
autopilot, a human must have selected the configuration. We doubt that a pilot would select
400 kts, and a lower altitude to match, regardless of the
motivation. Using our path models, we have confirmed
that the path would end on the 7th arc in the ATSB Priority Search Area
if the speed was 400 kts, but we note that this result is the
least consistent with (a) the most likely speeds a human
would choose and (b) the fuel range/performance intersections with
the 7th arc.
It's the same kind of
problem "outside experts" have with the Amerithrax case. They
don't care what the evidence says, they
don't believe Ivins would have done this or that. And like the
"outside experts" in the
Amerithrax investigation, the MH370 "outside experts" don't have all
facts that the government experts have.
So, who should we believe? Truthers will simply disbelieve the official version
from "the government" regardless of what the facts say. But, I
would tend to believe the side that most
the BEST data. That would once again be "the government."
By the standards of one
Anthrax Truther, that makes me a government flunky:
What I do have problems with is: your
(implicit) repudiation of: observations, hypotheses, summaries made by
you simply in order to align yourself with whatever the government's
current line is.
If it turns out that
Duncan Steele's theory is proved right, I'll find that totally fascinating. If it
turns out the government is right, I'll just shrug and say, "Of
course. They had
the better facts and better experts. Ho hum." If it turns
out that neither is right
and/or that they just cannot find MH370, I
won't automatically assume it is because of some kind of sinister
government conspiracy. I'll just assume that there is some piece
of data they are not aware of that changes
everything. That is what happens sometimes when all you have to
work with is scattered pieces of incomplete data. It's happened a
times in the past, and it will happen a billion times again in the
September 18, 2014 - In my arguments
with Anthrax Truthers, they
keep arguing that the various people who disagree with the official
Amerithrax findings have impressive credentials. Yet, they don't
seem to believe the 9/11 conspiracy theories - even though many 9/11
conspiracy theorists also
have impressive credentials. Back on January 29, 2012, I wrote a comment
in which I said,
Evidently, it's time to repeat
the adage: There is no idea so
preposterous that you can't find an expert with perfect credentials to
This morning I tried to figure out where that "adage" came from.
It probably wasn't phrased exactly that way. I did a good search
for "perfect credentials" and found nothing meaningful. Then I
did a Google search for ignorant+expert
and found a lot of interesting stuff, but not the original wording of
that "adage." I found
when we set out to learn a
new skill, most of us start out as “unconsciously
incompetent.” That is, we don’t even know how much we don’t
know. Then we learn a thing or two, and we advance to being
“consciously incompetent.” We’ve found out enough to understand just
how much we don’t know.
Finally, we learn enough to
actually be competent. At first, it takes concentration to produce our
best work. But by the time we become a true expert, we turn in superior
work as a matter of course, almost without having to thing about it.
It’s just what we do. ....
the problem is the “unconsciously
incompetent” often looks a lot like the expert to an untrained
observer. They’re both self confident — the difference is one is
confident because he knows what he’s doing… while the other is
confident because he’s simply unaware of how unskilled he really is.
Farther down in the list
of links I found a Wikipedia link
that had this:
In this age of
specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent
to discuss another.
That's apparently a
quote from scientist Richard Feynman, who also said:
Science is the
belief in the ignorance of the experts
And I found a transcript
of a talk by Dr. Feynman on the subject "What is
science?". The final point in that talk is:
alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the
danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the
It was all very interesting,
but it didn't help me find the source of the "adage." Maybe I'll
try again tomorrow. Or maybe it isn't an "adage" that I actually
heard somewhere. Maybe it's just something I learned from
experience. Maybe it should be
But, if so, it should probably have one word changed:
is no idea so
preposterous that you can't find an expert with impressive credentials to
September 17, 2014 - It appears that
the GAO review of the Amerithrax investigation may not be released for
another month or three. Blogger Lew Weinstein
has asked the GAO for information about the release date and says the
GAO is now
expect it will be the later part of the summer or early fall
Meanwhile, an Anthrax
my interactive blog seems to be arguing that the number of books
supporting anthrax conspiracy theories seem to outnumber the books
which agree with the government findings, and that somehow means that the official
government findings must be wrong:
Mister Lake is in a
minority among Amerithrax-book authors in concurring publicly that
Ivins, acting alone, did the crimes. I'm unaware of any other author
besides David Willman who holds that position
That prompted me to look at some books which challenge the official
findings about 9/11. There are lots
and lots of them. A dozen examples:
I could probably list dozens more of such titles.
Excluding the books which do not try to point fingers but only tell
stories of people who survived 9/11, I see only a few books which
support the official findings with additional facts, most notably:
How many people feel they have something
new to say in support of the
official findings about the 9/11 attacks? Compare that number to
the number of people who feel they have something new to say in opposition
to the official findings. Every conspiracy theorist seems to have
own personal theory that he wants to tell everyone.
Any nut case can
probably publish a book describing some 9/11 conspiracy theory.
And it's much easier to get a real
publisher to publish such a book, because there is a market for controversial books. There
just aren't many people who are willing to spend good money to buy a
book which simply supports the offical story. What
for? Unless it involves some interesting personal story, there is
no market for non-controversial non-fiction books about 9/11 or the anthrax attacks of
2001. But come up with an interesting conspiracy theory -
no matter how stupid - and you might have a book deal. That's
just the way the publishing business works - unfortunately.
The same holds true for the news business. The number of media
stories which argue against the official findings has nothing to do with the validity of
the official findings. It only has to do with what sells
newspapers and gets viewers: Controversy.
all the "news" stories which show other points of view about the
anthrax attacks of 2001 may just show how low some news outlets will go
to make a buck.
September 16, 2014 - When I turned
on my computer this morning and did a Google search for anthrax+2001,
I found two book reviews for Graeme MacQueen's new book "The
2001 Anthrax Deception." One is in al-Jazeera.
the FBI remains committed to the Ivins hypothesis, the case has been
disintegrating for the last three years. Currently, it is justly held in contempt not
merely by scientists who worked with Ivins but by many journalists as
well as several US senators.
Well, as I aways say, "The number of people who believe in something
has nothing to do with whether it is true or not." And
whether a disbelief is "justly held" or not depends upon what the
The evidence says that Dr. Bruce Ivins was
the anthrax killer. Contrary
beliefs and opinions
won't change that. Only solid
evidence can change that. There is NO meaningful evidence
say Ivins was not the anthrax
killer OR that someone else was.
The second book review is on the web site "Centre for Research on
Globalization," and is titled "The
Smoking Guns of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks." The "smoking guns"
appear to be merely some disjointed or irrelevant facts. Example:
There was a set of 3
letters sent around the same time as the initial anthrax mailings,
which attempted to frame the Russians for the anthrax
attacks, and which warned of further attacks. These letters could
not have been sent by Dr. Bruce Ivins (the scientist the FBI blamed for
the attacks), nor could they have been “copycat” letters
So, once again we see an argument that, because there were some anthrax
hoax letters sent
at about the same time as the real
anthrax mailings of 2001, that cannot
be a coincidence and the hoax and real letters must be connected. Here's a
comment I wrote for my interactive blog on May
1. The hoax white powder
letter phenomenon really began when, a few weeks prior to the December
15, 1997 announcement of the Anthrax Vaccine Program, US Secretary of
Defense William S. Cohen held up a 5-lb. bag of sugar on the Today Show
and warned that if the bag contained anthrax, it could kill half of
2. Between 1997 and 2000, the number of credible bioterror threats or
incidents rose dramatically, up to roughly 200 per year, or one
biological threat every couple of days. Most of them were anthrax
3. The number of white powder hoaxes got so bad that the Canadian
Military did research on how dangerous it would be to open a letter
filled with real anthrax powder. Their report was published in September
, just before the mailings. You can read it by clicking HERE
4. Steven Hatfill and his boss at SAIC asked William Patrick III to
produced a similar report at about the same time. It was also produced
shortly before the mailings.
5. So, we had a constant flow of hoax letters going through the
mails - roughly one every couple days
That means that NONE
of the hoax letters that went out in
September of 2001 were "copy cats". They were just more of the same
-- more hoaxes in the flood of hoaxes.
All you need to do in order to see some sinister connection between the
hoax anthrax letters and the real anthrax letters is to be ignorant of
the facts. Back on March 2, 2002, I created a web page where I
looked at the facts. Click HERE.
It says that, according to Richard Preston's book "The Demon in the
Freezer, between 1997 and 2000 the number of hoax anthrax letters rose
dramatically to about one every couple days. Plus, it shows
articles about anthrax appearing in the news right after 9/11, long
before the first stories about Bob Stevens appeared in early
October. The possibility of Muslim terrorists launching an
anthrax attack or some other kind of biological weapon attack as a
follow-up to 9/11 was being discussed publicly by a LOT of people.
The real anthrax letters were mailed at a time when hoax anthrax letter
were common. That's
why all the real anthrax letters sent to the media were simply thrown
away or ignored.
Bruce Ivins got the idea to send out real
anthrax in letters at the same time that a lot of others were sending
out hoax anthrax
letters. It wasn't a coincidence. It was Bruce Ivins
failing to realize how many hoax letters were also in the mails.
September 15, 2014 (D) - When I
wrote my (A) comment this morning, I failed to mention something I read
near the very beginning of "Monty
Python and Philosophy"
where they described what the various sections in the book would be
Brighouse's contribution, "Why Is An Argument Clinic Less Silly than an
Abuse Clinic or a Contradiction Clinic?," makes use of the Python's famous "Argument Clinic"
sketch (originally in Epispode 29 of Monty Python's Flying
Circus, "The Money Programme") to illuminate how the political
philosopher John Rawls (1926-2002) analyzed our beliefs about the
rightness or wrongness of social practices and institutions. Far
from being a ridiculous scenario, Brighouse suggests, a real argument clinic could serve a
genuine and much-needed social function.
The famous "Argument Clinic" sketch? When I got home this
afternoon, I did a search and found it on YouTube.com. Click HERE.
There's also a Wikipedia article about it HERE.
And a transcript of the sketch is HERE.
There's another HERE.
I'm looking forward to reading that part of "Monty Python and
Philosophy." I can see how "a real argument clinic could serve a
genuine and much-needed social function." But how would you get
an Anthrax Truther to go to one? Argue with him?
September 15, 2014 (C) - If anyone
is interested, on my
interactive blog I'm currently engaged in another debate with a
conspiracy theorist who doesn't seem to comprehend the difference
between a belief and an hypothesis. While doing research for the
found this quote about the difference between a "theory" and an
Scientists and science
writers have a disturbing tendency to misuse these two words. In the
vernacular, "hypothesis" and "theory" can be used interchangeably.
