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Remember the Anthrax Attacks?

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posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 06:42 PM
Remember the anthrax attacks?

Fox News broke a story last months that seems to have not received much attention in the other mainstream media. From the looks of it it seems that, at last, a whistleblower scientist from Fort Detrick has leaked an email demonstrating that the FBI likely knew many years ago that the powder sent to senators was a highly sophisticated material produced at Fort Detrick.

The FBI seem to have conducted a misinformation campaign for years - making misleading statements to senators and even going as far as publishing a false article in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

A history of the scientific misinformation campaign is given below. Ironically it was Detrick scientists and other army scientists from AFIP all along who gave accurate information to the media., whilst the FBI labs gave the misleading information or even outright false information.

Controversy over coatings and additives

Early reports suggested the anthrax sent to the Senate had been "weaponized." On October 29, 2001, Major General John Parker at a White House briefing said that silica had been found in the Daschle anthrax sample. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge in a White House press conference on November 7, 2001, told reporters that tests indicated a binding agent had been used in making the anthrax.[9] Later, the FBI claimed a "lone individual" could have weaponized anthrax spores for as little as $2,500, using a makeshift basement laboratory.[10]

A number of press reports appeared suggesting the Senate anthrax had coatings and additives.[11][12][13] Newsweek reported the anthrax sent to Senator Leahy had been coated with a chemical compound previously unknown to bioweapons experts.[14]

Two experts on the Soviet anthrax program, Kenneth Alibek and Matthew Meselson, were consultants with the Justice Department and were shown electron micrographs of the anthrax from the Daschle letter. They replied to the Washington Post article "FBI's Theory on Anthrax Is Doubted" (October 28, 2002), reporting that they saw no evidence the anthrax spores had been coated and that more careful investigation of the specimens is necessary.[15]

A week after Meselson and Alibek had their letter published in the Washington Post, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), one of the military labs that analyzed the Daschle anthrax, published an official newsletter stating that silica was a key aerosol enabling component of the Daschle anthrax.[16] The AFIP lab deputy director, Florabel Mullick, said "This [silica] was a key component. Silica prevents the anthrax from aggregating, making it easier to aerosolize. Significantly, we noted the absence of aluminum with the silica. This combination had previously been found in anthrax produced by Iraq."

In February 2005, Stephan P. Velsko of Lawrence Livermore National Labs published a paper titled "Physical and Chemical Analytical Analysis: A key component of Bioforensics".[17] In this paper, Velsko illustrated that different silica coating processes gave rise to weaponized anthrax simulants that look completely different from one another. He suggested that the difference in the look of products could provide evidence of what method the lab that manufactured the 2001 anthrax used, and thus provide clues to the ultimate origin of the material.

In May 2005, Academic Press published the volume "Microbial Forensics" edited by Roger Breeze, Bruce Budowle and Steven Schutzer.[18] Bruce Budowle is with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Forensic Science Laboratory. Although the volume does not directly discuss the silica coatings found in the Senate anthrax of 2001, the contributors to the chapters discuss in detail the forensics of silica coated weaponized bacterial spores. Pictures are shown of silica weaponized bacillus spores that are both mixed with silica and fully coated with silica. Pictures of weaponized Clostridium spores coated with Colloidal, spherical silica are also shown. Again, the aim of these studies is to define the forensic fingerprints of silica weaponization processes.

In July 2005, Dr Michael V Callahan (who is presently with DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)) gave a briefing before the Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack.[19] Dr Callahan stated "First, the attack illustrated that advanced expertise had readily been exploited by a bioterrorist; the preparation in the Daschle letter contained extraordinarily high concentrations of purified endospores. Second, the spore preparation was coated with an excipient which helped retard electrostatic attraction, thus increasing aerosolization of the agent."

The August 2006 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology contained an article written by Dr. Douglas Beecher of the FBI labs in Quantico, VA.[20] The article, titled "Forensic Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis to Identify Mail Intentionally Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores ," states "Individuals familiar with the compositions of the powders in the letters have indicated that they were comprised simply of spores purified to different extents." The article also specifically criticizes "a widely circulated misconception" "that the spores were produced using additives and sophisticated engineering supposedly akin to military weapon production." The harm done by such things is described this way: "This idea is usually the basis for implying that the powders were inordinately dangerous compared to spores alone. The persistent credence given to this impression fosters erroneous preconceptions, which may misguide research and preparedness efforts and generally detract from the magnitude of hazards posed by simple spore preparations." However, after this article had appeared the editor of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, L. Nicholas Ornston, stated that he was uncomfortable with Beecher's statement in the article since it had no evidence to back it up and contained no citation.[21]

In April 2007 an analysis of the spore preparation was published in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.[22] This analysis by Dr. Dany Shoham and Dr. Stuart Jacobsen pointed out that the sophisticated additives and processing used to create the weapon likely could be used to trace the origin.

In August 2007 Dr. Kay Mereish, UN Chief, Biological Planning and Operations, published a letter in Applied and Environmental Microbiology titled "Unsupported Conclusions on the Bacillus anthracis Spores".[23] This letter, published in the same journal as FBI scientist Douglas Beecher (see paragraph above), points out that the statements made by Dr. Beecher in his article on the lack of additives were not backed up with any data. She suggested that Dr. Beecher publish a paper with analytical data showing the absence of silica or other additives. Such data would include SEM images of the pure spores as well as EDX spectra and EDX images showing the absence of any foreign additives such as silica or the elements silicon and oxygen. Dr. Mereish referenced a 2006 CBRN, Counter-Proliferation and Response meeting in Paris where a presenter announced that an additive was present in the attack anthrax that affected the spore's electrical charges.

