Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jan. 8 - Jan. 14, 2012 Discussions

The first topic mentioned in my Sunday comment was the solution to the "Russian Statistics Mystery" that had bugged me for over a year. It appears to be some kind of "residue" left over from the serial.jar Trojan Horse malware put on my host's computer in November 2010. A "Trojan Horse" isn't a virus. Here's what Wikipedia says about the Trojan Horse malware:
---------------
Trojan may allow a hacker remote access to a target computer system. Once a Trojan has been installed on a target computer system, a hacker may have access to the computer remotely and perform various operations, limited by user privileges on the target computer system and the design of the Trojan.

Operations that could be performed by a hacker on a target computer system include:

Use of the machine as part of a botnet (e.g. to perform automated spamming or to distribute Denial-of-service attacks)
Data theft (e.g. retrieving passwords or credit card information)
Installation of software, including third-party malware
Downloading or uploading of files on the user's computer
Modification or deletion of files
Keystroke logging
Watching the user's screen
Crashing the computer
Anonymizing internet viewing
-----------------

It appears that the guy who put the Trojan Horse on my host's computer is still attempting to get back into my host's computer via my web site. And, I'm continuing to block his attempts.

It's still a mystery why he's so persistent, but it's no longer a mystery why all those HEAD reads were showing up in my web site log.

The second subject on my Sunday comment was the way Anthrax Truthers continue to try to mislead people by asking silly and irrelevant questions, with the idea that if the questions aren't answered by the FBI, that means the Amerithrax case wasn't fully investigated -- and Ivins was innocent -- and whoever the Truther believes was the anthrax mailer could still be out there planning another attack (after 10 years).

The Truthers are also trying to mislead people by posting total nonsense. They argue that it was the FBI's fault that Ivins didn't prepare slants properly for the FBI repository. The Truthers say that the instructions were badly written. They ignore the fact that of 1,200+ samples submitted to the FBI repository, ONLY Ivins didn't follow the instructions.

Anthrax Truthers are clearly not interested in finding answers to any questions. They're only interested in creating doubt by asking irrelevant questions, by distributing misinformation and by falsely accusing the FBI of causing Ivins' "mistakes."

Ed

92 comments:

  1. I just noticed another screwball argument from the Anthrax Truthers. It's this one: GAO Should Obtain From The FBI The Laboratory Chain-Of-Custody Form that has a space that identifies who destroyed the Feb. 02 sample submitted by Dr. Ivins and states the reasons it was not preserved (such as the others that were preserved using different slants)

    The February 2002 slants that Ivins gave to the FBI repository WERE NOT VALID AS EVIDENCE. They were rejected. Therefore, they were never entered as evidence and there wouldn't be any "chain of custody" forms involved.

    The copies of the slants that were sent to Paul Keim in Arizona, however, were locked up in his Chain of Custody locker, because he didn't know they were rejected.

    They remained in Keim's locker for years, until the FBI realized he still had the slants. Then they sent an FBI agent on a jet to Arizona to fetch the RMR-1029 slant. That is when a Chain of Custody form would have been used. The slant had BECOME EVIDENCE.

    Ed

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  2. I'm going to try to respond (respectfully) to Mister Lake's comments equating Amerithrax scepticism with HIV-alone-causing-AIDS scepticism.

    Background: I'm a non-scientist and DO NOT consider myself an HIV sceptic of any stripe.

    That said, there are a number of points to be made:

    1)the letter to SCIENCE was written in 1991, only a decade after AIDS was clinically described, only 8 years after HIV was isolated (1983), only 7 years after a public announcement was made that Robert Gallo thought he had isolated the viral cause of AIDS(1984), only 6 years(1985) after the FDA developed a screening test for HIV antibodies (making the connection of more relevance).

    2)in this latter timeframe the CO-DISCOVERER of the HIV virus, Luc Montagnier, HIMSELF suspected that there might be co-factors involved in the development of AIDS (an HIV-plus sort of idea).

    3)the health authorities in France had (falsely) told the public-----this still in the 1980s-----that the blood supply was perfectly safe. NOT the case (and there was no real basis for even thinking that that was the case: hemophiliacs were one of the earliest groups, along with gay men and Haitians, to be overrepresented among AIDS patients) and this cost lives. And undermined respect for scientific 'authority'.

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  3. So, I don't think it a bad thing AT ALL that some people are naturally sceptical. And if you aren't sceptical about what the 'authorities' are claiming then you'll never likely find out when:

    1)they are HONESTLY mistaken.

    2)they are covering something up (in the interests of making themselves/their organization(s) look good (the PR factor).


    3)they are covering up something that involves malfeasance by the authorities themselves (including but no limited to: concealing contravening evidence of something). A true 'conspiracy' of at least a petty nature.

    4)they are in a group-think mental loop which all-but-prevents seeing anything but what they and their colleagues have ALREADY concluded.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous,

    What's your point? The past is past, and today there are still people arguing that the "authorities" are wrong about the HIV-AIDS connection. And their arguments are very much like the arguments from Anthrax Truthers who do not believe that the "authorities" are right about who sent the anthrax letters, apparently because mistakes were made in the past.

    Both groups seem to ignore the evidence and, instead, they rely totally on some belief they have. And they don't trust the government because the government is comprised of human beings who make mistakes and therefore cannot be trusted.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous,

    I posted my previous message while you were posting your second message.

    The point is not about healthy skepticism. The point is about people who are skeptical while not looking at the facts. Instead of arguing current facts, they argue beliefs and history. And they seem dedicated to getting others to believe as they believe. They seem to believe that they are the Keepers of the Truth.

    It's not about blindly trusting the government. It's about accepting the facts when both the facts AND the government say you are wrong.

    This is my last post for today. I'll be back tomorrow.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  6. What's your point? The past is past, and today there are still people arguing that the "authorities" are wrong about the HIV-AIDS connection.
    =================================================================
    I'm saying:

    1)there will ALWAYS be sceptics and I don't think this INHERENTLY bad (it is the totalitarian mindset alone which thinks that people all have to THINK alike).

    2)Luc Montagnier, whatever his idiosycracies, is CERTAINLY not a victim of scientific illiteracy in general or ignorance of HIV in particular (he DISCOVERED it for crying out loud!).

    3)if the authorities in France could be wrong---------so OBVIOUSLY wrong it would be laugh-out-loud funny, if the results weren't so tragic__----about the safety of the blood supply (again when HEMOPHILIACS were getting AIDS from the blood supply-----couldn't law enforcement officials be wrong about any given case?

    (perhaps more later)

    ReplyDelete
  7. A correction: the article linked by Mister Lake contains this sentence:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    And, in 1991, Duesberg and a collection of people who called themselves the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis managed to get a letter published in Science in which they stated their case.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    But at the website of the Group, they say the following:
    --------
    [...] (aka the Group) [1] came into existence as a group of signatories of an open letter to the scientific community. The letter (dated 6 June 1991) has been submitted to the editors of Nature, Science, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine:




    "It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes the group diseases called AIDS. Many biochemical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose that a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that critical epidemiological studies be devised and undertaken."