However, in the scientific literature, scientists and science writers
must be careful to distinguish between these two terms. A hypothesis is a tentative explanation
that can be tested through investigation; a theory is an established
set of ideas that can be used to make predictions.
As I see it, neither a
theory nor an hypothesis cannot be logically compared to a
belief. A belief is something a person "believes" regardless of
what the facts say. Specifically, an hypothesis doesn't have
anything to do with beliefs. It just says if A, B and C are true,
one possible explanation
could be "D." No one believes
"D" is true. It's just a temporary answer until more
evidence can be found. It might also help show where to look for
more evidence which will either help confirm or disprove "D." It's a
If the tool doesn't work, you probably need a different "tool."
Beliefs are irrelevant.
September 15, 2014 (B) - Yesterday,
someone sent me a link to an article from The New Yorker titled "The
Twenty-Eight Pages." This morning, someone else sent me a
link to Tampa, Florida's Channel 10 TV station's web site and an
article titled "10
investigates allegations of FBI 9/11 coverup."
The two articles are related to the old story that some Saudis who were
living in Florida at the time of 9/11 helped the 9/11 hijackers, and
that Saudi Arabian officials helped finance the 9/11
terrorists. It seems to be mostly allegations, but there
are people who are demanding that those allegations be
investigated. The problem with investigating allegations is that
it could harm relations between the USA and Saudi Arabia - and the
investigation might not find anything that can make a solid case in
court. And, even a solid case can be made, there's no chance of
extraditing anyone from Saudi Arabia.
Nevertheless, a lot of Floridians and others want to "reopen the 9/11
investigation." But, it's not to investigate some theory that it
wasn't Muslim terrorists who were behind the attacks, it's to find out
if there are some additional
Muslims who should have been arrested and prosecuted for helping the
I can see the reasoning behind their call to "reopen the 9/11
investigation." But I can also see that there could be many political reasons for not opening
an old bag of worms.
I see no way this crusade could change the facts of who was behind the
anthrax attacks of 2001, so I have no "mission" to seek "the truth" on
this matter. I'll leave that to others. It's not really a
crusade to find "the truth." It's a crusade to find more people to blame for the
attacks, people who, if not arrested, might theoretically some day help
perpetrate another attack. I'm not sure it's a "coverup" when the
FBI fails to investigate such a matter. It could just be a
situation of where to allocate limited resources. That's
something that people on a mission do not care about.
September 15, 2014 (A)
- This is more or less "off topic," but yesterday I finished reading
another library book on my Kindle. I'd been reading this non-fiction book during breakfast
and lunch for over a month (when not on a novel reading binge).
Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke."
As I wrote in my August 17
comment, while it's touted as a philosophy
book, it's more like a psychology
book. And psychology is one of my primary lifetime
is a very general look at the processes governing human thought and
is usually a look at the thoughts and conducts of a particular person
or group of persons. In this case, it's about the thoughts and
conduct of the the fictional characters on the TV series "The Big Bang Theory."
The book was so interesting that I bought Season 1 of the TV show on
DVD and watched it so that I could understand who was who. (It is
favorite TV series of mine.) Since the book is all about the
motivation processes and human interaction between the fictional
scientists "Leonard Hofstadter" and "Sheldon Cooper" and their
next-door neighbor "Penny" and others, I'm also hoping it will help me
with my problem of making the characters in my sci-fi novels more
I also found it interesting that the book is part of a
series. After I finished reading "The Big Bang Theory and
Philosophy," I immediately started reading "Monty
Python and Philosophy." I may read "The
Avengers and Philosophy" after that. Or "Batman
and Philosophy." Or "The
Big Lebowski and Philosophy." Those are at my library.
But, some of the others in the series look so interesting that I may
actually buy one
I have to be philosophical if
I want to continue to argue with conspiracy theorists and True
Believers every day. Remember the motto: Illegitimi
September 14, 2014 - While in the past I haven't been
in conspiracy theories related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, last week
watching and listening
to 9/11 conspiracy theorists Elias Davidsson and Barbara Honegger
explain themselves and their theories to be very
interesting. Their thought processes seem to match the thought
of Anthrax Truthers very neatly.
example, no matter how much evidence there is in support of a
government claim, they can't see any
is how Anthrax
Truther Lew Weinstein describes the Amerithrax case:
FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no
witnesses, an impossible timeline.
And here is how 9/11 Truther Elias Davidsson describes the 9/11 case:
whatsoever that the 19 people accused
of mass murder boarded the planes on 9/11.
The above quote from Elias Davidsson can be found on a YouTube video by
clicking HERE and going to the 33 minute mark.
A similar quote can be found on another Elias Davidsson video at the 21
minute mark by clicking HERE:
is not a single item of evidence pointing that these attacks [on 9/11]
perpetrated by people coming from abroad. ... There is no single
proof that any foreigners committed these acts. No proof that any
Arabs went into these planes. And, so if these Arabs did not go
into these planes, then the official story must be a lie. ... The
truth is that there were no Muslims involved in this crime.
Interestingly, Davidsson explains what
he finds impossible to
believe about the
official version of what happened on 9/11. At about the 37 minute
mark in that same video, Elias Davidsson says ,
cannot state that the passengers died in these crashes. We have
full reason to suspect that the passengers were murdered somewhere
else. Murdered in cold blood by the U.S. Government. ... It's
impossible to believe for most people. But, the fact that we
don't have evidence that people died in the crashes - we don't have
evidence - and it forces us to consider that they were killed somewhere
else. These people do not exist anymore. They have
died. There is no question about that. Their families mourn
them, and there are many people participating in the mourning.
... These people are certainly dead, and somebody murdered them.
And, I don't believe personally that they were in these planes, because
if they were in these planes, then somebody would have piloted these planes. And nobody in his right mind would pilot
these planes to crash these planes -- even a Muslim --- even a Muslim.
I'm sorry. Nobody in their
right mind would do that. Even absent all that I told you
about the lack of evidence, just the thought that somebody would have
piloted - with a pilot's license - would be capable of piloting a
civilian aircraft - which the alleged hijackers did not have - ....
beyond the fact that there is no evidence, the official story is so
fantastic - it is so science fiction - to believe that anybody in his
right mind had ... the capability and the wish to fly a plane like this
is so outrageous that to believe anybody would have crashed the planes
with these passengers - and kill themselves at the same time - is
implausible to the extreme.
It appears that "DXer" finds it impossible
to believe just the opposite, that the Muslim terrorists who he fully
accepts and believes killed
thousands of innocent people on 9/11 did not also kill five people
and injure 17 with the anthrax letters mailed after 9/11. Only
terrorists capable of a crime like 9/11 would do such a thing. It
seems DXer simply cannot believe that a lone scientist could or would
a thing. Evidence means nothing to people who find it impossible to believe the truth.
Barbara Honegger's two
hour-long talk about the airliner that hit the Pentagon is very
interesting - and chilling in its display of angry ignorance.
It's a demonstration of how someone who
has no understanding of physics or human nature can misinterpret just
about everything that happened on 9/11 at the Pentagon. She seems
to believe it is impossible
for a mere airplane to hit the side of the Pentagon and do so much
damage. In her imagination, it should have done no more harm than
bug hitting a windshield. She finds
it impossible to believe that
the people who were inside the Pentagon when it was hit by Flight 77
could mistakenly assume it
was a bomb of some kind instead of somehow knowing it was a plane. She
seems to find it impossible
to believe that every clock in the area wasn't set to the exact same
time. She seems to find it impossible to believe that the
first reports from the scene aren't the most accurate reports.
And she seems to find it impossible
to believe that everyone in the world wouldn't do things the exact same
way she believes she would do things in such a situation.
Elias Davidsson and others find it impossible
to believe that a plane hitting the ground at high speed will plow into
the ground instead of just splattering all over the place. That's
they cannot accept what happened to United Airlines Flight 93 in
Pennsylvania. The physics of mass and velocity
seem totally unknown to Davidsson and Honegger. And, judging by
the reactions of their audiences, there are a lot of people just like
It appears that the beliefs of all the
9/11 conspiracy theorists and
the anthrax conspiracy theorists can be summarized as follows:
find it impossible to believe
the government's version of what happened.
believe government officials must all be either
incompetent or lying.
If the government is lying, that would constitute a vast criminal conspiracy.
government will not provide the evidence needed to prove a conspiracy.
do not have the power needed to force
releasing of "the truth."
they want a new
investigation to find a "truth" they can believe.
they are trying to convince the public to demand a new investigation.
What they do not seem to understand is that
EVIDENCE to open a new
investigation. The fact that some individual or group of
individuals simply cannot believe
that anyone would deliberately crash an airliner into a skyscraper
bring about a new investigation. Neither will some individual or
group who simply cannot cannot believe that a lone American could be
behind the anthrax letter attacks of 2001.
The idea that there's going to be a new investigation to find new evidence is absurd.
Woodward and Carl
didn't sit around and wail and complain and demand that the government
find evidence of a conspiracy they believe existed. Woodward and
Bernstein found it. If the conspiracy theorists and
new investigation, they need to find some important new evidence that
would require a new investigation.
Displaying abysmal ignorance of the existing evidence isn't going to
bring about a new investigation. It will just show the world that
Truthers are truly a "Lunatic Fringe."
& Changes: Sunday, September 7, 2014, thru Saturday, September 13,
September 13, 2014 - This is totally
off topic, but someone might find it interesting.
On Wednesday, I visited a store that sells used books. It had
hardback copies of "High
Five" and "Twelve
Sharp," the two Stephanie Plum
novels by Janet Evanovich that I didn't yet have in my reading
queue. They were just $1.89 apiece, so I bought both. That
means I now have eighteen
Stephanie Plum novels in various formats on a shelf or in my Kindle
waiting to be read. And nearly as many Jack Reacher
novels by Lee Child. Plus, two Temperance
Brennan novels (#2 & #4) by Kathy Reichs. Plus a few
from Jonathan Kellerman, Robert B. Parker, Brad Thor, James Patterson
and Scott Turow.
I'm still having a difficult time getting started on the second draft
of my new sci-fi novel, so I was in the mood to read another
novel. But, also on Wednesday, "The
Cold Dish," the first book in the Walt
Longmire series by Craig Johnson became available in ebook form
from my local library. I already had #2 and #3 in the series in
my Kindle, but I was waiting for #1 to become available before reading
any of them. So, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I read "The
Cold Dish." It took about 6 hours of total reading time. While
enjoyable, it definitely wasn't as enjoyable as the Stephanie Plum
novels and Jack Reacher novels I've been reading.
(Walt Longmire is also the main character in the TV series "Longmire" which ran for three
seasons on the A&E network before getting
cancelled a few days ago.)
So, now I'm between reading binges again, and I'm again trying to get
started on that second draft.
But, first I have to start working on tomorrow's comment for this site.
