Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oct. 13, 2011 article by Laurie Garrett on her beliefs

Click HERE to read the article by Laurie Garret titled "The Anthrax Letters."

This statement from Garrett seems almost nonsensical:

if Ivins didn't do it, the terrorists are still out there, ten years later, free to wreck more havoc.

Shouldn't it read: If Ivins didn't do it, and the real terrorists have been out there for ten years, free to wreak more havoc, why haven't they done so?

Garrett doesn't address that question. Instead, she addresses the question of why al Qaeda didn't boast about their role in the 2001 anthrax mailings. Her fantasy answers:

It is possible that a claim of credit was never found because it is in one of the lost letters, and the primary operatives responsible for producing the spores perished on 9/11 in their dastardly hijackings.

And

The second possibility is that al-Qaeda considered the mailings a failure. No Senator or famous news anchor died.

But, the letters caused panic, shut down congress and cost America many billions of dollars. Wouldn't that be plenty of reason for al Qaeda to claim credit? Instead, bin Laden actually denied that al Qaeda was responsible for the mailings.

Discussion?

14 comments:

  1. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------------------------
    Shouldn't it read: If Ivins didn't do it, and the real terrorists have been out there for ten years, free to wreak more havoc, why haven't they done so?
    ---------------------------------------------
    You could just as easily ask the same thing about all of the 'Hatfill years' of the investigation (roughly late 2001 to 2006): why didn't Ivins do it again? We KNOW he had continued access to AMES (as an integral part of his job) through those years (when he wasn't under any terrible scrutiny by authorities) as well as late 2006 to late July 2008 (when he died)when he was under intense scrutiny. So it isn't just a question that the Amerithrax skeptics have to grapple with. It goes to the core of why the attacks were committed in the first place.

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  2. Richard Rowley asked, "why didn't Ivins do it again?"

    The facts say: Ivins didn't intend to kill anyone. He wanted his vaccine program put back on track. He wanted America to be more aware of the dangers of a bioweapons attack. He wanted the world to know how important his work was.

    He achieved all that with his mailings. There was no reason for him to do it again.

    Besides, everything changed at USAMRIID after the attacks. They installed CCTV cameras. They had soldiers checking to see who was in labs late at night. And, they had lots of people (including FBI agents) working long hours at USAMRIID. The lackadaisical attitude toward security was gone.

    Ed

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  3. Ed:

    The Strategic Plan Ivins and others received late afternoon on September 11, 2001 made it very clear that his vaccine projects "were on track".

    And whoever mailed the letters knew the potential for causing deaths on a massive scale.

    Had one or more of the senate letters been torn or damaged in processing?

    10,000 or more fatalities would not have been unlikely.

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  4. BugMaster wrote: "The Strategic Plan Ivins and others received late afternoon on September 11, 2001 made it very clear that his vaccine projects "were on track"."

    But, the facts also show that Ivins was VERY upset about the way the project was going. He'd even been told that the whole vaccine project might go down the drain because of problems with the old vaccine, and he'd be put to work on looking for a vaccine for glanders. He was extremely upset over the accusations from Gary Matsumoto that the current anthrax vaccine was "experimental" and was causing "Gulf War Syndrome" in American troops.

    So, you have to look at it from Ivins' point of view as stated in his emails and not from the "official" point of view as stated by Ivins' friends and bosses.

    BugMaster also wrote: "And whoever mailed the letters knew the potential for causing deaths on a massive scale."

    The facts say otherwise. Ivins taped the letters shut so spores couldn't escape. The thinking at the time was that the only way spores could escape from a sealed envelope was through the open corners where you insert a letter opener. Ivins taped those corners shut.

    Ivins also put medical advice in the first letters: TAKE PENACILIN NOW. And he told the recipients of the second letters that the powder was anthrax, so they could seek medical help. Anthrax doesn't kill immediately. If you take antibiotics, as thousands did, you can safely survive exposure.

    BugMaster also wrote: "Had one or more of the senate letters been torn or damaged in processing?

    10,000 or more fatalities would not have been unlikely.


    That's an interesting fantasy, but the odds of it happening are probably a billion to one. I don't recall ever receiving a letter in my entire life that was torn or damaged by postal equipment. (Yes, everyone has received packages that have been damaged.)

    And it would have been extremely unlikely that a torn letter could have resulted in 10,000 fatalities. The conditions to get those results would be pure fantasy.

    Ed

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  5. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------------
    The facts say: Ivins didn't intend to kill anyone. He wanted his vaccine program put back on track. He wanted America to be more aware of the dangers of a bioweapons attack. He wanted the world to know how important his work was.

    He achieved all that with his mailings. There was no reason for him to do it again.
    -----------------------------------------------
    I don't agree that the Anthrax Killer didn't intend to kill anyone: he could have used a harmless anthrax simulant (easier to get most likely), he could have used a weaker strain of anthrax than Ames (someplace like USAMRIID has several strains). He could likely have used an attenuated version of even Ames. Ames is used in vaccine work precisely because it's so virulent. The anthrax killer knew what he was doing. And did it anyway.