Fox News reported in March 2008 that an email written by a scientist at Fort Detrick revealed details of the powder preparation;[24] these details appear to be consistent with a highly specialized powder. The Fox News report said "But in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues. "Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared ... to duplicate the letter material," the e-mail reads. "Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, 'But I told the General we didn't make spore powder!'" The Fox News report added that around 4 persons, all with connections to Fort Detrick, were being looked at as suspects by the FBI.

Congressional oversight

In late 2002 Senators Daschle and Leahy called in the FBI to explain the Washington Post story "FBI's Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted", Washington Post, October 28, 2002. This was later on reported in "Anthrax Powder — State of the Art?".[33] The latter article described how Dwight Adams, chief FBI scientist, told Senators Daschle and Leahy that there were no special additives in the senate anthrax and that the silica was "naturally occurring". However, Adams admitted that there was scientific information concerning the nature of the anthrax organism that was deemed by his superiors too sensitive to share with Senators Daschle and Leahy:

Connolly: Earlier you testified that regarding the scientific aspect of the investigation there was information that was simply in your view too sensitive to share to the public about the particular characteristics of the organism sent in the mail. Is that correct?

Adams: In so many words, yes, sir.

Connolly: I don't want to mischaracterize it. If you think I've mischaracterized it in any way then, please, put your own words on it.

Adams: No, that's fine.

Connolly: Did you feel like you had the same restrictions in informing the senate, congress, or their staff in terms of what it is you would reveal to them about the particular characteristics of the organism that was sent?

Adams: As I've already stated there was specific information that I did not feel appropriate to share with either the media or to the Hill because it was too sensitive of the information to do so.[34]

On October 23, 2006 Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa sent a six-page letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting a briefing on the anthrax investigation. By December 2006, a total of 33 members of Congress have demanded that the Attorney General update them on the investigation. [35]

The FBI's Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs said, "After sensitive information about the investigation citing congressional sources was reported in the media, the Department of Justice and the FBI agreed that no additional briefings to Congress would be provided." [36]

posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 07:17 PM
About time.... I have heard some say that the name taken out of the post above could be Lt. Col. Philip Zack... at least according to this link:LINK
But I should say it is just a theory.

posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 07:26 PM
I remember the sheer panic every one was feeling. Afraid of the mail, afraid to fly, always afraid just like the government liked it.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:49 AM
From my very first experience with Hamas, which re-formed into al qaeda in Florida, those in the intelligence community were concerned the group(s) would use anthrax for attacks, as well as other chemical and biological weapons. With my first encounter at USF Tampa in 1972, it was apparent the group was there to shadow the natural sciences professors who'd formerly operated bioweapons programs in Canada and Great Britain. There has been some hint that there was a prior university-based bioweapons program for many years before the restriction on such programs.

I received an envelope on September 13, 2001 loaded with an ivory colored, water-ridged substrate which must have either been silica(te) or bentonite. My mind went to my university days immediately and I recalled the bentonite deposits within easy access of the university. I never doubted who'd put the letter in my mailbox (my postal workers did not become ill). Twenty six hours later I had inhalational anthrax. Of course the public health system failed.......and they later apologized. I did everything right, as I'd been trained.

I received what I believe to have been a warning the Thursday before 9/11. I believed at the time that this warning did not refer to the subsequent Twin Towers attack, because Mohamad Atta had confronted my son and me on January 3, 2001 and had told us that he would have us killed. Then, in a cellphone conversation which he initiated, he repeated my given name, letter for letter; my address, letter for letter; and my extended zipcode. He also recited all my phone contact numbers.

Later, on December 21, 2001, while I observed an insertion squad preparing to launch a missile in Miami in support of the Richard Reid shoebombing plot, I am quite sure the lookout for the group 'pinged' my cellphone.

The FBI does not lose evidence, it merely becomes dusty, as was discovered during the Murrah trial. There are other practices the FBI sometimes uses, with which I strenuously disagree....the use of informants who are dangerous and do not work for us, and the granting of reduction of sentence for cooperation in an investigation.

I believe the anthrax likely came from Detrick because this was not the first sort of attack on me with chemical and biological weapons. I have been told that the attacks with nerve agents I experienced are not likely to be traced back to the perpetrator, because there are many ways to make these compounds using ordinarily obtainable substances. That is not the best reasoning I expect from an agency, when confronted with a victim. At any rate, the attacks my family and I experienced from 1989 onwards were at once masterfully informed, and purposely ambiguous. The one thread that I feel links them to al qaeda is that most of the attacks occurred on me, and there was a ferocious hatred attached to the timing of these attacks. There was also a reliance on surveillance to an extent I would not have thought possible, and which federal folk do not believe existed. Even when the 'participating white jihadists' are factored in, the group picture we arrive at is a very strong and well-organized al qaeda in the United States, which has been here for many years.

Silica or no silica? The first letter placed in my mailbox was mostly full of wetted beach sand (very fine quality), dried. Atop that were tiny, dancing whirlwinds of impossibly fine dust. The envelope contents had been dried with the addition of what smelled like nitric acid..which had stained the belly of the envelope yellow-brown. The envelope smelled like garbage and vomit....anthrax.

The second envelope on September 18 contained a bioweapons bullet, heat sealed, of impossibly fine powder which immediately bearded and plumed. The subsequent illness was that of a bacterial endotoxin....probably anthraxA toxin.

The FBI has been really awful about slamming witnesses and victims....when we are inconsistent with their timeline, or have been left out of their story.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 11:31 AM
Didn't they do a DNA trace that showed the anthrax came from Fort Detrick, and that as soon as this news became public, the "anthrax scares" went away?

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