Because you just can never get enough Anthrax-
Key senators dispute FBI’s anthrax case against Bruce Ivins
Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com
Wednesday Sept. 17, 2008 10:25 EDT
Already, after 30 minutes or so, the two ranking members of the Committee have both told Mueller that, in essence, they do not accept or believe the FBI’s accusations against Bruce Ivins. The Democratic Chairman of the Committee, Pat Leahy (who was a target of the anthrax attacks) told Mueller categorically that he simply does not believe that Ivins was the prime culprit if he was a participant at all, and said he is absolutely convinced that there were others involved in the preparation and mailing of the anthrax. Leahy began the hearing by identifying the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground and the private CIA contractor Battelle Corporation — but not Fort Detrick — as the only two institutions in the U.S. capable of producing anthrax of the strain that was sent to him and Sen. Daschele. Leahy asked Mueller whether he was aware of any other institutions capable of producing the anthrax, and when Mueller — amazingly though unsurprisingly — claimed he couldn’t answer, Leahy demanded that he obtain the answer during a break and tell the Committee today what the answer is.
The bottom line is that it is quite extraordinary that the FBI has claimed it has identified with certainty the sole culprit in the anthrax attacks, but so many key Senators, from both parties, simply don’t believe it, and are saying so explicitly. Leahy’s rather dark suggestion that there were others involved in these attacks — likely at a U.S. Army facility or key private CIA contractor — is particularly notable. It has been crystal clear from the beginning that the FBI’s case is filled with glaring holes, that their thuggish behavior towards their only suspect drove him to commit suicide and thus is unable to defend himself, and yet, to this day, the FBI continues to conceal the evidence in its possession and is stonewalling any and all efforts to scrutinize its claims.
The crucial point, at least from my perspective, isn’t that the FBI’s accusations against Bruce Ivins are demonstrably false, and it’s not that Bruce Ivins had no role in the anthrax attacks — there is ample grounds for believing both propositions to be true, but I’m not at all suggesting one can reach a definitive conclusion based on what is known. Rather, the point is that the accusations that the FBI has outlined and the evidentiary case it has disclosed are so full of substantial holes that the FBI ought to disclose all of the evidence in its possession — scientific and non-scientific — and fully cooperate with a real, independent review of all of that evidence by an investigative body possessing subpoena power and whose mandate is both to examine the anthrax attacks and the FBI’s case from scratch.
FBI Still Using Shiny Objects to Distract from Their Flimsy Anthrax Case
By: emptywheel Wednesday September 17, 2008 10:16 am
We’re worried about Pat Leahy’s seeming certainty that only scientists at Dugway in UT and Batelle in OH have the technical competence to make the anthrax used in the attacks; when Leahy made Mueller call FBI to find out if that were true, Mueller eventually responded that the answer is classified. We’re worried that the FBI’s explanation for how and why Ivins would have driven several hours to Princeton to mail the anthrax letters keeps changing from dubious story to dubious story–meaning even if Ivins made this anthrax, they have no proof he mailed it. And we’re worried that the FBI seems to have attributed Ivins’ wife’s beliefs to him in order to explain the choice of targets–even though Leahy’s apparent suspicion (that the attack was related to recent efforts to develop an offenseive bioweapons program) provides a much more plausible explanation for the targets.
In other words, the flimsiest aspects of the anthrax case have nothing to do with genetic analysis. But it’s through an independent review of the genetic analysis, and genetic analysis only, that Robert Mueller would like to use to reassure us that the case is sound.