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  6. Richard Rowley wrote: "I don't agree that the Anthrax Killer didn't intend to kill anyone: he could have used a harmless anthrax simulant"

    Yes, he could have sent a hoax letter just like the thousands of anthrax hoax letters that others were sending out. But he didn't. He sent out the real stuff.

    Your speculation about other things that Ivins could have sent out is just pointless speculation.

    You need to get inside the mind of the anthrax mailer. When you do that, you see the facts say that he didn't intend to kill anyone, and he knew that only real anthrax would do what he wanted to do.

    He did send out a very crude form of anthrax with the first mailing. So, in a way he was being cautious. But, that powder accomplished nothing. So, he went to the purified powder.

    At the time of the mailings, Ivins believed a lot of things that turned out to be totally untrue.

    1. He thought the Ames strain was totally untraceable.

    2. He thought spores couldn't escape from a sealed envelope (particularly after he taped the corners).

    3. He probably thought that it would take many thousands of spores to kill anyone. He had no reason to know that it takes a lot less spores to kill an older and more susceptible person.

    He taped the envelopes shut.
    He included medical advice.
    He first used a crude powder.
    He knew that anthrax doesn't kill immediately.
    He knew that antibiotics are effective against the Ames strain.

    Ivins became a "basket case" when people started dying.

    The facts say beyond any reasonable doubt that the anthrax mailer did NOT intend to kill anyone.

    Ed

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  7. Parial post by Mister Lake:
    ----
    Richard Rowley wrote: "I don't agree that the Anthrax Killer didn't intend to kill anyone: he could have used a harmless anthrax simulant"

    Yes, he could have sent a hoax letter just like the thousands of anthrax hoax letters that others were sending out. But he didn't. He sent out the real stuff.

    Your speculation about other things that Ivins could have sent out is just pointless speculation.
    ===============================================
    No it isn't. And I didn't use the word "Ivins" (you did, and this shows your continued inability to even comprehend that others don't think he did it: you ALWAYS insert 'Ivins' in your mind, and MOSTLY this is reflected in your prose). ANYONE who worked at USAMRIID and had access to AMES also had:

    1)other (less virulent)strains to select from.

    2)anthrax simulants (an anthrax simulant makes it more than a 'hoax' in my opinion since it makes likely a first FALSE positive which is then going to be publicized and cause pressure on authorities, not only to solve the case but to develop/continue vaccines for the pathenogen in question, one of a SLEW of motives attributed to but not proved about Ivins).

    3)the means to attenuate even the Ames strain.

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  8. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    He taped the envelopes shut.
    He included medical advice.
    He first used a crude powder.
    He knew that anthrax doesn't kill immediately.
    He knew that antibiotics are effective against the Ames strain.
    ==============================================
    He likely taped the envelopes shut (the perp, NOT Ivins)because that made it easier for HIM to handle: going from whatever lab was used to the Princeton mailbox with minimal leakage. Ditto for the internal fold on the letter itself.

    If I had received in mid-2001 a powdery substance in the mail with the "medical advice" of "TAKE PENACILIN NOW", I would have taken it as a joke and thrown the thing out. Likely, with the thought "First learn how to spell "penicillin" then maybe I'll take you seriously".
    (Ivins, by contrast, would probably have written 'take CIPRO now').

    As to this part:
    "He first used a crude powder."
    that indicates to me a novice in producing powdered anthrax. Doesn't fit the FBI's description of Ivins' drying skills (either in the Aug 6th 2008 press conference OR in the FINAL REPORT).

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  9. Richard Rowley wrote: "I didn't use the word "Ivins" (you did, and this shows your continued inability to even comprehend that others don't think he did it"

    Believe me, I fully understand that others don't think Ivins did it. I've been arguing with them since August 1, 2008.

    But, it makes no sense to talk about what YOU would have done. YOU might have sent a hoax letter. But the anthrax mailer didn't.

    To figure out what was on the anthrax mailer's mind, you have to think about the individual, since what would have been on Ivins' mind would be much different from what would have been on Osama bin Laden's mind if he was the culprit.

    When you talk about what's on someone's mind, you MUST talk specifics. No two people are alike, so not identifying an individual means you are either talking about what you'd do, which is meaningless, or you're talking about what everyone would do, which is ridiculous.

    The culprit used virulent anthrax spores. It makes sense that Ivins would do that. He wanted to truly scare people into thinking that al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

    If you want people to think that al Qaeda was behind the attacks, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to send some harmless powder.

    Ed

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  10. Richard Rowley wrote: "He likely taped the envelopes shut (the perp, NOT Ivins)because that made it easier for HIM to handle: going from whatever lab was used to the Princeton mailbox with minimal leakage. Ditto for the internal fold on the letter itself."

