Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dec. 25 - Dec. 31 Discussions

This week's Sunday comment on my web site is about how scientists view their theories versus how True Believers view their theories. I used the news about the Higgs boson to make the point that, if a scientist discovers that he was mistaken, he learns from his mistakes and could go on to make even greater discoveries.

If a True Believer makes a mistake, he never admits to the mistake, he rationalizes ways that he could still be right, and he continues with his beliefs. To a True Believer, anyone who admits to making mistakes is someone who admits to being incompetent.

But, the True Believers seem to have put themselves into a "Higgs boson"-type situation.

They have built a case that Bruce Ivins was innocent because he was working with test animals in Suite B3 during his "unexplained" evening and weekend hours prior to the attacks. He was not making the anthrax powders during that time.

However, the facts seem to say that when Ivins was working with test animals, he was NOT in Suite B3. Therefore, his work with test animals has nothing to do with his unexplained evening hours in Suite B3.

It appears that what is needed to prove or disprove the True Believers' theory about the test animals is solid, undeniable proof of where the test animals were located. Every document they've produced so far says that, either the animals were somewhere else, or the information on the document is so vague and irrelevant that it means nothing one way or the other.

It also seems that it should be fairly easy to determine where the test animals were located in September and October of 2001.

It may only be a matter of asking the right question.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dec. 18 - Dec. 24 Discussions

My Sunday post this week was about the various ways I can analyze data gathered about visitors to my web site.

I had a couple other things to add, such as a list which shows "search strings," i.e., what people were searching for via Google, Yahoo or other search engines when the came to my site. But, every image I put on my site is another "hit" when people visit the page, and images use a lot of bandwidth. So, I decided against it. There are already 6 new images in my Sunday comment.

Another image I was thinking of putting in Sunday's comment was a comparison between visitors to my site and visitors to, Lew Weinstein's web site, which is the #1 site used by Anthrax Truthers. However, Since I created the graph, I might as well post it here:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dec. 11 - Dec. 17 Discussions

The main topic this week is the silly way the Anthrax Truthers argue. One Truther argued that an FBI/DOJ statement that Ivins NEVER spent the same amount of long hours alone in his lab in the evenings after October 2001 is "specious" because new rules were implemented in 2002 that no one could work alone in a lab. You had to have a "buddy" there, too.

So, the statement by the FBI is true, but the Anthrax Truther considers it to be misleading. It doesn't point out that the reason Ivins NEVER spent any long hours in his lab at night in 2009 was because he was DEAD.

That's the kind of silly argument the Anthrax Truthers constantly use.

Another example: The FBI/DOJ pointed out that Ivins knew how to dry anthrax spores because he was an expert in the use of the lyophilizer, a freeze dryer that Ivins arranged for USAMRIID to purchase. But, the Anthrax Truthers claim that means the FBI and DOJ are saying that Ivins used the lyophilizer to dry the attack spores. The FBI and DOJ never said any such thing - except in an erroneous statement in a document in the Stevens vs USA lawsuit, which was quickly corrected.

The fact that Ivins knew how to dry spores using the lyophilizer does NOT mean he dried the attack spores using the lyophilizer. The fact that Ivins knew how to dry spores using chemicals does not mean he dried the attack spores using chemicals. It just means Ivins had all the expertise needed to make the attack spores.

The method Ivins used was air drying, which is far easier than the other methods, but it still requires being careful and cleaning up afterwards.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dec. 4 - Dec. 10, 2011 Discussions

Ivins evidently experimented with drying spores in the lyophilizer. It didn't work as well as other methods. The spores were "wrecked" by the freezing process.

The main comment for this week, however, is about how long it can take a big organization like the FBI to change directions. It appears that some within the FBI were looking at Ivins as early as 2005, maybe 2004. FBI Special Agent Edward Montooth started focusing on Ivins as the prime suspect in 2006. And U.S. Attorney Rachel Lieber seems to have become convinced that Ivins was the killer in early 2008, when she started preparing to have him indicted and put on trial.

The point I tried to make is that the FBI and DOJ are made up of individuals, and each individual looks at the facts from a slightly different point of view. So, when an individual is asked a question, they may give an answer that seems inconsistent with someone else's answer. When that happens, it isn't necessarily because the massive organization called "The FBI" has changed its direction, it's more likely because a different individual simply expressed his or her point of view of what's happening.

Also, did Ivins mail the letters from Princeton because Newark was just too far? He wanted to see al Qaeda blamed for the letters, and UAL flight #93 had left from Newark. Ivins may have wanted to mail the first letters in Newark, but he either couldn't get that far that night, or he changed his mind once he'd reached Princeton.