September 10, 2014 - Lew Weinstein
and "DXer" continue to demonstrate how they have no interest in
facts. If some newspaper with an agenda printed distorted
nonsense, and if that nonsense agrees with the beliefs shared by Lew and DXer,
they'll endlessly use and distort the nonsense as "proof" of their
Yesterday, in a new post titled "the
holes in the FBI case against Ivins are huge … will GAO point this out?
… when will GAO report?" they said:
The Justice Department then highlighted
the very points that many have said prove that Ivins could not have
committed the attacks:
• That the anthrax used in
the attacks originated from but did not come directly from Ivins’ flask.
words come from an July 18, 2013 article titled
of Justice upholds stance on Ivins" in The Frederick News-Post. Anthrax
Truthers Lew Weinstein and DXer appear to view the claim out of context,
even though the
• That the government’s anthrax was “genetically similar, but
dissimilar in its form, to the anthrax that resulted in the death of
• That “it would also take special expertise (even among those used to
working with anthrax) to make dried material of the quality used in the
attacks,” expertise that many of Ivins’ former co-workers said they
didn’t believe he had
quotes originated in the
U.S. Government's motion for a summary judgment in the Stevens v USA
lawsuit. The Government was seeking to prove that it was not legally "foreseeable" that
Ivins would commit such a crime. If it was not
"foreseeable," then the government cannot be held liable. The
plaintiff, Maureen Stevens, was basically attempting to prove that the
forseeable, that the government was negligent, and therefore the
government was liable and responsible for Ivins' crime.
In seeking to prove
the anthrax attacks were not foreseeable, the Justice
Department notes that it is unclear when preparation for the anthrax
The Justice Department then highlighted the very points
that many have said prove that Ivins could not have committed the
- That the anthrax used in the attacks originated from
but did not come directly from Ivins' flask.
- That the government's anthrax was "genetically
similar, but dissimilar in its form, to the anthrax that resulted in
the death of Robert Stevens."
- That "it would also take special expertise (even
among those used to working with anthrax) to make dried material of the
quality used in the attacks," expertise that many of Ivins' former
co-workers said they didn't believe he had.
But Boyd said in his Tuesday statement that "as the
several motions filed Friday make clear, the Justice Department and FBI
have never wavered from the view that Dr. Ivins mailed the anthrax
letters. The Justice Department and FBI stand behind their findings
that Dr. Ivins had the necessary equipment in the containment suite
where RMR-1029 was housed to perpetrate those attacks and that a
lyophilizer which he ordered, and which was labeled 'property of Bruce
Ivins,' was stationed in a nearby containment suite."
So, Anthrax Truthers Lew Weinstein and DXer (aided by the News-Post)
have done is distort the facts and twist one claim (that the crime was
not forseeable) to argue a
totally different and preposterous
claim - "that Ivins could not have committed the attacks."
The fact that Ivins didn't send out spores taken directly from flask
RMR-1029 in no way
says he couldn't have committed the crime. The Truther
claim is pure NONSENSE.
The fact that the dry
spores that killed Bob Stevens were "genetically similar" to the wet spores used by
USAMRIID, but dissimilar in form
(wet vs. dry), is a good legal point showing unforseeablity, but that
fact in no
way says Ivins couldn't have committed the crime. The Truther
claim is pure NONSENSE.
The fact that it takes
"special expertise" to make dried spores, expertise that "many of
co-workers said they didn't believe
he had," shows those co-workers could not forsee that Ivins would commit such
a crime. But, it no way
says Ivins couldn't have committed the crime. The Truther
claim is pure NONSENSE.
of course, the two Anthrax Truthers do not allow anyone to dispute
their nonsensical claims on their blog, so I have to point them out
here on my site.
September 9, 2014 - While doing some
research to analyze the similarities in beliefs between various
conspiracy theorists, I found a long discussion about the anthrax case
that was stared by Ken Dillon on December 12, 2008. There were
173 comments. Click HERE
to read it. It involves a number of different people - including
me. That discussion was preceeded by an even longer discussion
started by Mr. Dillon on December 9, 2008, with 984 comments
from various people. Click HERE. So, there was a time when a conversation
could be held without Truthers resorting to personal insults and
burying the talk under a flood of endless, irrelevant
documents. Nothing was resolved, of course. No minds were
changed. And there are some very long speeches. But it was generally a
September 8, 2014 (B) - This
morning, I decided to do some additional research on some of the
anthrax conspiracy theorists who helped Graeme MacQueen with his new
2001 Anthrax Deception." I found four very
interesting YouTube videos.
for a talk by Barbara Honegger. It has some truly screwball comparisons between Pearl
Harbor and 9/11.
(Her slide show is HERE.) She believes that neither
Pearl Harbor nor 9/11 were
for a truly weird talk about
the anthrax attacks by Barry Kissin.
for an interview with Elizabeth Woodworth where she rationalizes
disputing the official version of 9/11 without attempting to prove any alternative version. She also
disbelieves that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11.
If anyone wants to know
why conspiracy theorists are viewed as "nut jobs," those 3 videos
will explain it - providing you have some comprehension of what really
A fourth video HERE
shows Elias Davidsson explaining very calmly, point by point, why he
doesn't believe Muslim terrorists were behind 9/11. He doesn't
even believe there were any Muslim terrorists on the hijacked
aircraft. He also seems to believe that tens of thousands of
people are involved in the coverup of "what really happened" on
9/11. He begins his hour long talk by saying it's just his opinion, and he doesn't ask
anyone to believe him. He doesn't seem to be "nuts." That's
what is most scary about him.
September 8, 2014 (A) - In case
is interested, it appears that the mapping
of the section of the Indian
Ocean floor where they plan to continue the search for the wreckage of
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has found
some "hard objects." However, the "objects" could just be
some kind of natural
rock formation. The actual search
of the ocean bottom
will evidently resume on September 22, with additional ships joining
the search in October and November. Meanwhile, the
conspiracy theories continue.
September 7, 2014 (B) - Hmm.
In my previous comments, I failed to mention Graeme MacQueen's
credentials for writing "The
2001 Anthrax Deception." Amazon.com says:
[The Author] received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from
Harvard University and taught in
the Religious Studies Department of McMaster University for 30
years. While at McMaster he became founding Director of the Centre for
Peace Studies at McMaster, after which he helped develop the B.A.
program in Peace Studies and oversaw the development of peace-building
projects in Sri Lanka, Gaza, Croatia and Afghanistan. Graeme was a
member of the organizing committee of the Toronto Hearings held on the
10th anniversary of 9/11 and is co-editor of The Journal of 9/11
Using Amazon.com's "Look Inside" feature, I also examined the "acknowledgements" section and
checked the names of people who helped him with his book.
Davidsson and Barbara
Honegger were ready to help. Meryl Nass read the manuscript
carefully and gave detailed advice. Barry Kissin helped me at every
stage of the research. .... Philipp
Sarasin's work was an essential source of inspiration .... Herbert Jenkins read an early
version of this book and offered constructive criticism. Elizabeth Woodworth carried out
a detailed reading of several drafts and had much useful advice.
She shared generously her own research materials and suggested I
refashion into a book what was originally only an academic article.
At first glance, it
seems to be the blind leading the blind. After more thorough
reading, it is clear that is definitely
the blind leading the blind - or conspiracy theorists helping
conspiracy theorists. Elias Davidsson wrote a book called "Hijacking
America's Mind on 9/11: Counterfeiting Evidence." Here's part
of the book description on Amazon:
A large body of literature
discusses the preplanned destruction of the Twin Towers and of WTC
Nr.7, while mainstream media have extensively reported about the
reluctance of the Bush administration to investigate 9/11, the
destruction of criminal evidence from Ground Zero and other facts
suggesting a government cover-up. But they all stopped short of
connecting the dots. Four features distinguish Davidsson's book from
the rest. He provides: - The
definite (or ultimate) demonstration that there is no evidence of
Barbara Honegger wrote an
op-ed piece for OpEdNews.com that says:
So what is the
evidence linking anthrax to Sept. 11?
insiders wrote the letters mailed with the anthrax wanted you to
believe they were linked to 9/11. As is well known, the date
hand written on the anthrax letters is Sept. 11, 2001. Though the
official story -- that the first letter, to Florida photo journalist
Bob Stevens, wasn’t mailed until after 9/11 and so anthrax wasn’t part
of the actual 9/11 plot -- it’s
clear that whoever wrote and dated the letters and added the
super-weaponized (3) U.S. military anthrax wanted you
to believe there is a direct connection, and that Islamic foreigners
were responsible for both.
Reference (3) leads to an
article co-authored by Barry Kissin. That article from Aug.
18, 2008 says:
Ivins had nothing to do
with the 2001 anthrax attacks. The
attacks were almost certainly carried out by the only group that had
the means to produce the highly weaponized anthrax in the letters: the
CIA, its contractor Battelle Memorial Institute of West
Jefferson, Ohio., and the Army at Dugway in Utah.
Meryl Nass's opinions are well known. Her blog is HERE.
Philipp Sarasin wrote a book titled "Anthrax:
Bioterrorism as Fact and Fantasy."
This is from a synopsis of the book:
Basing his analysis on
government documents and media coverage between the events of September
11, 2001, and the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003, he shows that the anthrax letters
became the necessary fantasy-link between the 9/11 attacks and Saddam
Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction."
A Google search for Elizabeth Woodworth finds an
article she wrote about Building 7 of the World Trade Center being
brought down by a "controlled demolition."
A Google search for
Herbert Jenkins finds only a page with his
name as the heading, but the page has a YouTube video of
an interview with Graeme MacQueen.
I posted the above comment, someone advised me of a 5-part video talk
by Graeme MacQueen on YouTube. Click HERE.
He seems to be arguing that, because it wasn't immediately known
sent the anthrax letters, the investigation that followed must all be
some kind of U.S. government plot to fool the public. But he also
argues that if anyone disbelieves or disagrees with the official
version, then the official version must
wrong. Ignorant opinions override all facts and evidence.)
September 7, 2014 (A) -
This morning, I had a comment all written and ready to post to this
site as my Sunday offering. I wrote some of it on Friday and
finished it on Saturday morning. Then, later on Saturday, I read
Friday's PressTV article "Neocons
confess: 'We did 9/11-anthrax'," which led to Graeme MacQueen's new
2001 Anthrax Deception." And this morning I've got only one
question on my mind: Why don't the various
conspiracy theorists argue with one
Dr. Meryl Nass seems to have given Mr. MacQueen's book a glowing
review. Does she agree with MacQueen that the U.S. Government was
behind the 9/11 attacks? Does she believe the Twin Towers were
brought down by explosives that were planted by the CIA? She
certainly seems to believe that the U.S.