    All have refused to publish it.[...]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    It was only in 1995 (ie 4 years later) that a (roughly similar?) letter from the Group was published in Science.
    http://www.reviewingaids.com/awiki/index.php/Group_for_the_Scientific_Reappraisal_of_the_HIV/AIDS_Hypothesis
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    I attribute that to the vagaries of editors/editorial standards, not the Group's hypothesis gaining respectability.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous,

    My comments were general comments about True Believers and Conspiracy Theorists and how they can include "experts" with very impressive credentials who endlessly argue matters which have been thoroughly disproved.

    True Believers do not supply proof of their beliefs, they only attempt to create doubt about what has been proved by others.

    Their argument is that if there is any doubt about some other theory or belief, then their belief must be true, because they have absolutely NO DOUBT about their own belief.

    To True Believers, their beliefs are facts and the beliefs of others are nothing but doubt-riddled theories.

    But the True Believers have no facts. They only have beliefs. And they believe that the government is hiding the facts which would verify their beliefs.

    No matter how much information is released by the government, the True Believers and conspiracy theorists will still argue that the facts supporting their beliefs are still being withheld.

    So, there's no way to convince them that they're wrong.

    Discussions about True Believers are discussions about psychology. Specifics of the HIV/AIDS controversy may not be comparable to specifics of the Amerithrax controversy. But, the psychology of True Believers and conspiracy theorists is the same in both cases.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mister Lake posted:
    -------
    My comments were general comments about True Believers and Conspiracy Theorists and how they can include "experts" with very impressive credentials who endlessly argue matters which have been thoroughly disproved.
    ============================================
    And I gave you, in the instance of HIV, an example of an "expert" (Montagnier) who was/is a true (world-class) expert (no quotation marks necessary) who could, at least up to a point, be described as a "True Believer", though not (to my knowledge) a conspiracy theorist on the very subject of his expertise (the role of HIV in the transmission/development of AIDS).

    The problem with your schematism on this matter is: it itself is a mental loop:

    1)from the get-go (ie no later than late 2008) you were arguing publicly for Ivins' guilt, based largely on your acquiescence to the current line of the task force/DoJ.

    2)THAT line in Aug 2008 was based on precious little evidence:
    again look at the transcript of the press conference of August 6th 2008: nothing establishing Ivins made a timely trip to the scene of the crime(s) (the mailbox in Princeton) on either occasion, nothing linking Ivins personally to the handwriting or the stationery used, no evidence that Ivins had done drying of anthrax in the right timeframe, no physical evidence of any kind. And contravening evidence (the passed polygraph tests)being ignored or pooh poohed.
    http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/august/amerithrax080608a

    3)even when the final report came out 1 1/2 years later there was no physical evidence: fingerprints, fiber, DNA etc.

    4)but by THAT time, Mister Lake, you had developed an adversarial relationship with various persons (whom you labelled True Believers, Conspiracy Theorists etc.).

    5)so, BY DEFINITION (yours) a true believer: argues irrationally, doesn't rely on facts etc.

    6)this gives you all the excuse you need to think that they are wrong about Ivins guilt, you and the DoJ right.

    But it DOESN'T logically follow: you could debate till kingdom come with the most irrational posters the Internet has to offer on the subject of Amerithrax and their irrationality/inconsistency doesn't change anything about Ivins' guilt/innocence. That stands OUTSIDE of the debates about the case.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous,

    You're totally wrong, of course.

    Like nearly everyone else, I initially thought that Muslim terrorists sent the anthrax letters. Then I thought it was a former scientist who lived in Wisconsin, but that belief lasted only a short time because it turned out he had a perfect alibi.

    I then argued for nearly seven years that a scientist living and working in New Jersey was most likely the anthrax mailer. I didn't name him because I knew the evidence I had was very weak and very circumstantial. But, I was unaware of any better evidence against anyone else.

    At this same time, the various conspiracy theorists and True Believers (collectively known as "Anthrax Truthers") each had his or her own personal theory of who did it. Some believed Muslim terrorists did it. Some believed Dick Cheney did it. Some believed authors who made profits off of books about anthrax did it. Some believed that Jews did it. Some believed that people with stock in the company that made Cipro did it. There were countless individual "Truthers," each with his own unique theory. Plus, there was a group who believed that Steven Hatfill did it, some believing he was an agent of the government, others believing that he was a nut case who did it because he was angry, others believing some variation of those factors.

    For about six years I argued that Steven Hatfill was innocent because the evidence the conspiracy theorists had against him was just innuendo and insinuation, and a lot of it was totally false.

    When Bruce Ivins was named as the anthrax mailer and all the evidence was made public, NONE of the others with theories accepted the evidence that showed Ivins was the culprit. They all just continued to believe what they had previously believed. I was the visible exception. I saw that the evidence was clear: Ivins did it, beyond any reasonable doubt.

    By any definition, I cannot be termed a True Believer, since I clearly changed my mind several times. True Believers are people who seemingly are incapable of changing their minds, like the people who still think Muslim terrorists, or the government, or Hatfill or Jews did it, regardless of what the facts say.

    A True Believer is someone who looks at all the evidence against Ivins and says it isn't really evidence because it isn't the kind of evidence he wants. A True Believer will claim that the evidence is just an endless string of meaningless coincidences.

    A True Believer is someone who thinks others are True Believers merely because they will not convert to his beliefs.

    I list the facts. You ignore the facts. I ask you to describe the facts that support your personal theory. You have no facts and won't even describe your personal theory, probably because you know it is based only upon beliefs and is ridiculous when compared to all the facts and evidence pointing to Bruce Ivins.

    Furthermore, I don't have any particular stake in proving that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer. If someone were to suddenly come up with solid, undeniable proof that Mr. X did it, I'd have no choice but to agree. But, that's clearly never going to happen, since none of the people with other theories has any meaningful facts, much less solid facts.

    And, of course, I don't expect you to accept these facts. You'll just rationalize it all away and continue to believe as you want to believe.

    Ed

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  11. Anonymous,

    Why don't people with other theories argue amongst themselves? It appears that the only thing they agree about is that the government is wrong, because if the government is right, that means that every individual with a personal theory must be wrong.

    No two True Believers or conspiracy theorists seem to have exactly the same theory. So, why don't they hash it out to see who is right?

    Answer: They don't have any evidence to argue with. And, they don't want to argue against the entire world, since that would show that they think they are smarter than everyone else in the world.

    So, they want people to think they are united in what they believe. But, they're not. They're only united in what they do NOT believe: The government. By focusing on what they do NOT believe instead of what they DO believe, the can appear to be part of a large group instead of being what they really are: just a bunch of lone individuals, each with a unique theory that is not supported by any real evidence.

