Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oct. 23 - Oct. 29, 2001 discussions

The main topics during this period are:

Mistaken beliefs by Anthrax Truthers that Ivins' unusual time in his BSL-3 lab could be explained by his tending to mice and rabbits being used in tests.

The facts indicate that Ivins had no reason to go into his lab for a week or so after he completed making the anthrax powders. He worked long hours in his lab to make the powders, then he did almost nothing in his lab while waiting for the reaction to the letters.  See the graph below:


  1. I'd like to make a comment about your (B) comment of today, Oct 24th. You wrote: (partial)
    October 24, 2011 (B) - I awoke this morning thinking about what Frontline had said at about the 25 minute mark in their program "The Anthrax Files," which aired on October 11:

    They showed their version of FBI's chart of Ivins' overtime hours in Suite B3:
    [then chart is shown]

    Then Frontline tried to make it appear that the overtime hours in Suite B3 meant nothing. They said,
    In fact, Frontline, ProPublica and McClatchy newspapers have taken a close look at Ivins' lab work records. The FBI chart was based upon the night hours in only one lab. But, our research shows it was not unusual for Ivins to work late at the other labs and offices throughout the Army complex. And, during those days the FBI found suspicious, Ivins was in fact performing a number of time-sensitive experiments in the lab.
    Frontline's claim is incorrect. The chart does not show time spent in "one lab." It shows time spent in Suite B3, which had five working labs, including Ivins' BSL-3 lab in room B313, a common lab in room B304 that Ivins evidently frequently used, the former glanders lab in room B312, and Patricia Worsham's two labs in rooms B306 and B309.[...]
    Okay, but I ALSO had the impression that B-3 was 'one lab', at least I had that impression originally. And where did I get that impression? From Mister Lake's document THE CASE AGAINST DR IVINS (it appears immediately above the COMMENTS section). Point 9) of this document (in full minus the chart):
    9. It was not commonplace for him to work long evening hours in lab B3 before the anthrax attacks or in the months after the anthrax attacks. His long hours in B3 at that time broke his normal work pattern.
    So, Mister Lake himself, in a document he wrote on his site (I think originally many months ago), calls B-3 a "lab" (and not a suite) and thinks that the underlying activity points to Ivins' guilt (which it wouldn't NECESSARILY if the graph truly refers to time spent in SUITE rather than in the B313 lab).

  2. Richard Rowley,

    Ah! Thanks. When I created that list of items showing Ivins' guilt in early 2009 I thought that B3 was Ivins' lab. I don't think I ever saw a floorplan of B3 until early 2011.

    At the top of my web site it asks people to point out any errors they see so that I can correct them.

    You've done that, and I've corrected item #9. It now reads:

    9. It was not commonplace for him to work long evening hours in the Bacteriology Division's Suite B3 before the anthrax attacks or in the months after the anthrax attacks. His long hours in Suite B3 at that time broke his normal work pattern. Ivins' BSL-3 lab was within Suite B3.

    Ivins' normal "work pattern" in the evenings and weekends was apparently to putter around on his computer in his office. So, suddenly working those long hours in Suite B3 was definitely a change in what he did in Building 1425 in the evenings and on weekends.



  3. I should also have mentioned that I apologize if I misled you with my item #9.

    I'm often learning while posting, and I often post comments as a way of thinking things through. So, there are lots of things on my site that I once thought to be true but which were later found to be incorrect. Unfortunately, there isn't always time to go back and correct everything (I also don't want to pretend that I never made the mistakes). If it's a major error, I often go back and add a note pointing to updated information.

    I try to make the site as accurate as possible. I appreciate having people point out errors so that I can make corrections and be correct when moving forward. I depend upon it.

    Unfortunately, there are some people who believe my site is in error if they do not believe the facts or if they have material which they believe shows me to be wrong. But, if they cannot explain HOW the material shows me to be wrong, there's not much I can do except to ignore the information and the people until they can explain things (which, so far, has never happened).


  4. Via an email, Old Atlantic Lighthouse asked me to put an email he wrote - and my replies - here.

    His email:

    "We know animals were kept in other rooms in the B3 area don't we? They were as small? They would have had smell since the animals create smell independent of receiving anthrax."

    My responses:

    "Room B310 in Suite B3 was an "animal room" for mice. Room B305 was an "animal room" for guinea pigs. At other facilities, they have "animal handlers" who do nothing but take care of the animals. The animals have to be fed, their cages have to be cleaned, etc.

    The FBI Summary Report talks about "animal handlers" at Battelle and Dugway. I think it's safe to assume that USAMRIID also had "animal handlers."

    It doesn't appear that the animal rooms were BSL-3 rooms at USAMRIID, but I can't verify that.