Government was somehow behind the anthrax attacks. However, all
in her review is that she disagrees that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer:
book has come out that explodes the FBI's anthrax letters case.
only is there no evidence
linking Army scientist Bruce Ivins to the crime--it turns
out his famous flask of
anthrax was never proven to be related to the attack
peeks behind the curtain, showing that nothing about the
anthrax letters case is as
Why don't all these
conspiracy theorists argue
with one another!? I think it would be a lot more
interesting and we could all learn a lot more if the conspiracy
theorists argued with one another, instead of just mindlessly agreeing
that the U.S. government cannot be trusted about anything. I
suspect that there are plenty of conspiracy
theorists who accept that Ivins was the anthrax killer, but that he was
working as an agent or pawn of the U.S. Government. I'd like to
hear them argue with the people who think Ivins had nothing to do with
Every day, the cartoon I created in March
2013 seems more and more
doesn't DXer - who fully and
unshakably believes al Qaeda operatives were behind the anthrax attacks
- post rants against Graeme MacQueen's book for suggesting that the
U.S. Government was behind the anthrax attacks? This morning DXer
posted a large paragraph he
found on a the Alibris.com web site which appears copied from Amazon
and seems to support the al Qaeda idea before it mildly indicates that
MacQueen's point of view is totally different. And then DXer
makes his own point:
“(c) these insiders were
connected to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks;”
but Bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks.
comment posted this morning in another thread, DXer wrote this:
Graeme MacQueen mastered the documents and read the literature? Why
would he engage in a structural and historical analysis rather than a
documentary and true crime analysis?
Obtain and compare his
manuscript to the documents uploaded on this blog.
Instead of arguing his
belief that al Qaeda sent the anthrax letters against MacQueen's
apparent belief that the U.S. government sent the letters, DXer just
more of his endless, silly,
meaningless questions! His only argument seem to be that
MacQueen doesn't do things the way DXer does them.
running out of time. I'm just going to post what
I already wrote for
today. Here goes:
Leo Rosten once wrote: "I never
cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people
I keep thinking I should create a
supplementary web page where I would list The Top Ten Most Unbelievable
Truthers Believe. But how would I rank them? Sometimes,
each seems more unbelievable than the next.
The belief that the GAO is
going to somehow overturn the FBI's finding that Dr. Bruce Edwards
Ivins was the anthrax mailer should probably to be at the top of the
list. But, does anyone really believe that is going to
happen? Or are the Anthrax Truthers just trying to make it happen? The belief
that they can make it happen
by posting screwball questions to some obscure blog would be almost as
#2 on the list might be how the Anthrax Truthers seemed to believe that
the DOJ prosecutors were "Spinning
The Theory That Bruce Ivins Was The Anthrax Processer and Mailer"
by claiming that flask RMR-1029 was never stored in Building
1412. It was incredibly dumb, since
facts clearly say it was the FBI
who was trying to prove flask RMR-1029 was
stored in Building 1412 (where Steven Hatfill worked), while Dr. Ivins
was claiming that flask RMR-1029 was NEVER stored there.
Are the Truthers still arguing that belief? I've seen no mention
of them learning that they were wrong. The claim remains uncorrected on
Weinstein's blog. The longer it remains uncorrected, the dumber
#3 on the list could be the unbelievable belief that "The
anthrax letters are in the handwriting of [Mohammed] Atta."
Anyone with any knowledge of handwriting
analysis can see that it
isn't Atta's handwriting. The facts show DXer's
But he won't accept what just anyone says. He
some official expert to state officially
that it is not Mohammed Atta's
handwriting. Until then, he is evidently going to
continue to believe that, because there is a similarity in the way Atta
drew the number 2 and the way the anthax writer wrote the number 2,
that overrides all the many and varied differences in the
handwriting. That's just plain unbelievable
#4 might be the inexplicable belief voiced by more than one Anthrax
Truther that the FBI's failure to find evidence everywhere they look is
the same as finding exculpatory evidence showing Ivins to be
innocent. That is truly
an unbelievable belief. How can anyone believe that just because
the FBI looked for the culprit's DNA in the mailbox where the letters
weren't found and didn't find it, that is somehow exculpatory evidence
indicating Dr. Ivins was innocent? Unbelievable!!!
#5 could be the belief that Adnan El-Shukrijumah was the
anthrax mailer. There's no reason to believe that El-Shukrijuma
was even in the U.S. when the anthrax letters were mailed, much less in
New Jersey on both
dates. It's an unbelievable belief conjured up by putting 2 and 2
together and getting 437,397. It makes no sense whatsoever.
#6 might be #1 on some days. It's the belief that Dr. Ivins
didn't have the knowledge
to make dry anthrax spores. That is as unbelievable as beliefs
can get. A three year old child would know that if you leave
something wet out in the open air for a few hours it will dry.
Mud will dry and become dust. There's nothing magic about
it. It's probably one of the first things you learn in
microbiology classes: Don't leave wet spores out in the open air.
They'll dry and aerosolize. Duh!
#7 ties to #6. It's the unbelievable belief that Dr. Ivins didn't
have the equipment
to make the anthrax powders. It appears to come from some kind of
unbelievable belief that the only way anything can be done in a
government lab is the safe, official, approved way. If it is
dangerous to make dry anthrax spores, then no one could possibly do it.
If it is not officially
allowed to make dry spores, then it cannot be done. If the
approved way to make dried spores is in a drying machine, then that's
the only way it can possibly be done. The fact that dried spores
can be created with equipment that is in nearly every BSL-3 lab seems
incomprehensible to people with unbelievable beliefs. All the equipment that Bruce Ivins needed
to create the anthrax powders that were in the media envelopes was a
biosafety cabinet and some plates covered with anthrax that had been
left in a biosafety bag in a corner for a few weeks. The spores
would air-dry in the biosafety cabinet in a few hours. Or maybe
the Truthers have some unbelievable belief that Ivins didn't have any
rubber gloves or a utensil to scrape the dried spores out of the
plates. Or do they believe that biosafety cabinets don't work?
#8 ties to #6 and #7. It's the unbelievable belief that Dr. Ivins
didn't have the time
to make the anthrax powders. DXer endlessly argues his
unbelievable belief that if Bruce Ivins had any official work to do during a given
day, then Ivins could not possibly have done anything unofficial during that same
day. If Ivins was at a meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., then he
could not possibly have gone anywhere else that evening after 7
p.m. If Ivins was working with test rabbits in October, then he
couldn't possibly have had the time to do anything but work with test
rabbits during October -- or September or August. It's another
unbelievable belief endlessly voiced by DXer.
#9 is the seemingly unshakable and unbelievable belief some Anthrax
Truthers have voiced that the attack anthrax was deliberately
"weaponized" with silicone or silicon or silica or most unbelievably -
"polymerized glass." The powder in the media letters was 90%
dried slime (matrix material) and dead mother germs. It was only
10% spores. It's what you get in a Petri dish when you let
anthrax bacteria germinate and grow until they run out of food and
room. You get dead bacteria that failed to sporulate, you get the
carcasses of mother germs that produced spores, you get the matrix
material that is the after-birth slime of sporulation, and you get
spores. And the whole mess will all dry into a soft, crunchy
powder in the open air. How do you "weaponize" a spore by
coating it with "polymerize glass" when it is still inside the mother germ?
How do you do it without also coating the dead bacteria and leaving
most of the "polymerized glass" as part of the dried slime? Some
Anthrax Truthers have a totally unbelievable belief that it must have been done somehow. If it wasn't done
the way they believe, then it wasn't a government conspiracy. And
they find that unacceptable. For some Anthrax Truthers, it's
better to believe the unbelievable than to accept that Ivins could have
unintentionally created anthrax spores with a "silicon signature"
without using some secret and illegal, government-approved
And what should #10 on the list be? The unbelievable belief that
the FBI claimed that a lyophilizer was used to make the anthrax
powders? The unbelievable belief that beliefs somehow make Bruce Ivins innocent and the solid facts
showing Dr. Ivins was guilty are meaningless and irrelevant? The
unbelievable belief that the attack powders were made in Afghanistan in
two different forms, transported to America and then mailed at two
different times by Muslim terrorists who included medical advice in the
letters to reduce the danger of someone accidentally being harmed by
the anthrax? The unbelievable belief that if anyone makes a
mistake, then nothing they ever do afterward can be trusted ever
again? The unbelievable belief that everyone
in the government is part of some gigantic conspiracy and - just like
the Borg villains on Star Trek - everyone in the government
automatically knows what everyone else knows? The inexplicable and unbelievable and idiotic belief that the Twin
Towers were brought down by CIA planted explosives instead of by the
hijacked planes that crashed into the towers?
I could go on and on and on and on.
& Changes: Monday, September 1, 2014, thru Saturday, September 6,
September 6, 2014 (B) -
Hmm. I just did a search through the new conspiracy theory
2001 Anthrax Deception" by Graeme MacQueen that I mentioned in my
(A) comment this morning, and I found that it has 4 pages (205-208)
dedicated to my analysis of
the anthrax attacks of 2001 - or more specifically, my 2003 analysis as
to whether or not the St. Petersburg
letters were part of the attack.
Cool! I'm not sure whether that will be enough for me to actually
buy a copy of the
book, but it might.
Mr. MacQueen cannot see any coincidences between the mailing of the
hoax letters and the mailing of the anthrax letters, and he concludes
that the St. Petersburg letters were
part of the U.S. Government's anthrax letter criminal conspiracy.
He distorts my arguments in this comment from page 207:
(3) Lake's final argument had to do with
the copycat phenomenon. Copycat criminals, he said, will send
hoax or implied threat letters after a genuine article is made
public. He implied
that the St. Petersburg letters can be dismissed for this reason.
But neither the deadly anthrax letter postmarked on September 18 nor
any of the other anthrax letters in the attacks was known to the public
when the September 20 threat letter was sent. The writer of the
September 20 letter, if he or she was an ordinary member of the public,
could not have been "copying" any of the letters sent in the anthrax
I implied no such thing. The notes on page 208 indicate all of
MacQueen's information comes from my 2003 page titled "Hoaxes, Psychology & Barbara Hatch Rosenberg."
That page has a quote from Dr.
Rosenberg near the very beginning:
Therefore the hoax letters targeting
media are not simply a copycat phenomenon.
The envelopes on most or all of the hoax letters were addressed in
capitals similar to the addresses on the anthrax envelopes, even though
they were mailed before the anthrax envelopes became known.
My actual analysis of the St. Petersburg hoax letters comes near the
end of the page:
My analysis of the
anthrax cases indicates that none of the
hoax letters are connected in any way to the anthrax
mailings. That doesn't mean
hoax letters were coincidental. It is not a
coincidence when it is common to have anthrax hoaxes nearly every
week and some such hoaxes occur close in time or location to a real
But, Mr. MacQueen sees it as too much of a coincidence that a hoax
letter was sent to Tom Brokaw from Florida at about the same time as an
anthrax letter was sent to Tom Brokaw from New Jersey. I think it
all depends upon how many hoax letters Tom Brokaw routinely received in
a week or month. I stand by my analysis.
