Tag: Anthrax

OMFG-WTHWTT ?! “Anthrax” Flushed Down DC Toilet by Visitor Center Supe!

And away go troubles, down the drain !

Taking Crisis Management to a new level of Blasé Faire, the Supervisor at the Washington, DC Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) finds a mysterious baggie of white powder labeled “Anthrax”  in the Exhibition Hall this past weekend.

What does he do with it ?    He flushes it down the restroom toilet !!!


About an hour later, Capitol Police were notified. The hazardous devices unit found no traces of harmful biological components, such as anthrax spores, during an inspection Saturday that covered the restroom, the route the supervisor allegedly took there and the area where the bag was found.

Capitol Police are investigating Saturday’s incident by reviewing video footage and interviewing employees involved in the incident to try and discover who might have left the bag with the white powder, the officer said.

It remained unclear why the operational supervisor allegedly decided to flush the bag’s contents down the toilet. But visitor assistants with the CVC said there is pressure to keep tours going at all times and that by notifying Capitol Police, it would interrupt the day’s traffic flow.

An hour later ?  


Who is Peter Orszag?

why the fuck is Peter Orszag of OMB even commenting on this ?  

asked Compound F, earlier today.


I picked this off of google cache, written post election, Nov 18 2008, marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives

Obama Wants Orszag At OMB

18 Nov 2008 03:05 pm

Barack Obama has tapped CBO director Peter Orszag to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, my collegues at National Journal report today.

He’s a youngish overachiever, just 40, and subscribes to the theory of what he once called “cool-headed, warm-hearted” economic policy. Judging by his blog, Orszag has smart and interesting things to say about the intersection of psychology and economics, the long-term vs. short-term effects of climate change legislation, honest budgeting and accounting, and lots more.

OMB is the executive branch’s budgetary arm and management oversight evaluator. The director serves as a key presidential adviser on the economy and is responsible for projecting the fiscal consequences of any presidential decision. OMB would figure out how much Barack Obama’s health care plan will cost, for example, as it gets introduced in Congress. It’ll score every bill that Congress sends to Obama. It’s the repository of policy, responsible for official statements. More to the point, though, is that OMB will administer Obama’s transparency agenda. Regulatory reform will originate at OMB.

HuffPo has been following Orszag’s love life, the love child with the Greek tycoon heiress, and the engagement to the drop dead gorgeous young Russian born ABC news “financial reporter.”



Obama to veto intelligence budget if FBI Amerithrax case questioned.

No one is satisfied with the FBI investigation into the anthrax terrorism case following on the heels of 9/11.  Not Congress, not the National Academy of Sciences, not Lawrence Livermore Labs, not Sandia Labs, not the most prestigious scientific journal in the world, Nature, not Dr. Meryl Nass, not Glenn Greenwald, and not me.

Bush-hating Obama-bots, please explain why Obama wants to quash any new investigations into Amerithrax.  With such determination that he would deny funding to the entire intelligence budget.  Golly, I thought we were still in a state of national emergency concerning terrorism.    

The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2009, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.

Obama will take away funding from all intelligence agencies just to prevent this case from being further investigated.  Unprecedented transparency in government, my ass.

March 15 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the next budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it calls for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, an administration official said.

A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in an FBI probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

And why the fuck is Peter Orzag of OMB even commenting on this?  No one can now claim that terrorism is a budgetary waste, not after we have re-committed ourselves to inordinately expensive Bush-era war policies and re-declared national emergency states.   Did Peter Orzag suddenly develop expert biological insights into bio-terrorism?

Maybe we can no longer afford “to keep Americans safe” from bio-terrorism, because of stupid wars and bailing out capitalist crooks.  If so, just say so.  We’ll understand.  We’ll buy some fucking duct-tape and plastic.

Nope, doesn’t smell like dead rats to me.  We’re officially back in “black helicopters” territory.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

Voyage to the Son of the Return of Anthrax

So you remember those hearings where our brave Democratic Congressmen, armed with Super Subpoena Power, were going to “get to the bottom of things”?