    You must realize I'm not the only person in the world who thinks "the government" had a solid case against Ivins. I'm just the only person who has the time and an interest in arguing with True Believers and conspiracy theorists. I find it incredibly fascinating and highly educational. It's kept me fascinated for over 10 years.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  12. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    Anonymous,

    You're totally wrong, of course.

    Like nearly everyone else, I initially thought that Muslim terrorists sent the anthrax letters.[...]
    ===============================================
    Here the detached reader will see Mister Lake "correcting" me on a point I NEVER MADE. Look at all the prior posts in this thread (I am each and every 'anonymous'): do I once say ANYTHING about Mister Lake's Amerithrax hypotheses in the October 2001 to August 2008 timeframe? No, not a single solitary word. For one thing, I myself had no interest in the subject for the first 4 years of the Case (2001-5)and I certainly never saw Mister Lake's website on same until late 2005/early 2006. So I would have no way of knowing what he wrote about the case in the earlier period unless I made a special concerted effort of looking at (very) old posts. I was talking about the past 3 1/2 years.

    And how did I express this above? In plain English:
    -------
    The problem with your schematism on this matter is: it itself is a mental loop:

    1)from the get-go (ie no later than late 2008) you were arguing publicly for Ivins' guilt, based largely on your acquiescence to the current line of the task force/DoJ.
    --------------------------------------------
    It's clear that I'm talking about the period from August of 2008 to the present. Because I say so EXPLICITLY.

    Yet Mister Lake, always aware of the illogic of his interlocutors, illogically gloms onto some position he (apparently) took in the 2001-2008 period. That wasn't what I was talking about....

    Since the DoJ (indeed the task force itself)made no public acknowledgement of anyone's guilt/innocence until the 5-year mark in the Case, when they finally got around to absolving Steven Hatfill, there was no official PUBLIC line of the Task Force/DoJ(except that Hatfill, a man hounded at every turn, wasn't a suspect, merely a "person of interest"). There was merely a Linguistic/Behavioral Analysis of the anthrax letters, one issued on November 9th, 2001. THAT, because it ruled out a foreign Muslim perpetrator, may have been what caused Mister Lake to favor the (presumably) American scientist living and working in NJ.
    [end Part I]

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  13. Part II
    (I should have noted in Part I------indeed I erroneously said otherwise in my last sentence------ that the Linguistic/Behavioral Analysis takes no stand on the ethnic/religious/citizenship identity of the writer(printer) of the letter, merely that he is likely an adult male, has a good background in science, keeps to himself etc. NONE of this eliminates EITHER a Muslim (foreign/domestic acting alone or in concert with someone else) or a non-Muslim (native American/naturalized one/green card holder etc)
    So Mister Lake was in no way 'defying' the Task Force/DoJ by speculating that a foreign Muslim or a US scientist residing in NJ was the perp because in those years, there WAS no official PUBLIC line on same. (Which doesn't preclude that 'on background' officials were touting one possibility or the other)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    So, my (current) picture of Mister Lake's positions:

    1)October 2001 to late 2001: favors Muslim perpetrator(s).

    2)Early 2002 to August 2008: favors certain scientist living in New Jersey.

    3)August 2008 to present: favors Ivins as sole(?) perp.

    Sounds like Mister Lake held SOME 'true believer' position(s). Only question is: when?

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  14. Mister Lake (addressing me):
    ------
    A True Believer is someone who thinks others are True Believers merely because they will not convert to his beliefs.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    In the very next paragraph Mister Lake then castigates me for my unwillingness to convert to his beliefs about Amerthrax (which are the same as the official DoJ line):
    ---------
    I list the facts. You ignore the facts. I ask you to describe the facts that support your personal theory. You have no facts and won't even describe your personal theory, probably because you know it is based only upon beliefs and is ridiculous when compared to all the facts and evidence pointing to Bruce Ivins.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    So (for the millionth time!) what are those "facts"?

    1)that Ivins' grandfather had a house in the Princeton area and his father went to Princeton. And, oh yeah, there was a KKG office near the mailbox.
    [Repeatedly, ie over many threads and different venues, I pointed out 1)one doesn't NEED a family connection to use the mailbox of a given community 2)there's no evidence Unabomber Ted Kaczynski OR ANY OTHER PERP using the mail system to mail something dangerous ever selected a mailing point based on such a consideration 3)it makes NO LOGICAL SENSE (there's no benefit to the perp to chosing such a mailbox). To this there was NO substantive response from Mister Lake (on any thread, in any venue), merely the eternal fallback position of the Task Force: the guy was mentally ill so nothing he did has to make any sense. And so that (the 'Princeton connection' including the KKG office's proximity) remains four(count 'em, 4!) points of "facts" on this website: 5,6,7,8.
    http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/Evidence-vs-Beliefs.html
    [TO BE CONTINUED?]

    ReplyDelete
  15. I should have added that in discussing point #1 I also noted on multiple occasions that if we were talking about a bank robbery:

    1)the fact that a defendant's father/mother/Aunt Tillie once had a bank account at the bank that was robbed would have no logical connection to the guilt/innocence of the defendant (because one DOESN'T need such a connection to rob a bank).

    2)the fact that the defendant's grandfather lived within X-number of miles from the bank at one time would have NO LOGICAL CONNECTION to the guilt/innocence of the defendant (ditto).

    (and now I add)

    3)the fact that the bank was located X-number of feet from the business office of a sorority that the defendant had an obsession with would have no logical bearing on that defendant's guilt/innocence (ditto).

    This is all logic 101. Which the DoJ and Mister Lake have failed with flying colors.

    But contrary to what Mister Lake's take, that isn't 'ignoring the facts', that's taking the 'facts' FAR more seriously than those who merely list them (in 'confluence' as Rachel Lieber put it, or individually).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    You must realize I'm not the only person in the world who thinks "the government" had a solid case against Ivins. I'm just the only person who has the time and an interest in arguing with True Believers and conspiracy theorists.[...]
    ==============================================================
    Can you name some journalists who have said that they believe that the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt"?
    It's clear to me that MOST microbiologists who have weighed in on the subject do not believe that to be the case.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I decided to look at editorial opinion on the tightness of the case against Ivins.

    NY TIMES: case seems dubious:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/opinion/who-mailed-the-anthrax-letters.html

    WASHINGTON POST: case dubious:
    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/washington-post-editorial-102111-calls-for-independent-review-of-fbi-investigation-of-dr-bruce-ivins-in-2001-anthrax-attacks-lmw-it-is-long-past-time-to-hold-fbi-director-mueller-accountab/

    NEW YORK POST: case dubious:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/anthrax_and_the_fbi_36aNmZJGENZCAPCmvdbIrK

    TIMES OF TRENTON: case dubious
    http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2011/10/editorial_decade_after_anthrax.html
    [More later?]