I also note that "DXer" isn't mentioned in the book. That's
probably because "DXer" believes that al Qaeda was behind the attacks,
and Mr. MacQueen clearly believes it was a U.S. Government
conspiracy. Here's what Amazon.com's page says about that:
This book support[s] with a
great deal of evidence the following four assertions: (a) the anthrax
letter attacks were carried out by a group of perpetrators, not by a
“lone wolf;” (b) the group that
perpetrated this crime was composed, in whole or in part, of deep
insiders within the U.S. state apparatus; (c) these insiders were connected to the perpetrators of the 9/11
attacks; (d) the anthrax attacks were meant to play an
important role in the strategy of redefinition through which the Cold
War was replaced by a new global conflict framework, the Global War on
One of the web
sites helping to promote the book phrases point (c) very
(c) These insiders were the same people who planned the 9/11
I also notice that Chapter
1 of the book argues that people who have conspiracy theories shouldn't
be called "conspiracy theorists." MacQueen's reasoning includes
the argument that people who believe al Qaeda terrorists conspired to commit the 9/11 atrocities are also
"conspiracy theorists." Not so. The plotting of 9/11 was
definitely a criminal conspiracy. But it is not a "theory" that al Qaeda was
behind 9/11. Their leader admitted it, and there is a mountain of
evidence to support it. That makes it a proven fact. "Conspiracy theorists"
have beliefs instead of
evidence and facts. And that includes conspiracy theorists
who believes without facts and
that al Qaeda
operatives were behind the anthrax attacks. And it includes
conspiracy theorists like Mr. Graeme MacQueen who believes
without facts and evidence that the U.S. government was behind
September 6, 2014 (A) - One of the
things I do every morning after I turn on my computer is to do a
Google search for the words "anthrax" and "2001." When I did
that search this morning, up popped an article from Press TV, which is an Iranian news outlet.
The article is titled "Neocons
confess: 'We did 9/11-anthrax'." The article begins with this:
the 13th anniversary of the crimes of September, 2001 approaches, the
neoconservatives are shrieking from the rooftops – and effectively
confessing that they were the real perpetrators of the 9/11-Anthrax
false flag operation.
"Shreiking from the
rooftops?" Really? I haven't been hearing it. Reading
further, the article says,
Everywhere you look in the
Zionist-dominated mainstream media, some neocon asset is hyping a
ridiculous story about an "Islamic terrorist threat" – and tying it to
the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.
Consider the preposterous
legend, planted by neocons at Fox
News then picked up by the rest of the media, that 11 missing Libyan
jetliners may attack the USA on September 11th, 2014. The
original Fox News story quotes an unnamed and probably imaginary US
government official as saying: "There are a number of commercial
airliners in Libya that are missing. We found out on September 11 what
can happen with hijacked planes.”
I'm not going to go
through all the bizarre conspiracy theory nonsense in the
article. It's even worse than the conspiracy theory nonsense you
see on American blogs like Lew Weinstein's.
They twist and distort things and then argue that what they twisted and
distorted cannot happen. It's kind of interesting in a
creepy sort of way. Plus, they provide information that I've
never seen before. Example:
In his new book The 2001 Anthrax Deception,
Canadian professor Graeme MacQueen shows how many of the
guilt-revealing delusional tales spread by the neocons in the autumn of
2001 related to the anthrax component of the 9/11-Anthrax false flag
sounds like an interesting book, but not one I'd pay money to
read. Doing a
Google search for it, I find it was published by Clarity Press.
page on their site shows book reviews by some familiar names:
MacQueen provides yet another piece of the puzzle connecting the
terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001 to the immediately following anthrax
attacks of October 2001
that were indisputably conducted by Agents of the
United States government."
– Francis A. Boyle, author
of the U.S.domestic implementing legislation for the
1972 Biological Weapons
book has come out that explodes the FBI's anthrax letters case.
only is there no evidence
linking Army scientist Bruce Ivins to the crime--it turns
out his famous flask of
anthrax was never proven to be related to the attack
peeks behind the curtain, showing that nothing about the
anthrax letters case is as
Meryl Nass, MD, consultant
on the prevention and mitigation of bioterrorism for
the Director of National
Intelligence and the World Bank
"In The 2001
Anthrax Deception, Dr. MacQueen uncovers
the multiple ways
Americans were manipulated
to believe in their aftermath that the 9-11 attacks and
the anthrax attacks were a
one-two punch delivered by Muslim terrorists with
Iraqi support. Later, when
the fact could not be denied that the source of the
anthrax attacks was an
American military biolab, all the elaborate claims and
stories about the
connections between 9-11 and anthrax disappeared. Dr.
MacQueen shows that indeed
9-11 and anthrax were connected, and that the
false-flag, inside job
characteristic that inexorably became part of the official
version of the anthrax
attacks must also apply to 9-11."
–Barry Kissin, American
attorney and author of
The Truth About The
Birds of a feather flock together. It's interesting that Iranian
conspiracy theorists seem to find American conspiracy theorists to be
"birds of a feather."
for Barry Kissin's 2009 article "The Truth About the Anthrax Attacks.")
September 5, 2014 - At 9:15 a.m.
this morning, I finished reading "Four
to Score," by
Janet Evanovich. I got through 90% of it yesterday, read some
more at breakfast, and finished it while waiting for some updates to my
security software to be done. It took a total of about 6 hours of
reading time, including 30 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on
the exercycle at the health club yesterday. It was a very
enjoyable read, and I think I got some very good character development
ideas from it for my own book. I haven't been able to find a reasonably
priced copy of the #5 book ("High
anywhere. But, that's probably a good thing. Because I've
got paperback editions of #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 and #11 waiting on a
bookshelf behind my computer.
An example of a "character development idea" is how the main character
(bounty hunter Stephanie Plum) talks about hating to buy a new
car. Why she
I hated more than car
shopping. I'd rather have a mammogram than go car shopping.
I never had enough money to get a car I really liked. And then
there were the car salemen ... second only to dentists in their ability
to inflict pain. Ick. An involuntary shiver gripped my
The main character in my new sci-fi book is driving a rental because a
building collapsed on his car in the previous book. I think I
mention that he doesn't like car shopping, but I make no mention of WHY
he doesn't like it. Explaining motivation
is a major part of what "character development" is all about.
Meanwhile, I see September is starting out to be a very busy month for
visitors to this web site. I've had over 700 visitors during 3 of
the 4 days so far:
Statistics for September 2014
had only 3 days with over 700 visitors in all of August, and only 7 in
all of July, which was my busiest month since August 2008, when the
news broke that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer. There also seems to be a steady increase
in the number of sites doing the visiting. I haven't
had over 800 different sites visiting since August 2008, either.
I suspect some of
the activity is from people looking for news about the General
Accountability Office's Amerithrax review, which I'm expecting to come
out late this month or early in October.
"DXer" is helping raise the numbers. He visited 30
times in the past 4 days.
I sincerely hope he learned something during all those visits.
September 4, 2014 - I looked around this morning to see what I can comment upon. I
checked Lew Weinnstein's blog and found that DXer
is posting copies of entire articles about the Amerithrax case from
October 2011 issues of McClatchy newspapers. And he's posting
links to a lot of additional articles from the past. He's not
explaining WHY he's doing that, of course. It's all in a thread
complaining that the GAO isn't producing their Amerithrax review as
fast as DXer and Lew want it produced.
I also checked the web sites HERE
and HERE that
keep track of the latest happenings in the search for Malaysia Airlines
flight MH370. Absolutely nothing happening there.
It appears my email problem has been solved. I sent an email to
the guy in Virginia this morning, and it went through okay.
Someone also sent me a
link to a web site where I can check to see if an IP address has
been "blacklisted." It shows the IP address that was giving me a
problem yesterday is indeed being "blacklisted" by some people.
Meanwhile, my problem with getting started on the second draft of my
sci-fi novel hasn't been solved.
Also meanwhile, I had been unsuccessfully hunting through stores that
sell used-books looking for Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novel "Four
to Score." I'd read the first three books in the series and
wanted to read #4. It wasn't available at my library, and I
didn't want to pay full retail price for it. Yesterday afternoon,
I thought I'd look at the reviews for the book. I discovered that
Amazon had the ebook on sale for $2.99. That's a price I'm
willing to pay to read a novel. So, I bought it. I read for
a little over and hour and finished about 21% of it. It appears
to be about a 6 hour read. That means I'll probably finish it
tomorrow. It's a very funny and enjoyable book.
Lastly, in August 2012 my brother in-law asked my opinion of cloud
computing. He was looking for a place to invest. I sent
him a link to an article about it HERE,
and I told him I basically agreed with the comment after the article
where someone wrote:
Cloud computing is THE most
assinine idea ever conceived in IT [Information Technology]. After
spending decades and dollars to learn how to keep information secure on
a LAN, we're supposed to jump for joy at the prospect of putting our
information on the WWW/WAN (in the full control of others) and feel
and this one:
Since the "Cloud" is just a
new name for the Internet I would not say it is the most
asinine idea ever. I mean it took some marketing person many
brain cycles to sell the Internet to a client as a new and improved way
of doing things. You cannot go to a client and say, "I
have got this great idea. Let us put your
info/product/storage etc.. on the Internet" That does
not sound good. "I have got this great idea. Let
us put your info/product/storage etc in the Cloud" Now that
you can sell. Many people making financial decisions
for a company get easily attracted by shiny coins and bright
lights it's a great term for an old product wih a new way of
Jump on that synergy
bandwagon my friend. The snake oil is here to stay.
I think I may send my
brother in-law an email today saying, "I
told you so."
September 3, 2014 - Hmm. Do
you ever get the feeling that life is just getting too
complicated? This morning I tried to respond to an email I
received overnight from someone in Virginia. My response bounced
back with an error message
(reading BANNER): 554 p3plibsmtp03-03.prod.phx3.secureserver.net bizsmtp 220.127.116.11 has been blocked for the day, for attempting to mail too many invalid recipients. IB113
That IP address isn't
mine. It traces to a Time Warner Cable server in
Coudersport, PA. (I'm on Time Warner Cable, but the guy in
Virginia I was trying to email is not.) I tried sending the same message
again and got
same bounceback. Then I tried sending an email to someone in
Boston to make sure all my
emails weren't being blocked by Time Warner. The guy in Boston
responded while I was writing this comment, so it's just that one email
gets the error message.
I haven't ever sent any
emails to "invalid
recipients," as far as I know. The friend in Boston who did
mail this morning is an Internet expert, and we've concluded that the
problem email is getting routed through or near IP 18.104.22.1687 where
is doing a lot of spamming. And my email is getting caught in the
Time Warner block on that spamming.