The oversight joke

Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

Tuesday Sept. 16, 2008 11:21 EDT

Vividly illustrating this impotence in the anthrax context, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York used his five minutes to ask Mueller about several of the most glaring holes in the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins. Nadler specifically focused on the fact that scientists (including in the FBI) had long claimed that the anthrax sent to Sen. Daschele was dried anthrax that had been coated with silica and was thus far too sophisticated for Ivins to have prepared, only for the FBI suddenly to reverse itself recently and claim that the anthrax was not coated with silica but had, instead, simply naturally absorbed silicon from the air.

Nadler had various good questions about that — including wanting to know the level of concentration of silica found in the anthrax (since, if it were higher than 1/2 of 1%, it would mean it was impossible for it to have been naturally absorbed). Mueller’s response: I don’t know the answers to those questions. I’ll have to get back to you at some point.

Nadler than asked one of the most central questions in the anthrax case: he pointed out that the facilities that (unlike Ft. Detrick) actually have the equipment and personnel to prepare dry, silica-coated anthrax are the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground and the Battelle Corporation, the private CIA contractor that conducts substantial research into highly complex strains of anthrax. Nadler asked how the FBI had eliminated those institutions as the culprits behind the attack. After invoking generalities to assure Nadler that the FBI had traced the anthrax back to Ivins’ vial (which doesn’t answer the question), Mueller’s response was this: I don’t know the answers to those questions as to how we eliminated Dugway and Battelle. I’ll have to get back to you at some point.

Nadler then ended by asking whether Mueller would object to an independent commission or other body to review the FBI’s evidence and its accusations against Ivins and whether the FBI would cooperate with such an independent inquiry. Mueller pretended to answer by telling Nadler that the FBI intended to ask some members of the National Academy of Science to review the FBI’s scientific claims, but that didn’t answer the question as to whether the FBI opposed a full-scale independent review of the FBI’s case and whether the FBI would cooperate with it. Nadler then noted his time was up and a Republican member then began asking about The Grave Threats Posed by The Terrorists in order to justify the FBI’s imminent, new domestic surveillance powers, with not a single new fact — literally not one — disclosed about the anthrax investigation, despite Nadler’s perfectly relevant questions.

I’ll note for my own reputation that the circular link is Greenwald’s.

But I forgive him.

Yet More Anthrax III


Anthrax II

Andrew Tilghman @ TPM Muckraker

Anthrax II


The FBI’s emerging, leaking case against Ivins

Glenn Greenwald

Tuesday Aug. 5, 2008 06:54 EDT

Within less than 24 hours, we went from “a New Jersey mailbox used to send the anthrax was less than 100 yards away from a sorority for which Ivins harbored an intense life-long obsession” to “the mailbox was near a storage closet used by a sorority that Ivins used to frequent 27 years ago and by a specific chapter that Ivins appeared to have absolutely nothing to do with.”

And then there is the Hatfill-like leaking of scurrilous information about Ivins, including the fact that he had — as the NYT put it today — “a history of alcohol abuse, had for years maintained a post office box under an assumed name that he used to receive pornographic pictures of blindfolded women.” Leaving aside the fact that alcohol abuse and pornography consumption aren’t exactly clues marking someone as the anthrax killer, how bad could his “alcohol abuse” have been if he continued to maintain Government clearance to work at a U.S. Army facility with the nation’s most dangerous pathogens?

All sorts of similar questions are raised by the onslaught of other FBI leaks. Dr. Jasenosky told me that he finds claims of some “ground-breaking” new DNA technique, or some “big breakthrough” to be “quite strange,” given that what the news accounts have described is nothing more than an incremental extension of molecular analysis techniques that have existed for several years and which, at most, appear to have only enabled existing techniques to be conducted more rapidly. He further emphasized that even the most sophisticated DNA tests could never link anthrax to any particular scientist, and that no assessment of the FBI’s assertions is possible without a thorough review of its underlying data. Dr. Meryl Nass said the same thing today: “Let me reiterate: No matter how good the microbial forensics may be, they can only, at best, link the anthrax to a particular strain and lab. They cannot link it to any individual.”

And then there is the issue of Ivins’ mental state. The New York Times reported today that part of the FBI investigation was so heavy-handed that it actually entailed showing gruesome photographs of the anthrax victims to Ivins’ adult children, telling them that their father is the one who did that, while trying to entice them to turn on him with promises of a reward. As Rep. Holt indicated this morning, is it any wonder that any person — guilty or not — would experience severe psychological distress when targeted by the FBI that way? Moreover, this morning’s Frederick News Post (doing some of the best reporting in the country on this case) reported that it was FBI agents who told Jean Duley to seek a protective order against Ivins — the action that then created the record used by most media outlets to depict Ivins as a crazed psychopath.

