Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2001 Anthrax Cases Officially Solved But Controversy Concerning Bruce Ivins Continues? Marc Keyser Arrested In Unrelated Hoax.




The 2001 anthrax case is officially solved but the controversy will remain. Officials apparently conclude government researcher Bruce Ivins, was the culprit behind the anthrax killings but not everyone agrees. Ivins apparently took his own life last week. Even though the case is officially solved, it will remain open because administrative details remain incomplete.

The FBI is expected to share the evidence against Ivins with survivors and relatives of victims some time soon. Maureen Stevens, the widow of Bob Stevens, the first anthrax victim in 2001 plans to attend the briefing. The evidence against Ivins is believed to include information that in the fall of 2001, Ivins borrowed a machine that may have been capable of converting wet anthrax into dry powder. Lyophilizers machines are not generally used where Ivins worked. (However, this alone does not prove guilt as experts such as Peter Hotez and Richard Spertzel do not believe this machine was necessarily used to create powdered anthrax. In fact, Spertzel believes a more advanced machine would have been needed to produce the powder.)

Besides the machine, there may be DNA evidence linking Ivins to the anthrax attacks. DNA links ? In the scientific community, the case against Ivins is not considered to be strong. Keep in mind, the 2001 mailings of anthrax killed five people and sickened more than a dozen others. AT the time the securtity of our country security was in jeopardy. Was Ivins used as a scapegoat in order to reassure the public and bring closure? It may be hard to tell. Ivins died on July 27 from an apparent suicide attempt two days earlier. Ivins was never publicly charged with any crime. Yet he became a suspect after investigators apparently found DNA evidence from the 2001 anthrax mailings on a flask in his laboratory. Ivins had worked for the bio defense lab at Fort Detrick, where he was trying to develop a better anthrax vaccine. Speculation existed as to whether anthrax was released in order to test a vaccine. Some anthrax-laced letters contained the words, "Take penacilin (sic) now," according to FBI photographs.

Ivins should always be considered innocent because he was never confessed nor was he ever convicted. While the 62-year-old Ivins had been accused by a social worker of harassment and stalking, Ivins apparently had no violence related convictions. Steven Hatfill, another government scientist, had been mistakenly considered a "person of interest" in the anthrax incidents. Hatfill was never charged with any crime. Hatfill actually sued the Department of Justice for false accusation and the case was apparently settled in June. Like Hatfill, perhaps Ivins was also falsely accused. Unfortunately, we may never know for sure because Ivins is not able to testify on his own behalf. In the mean time, the mail must go on.
Update 9-25-08: For those interested, Bruce Ivins, who the government claims killed himself prior to the Justice Department charging him in the anthrax cases, allegedly sent himself the following email last September: "Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!!!! I finally know who mailed the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001. I've pieced it together! Now we can finally get this over and done with."

It also says that he plans on turning information over to his lawyer and that his lawyer would then give it to authorities. The e-mail does not identify the responsible party. The email goes on to say: "I'm not looking forward to everybody getting dragged through the mud, but at least it will be over," the e-mail reads. "Finally! I should have it TOTALLY nailed down within the month. I should have been a private eye!!!!" Perhaps it would have been best had Bruce been a postal inspector because as of today, the controversy continues...
10-30-08 Unrelated: Marc M. Keyser, 66, allegedly sent more than 120 envelopes containing a compact disc that had a packet of sugar labeled "Anthrax Sample" along with a biohazard symbol. The CD was titled "Anthrax: Shock & Awe Terror." Keyser was taken into custody from his home in Sacramento on three counts of sending a hoax letter. None of the packets tested positive for hazardous material.

11 comments:

blond bombshell said...

Great, just when I thought it was safe to open all of my fan mail...

Shell

Anonymous said...

Good point. Why wait until he is dead to officially claim he did it?

Anonymous said...

This is what I was wondering too. While I was relieved to think the culprit was caught, why only say so after he died?

Anonymous said...

Anthrax is some bad @ss stuff!

california surfer dude said...

Sometimes it is all a matter of perception. Perhaps the government looks at the situation as did the old man who was driving home late one night. His cell phone rings and his wife says, be careful driving home tonight, the news is reporting that some fool is driving the wrong way on the interstate. The man responds, one fool, hell, there are hundreds of them driving the wrong way...

Surfer Dude

Anonymous said...

You kill me surfer dude...

Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty... a novel concept.

Anonymous said...

Ivins was framed...

Anonymous said...

Must admit, the timing on this was a little suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Good point, L.P.!

Legal Pub said...

For those interested, Bruce Ivins, who the government claims killed himself prior to the Justice Department charging him in the anthrax cases, allegedly sent himself the following email last September:

"Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!!!! I finally know who mailed the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001. I've pieced it together! Now we can finally get this over and done with."

It also says that he plans on turning information over to his lawyer and that his lawyer would then give it to authorities. The e-mail does not identify the responsible party. The email goes on to say:

"I'm not looking forward to everybody getting dragged through the mud, but at least it will be over," the e-mail reads. "Finally! I should have it TOTALLY nailed down within the month. I should have been a private eye!!!!"