    If the rabbits were in another BSL-3 lab or Suite in Building 1425, the in-out logs should have showed Ivins going in an out of that suite. The only suite of labs in the Bacteriology division that didn't have keycard locks was B5. So, the evidence indicates that is where the rabbits were. It was a BSL-2 area. But, there are also indications that some animals were kept in the basement."


    "The animal room for mice in Suite B3 seems to be about 11x13 feet. The animal room for guinea pigs seems to be about 8x14 feet.

    There's no doubt that the rooms would stink, but the rooms were undoubtedly under negative air pressure, so the stink would go up the vents and out through the roof. There wouldn't be any stink getting out of the animal rooms and into the rest of Suite B3."


    "I think the only time you have to really worry about getting anthrax from a dead mouse, rabbit or guinea pig is if the animal is cut open for a necropsy (animal autopsy). It's against the law to cut open a cow that is suspected of having died of anthrax because it might allow the living bacteria inside to form spores. An anthrax bacterium cannot form a spore unless it has access to free oxygen. So, spores generally cannot form inside an animal - live or dead."


  5. Another email from Old Atlantic Lighthouse:

    "That may be true in textbooks, but it is not how people feel, even if they are scientists. Having another team invade your lab space to leave dead animals with anthrax is not attractive and will produce territorial reaction in the defending team."

    My response:

    "I think you are in some world I'm not familiar with. Ivins, Patricia Worsham and a scientist working with glanders (another disease) were the only scientists with labs in Suite B3. Everyone else worked for them.

    Nobody is going to "invade" Suite B3 and "leave dead animals" in it. That makes no sense.

    If all the mice in Suite B3 belonged to Patricia Worsham, she'd have an animal handler take care of them. When the animals died, and after they were examined by Worsham, the animal handler would probably also have to autoclave the carcasses. Or one of Worsham's assistants would do it. It doesn't seem like a chore that the lead scientist would do."


  6. So the scenario you see now is

    1) Mice were brought into the B3 suite.

    2) Mice stayed in B3 suite until dead.

    3) Therefore if mice were injected with vaccine and then anthrax, that was done in Suite B3.

    4) If done in a BSL3 as according to protocol, then it was done in a BSL3 in B3?

    5) Therefore the mice were in B313 the only BSL3 in B3?

    Same questions for rabbits in Sep/Oct 2001.

  7. Old Atlantic,

    I don't know any details about the mice and rabbits Ivins checked on during the time he was allegedly making the anthrax other than that the logs say they were NOT located in Suite B3 In October 2001, Ivins had to LEAVE suite B3 to check on the mice AND the rabbits.

    So, as far as I can tell, the mice and rabbits have nothing to do with anything and weren't in Suite B3. Whether they were in a BSL-3 area in some other Suite is therefore irrelevant. Who cares?


  8. So you think that the team in B3 did invade someone else's BSL3 with mice and rabbits?

    There were likely 3 lab checks which could have been at 6 AM, 2 PM and 10 PM. Ivins wrote down 10 PM not because he did the check precisely then, but simply as its name, i.e. the 10 PM Check. He may have done the actual check in the few hours before. The 6 AM Check was started at 6 AM or even 630 AM and finished by 9 AM. The 2 PM check might have started as early as 12 PM and finished as late as 5 PM.

    So you have now shown the mice or rabbit challenge were done in another BSL-3.

    If the challenge was done in B-313 then that makes it less likely Ivins also grew and processed anthrax spores while it was full of mice and then rabbits and 2 other people checked in it two other times during the day, one at 6 AM and one at 2 PM.

  9. Sorry, should have written

    So you have not shown the mice or rabbit challenge were done in another BSL-3 by comparing Ivins' in and out times to 10 PM.

  10. And, as I stated before, if the animals were in a BSL-3 area, there should have been some evidence of it on the In-Out logs. The logs showed when Ivins went into the library and some other areas in Building 1425, so, presumably, they logs would have showed if Ivins went into a BSL-3 area in another Suite in Building 1425.

    There might not be a log entry into a BSL-2 area, but access to BSL-3 areas should definitely show in-out log entries.

    Here are the entries:

    September 28, 2001:
    10:05 PM - CORR TO AR OUT
    10:00 PM - Claimed to check mice & rabbits
    10:40 PM - CORR TO AR IN
    September 29, 2001:
    10:00 PM - Checked mice & rabbits
    11:18 PM - 1425 REAR DR OUT
    September 30, 2001:
    10:06 PM - CORR TO AR OUT
    10:00 PM - Claimed to check mice & rabbits
    10:34 PM - CORR TO BACTI IN
    October 1, 2001:
    10:00 PM - Checked mice
    10:13 PM - CORR TO BACTI IN
    October 2, 2001:
    9:39 PM - 1425 REAR DR OUT
    10:00 PM - Claimed to check mice

    The visits to the other Suite seemed to take between 28 minutes and an hour and a quarter.


