Harry Potter and the Goblet of Anthrax

A Stars Hollow Gazette

Well, Detective Greenwald is back on the case, but before we get to him I just want to outline why I find it so fascinating.

To me the Anthrax attacks perfectly illustrate the Colossal Conspiracy of Incestuous Incompetence by our government’s leadership and agencies on the one hand and the Villager Idiots of our Mental Masturbatory Beltway Blind Bozo Media on the other.

And you get hairy palms too you perverts.

The story so far is that the FBI has decided to blame this dead guy who committed suicide under the pressure of their investigation.  None of their public “proof” holds up to any kind of scrutiny at all.  They are constantly changing their timelines and plotlines as new facts continue to be discovered and practically everybody in D.C. is trying to ignore that the only thing left of Ivins the Anthrax man is a corncob pipe and his button nose and two eyes made out of coal.

Oh and that old silk hat they found.  Must have been some magic in it.

Then there is the local angle- I’ve been in Oxford, where Ottilie Lundgren died, and to Pine Grove Cemetery in Ansonia, where she is buried.  I drive through Wallingford, where the postal processing center is, all the time when I’m traveling from Hartford to points south.

Still, I don’t want to seem obsessed-

And now-

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Anthrax

Some recent developments-

Scientsts Continue To Question Anthrax Investigation And Case Against Bruce Ivins

By Andrew Tilghman, TPMMuckraker

August 11, 2008, 3:30PM

Scientists are stepping up among those most skeptical of the FBI’s evidence implicating military microbiologist Bruce Ivins in the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

In yesterday’s New York Times, microbiologist Gerry Andrews wrote an op-ed describing himself as “both disheartened and perplexed by the lack of physical evidence” against Ivins. Andrews worked with Ivins for 16 years and served as the chief of the bacteriology division at the military lab at Ft. Detrick in Maryland.

While the FBI last week released extensive documents with circumstantial evidence against Ivins, they provided almost no details of the scientific testing that underpinned the investigation.

Shorter WaPo: The Anthrax Case Sux

By: emptywheel

Thursday August 14, 2008 5:44 am

I’m most amused by the way they find evidence, claim it’s significant, then discard it entirely once their theory falls apart. Just last week, the fact that Ivins had taken leave for the entire day before the anthrax was mailed was another smoking gun, proof that he had done the deed. But now that we DFHs have proved he couldn’t have been mailing the anthrax at that time, then that piece of evidence is discarded entirely. It seems they don’t want to entertain the possibility he was doing something else–perhaps meeting with someone, but not driving to Princeton. Similarly, lie detector tests were critical, until they discovered their main culprit passed his.

In other words, they’re still making it up as they go along, and they still don’t have a solid case that Ivins was the sole culprit.

FBI Appears To Change Theory In Anthrax Case

By Andrew Tilghman, TPMMuckraker

August 14, 2008, 1:53PM

Last week, the Washington Post published a story that appeared to finally tie Bruce Ivins to that New Jersey mailbox where the 2001 anthrax letters were mailed — something the feds have been unable to do in their six-year investigation.

It’s clear that the FBI’s case against Ivins is less than airtight. The main question at this point might be whether anyone is going to make the FBI cough up any more details of its investigation. Skeptical scientists are clamoring for more details. And there’s movement from Congress, albeit slowly. The Post reports today that the House Judiciary Committee is also negotiating to hold a hearing with FBI officials. That comes on the heels of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s questions for Mueller and Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week.

But the furor over the troubled investigation may be fading a bit. Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), who received one of the anthrax-laced letters in 2001, announced yesterday that he is satisfied that the FBI’s investigation was “complete and persuasive.” Meanwhile, the AP filed a story yesterday dismissing some of the doubters as conspiracy theorists, comparing Ivins to Lee Harvey Oswald.

I have to say Andrew Tilghman is an admirable competitor in self referentiality.

FBI Agrees To Release More Details From Anthrax Probe, Backpeddles On Key Elements

By Andrew Tilghman, TPMMuckraker

August 18, 2008, 10:20AM

Remember when the FBI told us that military microbiologist Bruce Ivins gave investigators a bogus sample of the anthrax from his lab in 2002 — suggesting an effort to mislead and cover up his own connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Well, that might not be true, according to the New York Times. Ivins did give investigators a sample of his own anthrax — which allegedly matched the strain used in the attacks — but the FBI botched the testing process.