I called Time Warner Cable to make them aware of the problem.
But, they had no clue as to what the problem might be. They told
me to try again tomorrow.
It's another situation where a non-expert (me) knows infinitely more
about the situation than the "expert." Looking at the
source code for the emails I received from the guy in Virginia, I see
his emails orginate at an IP address related to his business, then the
emails gets passed to Time Warner IP address 22.214.171.124. So, there's no way he could be blocking
me, as the "expert" at Time Warner suggested. It appears
that some "expert" at Time Warner Cable applied a block for a series of
IP addresses (107.14.000.000 thru 107.14.256.256) instead of just the
one IP address he wanted to block: 126.96.36.199. But, the Time
Warner "expert" I talked with wouldn't even begin to understand
anything about that sort of thing. He just responds to customers
who someone got disconnected from the Internet or who forgot their
This happened before lunch. While eating lunch, I realized there
was another way to get the message to the guy in Virginia. I did
so. Now, I have to wait to see if he got it. He may not
check that other source as often as he checks the emails via the
address I used.
Life didn't used to be this complicated. :-(
September 1, 2014 (B) - Someone sent me a link to a blog that
contains what appears to be a list of filings in a lawsuit that retired
foreign service officer Kenneth
Dillon has instituted against the FBI in order to obtain
Amerithrax documents he evidently feels were not adequately supplied
requests. Click HERE
to go to the blog.
It appears that all but two of the documents require accessing PACER to
obtain the pdf file (or using the other service favored by the web
site). And the two pdf documents that can be accessed for free do
not seem to explain anything.
But, I said I'd write a comment about it, and now I have.
September 1, 2014 (A)
- If there are any science geeks out there who read this web site, you
might be interested in some sensational photographs that NASA put on their web site
yesterday showing the space shuttle Endeavour docked with the
International Space Station on May 23, 2011. Click HERE to go to that
specific web site entry. Click HERE
to go to the place where the very large images can be viewed and
Here's a low-res version of one of the images:
to go to the hi-res version that is 25.2 inches wide by 16.8 inches
high, at 240 pixels per inch.
& Changes: Sunday, August 24, 2014, thru Sunday, August 31,
August 31, 2014 - I keep thinking that there has to be some way to get the
Anthrax Truthers to discuss things intelligently. But, I'm also
getting close to simply giving up.
How many times can they bring up the same nonsense without realizing it
is nonsense? How many times can it be pointed out to them that what
they're saying is nonsense, without them understanding that it is
nonsense. For example, this is the title of a new thread on Lew
Their "documentary evidence" is the Reference Material Receipt Record
form that was created when the contents of flask RMR-1029 were created:
the space marked "storage," which is circled in red on the above form,
it says "room 115, Bldg
But, Bruce Ivins claimed repeatedly
that the RMR-1029 flasks were "never" kept in Building 1412. It
was the FBI who wanted to
know if he was telling the truth or not.
document #847423, dated September 8, 2004, at the bottom of page 7
and into page 8 it
explained that RMR 1029 was maintained in two 500 mL flasks in suite
B3. When material was needed for a challenge, IVINS would remove
the volume of spores needed in the challenge and place this volume in a
Gibco serum bottle. This Gibco serum bottle was then transported
to building 1412 at USAMRIID, where it was aliquoted for use in the
challenge. IVINS stated that the two 500 ml flasks that contained
RMR 1029 were never taken
over to building .
On page 9, Ivins says something similar:
with RMR 1029, the main flask storing RMR 1030 was never taken from 1425 to 1412.
Six months later, on
page 10 of the original version of FBI
document #847444, dated March 31, 2005, and under a report section
titled "Reference Material Receipt
Record Inconsistencies Regarding Location of RMR 1029" Ivins
same thing, but much more clearly and emphatically:
advised that the large flask of
RMR 1029 was always stored in suite B3 of Building 1425. IVINS advised that the copy of the form
indicating RMR 1029 was stored
in room  of Building 1412 was wrong. "We never stored 1029
in the big flask in ," he said.
But, apparently later in the day, Ivins changed his mind - more or
less. Page 93 of FBI
file #847545 is a memo that Ivins wrote to the FBI on March 31,
2005. Ivins stated:
the flasks of RMR 1029 were kept.
Since we had a lab (115) in Building 1412 at the time, and since the
spores were intended for aerosols, it's
possible that at least one of
the flasks was kept in the lab refrigerator in 115 or in the 1st floor
coldroom (much less likely) for a certain amount of time.
eventually - I think it was probably before 2001 - "moved out" of the
area by Aerobiology, and at that point may be brought RMR 1029 material
back to 1425. I honestly don't remember, but it would make sense.
So, it was the FBI that
determined that flask RMR-1029 could
have been stored in Building
1412 for a period of time. (That would be required for Steven
Hatfill to have access to it, since Hatfill worked in Building 1412.)
I recall this same argument from years ago, but it was probably in the
posts of mine that they deleted from Lew's blog. That may be one
reason they're bringing up the same nonsense again. In that
discussion, I recall finding some evidence that indicated that RMR-1029
was originally planned
to be kept in room 115 in Building 1412, but it never actually happened
that way. Instead, Ivins was moved out of his lab in 1412 before
the contents of the flask were created, and the actual storage was
always in 1425.
When I get some time, I may go through all the posts I archived from
Lew's blog and put them in a file that I can search.
But, I think the point is made that the FBI was NOT trying to claim
RMR-1029 was never stored in 1412. Bruce Ivins tried
to make that
claim, and the FBI's investigation showed his claim to be (apparently)
that meant that the people working in Building 1412 (like Steven
accessed the flask and thus also had to be investigated as possible
suspects. But, it
was already known that they had to be checked out, since aliquots from
RMR-1029 were routinely sent to Building 1412, and an aliquot could possibly have been
used to create the contents of the anthrax letters.
There's no sense in the Anthrax Truther's argument at all. Even
ridiculous is another discussion they are starting up once again in
another new thread:
The FBI asked
questions about olive oil,
which in the past had been used at USAMRIID as an anti-foaming
agent. And different
anti-foaming agents were
suspected of causing the silicon to appear in the coats of anthrax
spores. But, the anthrax truthers can
dream up endless other fictional reasons for inquiring about olive oil
-- reasons which they can twist
their beliefs about the FBI and about who actually sent the anthrax
letters. Their reasoning is just plain nuts.
Looking at page 15 of FBI
document #847408, which is dated 04/07/2004,
I see it says,
XXXXXXXXXX in the
past olive oil was used for aerosol challenges. The olive oil was used for challenges
involving toxin proteins. Olive oil has not been used
during challenges for ten (10) years.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has not seen a bottle of
olive oil at USAMRIID since the early 1990's.
appears to be just an example of the FBI trying to find every standard method
for making anthrax spores in order to see if any standard method left
behind the silicon signature that was found in the attack spores.
The above examples of "new arguments" from the Anthrax Truthers show
why they never learn anything. They aren't looking for what
happened, they are looking for new ways to argue that the FBI was doing
things incorrectly because they believe the FBI is either incompetent
involved in some criminal conspiracy to blame Bruce Ivins for an act of
biological terrorism done by someone else.
In reality, it is the Anthrax Truthers who are incompetent and who are
to blame someone else for an act of biological terrorism committed by
Dr. Bruce Ivins.
August 30, 2014 - This is off topic,
but someone might find it interesting. This morning I finished
reading a hardcover edition of "Déjà
Dead" by Kathy Reichs. Here is part of Kathy Reichs'
Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance
Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec.
She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences,
serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and
is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the
American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at
the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides
her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel,
brought her fame when it became a
New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best
"Temperance Brennan" is,
of course, also "Bones" in
the TV series of that name, which has so far been on the air for 10 seasons. (Kathy Reichs is
a producer on that show.)
I found the hardcover copy at a used book store for less than a
dollar. As I recall, I stopped watching the "Bones" TV series
during season 4 or 5. I just got tired of Temperance Brennan's
lack of ability to understand basic social skills, and the fact that
each episode of the show seemed to try to involve a more gruesome death
than the previous episode. But, I was curious about the books and
how Kathy Reichs writes.
Dead," Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, but her personality is very different
from the TV show. She's a divorced mother with a grown daughter,
and her social skills are excellent. She works in Montreal,
Quebec, not in Washington D.C.
The book has a lot of very gruesome details about bodies and how and
why murders are committed. Early in the reading process, I almost
gave up on finishing it several times because of all the grisly
details. I stuck it out because Kathy Reichs is a very skilled writer of description
and character, an ability I need to develop for my own
books. And she writes in first person,
which is how my sci-fi books are written.
So, now the question is: Did I learn enough from "Déjà Dead" to get back to
work on my own book and try to make my descriptions and characters more
Time will tell.
August 28, 2014 - I see that DXer
seems to have ended his "bloodhound evidence" rants. He's gone
back to arguing the nonsense that Ivins' work with rabbits at the time
of the anthrax attacks somehow proves Ivins couldn't be the anthrax
mailer, and DXer
found someone who agrees with him. So, he's as firm in his
beliefs as ever, and there's clearly no way any facts could change his
mind. He's also posting comments about how
the FBI should have done their investigation in order to conform to
During the course of our "debate," I found a copy of "Bacillus anthracis comparative genome
analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation," the
peer reviewed science article about how work with DNA helped find the
source of the anthrax used in the anthrax attacks of 2001. It
came out in March 2011, but, previously I'd only provided a link to the
abstract and links to articles about the report. An example HERE
took nearly a decade before University of Maryland researchers were
allowed to talk about their work identifying the anthrax strain used in
the 2001 deadly letter attacks. But now, they and the other key members
of the high-powered science team have published the first account of
the pioneering work, which launched the new field of “microbial
forensics” and gave bioterrorism investigators a way to “fingerprint”
Until last week, I didn't have a copy of the article in my files.
I'm not sure why, but now I do. While reading it I noticed this
comparison of the Ames Ancestor genome sequence identified no
differences compared with that of the Ames Florida isolate, an isolate
obtained directly from the individual infected at the AMI building. This finding suggests that the
variation in the Ames Porton isolate was most likely caused by years of
laboratory culture and treatments to remove the plasmids.
That statement seems to
indicate that the basic DNA
of the supply of Ames anthrax used at Porton Down is/was no longer
identical to the DNA of the original sample of "ancestor Ames" they
obtained from USAMRIID. Nor, of course, does it match Ames
Florida, which was taken from the body of Bob Stevens. It seems
that, over the years, whenever Porton Down would start to run low on
Ames, they would use their remaining supply to grow a new supply -
sometimes using added chemicals. And, as a result, they bred a new variation of Ames. Ames
Porton with the two plasmids
pX01 and pX02 is genetically different from Ames Ancestor, and, of
course, so is plasmidless
Porton Ames. That seems
to mean that if they supplied
some other lab with a sample of "Ames Porton" (or if al Qaeda stole
some of Ames Porton), the DNA of that sample would not be identical to "Ames
Ancestor" or "Ames
Florida." And, of course, it would not be a match to spores found
in the anthrax letters.