    To avoid leaving skin cells and fingerprints on the letters, the letters would have been carried around inside a Ziplock bag. They'd have been put inside the bag as soon as they'd been loaded with powder and sealed, which was done in a biosafety cabinet. The use of tape on the envelope and the pharmaceutical fold says that the culprit wanted to keep the powder as secure as possible until it reached the recipients.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "He first used a crude powder."
    that indicates to me a novice in producing powdered anthrax. Doesn't fit the FBI's description of Ivins' drying skills (either in the Aug 6th 2008 press conference OR in the FINAL REPORT)."


    We know that the spores came from the same processes, since the silicon in the spores was identical. The only difference between the mailings is that the second batch of powder was purified. The spores within all the letters were identical in their silicon signature.

    Those facts say that the culprit wanted people to believe that the media powder had been made in a garage somewhere. It was crude and didn't require any sophisticated equipment to make.

    But, that powder accomplished nothing. And the culprit wanted to make sure his second mailing truly scared the hell out of people. So, he refined the powder to show just how dangerous the Muslim terrorists were who had created the powder and written the letters.

    The difference in powders is the result of the first powders accomplishing nothing. It's not the result of learning new techniques. The mailings were only three weeks apart. It's absurd to believe that the culprit learned how to refine spores in three weeks.

    Ed

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  11. Richard,

    I want to reemphasize one thing I wrote earlier:

    The anthrax mailer - regardless of who it was - wanted the letters to look like they came from Muslim terrorists. A hoax letter would say that the letters were NOT really from Muslim terrorists.

    So, arguing that the anthrax mailer could have sent out harmless material makes absolutely no sense. He didn't send out harmless material. That means, as stated above, he wanted the letters to look like they came from Muslim terrorists, not from a hoaxer.

    Ivins wanted to scare the hell out of people and get more attention paid to his efforts to create a new anthrax vaccine. A hoax letter wouldn't have done that. Only a letter that looked like it came from Muslim terrorists after it had been opened and the powder tested would do that.

    Ed

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  12. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    But, it makes no sense to talk about what YOU would have done. YOU might have sent a hoax letter. But the anthrax mailer didn't.
    =========================================
    No, I wouldn't have sent a hoax letter of ANY type. Why would I?

    What I was doing, what anyone SERIOUS about all this MUST do, was PRETENDING to be an anthrax perp with the motivation and skills and access to a variety of anthrax strains that a perp LIKE IVINS (but not necessarily him) WOULD do in that situation (the situation Mister Lake paints: wanting to get the populace/authorities worried to the max about anthrax WITHOUT KILLING ANYONE). Pretending with the purpose of seeing whether the details support the hypothesis: no deaths were intended.

    In my view they do not. You are welcome to disagree with that but it HARDLY seems logical to then say I'm engaged in 'pointless speculating' when I'm merely pointing out the incongruities in what YOU are claiming about the case.

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  13. And of course in my SECOND paragraph I was merely trying to figure out the LIKELY reaction of a letter recipient, something the Anthrax Perp would likely have thought of too and would go to the heart of whether this was true "medical advice" (as Mister Lake would have it) or just a sick joke.

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  14. Richard Rowley wrote: "What I was doing, what anyone SERIOUS about all this MUST do, was PRETENDING to be an anthrax perp"

    Yes, you were pretending to be an "anthrax perp" who thinks the way you do - or an "anthrax perp" who thinks the way you WANT him to think in order to reach your conclusions.

    There are no "incongruities" if you view the facts and think the way Ivins most likely thought. All the pieces fall together very nicely.

    1. The letters were filled with REAL anthrax. They were clearly intended to scare people into believing that Muslim terrorists were about to launch a major bioweapons attack.

    2. Hoax letters would not have achieved that goal.

    3. The goal was to scare America into preparing for a bioweapons attack - and specifically to put more money and effort into developing a new anthrax vaccine.

    4. The letters show that they were intended to look like they came from Muslim terrorists, yet there are clear indications that show that they weren't intended to kill anyone.

    5. If the Ames strain had turned out to be the common strain used all over the world that it was believed to be in September of 2001, the investigation might never have shifted from suspecting Muslims to suspecting someone at USAMRIID.

    I don't know that it mattered very much to the culprit what the recipients though about the letters. The letters were intended to scare the hell out of the American public. To do that, the letters had to be sent to someone who would help turn them into a major news story. And, it would be the discovery that the powder was real anthrax that would make the headlines.

    The idea that the culprit wanted to play a "sick joke" on Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, The New York Post, Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy makes no sense. The culprit wanted HEADLINES that would make the American people demand to be protected from Anthrax.

    The letters achieved the culprit's goals. Frightened people all over the country were taking antibiotics even though they lived a thousands miles or more from where the letters were sent and received. Plus, the government did exactly as the culprit most likely wanted: The government started pouring billions into vaccine development and better biosecurity.

    The facts are very clear.
    The evidence pointing to Ivins is very clear.

    Incongruities appear only if you try to twist the facts and try to make Ivins look innocent.

    Ed

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