In addition to the new version regarding the anthrax sample Ivins provided in 2002, investigators now say the evelopes used in the mail attacks were more widely available than initially suggested.

And now Glennzilla is back (emptywheel will be at the Denver convention maybe)-

Doubts over the anthrax case intensify — except among much of the media.

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

Monday Aug. 18, 2008 08:04 EDT

And let’s just spend a brief moment marveling at how mindless and uncritical the establishment media is in how they report on these matters. It was The Post’s Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick who first reported the FBI’s leak on August 8 that Ivins had likely traveled to New Jersey after taking administrative leave in the morning, and they reported it without an iota of critical thought, and certainly didn’t point out that the FBI’s own timeline was impossible on its own terms. More amazingly, it was one of those same Post reporters — Carrie Johnson — who on Thursday printed the FBI’s brand new and mutually exclusive theory — that Ivins traveled to New Jersey at night, after work — without even bothering to mention the most important fact: that it was a brand new theory that contradicted the one she mindlessly passed on from the FBI the week before.

To the contrary, in touting the FBI’s brand new theory, Johnson wrote that “government sources offered more detail about Ivins’s movements on a critical day in the case” — as though the FBI’s abandonment of its prior claim in favor of a new one comprised “more detail.” The FBI didn’t offer “more detail”; it offered completely “new detail” because the last “detail” they leaked to Johnson was almost instantaneously disproven — a fact Johnson doesn’t even bother to mention. Instead, she just allows the FBI’s story to change radically and then serves as a vessel for that new story as though it’s further incriminating proof, rather than a reflection of the fact that the FBI still has no idea whether it was Ivins who went to New Jersey to mail those letters.

That’s because The Post’s role here has been and continues to be what the establishment media’s role generally is — to serve government sources and amplify their claims, not to investigate their veracity. That’s how it was Saddam Hussein who was the original anthrax culprit, followed by Steven Hatfill, and now Bruce Ivins. It’s how Jessica Lynch heroically fought off Iraqi goons in a firefight, how Pat Tillman stood down Al Qaeda monsters until they murdered him, how Iraq possessed mountains of WMDs, and now, how Russia has assaulted the consensus values of the Western World by invading a sovereign country and occupying parts of it for a whole week, etc. etc. All of those narratives came from the Government directly into the pages of The Washington Post, which then uncritically conveyed them, often (as in the case of the Jessica Lynch lies and WMD claims) playing a leading role in doing so.

That’s what the Post is doing again with regard to the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins. It was the same Post reporters who, on August 4, breathlessly touted one of the most inane FBI leaks of all — that Ivins was clearly some sort of mad scientist because he possessed what the Post depicted as an exotic germ machine which Ivins had no good reason to possess, a lyophilizer (!), even though possession of a lyophilizer by an anthrax researcher such as Ivins is akin to possession of a pencil by an accountant (The Post headline: “Anthrax Dryer a Key To Probe — Suspect Borrowed Device From Lab”).


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  1. they will get hairy palms if they self pleasure? I guess girls don’t? At all.

    Poor Ivins. He just became convenient for the FBI. And as patriotic citizens why wouldn’t we believe them?

    I like the way you are digging in like a mule to this story ek because as you and others rightly say the story is actually a story about people just making shit up.

  2. Have I yet mentioned how much I hate the RPN of <a href=””></a> links?

    Takes me an hour to fix them pacified!

  3. the FBI hopes the story of their fairy tale will get buried because conventions are coming up and the adults are busy hustling kiddies off to start the school year.

    Where will the trail of crumbs lead? Will little Red Riding Hood use her new ninja powers to repel the oft abused wolf? Will Hansel and Gretel decide to partner up and take a shot at “So You Think You can Dance”?

    • Viet71 on August 20, 2008 at 01:28

    The Beau Brumells.  circa 1964

    America laughs.  At Ivins.  At Oswald.

    All the same.  Believe the government.  Go to your home in the suburbs.

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