Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oct. 12, 2011 - McClatchy article on anthrax

Click HERE to read the McClatchy article titled "Was FBI's science good enough to ID anthrax killer?"

The McClatchy article explains (as others have) that there was a conflict between managers at the top of the bureaucracy pushing to get results from the scientists and investigators at the bottom of the bureaucracy who had no way to speed up the process of getting results. (That's a conflict with which I have a lot of personal experience - from the investigators point of view.) The McClatchy article then reports:

Rachel Lieber, the lead prosecutor, said law enforcement officials did try to make sure the science was rigorously vetted. But Lieber said there were limits and that the science was only a piece of a much larger mosaic of evidence against Ivins.

"You look at the lines of a trial and where do we spend our resources," Lieber said. "Are we doing a science project or are we looking for proof at trial? These are two very different standards."

Yes, indeed. Was the Amerithrax investigation a science project or were they looking for a murderer? Answer: They were looking for a murderer. The science helped point the investigators in the right direction, but it wasn't science alone that proved that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer - and would have proved that fact to a jury beyond any reasonable doubt.


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