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Monday, August 04, 2008

Curiouser and curiouser
Posted by Jill | 5:47 AM
As the government starts leaking information about Bruce Ivins that makes him seem to be a monster that never should have had a security clearance, perhaps thinking that having a wackjob handling biological agents like anthrax somehow makes them look like they've done a crackerjack investigation, it seems that the case against him was hardly open-and-shut:

The evidence amassed by F.B.I. investigators against Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, the Army scientist who killed himself last week after learning that he was likely to be charged in the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, was largely circumstantial, and a grand jury in Washington was planning to hear several more weeks of testimony before issuing an indictment, a person who has been briefed on the investigation said on Sunday.

While genetic analysis had linked the anthrax letters to a supply of the deadly bacterium in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., at least 10 people had access to the flask containing that anthrax, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation also have no evidence proving that Dr. Ivins visited New Jersey on the dates in September and October 2001 when investigators believe the letters were sent from a Princeton mailbox, the source said.

The source acknowledged that there might be some elements of the evidence of which he was unaware. And while he characterized what he did know about as “damning,” he said that instead of irrefutable proof, investigators had an array of indirect evidence that they argue strongly implicates Dr. Ivins in the attacks, which killed 5 people and sickened 17 others.

With Ivins conveniently dead, look for the investigation to be quickly closed, settled, done and finished. Another victory for the crackerjack FBI, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. But there are still many unanswered questions: Why did Ivins, if he acted alone and on his own, choose only people who can be said to be vexing to the Bush Administration as targets? Why did the FBI spend so much time and energy on Steven Hatfill? Why did someone this unstable have a security clearance for seven years after the attacks?

And perhaps the most tinfoilish, why were certain people told by the government to start taking Cipro? Glenn Greenwald:

Atrios writes: "now that we know that the US gov't believes that anthrax came from the inside, shouldn't Cohen be a wee bit curious about what this warning was based on?"

That applies to much of the Beltway class, including many well-connected journalists, who were quietly popping cipro back then because, like Cohen, they heard from Government sources that they should. Leave aside the ethical questions about the fact that these journalists kept those warnings to themselves. Wouldn't the most basic journalistic instincts lead them now -- in light of the claims by our Government that the attacks came from a Government scientist -- to wonder why and how their Government sources were warning about an anthrax attack? Then again, the most basic journalistic instincts would have led ABC News to reveal who concocted and fed them the false "Saddam/anthrax" reports in the first place, and yet we still are forced to guess at those questions because ABC News continues to cover up the identity of the perpetrators.

More from Greenwald here.

On Friday Randi Rhodes opined that with the anthrax investigation being tied up nicely in a bow, it's time for the Osama Bin Laden capture watch. After all, Bin Laden has already served his purpose of getting Americans to sacrifice their ability to come and go as they please without constant government surveillance. But when it happens, you can bet your life that the spin will be that George W. Bush and John McCain put on their flight suits and nabbed the guy themselves.

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Blogger Citizen Carrie said...
IF Bruce Ivins was innocent, I can't help but think he committed suicide because he saw what Hatfill had to go through.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Has anybody looked into the prospect of Mr. Ivins choosing Death Before Dishonour out of fear that he might be tricked into playing the Nuremburg card (as in "I was only following orders") as a patsy to distract attention from the likelihood of a "false flag" attack really being carried out?

Blogger Jennifer Briney said...
In your blogiversary post, you said you sometimes wonder what you do this for.

This post is what you do this for.

You are the person I am currently looking to to make sense of this whole anthrax thing for me. You are playing closer attention than any other blogger that I read. It might feel like you are talking to no one, and I can relate, but if you open one more eye, then you have contributed.

Keep up the great work