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous,

    You wrote: "Here the detached reader will see Mister Lake "correcting" me on a point I NEVER MADE. Look at all the prior posts in this thread (I am each and every 'anonymous'): do I once say ANYTHING about Mister Lake's Amerithrax hypotheses in the October 2001 to August 2008 timeframe?"

    I wrote what I wrote to show you that I am not a True Believer. A True Believer is incapable of being persuaded by new facts. New facts caused me to change my mind about who did it several times.

    That has nothing to do with what the FBI believed. It has only to do with what I thought the evidence showed. So, you are wrong when you argue that I just accept what the FBI says.

    My web site has all the details about my earlier beliefs. It's there to show that I changed my mind when evidence required it. The fact that you haven't bothered to look at it, and yet said I was a "True Believer" shows you do not check your facts.

    You also wrote, "So (for the millionth time!) what are those "facts"?"

    For the millionth time, many of them are listed at the top of my web site in the section called "The Case Against Dr. Ivins." Others are listed in supplemental pages.

    The fact that you do not accept the facts as being acts or the evidence as being evidence changes nothing. That is your opinion, an opinion which suggests that you believe you know more about facts and evidence than the Department of Justice and the FBI.

    "But contrary to what Mister Lake's take, that isn't 'ignoring the facts', that's taking the 'facts' FAR more seriously than those who merely list them"

    No, it is ignoring the facts. Claiming that the facts aren't facts may suggest that you look at them and do not believe them, therefore you do not "ignore" them, you just ignore their meaning and relevance. But, no matter how you play with words, the end result is the same: You ignore the facts.

    "Can you name some journalists who have said that they believe that the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt"? "

    I don't think that David Willman specifically stated that the case against Ivins was proved "beyond a reasonable doubt," but it's clear that his book makes a solid case against Ivins. Jeanne Guillemin's book doesn't dispute Ivins' guilt, either.

    Unfortunately, in the world of NEWS, it's only the journalists who disagree with the findings who publish articles. They create controversy, and controversy sells newspapers. Journalists who agree with the FBI's findings have no reason to say so. Who would care? They usually just report the FBI's findings without comment.

    "It's clear to me that MOST microbiologists who have weighed in on the subject do not believe that to be the case."

    Again, the only microbiologists who weigh in on the subject are those who feel the FBI is wrong. Those who feel the FBI is right have no reason to get involved in the controversy. They just let the FBI fight its own battles.

    It's not a matter of how many people are on one side of the argument and how many people are on the other side. It's a matter of evidence and what the evidence says. The evidence says that Ivins was the anthrax mailer.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous wrote, "I decided to look at editorial opinion on the tightness of the case against Ivins."

    I'm aware of editorial opinions. All the opinions you list are on my web site and in my archives - plus many more. I've read them all.

    The New York Times was instrumental in making Steven Hatfill a "suspect" in the minds of the American people. They still have people on their staff who seem to continue to believe that Hatfill is a better suspect than Ivins.

    The Washington Post was also a main newspaper pushing Hatfill as the killer. So, their opinions on this subject are worthless.

    The editors of the Times of Trenton think that Muslims must have been behind the attacks because one of the 9/11 flights originated in New Jersey. So, they won't agree with any facts which say that it wasn't Muslims.

    The New York Post editorial makes a totally ridiculous argument about the tin and iron found in the attack anthrax. It's a bogus scientific argument from an editor who obviously has no understanding of the science. He apparently just wants controversy in order to sell newspapers.

    Newspapers are struggling to stay viable. They're lowering their standards in order to get more readers. And they know they'll always get more readers by arguing against the government than by agreeing with the government.

    But, that's just my opinion. However, I have the same right to an opinion as the editor of a major newspaper does.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous,

    Newspaper editors have hundreds of stories going at once. They don't have time to study the details of something as mind-bogging and complex as the anthrax case. If they were so wildly and stupidly wrong about Steven Hatfill, why would anyone believe them about anything related to the Amerithrax investigation?

    I've spent over 10 years examining every detail of the case that has been made public. I'll go nose to nose with any editor in America on the subject any day of the week. Their "status" doesn't make them right. It just means that more people pay attention to what they say.

    The "truth" in the Amerithrax case is what the facts say. Not how many people believe this or that.

    The people who do not believe the facts say that Ivins was the culprit have virtually no facts supporting their own beliefs, yet they prefer their own beliefs. So, facts mean nothing to them. Facts are just something to argue about as they promote their beliefs.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  21. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    I wrote what I wrote to show you that I am not a True Believer. A True Believer is incapable of being persuaded by new facts. New facts caused me to change my mind about who did it several times.

    That has nothing to do with what the FBI believed. It has only to do with what I thought the evidence showed. So, you are wrong when you argue that I just accept what the FBI says.
    -----------------------------------------------
    The best way to show that is to point out:

    1)where you actually criticized the FBI/Task Force/DoJ. You've got 3 websites, stretching back over a decade, which deal predominantly with Amerithrax, so it certainly wouldn't be because you've never had the opportunity! (and that's not including all the blogs and other venues you've participated in over the years, hashing this stuff out)

    2)where you have disagreed with their PUBLIC position(s): to my knowledge they never HAD a public position (on the who-done-it aspect of the case) until late July/early August 2008.

    Therefore citing your hypotheses in the Oct 2001 to August 2008 period won't establish anything about how slavishly (or unslavishly)you have followed the FBI line.

    An example of (above)point #1: the FBI foolishly refused to drop Hatfill as their main guy (no, I don't want to argue suspect/"person of interest" again!)for 5 years!

    Just about every person writing about the Case after the fall of 2006 attributes that to: (select one or multiple options)

    1)the desire for a quick fix.

    2)a desire to please the boss (FBI Director Mueller).

    3)White House pressure (on Mueller)

    4)group think/refusal to think outside the box.

    5)absurdly protracted belief in the power of putting pressure on a suspect/person of interest.

    6)organizational entropy (possibly related to 3 above)

    Etc.

    And as we know, the dropping of Hatfill in 2006 was related to personnel changes on the Task Force, especially the head being changed.

    The above is a COMPOSITE take of just about everyone......except Mister Lake. He, every time this comes up, blames:

    1)Nicholas Kristoff

    2)Barbara Hatch Rosenberg

    3)Don Foster

    4)some amalgam of reporters (print TV etc.

    In Mister Lake's terms "a lynch mob".