No matter what the FBI says over the next week, or whenever it is that it finally gets around to stopping its manipulative leaks to its media friends and begins instead showing the public its evidence, a full-scale investigation is required here. Bruce Ivins may very well be the anthrax killer, having acted alone, but there is no rational basis for believing right now that he is.


Glenn Greenwald has been doing some important reporting on the Anthrax investigation this past week and if you haven’t seen it yet I think it’s well worth checking out.

In chronological order his pieces are-

Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News

Friday Aug. 1, 2008 05:36 EDT

We now know — we knew even before news of Ivins’ suicide last night, and know especially in light of it — that the anthrax attacks didn’t come from Iraq or any foreign government at all. It came from our own Government’s scientist, from the top Army bioweapons research laboratory. More significantly, the false reports linking anthrax to Iraq also came from the U.S. Government — from people with some type of significant links to the same facility responsible for the attacks themselves.

Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade. The motive to fabricate reports of bentonite and a link to Saddam is glaring. Those fabrications played some significant role — I’d argue a very major role — in propagandizing the American public to perceive of Saddam as a threat, and further, propagandized the public to believe that our country was sufficiently threatened by foreign elements that a whole series of radical policies that the neoconservatives both within and outside of the Bush administration wanted to pursue — including an attack an Iraq and a whole array of assaults on our basic constitutional framework — were justified and even necessary in order to survive.

ABC News already knows the answers to these questions. They know who concocted the false bentonite story and who passed it on to them with the specific intent of having them broadcast those false claims to the world, in order to link Saddam to the anthrax attacks and — as importantly — to conceal the real culprit(s) (apparently within the U.S. government) who were behind the attacks. And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They’re allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.

Buckle up . . . .

Here we go again!  Only this time it’s not anthrax, it’s ricin!

Ricin has been found in a motel room in Las Vegas.

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — Seven people were hospitalized, one of them in a coma, after a substance believed to be the deadly toxin ricin was discovered yesterday in a Las Vegas hotel room. . . .

The FBI, which is cooperating with the inquiry, said there is no reason to suspect terrorism. Ricin is made from castor beans and has no antidote. Alternative uses include experimental cancer treatments. . . .

Federal officials have warned police departments to look out for ricin, which could be deadly in the hands of terrorists. It may be used to contaminate air-conditioning systems, drinking water or lakes, the FBI has said. . . .

Traces of ricin were also found five years ago in a London apartment during a British-based counterterrorism raid.

But not to worry!  Bush has already taken action!!!!!!

President Bush and Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff speak in regards to emerging Las Vegas ricin incident.

Washington, DC (Rotters) – President Bush, appearing with Homeland security Director Michael Chertoff early this morning at a White House press conference, officially elevated the national terror alert system to the color code Orange, representing a high probability for terrorist activities. The elevation came in response to the presumed discovery of the highly toxic chemical ricin at a Las Vegas motel late yesterday.

“Perhaps this might turn out to be a case of premature ejac… er… exaggeration,” stated President Bush in regards to the terror alert,” but we have been simply left with no alternative. I take my duties to protect America very seriously. It is possible that the substance in question might turn out not to be ricin, but without warrantless wiretapping thanks to the Democrat controlled Congress’ inability to pass a bipartisan measure, it may be too late to spread panic before we know for sure.”

Homeland security Director Michael Chertoff seconded the president’s concern. “The reality is that we are ramping up for more of these terror warning elevations, both justified and false alarms, because the truth of the matter is we just don’t know.”

Chertoff went on to say that Homeland security had swung into high gear, and would be investigating nationwide every level of America’s castor bean production, and was considering a national recall of castor oil. Tests later today would likely clarify the identity of the compound and possibly its origins, but Chertoff stated that this would come too late to amplify the necessary initial sense of panic needed.

“I think it’s very ironic that this incident surfaced in Nevada,” concluded Bush. “I hope it will send a message to Senator Reid and other like-minded individuals in Congress that the telephone companies must have immunity so that we’re able to know everything that’s going on in this country ahead of time.”

Satire very close to “home.”

[See the website for the real picture shown — it is priceless.]