If my understanding is correct, that means that any belief DXer might
still have that al Qaeda could have obtained Ames Porton and used it to
create the attack spores cannot be true. The DNA would not match
-- even if they somehow
managed to magically grow all four of the morphs that were in both the
attack powders and in flask RMR-1029.
August 27, 2014 - Yesterday afternoon, probably in
response to the comment I wrote here yesterday morning, "DXer"
posted this comment to Lew Weinstein's blog:
The bloodhounds did not alert
bloodhounds DID alert to Patricia Fellows, the lab technician spinning
things against Ivins. (Willman, p. 200). The deployments
occurred the latter half of 2002.
The FBI should produce to GAO
bloodhound canine report relating to Bruce Ivins showing that there not
a positive alert.
It constitutes prosecutorial
investigative misconduct to withhold evidence tending to be exculpatory
— whether from a judge, jury, the public, superiors — or the GAO..
Okay, this time DXer
reference I can check out. Here's what it says on page 200 of
David Willman's book "The
As of January 2003, Lambert and his investigators knew that the dogs
had alerted on at least one other scientist, Patricia Fellows, who
formerly worked at USAMRIID but was implicated by no credible evidence.
(20) A document that Lamert prepared for Director Mueller's
personal briefing of Senators Daschle and Leahy in January 2003 said
that bloodhounds had reacted to Hatfill and Fellows only, adding
"however, she assisted with the initial processing of the Daschle/Leahy
By this Lambert was suggesting that although
the dogs' identification of Hatfill remained significant, their
reactions to Fellows could be discounted because she had helped the FBI
handle the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001 and imparted her scent
at that time to the materials that were later presented to the
within the FBI saw the bloodhounds' identification of Fellows
differently: It was a strong reason to abandon all of the dog
David Willman explains some of the many problems with "dog evidence" on
the previous page of his book (page 199), including cases where the
"dog evidence" was wrong.
Then he wrote,
Nonetheless, Richard Lambert
persisted in making the dog evidence a pillar of the FBI's case against
Hatfill. His approach raised concerns among some
scientific specialists at the FBI. Said one of them, Agent
Jenifer Smith, "Dogs work extremely well with explosives. They
work really well with drugs. But a major investigation like this,
you're going to suddenly start relying on dog technology?
It was surprising to see those things used in an organization where we
don't use psychics." (18)
The unavoidable problem
with relying on the bloodhounds to pinpoint a killer or a rapist is
that there is no way to know what scent or other factor a dog may be
The bloodhounds supposedly sniffed scents (PLURAL) taken from the
anthrax letter. No one
knows what kind of scents were extracted from the Leahy letter
STU-100 vacuum device. They don't know how many different scents there were on the
envelope or to whom or what the scents belonged. The anthrax letters had been
dropped in a mailbox, then transported to a post office, then run
through postal machines, mixed with countless other letters, and
handled by an unknown number of people,
before the Leahy letter was finally recovered by the FBI.
For all that we humans know, the dogs could have been reacting to
machine oil or wool clothing or a type of shoe leather or paper fibers
or a brand of
many others in the FBI totally disagreed with him, senior FBI agent
Richard Lambert was evidently convinced that Dr. Hatfill was
the anthrax mailer. Lambert was apparently grasping at straws in
attempt to find evidence to
support his belief (much as DXer is doing today in trying to show al
Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks). Special Agent Lambert's
evidence" was pure crap.
Many others in the FBI knew it was pure crap. The
fact that Lambert relied upon crap
change the fact that it was crap.
And now DXer wants that crap "evidence" to be used as exculpatory evidence proving Bruce
Ivins was innocent. That is just plain ridiculous.
The GAO is undoubtedly aware that the bloodhounds didn't react to Ivins
when they were searching for a scent taken from the Leahy anthrax
letter. All it means is that the
dogs probably weren't looking for Ivins' scent. No one
knows what scent they were looking for, since the bloodhounds reacted
to both Patricia Fellows and
And no one cares. It was an
investigative avenue that went nowhere.
something is true or not is not affected by how strongly someone
believes it. SA Lambert evidently believed all the conspiracy
theorists who were pointing at Dr. Hatfill as being the anthrax
mailer. Lambert was under extreme pressure to find the anthrax
mailer. The bloodhounds provided him with some hope that he'd found some useable
evidence to help prove that Dr. Hatfill was the anthrax killer.
SA Lambert evidently clung to that hope until he transferred off the
case and was replaced by SA Edward Montooth.
difficult to figure out exactly what DXer is thinking when he endlessly
argues about the bloodhound "evidence." But, this morning I see a
whole new string of rants on the subject. Whatever he is
trying to do, he is trying very
hard to do it.
Late yesterday, DXer also ranted
about polygraph tests. Here is his recommendation:
The FBI should rely more on hard
science that has been proved by repeated, controlled experiments in
peer-reviewed literature. Lead bullet analysis and hair analysis
are just of the many fields that have led to false convictions.
Using the best possible
methods not only helps avoid false convictions but helps make sure the
perpetrator is caught — and the threat neutralized.
in our real world we
don't have control over what evidence is found. And
done by human beings who often make mistakes. Early in an
investigation you can have ten different investigators with ten
different theories of who did it. And each can have his or her
reasons for believing what they believe. But, the system doesn't
on beliefs. It works on evidence. And, gradually over a
years, the evidence in the Amerithrax investigation began to point to
Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins as being the anthrax killer.
was initially ignored was reevaluated and added to the pile.
Testimony from Nancy Haigwood. And scientific areas where there
no hope of finding evidence turned out to provide some of the best
evidence. Example: Microbial Forensics.
DXer is evidently grasping at straws in hopes of finding some way to
convince people that he knows "the truth" and that the FBI was
Trying to argue that the bloodhound "evidence" is somehow exculpatory
of Dr. Ivins is an indicator of pure
If DXer wants to convince people that he is right and that al Qaeda
operatives were actually behind the anthrax attacks of 2001, all he
needs to do is provide BETTER
evidence than the FBI has against Bruce Ivins. Is that too much
ask? Silly arguments over bloodhound evidence isn't going to
anyone. Complaints that the FBI isn't following investigative
that DXer wants them to follow isn't going to convince anyone.
If DXer believes that Yazid
Sufaat created the attack spores, that Mohammed Atta wrote the anthrax letters
the anthrax letters were mailed by Adnan El-Shukrijumah, DXer should provide evidence
to support those beliefs.
DXer should provide meaningful evidence of
Yazid Sufaat obtained anthrax from flask RMR-1029 and how and where
Yazid Sufaat made
the spores. DXer should explain how the handwriting on the
anthrax letters matches Mohammed Atta's handwriting. DXer should explain how it is certain Adnan
El-Shukrijimah mailed the letters. Complaining that the FBI
should find the evidence for him
just shows that DXer has no
meaningful evidence to support his beliefs.
He's just arguing his unsupported
and illogical beliefs against the solid facts found by the FBI
which prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax killer.
August 26, 2014 - This morning, I
see there are several
more posts by "DXer" to Lew Weinstein's blog on the subject of the
use of bloodhounds in the Amerithrax investigation. I can't make
much sense of any of them. One post even says,
Amerithrax represents the
greatest counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United
Really? Or did
"DXer" simply forget to include the word "failure," which he typically
includes when he writes such sentences?
Another comment provides a good example of how "DXer" cannot and will not explain his own arguments:
When Scott Decker in his
manuscript announces the use of carbon dating as pointing to Dr. Ivins’
guilt, the skeptical reader’s reaction should be: Hunh?
doesn't DXer explain how
Scott Decker used carbon dating in this way? DXer not only seems
incapable of explaining anything, he seems to deliberately write
comments that require
explaining before they make any sense. But, more likely he's just
trying to say he has read
Scott Decker's unpublished manuscript, and if anyone wants to know what
DXer is talking about, that person should read Decker's manuscript,
too. Until then, DXer's comment will remain
This is probably yesterday's most ridiculous
comment by DXer:
Like the other science used
in Amerithrax — to include the analysis of the ink, paper, toner,
photocopier tracks, hair, fiber, digital forensics , chemical analysis
of Flask 1029 etc, the evidence tended to be EXCULPATORY of Dr. Bruce
There might be something
genuinely interesting about bloodhound evidence in the files that DXer
mentions, but none of it relates to the case against Bruce Ivins.
DXer's absurd rantings about such things being "EXCULPATORY of Dr.
Bruce Ivins" change nothing. So, there doesn't seem to be any
reason to try to decipher any more of DXer's gibberish. He's
evidently just on another one of his incomprehensible rants.
August 25, 2014 - It's difficult to
be certain, but I seem to be having another indirect discussion with
the conspiracy theorist/True Believer known as "DXer," where he posts
his arguments to Lew Weinstein's
blog, and I post my arguments here on my site.
In yesterday's comment, I pointed out that the bloodhounds used during
the Amerithrax investigation had nothing
to do with the case against Bruce Ivins. The bloodhounds were
used in an investigation of a different "person of interest," Steven
Hatfill. Later in the day, DXer posted what
appears to be a
response. I can't be certain it is a response, because it says
nothing about my earlier comment. Instead, it presents what seems
to be a totally different argument regarding the
bloodhounds. Only this time DXer tries to show why he believes it is
related to the case against Bruce Ivins. DXer wrote:
In her civil deposition in
the Hatfill lawsuit against the United States, Virginia Patrick
explained that the FBI Agents — one included Scott Decker — told her
and her husband that the
bloodhounds were the “smoking gun” that proved Dr. Hatfill was behind
the anthrax mailings.
In the living room, agents told
them they knew Hatfill was the mailer because of the “smoking gun”
evidence. The entire news-reading world would soon know what the
FBI suspected and what it claimed as the “smoking gun.”
She knew that the bloodhounds — who arrived just 5 minutes from when
one of the agents called — had been waiting nearby. She describes the
demonstration as involving someone with a handkerchief and taking it
behind a tree — and then the bloodhound finding the agent.
supposed “smoking gun” evidence pointed AWAY from Bruce Ivins.
The deposition of Virginia
Patrick (the wife of William
Patrick III) can be viewed by clicking HERE
to access a pdf file, and then going to page 208 in that file.
Reading the deposition, the first thing that becomes clear is that it
if the FBI agents ever actually used the term "smoking gun."