    And this is (almost) exclusively Mister Lake's take. Others may admit that public finger-pointing (either by name or by description)by Kristoff et alia wasn't particularly helpful but that this goes with the territory of a super high profile case and that the FBI should have, NEEDS to have, insulation from the media, both in the interests of justice and because inevitably the media/public sentiment are going to be wrong, if not about this case, then about the next one. And ultimately it is the FBI/DoJ which has to make the case in a court of law.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    "But contrary to what Mister Lake's take, that isn't 'ignoring the facts', that's taking the 'facts' FAR more seriously than those who merely list them"

    No, it is ignoring the facts. Claiming that the facts aren't facts[...]
    ===========================================================
    Making ANALOGIES, to bank robberies, to how the Unabomber chose mailpoints for his bombs etc. isn't "saying facts aren't facts", it's ANALYZING what 'facts' are relevant to a given situation, a given crime, a given suspect. Analyzing how LIKELY it is that Ivins (or anyone ELSE!) chose a mail drop-off point based on familial connections, some dating to the 19th Century.(Hint: not bloody likely at all!)

    As already noted you have NO SUBSTANTIVE response to these analogies. I suspect because you know, as some level of consciousness, that the location of Ivins' grandfather's house in New Jersey in the 19th Century has no LOGICAL connection to the likelihood Ivins committed the crimes of Amerithrax about a century later.

    And repeating over and over and over againg (now for about 2 years) that something is a "fact" when the 'fact' has been shown ----by well-established rules of logic and evidence----to be unconnected/irrelvant to the crime commission is exactly what marks you as....a True Believer.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    "The best way to show that is to point out:

    1)where you actually criticized the FBI/Task Force/DoJ."


    I have little or no reason to "criticize" the FBI. I'm not the type of person who goes around criticizing everyone who makes a mistake. You may be that type of person, but I'm not.

    Unlike you, I understand that the FBI is comprised of individual people, and people make mistakes. If someone at the FBI or DOJ makes a mistake or misses something, I don't see that as reason for me to criticize them. I see it as a reason for me to point out the mistake or what they missed. I've done that on numerous occasions. For ten years I've argued that they either missed the boat or they're hiding something about the handwriting. And I pointed out over and over for at least five years that they were WRONG in the way they handled the Hatfill mess, although I can understand it. The New York Times and misguided politicians can apply an enormous amount of pressure on a government agency.

    Anonymous also wrote: "And repeating over and over and over againg (now for about 2 years) that something is a "fact" when the 'fact' has been shown ----by well-established rules of logic and evidence----to be unconnected/irrelvant to the crime commission is exactly what marks you as....a True Believer."

    No, by any legal standard,the facts in the case ARE fully connected. You don't believe it because the facts do not agree with your beliefs. That is what makes you a True Believer.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  24. Let me try ONE more time: I repost from above what I wrote:
    ------------
    [If a man is a defendant in a trial on a bank robbery charge]


    1)the fact that a defendant's father/mother/Aunt Tillie once had a bank account at the bank that was robbed would have no logical connection to the guilt/innocence of the defendant (because one DOESN'T need such a connection to rob a bank).

    2)the fact that the defendant's grandfather lived within X-number of miles from the bank at one time would have NO LOGICAL CONNECTION to the guilt/innocence of the defendant (ditto).

    (and now I add)

    3)the fact that the bank was located X-number of feet from the business office of a sorority that the defendant had an obsession with would have no logical bearing on that defendant's guilt/innocence (ditto).

    ================================================================
    Mister Lake, do you agree LOGICALLY with the above 3 propositions?
    (this is not a rhetorical question, I would very much like an answer)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Partila post by Mister Lake:
    ---------
    Anonymous wrote, "I decided to look at editorial opinion on the tightness of the case against Ivins."

    I'm aware of editorial opinions. All the opinions you list are on my web site and in my archives - plus many more. I've read them all.
    ==============================================================
    So, what's the per centage breakdown on editorials that agree that the DoJ proved the case against Ivins "beyond a reasonable doubt" versus those that think the results of the investigation are dubious and/or need further examination?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous wrote: "3)the fact that the bank was located X-number of feet from the business office of a sorority that the defendant had an obsession with would have no logical bearing on that defendant's guilt/innocence (ditto)."

    True, IF that were the ONLY evidence.

    BUT IT IS NOT THE ONLY EVIDENCE.

    So, I'll try one more time to explain the jury system to you:

    In a jury trial, the jury must listen to ALL THE EVIDENCE before they render a verdict.

    You constantly look at only a single item of evidence and then render a verdict. That's not the correct way to view evidence. It's a ridiculous way to view evidence.

    By itself, the fact that the mailbox was located near a KKG office means nothing.

    Combined with Ivins' obsession with KKG, it means a bit more.

    Combined with Ivins' habit of driving long distances to mail letters so they cannot be track back to him, it means a bit more.

    Combined with the fact that Ivins had no alibi for the time of the mailings, it means a bit more.

    Combined with the fact that Ivins could not explain the unusual hours he was in his lab just prior to the mailings, it means a bit more.

    Combined with the fact that there was a hidden message in the first set of letter that had several DIRECT connections to Ivins, it means a bit more.

    Combined with all the other facts which point to Bruce Ivins as being the anthrax mailer, it means a bit more.

    All together, all these items would convince almost any jury that Dr. Bruce Ivins was guilty beyond a reason doubt.

    Continuing to harp on a specific piece of evidence and how it proves nothing by itself is just a waste of time. All it shows is that you cannot understand evidence.

    Anonymous also wrote: "So, what's the per centage breakdown on editorials that agree that the DoJ proved the case

    WHO CARES?! WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?! Newspapers do not typically write editorials when they agree with the government. They mostly write editorials when they disagree with the government. So, the percentage is meaningless. And, it's all OPINION anyway, which makes it even more meaningless.

    The case is about ALL the EVIDENCE. It's not about opinions. It's not about a single piece of evidence.

    You really need to try to understand that. It would save both of us a LOT of time.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  27. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    Anonymous wrote: "3)the fact that the bank was located X-number of feet from the business office of a sorority that the defendant had an obsession with would have no logical bearing on that defendant's guilt/innocence (ditto)."

    True, IF that were the ONLY evidence.[...]
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    No, it's true regardless. Rachel Lieber talks about a "confluence" of evidence, but a dried-up tributary (ie a skein of evidence that has no logical connection to determining guilt/ innocence on its own)which meets with OTHER dried-up tributaries (other skeins of evidence along the same lines)produces: a dried up river bed, not a ranging river (a significant indicator of guilt/innocence).

    The ONLY CIRCUMSTANCES (or at least the only circumstances I can think of) under which the "evidence" of points 5, 6, 7, 8 would be relevant in the Amerithrax Case would be:

    1)@@ if a KKG address were used as a return address for one of the Amerithrax letters. (This would have direct bearing on the likelihood of guilt of any and all who had obsessions with KKG)

    2)@@ if a KKG location were the ADDRESSEE of one or more letters. (Ditto)

    3)@@ there were some weird note inside (or on the outside of) a(n) Amerithrax letter, saying "I'm avenging my grandfather's loss of his home here in the Princeton area", OR "I'm doing this near the KKG office to get revenge*" OR "I'm doing this in honor of my dad who attended Princeton". Or: SOMETHING like that.