  11. Old Atlantic Lighthouse wrote: "So you have not shown the mice or rabbit challenge were done in another BSL-3 by comparing Ivins' in and out times to 10 PM."

    I appear to have answered your question -- if it was about September 28 through October 2. If it's about December, no I haven't bothered. I doesn't seem relevant to anything.

    This is my last post for today.


  12. A couple more points about animal rooms:

    A lab is a lab. Ivins' BSL-3 lab in Room B313 was crowded with laboratory equipment. There's a picture of Ivins in a corner of his lab HERE.

    There would be no place to put any animals in his BSL-3 lab, even if it made any sense to do so.

    The animal rooms are where animals are kept. If they don't currently need any animals for testing, the room are still animal rooms, just empty of animals. The rooms are still probably lined with cages and contain stocks of animal feed and various equipment related to the care of the animals - equipment for cleaning cages, places to dispose of animal waste, etc.

    I keep getting emails from the person who calls himself "DXer" on Lew Weinstein's web site. Here's an example:

    "Ed you have failed to address the fact that Ivins ALWAYS did subcutaneous challenges in the BSL-3 - and that is what the documents show he was doing (which you haven't addressed or linked)

    "Instead, you falsely have claimed (in contraction to the December 19, 2001 email which you don't cite or link) that the 52 rabbits were in the BL-2 rather than BL-3 area."

    My response: What Ivins wrote in an email in December of 2001 is IRRELEVANT. The 52 rabbits are IRRELEVANT. The FACTS are about events in September and October of 2001 and show that Ivins had NO valid reason to be in his BSL-3 lab for so many hours. The data indicate he was making the anthrax powders, and later, when he was waiting for the letters to be delivered and to create panic he had little or no reason to go into his BSL-3 lab at all.

    If someone thinks that an email sent by Ivins on December 19, 2001 has any relevance whatsoever or proves anything whatsoever, he needs to explain his beliefs in detail instead of just making ridiculous claims.


  13. Looking at FBI 847547.pdf pages 51 to 55 and a little of discussion before, all they identify is B301 as the key times, that they appear to have handwritten numbers next to on pages 51 to 55.

    B301 is not the entrance to B313. There is no way to tell what rooms Ivins was in inside Suite B3 from the B301 marked times.

    If animals were in other rooms in B3 like B304, B310, etc. then those would be in the B301 times.

    There is no basis to say that these are B313 only times. Thus the animals being checked could be in any room in Suite B3 not just B313 and the B301 times would be for checking those animals in that hypothesis.

  14. I make it clear in my new web page about the Where & When Ivins made the anthrax powders that Ivins could have been anywhere in Suite B3 after he used the keypad. However, there's only a "possibility" that he was somewhere else inside B3. There's no reason to believe that he'd go anywhere except room B313 after he'd gone through the process of showering and changing into scrubs and lab shoes.

    There IS reason to believe that when Ivins used the keypad it was because he was heading into his BSL-3 suite in room B313. That was the normal procedure. He often went in and out of Suite B3 without using the keypad.

    There's no reason to believe he went into the animal rooms. There's no reason to believe entering the animal rooms required getting into BSL-3 mode.

    However, it's clear that he needed to get into scrubs to go into room B313.

    And the facts say that Ivins LEFT Suite B3 when it was time to check on the animals. The animals were NOT in Suite B3.

    The facts say that when Ivins used the keypad after showering and getting into his scrubs, he was going to his BSL-3 lab in room B313. There are no facts suggesting otherwise. Other theories are merely "possibilities" used to be argumentative. It's possible Ivins was talking with aliens from outer space who beamed down into the airlock, but the FACTS say Ivins was in his lab in room B313 alone making anthrax powders.


  15. Old Atlantic,

    I'm still not used to how this blog works.

    I thought if a message from you went into moderation I'd be notified by email. But that isn't what happens. I have to sign into the site to see that something is in moderation. And, I haven't signed in for the past couple days because I didn't see any emails telling me someone has posted something.

    Sorry about that. I'll try to check more often.


  16. Old Atlantic,

    I've got things set so that anything that gets posted to a thread that's over 2 weeks old goes into moderation. That's why your message went into moderation.


  17. Old Atlantic,

    Oops. The setting was for 10 days, not 2 weeks.

    I just changed it to 30 days. So, your comments shouldn't go into moderation unless they are to a thread that is over 30 days old.