Steven Hatfill's lawyer, Tom Connolly, asked a question answered by
Q. Did the FBI agents
say to you words to the effect
that the FBI had smoking gun evidence to demonstrate that Dr. Hatfill
was the anthrax killer.
lawyer uses the term "smoking gun" over and over. During
the meeting with the FBI, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick did not accept that bloodhounds were as
reliable as the FBI agents were claiming. Mrs. Patrick says she
asked the FBI agents,
this really proves that Steven did this why don't you arrest him
But, she doesn't recall what their response was.
The idea that the bloodhounds had provided "smoking gun" evidence is so
ridiculous that no one believes it, then or now. DXer seems to be
merely using it as some kind of desperate claim that it points away
from Dr. Ivins. But, it doesn't really point anywhere.
It's just nonsense. So, the question really is: Why did the
FBI agents say such a thing?
on July 3, 2005, I wrote a long comment about the
deposition of Virginia Patrick. As part of that comment, I wrote:
To me, the incident is
further evidence that the real
for having the bloodhounds sniff around various locations was to
where Dr. Hatfill had and had not been during the period when
FBI had lost their tail on him. If Dr. Hatfill had visited
that same day or the day before, and he gave Virginia Patrick a hug, he
could have left enough of his scent on her for the bloodhounds to
It seems certain that, on July 31 and August 1, 2002, FBI agents were
trying to find out
if Hatfill had visited the Patricks during the period where the FBI had
lost their tail on Hatfill. At the time, the conspiracy
theorists who were out to lynch Dr. Hatfill
for the anthrax attacks considered Bill Patrick to
be a possibly accomplice. And, during that 2002 trip to
Louisiana to interview for a job, Dr. Hatfill had apparently ditched the FBI's tail
on him on the morning of July 31. (Dr. Hatfill told me on the
phone that ditching the FBI
at that Denny's restaurant in Louisiana was "unintentional".) To
FBI, when a suspect ditches his tail, that can be viewed as a serious indicator of guilt.
But, more importantly at the time, if there had been another anthrax
attack after the FBI lost their tail on Dr. Hatfill, it would have been
disasterous to the FBI. It could have literally destroyed the FBI.
It seems obvious that the FBI gave the Patricks a
line of bull about the bloodhounds as a
way of getting them to let the bloodhounds sniff around their property
without a search warrant. They were looking for Hatfill's
scent. The FBI agents probably also wanted to
make it clear to the Patricks that if they assisted Hatfill in any way,
they might be tried as accomplices
to whatever criminal acts Dr. Hatfill had committed or might commit.
There was no new anthrax attack during the time Hatfill wasn't being
tailed by the FBI. The bloodhounds did NOT provide any "smoking
gun" evidence for or against anyone. The statements
supposedly made by the FBI to Virginia Patrick about the bloodhounds
providing "smoking gun" evidence were in no way related to the DOJ's
case against Dr. Bruce Ivins. And, anyone who suggests that
the FBI agents' line of bull to the Patricks somehow points "AWAY from
Bruce Ivins" is living in a fantasy world. End of story.
August 24, 2014 - Last week, for reasons that he almost
certainly cannot and will not explain,
"DXer" started posting bizarre and meaningless comments about
bloodhound evidence on
Lew Weinstein's blog. For example, this morning he
Is there a canine
deployment sheet(s) for Dr. Ivins? How many deployments were there as
to all subjects. What percentage of those deployments resulted in
And this is from
a few days ago:
The mailed letters were
used as the scent article. At Denny’s were the dogs alerting to olive
oil used in connection with the mailed letters? Denny’s sells french
fries prepared in olive oil? Yech! The comment
continued with this:
The bloodhounds were an important
scientific method used in Amerithrax that served to seriously
derail the investigation even though the method had never been
Wha...? Here's another
example of DXer's comments about bloodhounds last week:
In its report, GAO should
forth the facts relating to the FBI’s reliance on the bloodhounds and
I did some research and found that the STU-100 is a like a
handy-vac designed specifically for forensic
The Scent Transfer Unit
was specifically designed for Forensic Specialists, Investigators,
Evidence Response Teams, Identification Departments and Scent Dog
Handlers. The Scent Transfer Unit allows law enforcement to collect
evidence from any item without destroying fingerprints on the item,
collect trace evidence at a crime scene without contamination, collect
scent evidence from hard to access places not accessible to a search
dog and gives law enforcement a scent pad to store in scent banks for
future use on repeat offenders
is absolutely NO
bloodhound evidence in the DOJ's case against Bruce Ivins.
The word "bloodhound" does not appear anywhere in the Amerithrax
investigative summary. Nor does the word "scent." Yet, DXer
inexplicably posted this:
What specific additional
exists that the bloodhounds were “trained specifically to sniff out
RMR-1029.” How would that be attempted? The FBI Agents should explain
the method they relied upon for all those years in support of its
“FBI’s Theory.” With 60 additional Scent Transfer Units purchased by
the FBI in 2010 or so, if we don’t learn from mistakes, we are bound to
I did a
Google search for the quote "trained specifically to sniff out
RMR-1029” and was surprised to find it came from The Washington Post. In her
review of David Willman's book "The
Mirage Man," Dina
Willman writes that the FBI
felt it had an unassailable source: a team of bloodhounds from Southern
California. They had been trained
specifically to sniff out RMR-1029.
The problem is: David
Willman wrote no such thing
in his book. At least not that I can find. (Bloodhounds
aren't listed in the index, but they are mentioned on page 172.)
The comment DXer relies upon seems to be some kind of bizarre misunderstanding by
Raston. Most of the time, the bloodhounds were looking
for Steven Hatfill's scent. Other times, the bloodhounds were
scent extracted from the envelopes after
envelopes had been
irradiated. Training bloodhounds to sniff out
RMR-1029 would be STUPID beyond
belief, since trying to find anthrax spores by using a
also mean that the bloodhound would probably die of
anthrax if it found any.
I also did some quick
research into the STU-100 Scent Transfer Unit and found an
FBI web page which provides all the information that anyone
probably needs to know about the subject. Here are a couple
of the STU-100 has been controversial in several court proceedings. A
review of defense expert witness testimonies and the subsequent
appellate court decisions highlight the misunderstanding of human-scent
evidence (California vs. Flores 2000; California vs. Willis 2002;
California vs. Willis 2004).
testimony, a defense expert in veterinary medicine testified, “We don’t
know what human scent is” (California vs. Flores 2000). Yet in a later
testimony, this same expert stated the method to clean scent from the
STU-100, “does not remove all of the odors reliably by any means.” That
he had never seen the STU-100 before the day of this testimony did not
deter the expert from opining, “It’s going to collect a sample that has
an unknown degree of contamination” (California vs. Willis 2002). These
types of unsupported opinions have cast an inaccurate and negative
light on a very useful tool. The notion that a scent pad collected by
any means contains only one scent is not realistic. That multiple
scents on a scent article render a positive outcome useless has been
scientifically proven wrong. All scent collection methods will create
pads with blended odors. Because
human scent is easily transferred, a positive trail or identification
resulting from any scent article only shows a relationship to that
article and must be verified and corroborated through other
And here's the conclusion
by the authors of the FBI article:
with discretion, the information
gained from human-scent-discriminating dogs can be a valuable tool for
law enforcement. The ability
of these dogs to establish a connection between people and crime scene
evidence has been demonstrated through scientific study, practical
experience, and confirmed criminal case results.
in the world of conspiracy theorists and True Believers, it appears
that unless something can be certified as 100% reliable and 100%
accurate, then it is totally and completely worthless. And even
if a device like the STU-100 had absolutely NOTHING to do with the
DOJ's case against Bruce Ivins, it seems the mere fact that the FBI
during the course of the investigation somehow proves something to the Anthrax
Truthers. What it proves, they cannot explain.
It's just more of their inexplicable, screwball nonsense.
have been used to track scents for hundreds
of years. Are they 100% accurate? Probably
not. But they are still the
best tool available for the work they do.
ridiculous post last week, DXer wrote this on a different subject:
Armed with additional
Atta’s handwriting, GAO has the expertise in-house to make its own
comparison of the handwriting.
I have obtained from USAMRIID
uploaded numerous samples of Dr. Ivins’ handwriting — which looks
nothing like the mailed anthrax letters.
on earth would the GAO "make its own comparison of the
handwriting" on the anthrax letters versus Mohammed Atta's
handwriting? Should it be done just because DXer continues to
believe that Muslim
terrorists were behind the anthrax attacks? In another
post last week, DXer wrote:
I have suggested that
friend, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, was the mailer of the Fall 2001 anthrax
letters. He was with Atta in Florida when immigration forms were filled
out. The GAO should obtain and state the conclusion of the FBI’s
handwriting expert who compared Shukrijumah’s handwriting with the Fall
2001 letters. That same examiner concluded that Dr. Ivins probably did
not write the letters.
Anyone should be able to
see that Mohammed
Atta's handwriting does NOT match the handwriting on the anthrax letters.
The only people who wouldn't be able to see that would be people who
are obsessed with a theory that Mohammed Atta wrote the letters and/or
people who cannot comprehend basic handwriting analysis. Besides,
Adnan El-Shukrijumah was almost certainly in Afghanistan at the time of the
The GAO's job
isn't to second guess the FBI's investigation and do an amateur
of their own. That would be unbelievably
stupid and irresponsible. Here's what the GAO says
about their responsibilities on their web site:
The U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that
works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal
government spends taxpayer dollars.
Our Mission is to support the Congress in
meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure
the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of
the American people. We provide
Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based,
nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.
The primary job of the GAO
look for waste and inefficiency
in the government.
Did the FBI waste money
during their investigation of the anthrax attacks of 2001?
Probably. But, that doesn't mean it was "waste" that can be
corrected by some finding by GAO accountants. Perhaps, while
doing a criminal investigation, the FBI shouldn't investigate everyone
who might be responsible for
they should investigate only
the person who was actually
responsible for the crime. That would definitely save the
taxpayers a lot of money. Of course, if the GAO knows how to do that, they would need to
explain as part of their findings the
technique the FBI should use to investigate only guilty people. However,
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that kind of "finding."
It's hard to imagine what the GAO will recommend in its review of
Amerithrax. They certainly will not
recommend that the case be re-opened and that al Qaeda be blamed until
it can be proved that al Qaeda was NOT responsible. Nor will the
GAO recommend that the FBI consult with conspiracy theorists on all
I'm looking forward to reading the GAO's review. I'm also
looking forward to the reactions from the conspiracy theorists and True
Believers when the
review doesn't show what they want it to show. But I
already know what the conspiracy theorists will be saying.
They'll be saying that, because the GAO's report didn't show the FBI
was wrong about who mailed the anthrax letters, that proves there's a government
conspiracy going on, and the GAO is just another part of that vast