    Instead we get the prosecutors' (implied) speculation as to why Ivins would do such a thing. Speculation, implied or explicit, does not constitute evidence.


    @@: all contrary-to-fact conditions. But under SUCH contrary-to-fact conditions there WOULD BE a relevance to Ivins' guilt/innocence and almost surely such evidence would have been admitted into evidence, had there been a trial. But 5, 6, 7, and 8 are evidentiary orphans as things stand (completely logically unrelated to the charges against Ivins given the totality of the case)


    *This is along the weird-motivation lines of John Hinckley (trying to impress Jody Foster): THAT was determined from Hinckley himself, not by prosecutors blindly ascribing it to him.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------------
    Anonymous also wrote: "So, what's the per centage breakdown on editorials that agree that the DoJ proved the case

    WHO CARES?! WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?![...]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, YOU are the one constantly trying to make analogies between Amerithrax sceptics (not the term(s) you use) and all sorts of 'out there' dissidents, most recently with those who think that HIV doesn't cause AIDS.(see the very beginning of this thread!)

    Are you doing that to show how 'respectable' Amerithrax scepticism is? Au contraire! The upshot is: these AIDS truthers, these Amerithrax truthers, these Flat-Earth truthers, they're all interchangeable: won't accept the evidence, due to some weird psychological quirk!

    (If that were true then one would expect large overlaps between and among AIDS truthers, Amerithrax truthers, Flat-Earth truthers
    Etc. But to my knowledge there is no such overlap)

    Futhermore the bunching together of these groups IMPLIES that Amerithrax sceptics are as isolated numerically as Flat-Earthers and AIDS truthers are. But that DOESN'T seem to be the case, at least not among people who DON'T work for the DoJ and are knowledgeable about 1) the case in general 2)microbiology and/or other fields relevant to/capable of being brought to bear on Amerithrax.

    I didn't find as many editorials as I had hoped (I was only looking for editorials from 2011), but every one that I DID find was sceptical.

    Ask yourself: how many editorials would one be able to find today that expressed scepticism about the roundness of the earth, about the relationship between HIV and AIDS?

    Certainly NOT a majority! (and if I read a pro-Flat Earth editorial I'd take it as an April Fools joke, no matter the date!)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous,

    You clearly believe that you understand evidence better than the Assistant US Attorney and everyone else in the Department of Justice and in the FBI who participated in the the Amerithrax investigation.

    So, what more is there to say? You believe YOU are the supreme authority and no one else's views are relevant.

    That's the thinking of a True Believer -- or someone who considers himself to be infallible.

    Either way, it's pointless to argue further. There can be no reasoning with someone who considers their views to the the only correct views. Such people cannot be swayed by evidence, since they only consider evidence to be evidence if it agrees with what they already believe.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  30. Said another way, Mister Lake belongs to a TINY minority of non-DoJ persons who are both knowledgeable about Amerithrax and think the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt".

    ReplyDelete
  31. partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------------------------------
    Anonymous,

    You clearly believe that you understand evidence better than the Assistant US Attorney and everyone else in the Department of Justice and in the FBI who participated in the the Amerithrax investigation.
    =============================================================
    You write that DESPITE the fact that over and over and over again I have written (and you have read) that I take the FINAL REPORT as a Public Relations (PR) document, not as the honest-to-gosh statement about what the DoJ lawyers really think. They know that most of the "evidence" would have been totally inadmissible. But that (admissibility) wasn't the point of the REPORT. The point of the REPORT was: convincing the 99.999% of the US population that will never read even a single paragraph of the REPORT (getting summaries of summaries of summaries via the Internet/TV/radio/newspapers instead) that the case was "solved".

    From THAT standpoint (PR), the FINAL REPORT was a semi-success.
    The US populace at large isn't much interested anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous wrote: "Said another way, Mister Lake belongs to a TINY minority of non-DoJ persons who are both knowledgeable about Amerithrax and think the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt"."

    Nonsense.

    The vast majority of Americans either don't have time to bother studying the Amerithrax case, nor do they particularly care about the case.

    So, any counting of people who argue about the case is a counting of a very very very very very very tiny portion of Americans.

    And, as I've stated in one form or another again and again, people who agree with the FBI findings mostly cannot be bothered with arguing with Anthrax Truthers. So, they don't appear on blogs.

    The point you need to remember is that Anthrax Truthers do NOT AGREE WITH EACH OTHER about the case. They only agree that the FBI must be wrong, because if the FBI is right, then all of the Truthers must be wrong.

    So, when you count people who think Ivins was innocent, you are not counting an homogenous group. You are putting together people who think that Muslims did it, people who think that Jews did it, people who think that Dick Cheney did it, people who think that Steven Hatfill did it, and people who think their next door neighbor did it.

    So, in reality, it's the FBI/DOJ and those who agree with the FBI and DOJ versus a mob of people who all have individual personal opinions.

    It's not any kind of majority against the DOJ/FBI & those who agree with the DOJ/FBI. It's a vast majority of people who agree with the FBI versus a single individual with a personal belief. And it's that vast majority versus one individual multiplied by the number of individuals who each have unique personal opinions.

    In other words, it's thousands who believe Ivins did it versus ONE PERSON who thinks that his next door neighbor did it.

    And there are lots of other people who also have unique personal theories that disagree with the FBI's findings.

    In each case, it's thousands against one.

    The "ones" only agree about one thing: The FBI is wrong.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  33. Just posted by Mister Lake:
    -----
    Anonymous wrote: "Said another way, Mister Lake belongs to a TINY minority of non-DoJ persons who are both knowledgeable about Amerithrax and think the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt"."

    Nonsense.

    The vast majority of Americans either don't have time to bother studying the Amerithrax case, nor do they particularly care about the case.
    ==============================================================
    Read that once again, Mister Lake, very s-l-0-w-l-y.

    I write " non-DoJ persons who are [b] both knowledgeable about Amerithrax[/b] and think the case against Ivins was proven "beyond a reasonable doubt""


    NATURALLY those who "[don't] particularly care about the case" NEVER become knowledgeable about it. It's almost a tautology. So you are AGREEING with me there!


    But you are in a tiny minority of those who are non-DoJ personnel
    AND who take the FINAL REPORT at face value ("beyond a reasonable doubt") and if you read Willman's book carefully, you will find that Task Force members are really trying to convince THEMSELVES that Ivins did it. None too successfully.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous wrote: "But you are in a tiny minority of those who are non-DoJ personnel AND who take the FINAL REPORT at face value ("beyond a reasonable doubt")"

    Nonsense. You are in a minority of ONE who has no evidence to support his own beliefs. You can't get any smaller than a minority of ONE.

    I am part of a very large group who has looked at the evidence that Ivins did it and decided that it proves Ivins' guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. Nothing is taken at face value. I've analyzed the evidence in every way imaginable. And I've found ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE that isn't even in the report.

    You THINK you are part of a large group, but that group does not exist except as a incoherent mob.

    There is NO ONE advocating your personal belief about who did it except you.

    So, once again:

    I am part of a very large group who have all looked at the evidence against Bruce Ivins and concluded that it is a solid case.

    So, it is that very large group versus ONE guy who thinks that his next door neighbor sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that some Muslim named al Timini sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that a scientist named Philip Zack sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that a Steven Hatfill sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that an author who profited from a book about the case who sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that Dick Cheney sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And, it is that very large group versus ONE other guy who thinks that Saddam Hussein sent the anthrax letters, even though he has no real proof to support his beliefs, and all the facts say he is wrong.

    And so on and so on and so on and so on and so on.

    A mob of people, each with a totally different opinion about who sent the anthrax letters cannot be compared to a group of people who have viewed the evidence and agree on who did it.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous wrote: "Futhermore the bunching together of these groups IMPLIES that Amerithrax sceptics are as isolated numerically as Flat-Earthers and AIDS truthers are. But that DOESN'T seem to be the case, at least not among people who DON'T work for the DoJ and are knowledgeable about 1) the case in general 2)microbiology and/or other fields relevant to/capable of being brought to bear on Amerithrax."

    The Anthrax Truthers are MORE isolated than Flat-Earthers and AIDS truthers. Flat-Earthers and AIDS truthers appear to believe the same thing and use the same "evidence" and the same logic.

    That's not true with Anthrax Truthers. Yet, Anthrax Truthers, Flat-Earthers, 9/11 Truthers, JFK conspiracy theorists, AIDS Truthers, and Moon Hoax Believers all have one thing in common: They all have a totally mindless and irrational distrust of the government and any official authority.

    Anthrax Truthers appear to be MORE isolated because they do not agree with each other. Moon hoaxers seem to believe the same nonsense. Some other groups have a leader, and the leader has followers who believe everything the leader says, so they are somewhat in agreement.

    But, Anthrax Truthers are individuals with individual theories, and they not only think the government is wrong, they also believe that all the other Anthrax Truthers are wrong about who sent the anthrax letters.

    You clearly believe that the government is wrong, but, although you do not attack them the same way you attack the government, you obviously do not agree with the individual Anthrax Truthers who believe that the anthrax letters were sent by Saddam Hussein, or by Dick Cheney, or by Judy Miller, or by Philip Zack, or by Al Timini, or by Mohamed Atta, or by their next door neighbor.

    So, you not only disagree with the government, you also disagree with all the other Anthrax Truthers. You are a minority of one.

    Like all the Anthrax Truthers, you believe that you and only you know the real truth, even though nearly everyone else in the world thinks you are WRONG including your fellow Anthrax Truthers.

    I find it totally weird that you all seem to think you are in agreement because you all distrust the government, and you totally avoid discussing how you also disagree with each other. You all see 9/11 Truthers and JFK Truthers and Moon Hoax Truthers as being nutty and wrong. But you can't see that you are just like them. You think the same way. You all mindlessly disagree with authority. It's really weird -- but it's also fascinating. It's kept me fascinated for over ten years.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oops. I wrote: "You all see 9/11 Truthers and JFK Truthers and Moon Hoax Truthers as being nutty and wrong."

    That's not true. I know one Anthrax Truther who agrees with the JFK Truthers and several other groups of Truthers. He's listed as a columnist for the Frederick News-Post. So, there are some Anthrax Truthers who are more distrusting of the government than others.

    They're all individuals, so I was wrong in saying they "all" disagree with other kinds of Truthers. There are exceptions.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  37. Let's be clear on Ed Lake's theory. He disagrees with the DOJ that Dr. Ivins wrote the anthrax letters.

    He says it is 99% certain a First Grader did.

    He is in a minority of one.

    If there is a more stupid theory, I haven't heard it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Okay, that was a SECOND anonymous. I'm trying to ENCOURAGE dialogue with Mister Lake, not mock him or anger him. Ideally, I would get him to bethink himself on

    1)the tightness of DoJ's case against Ivins.

    2)the overall likelihood that Ivins did it.

    It's not that I haven't been critical of his a-child-printed-em idea. I have (even to the point of having mailed him a VERY long and detailed critique of same, this a few years back), but, again I want to keep things respectful.

    R. Rowley (1st anonymous)

    ReplyDelete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The second Anonymous wrote: "He [Ed Lake] disagrees with the DOJ that Dr. Ivins wrote the anthrax letters."

    The DOJ didn't state that Ivins wrote the letters. You are mistaken. And, I don't disagree with the FBI. The FBI's analysis of the handwriting on the letters was inconclusive. So, they have reached no conclusions.

    I have reached conclusions. So, there isn't a disagreement, it's just a matter of having a different mission. They were preparing a case to take to court. I'm writing about what "most likely" happened.

    "If there is a more stupid theory, I haven't heard it."

    You should check out Lew Weinstein's web site. There's a guy there who has a truly ridiculous theory that a whole bunch of Muslims were behind the attacks and somehow they managed to get a sample from Ivins' flask RMR-1029 without leaving any kind of evidence behind. And, he's been arguing that screwball theory for ten years without finding any solid proof of any kind. It's just something he believes. And facts just get in the way of his beliefs.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ed,

    You are mistaken. The FBI concluded that Dr. Ivins is responsible for the anthrax mailings and acted alone. There is no factual basis for your claim that a First Grader wrote the letters. There never has been.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous,

    You clearly do not understand the facts.

    "The FBI concluded that Dr. Ivins is responsible for the anthrax mailings and acted alone."

    True. But duping a child into writing the letters does NOT mean that the child was a party in Ivins crime. Your argument seems to suggest that the mailman who delivered the letters was also party to the crime. Neither the child nor the mailman had any knowledge of the crime. Ivins acted alone.

    "There is no factual basis for your claim that a First Grader wrote the letters. There never has been."

    I list the facts and explain them in detail HERE.

    Just because you refuse to recognize facts that dispute your personal beliefs, that doesn't mean that the facts do not exist. It means you refuse to look at or discuss the facts.

    The facts exist. And the facts clearly say Ivins used a child to write the letters.

    Ignoring facts won't make them go away.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  43. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    The Anthrax Truthers are MORE isolated than Flat-Earthers and AIDS truthers.
    ================================================================
    You have GOT to be kidding!

    I think we will both agree that 99% or so of the US population knows little or nothing about the Case beyond:

    1)someone sent anthrax through the mail in 2001, killing and injuring a number of people.

    2)the investigators had a suspect (they would likely not remember Hatfill's name by this point).

    3)the man was eventually cleared.

    4) some scientist who committed suicide was then announced by the DoJ to be the culprit.(Many will have forgotten Ivins' name by this point, unless they watched the ProPublic program on Amerithrax and/or have very retentive memories about stuff they don't pay much attention to)

    5)the case was closed. But there was some civil litigation afterwards.
    ---
    (I can't think of anything else the general populace could be expected to have learned/retained over the last decade. And if the Case had been solved CORRECTLY that probably would have been enough)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    The above sketchy knowledge (ie knowledge that doesn't include any serious study of the details of the case/investigation) is, of course, NO BASIS for having an (informed)opinion. It would be like me having an opinion on the Sacco and Vanzetti Case: (something I always MEAN to get around to studying and never do!).
    It's the blind(those without a basis for an opinion) leading the very near-sighted (those who have actually studied a given matter in some detail).

    By contrast:
    Let's look at Flat-Earth: in school (grammar) we are all taught about Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan and his circumnavigation of the globe. Let me emphasize that last word: GLOBE. And spheroid globes depicting the Earth are kept in many schools, libraries, other public buildings. People, even minimally educated ones, absorb the roundness/spheroid shape of the earth very easily (if only because it's ubiquitous and not 'controversial'). And for DECADES people in the US saw Apollo photography of a very round-looking Earth, ditto from the Space Station. Even in the geographically-challenged US (ie among people who don't know that Mexico is to our south and have the impression that Canada is a state(!!!), as in '51th state'), there's no sense that people doubt the roundness of the earth. At least in my half-century plus lifespan I've never met even a single person (in the flesh, or on the Internet) who even CLAIMED the world was flat.

    How then, could Amerithrax scepticism POSSIBLY be rarer than Flat-Earthism? Especially when Amerithrax scepticism INCLUDES editorial writers for THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORK POST, THE TIMES OF TRENTON (see my post of
    Jan 15, 2012 01:13 PM), and, let's not forget THE FREDERICK POST, people who worked at USAMRIID in the same environment as Ivins (and thus are in the best position to gauge the likelihood that one could have a diabolical secret project involving drying anthrax on the sly)?

    I don't think you've thought this (Flat-Earthism vs. Amerithrax scepticism) through.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous wrote: "Let's look at Flat-Earth"

    It's not "Flat Earth." It's "The Flat Earth Society". That means it's a GROUP of people who all believe the same thing -- presumably that the earth is flat. Their web site is HERE.

    My point is that individual Anthrax Truthers all have individual beliefs. An Anthrax Truther who believes Saddam Hussein sent the anthrax letters does not agree with an Anthrax Truther who believes Philip Zack sent the anthrax letters. An Anthrax Truther who believes that al Timini sent the anthrax letters does not agree with the Anthrax Truther who believes Mohamed Atta sent the anthrax letters. So, each Anthrax Truther seems to be a minority of one.

    They're only a "group" in that they share the same thinking as the Flat Earth Society, the Moon hoax Truthers, the 9/11 Truthers, the JFK Truthers, etc., etc. They all believe that THEY know the truth and the "authorities" and/or "the government" are just misleading the public.

    I don't think you've thought this (who agrees with you about who did it) through.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  45. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    Anonymous wrote: "Let's look at Flat-Earth"

    It's not "Flat Earth." It's "The Flat Earth Society". That means it's a GROUP of people who all believe the same thing -- presumably that the earth is flat. Their web site is HERE.
    ===========================================================
    I was arguing the CONCEPT: how many people on THIS PLANET (or at least in the US) subscribe to that concept (that the earth is flat)? That's the only way to gauge whether being an Amerithrax is indeed RARER than being a flat-earther.

    OTHERWISE---------if we just go according to to the one group you listed (The Flat Earth Society)-------then we are going to get only a small subset of the total number of persons in the US (and in the world)who think that the world is flat. For it is likely that there are other such groups under one name or another, but even if we could determine with 100% certainty that there were NO other such groups, their would be "lone wolf" flat-earthers, just as most people who think Ivins innocent haven't joined a "society" to prove it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Parial post by Mister Lake:
    -------
    They all believe that THEY know the truth and the "authorities" and/or "the government" are just misleading the public.
    =================================================================
    And you think that YOU know the truth because you parrot the government line.

    In a number of places (including this thread) you have emphasized many times that you can't be accused of prejudice in the matter because you never suspected Ivins, never knew who he was right up to his death.

    But you misunderstand prejudice: there is not only prejudice AGAINST persons, organizations, nations etc. there is prejudice IN FAVOR of persons, organizations, nations etc.

    This isn't all bad: patriotism and affection for members of our families are examples of instances where natural prejudices can serve as the glue to hold families, nations etc. together sometimes holding out against the strongest of centrifugal forces.

    But when those natural prejudices are extreme and unthinking we get stuff like soccer hooligans, fascists and skinheads etc,

    When it comes to organizations, members of those organizations can allow their 'loyalty' to cause them to cover up shortcomings in those organizations. Coverups of one form or another: in the Roman Catholic Church covering up child abuse by priests, in local police forces covering up graft and excessive force being used.

    Your prejudice in favor of the FBI, Mister Lake, is one of an outsider. But an outsider who wants desperately to believe in the pure Efrem Zimbalist Jr. TV myth of an FBI rather than the all-too-human organizations that sometimes blunders.

    The Amerithrax Case has got to be one of the biggest blunders in the (almost?) 100 years that the Burea has been around, but to see it you have to be able to distance yourself intellectually from their PR puff pieces. Of which the FINAL REPORT is one.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    My point is that individual Anthrax Truthers all have individual beliefs. An Anthrax Truther who believes Saddam Hussein sent the anthrax letters does not agree with an Anthrax Truther who believes Philip Zack sent the anthrax letters. An Anthrax Truther who believes that al Timini sent the anthrax letters does not agree with the Anthrax Truther who believes Mohamed Atta sent the anthrax letters. So, each Anthrax Truther seems to be a minority of one.
    ============================================================
    You make that sound like a BAD thing! Why would it be a bad thing?
    Each individual has to figure it out for themselves. Evidence that would stand up in court, now that's another thing. And no one-------including the DoJ in its case against Ivins------has that.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is an example of Mister Lake making a blanket statement where, at SOME level, he knows it isn't so:
    -----------
    They're only a "group" in that they share the same thinking as the Flat Earth Society, the Moon hoax Truthers, the 9/11 Truthers, the JFK Truthers, etc., etc. They all believe that THEY know the truth and the "authorities" and/or "the government" are just misleading the public.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Since Mister Lake has known for some time, in an Internet context, Lew Weinstein, he knows that Weinstein DOESN'T claim to know the true culprit, he(Weinstein) only claims that a careful analysis of the government's case against Ivins exposes it as fundamentally vacuous:
    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/richard-rowley%E2%80%99s-summary-of-the-fbi%E2%80%99s-non-case-vs-dr-bruce-ivins/

    Another person who is at least open to various hypotheses is Kenneth Dillon:
    http://www.bloggernews.net/118931

    ReplyDelete
  49. Partial post by Mister Lake, going back some ways:
    ----------
    I am part of a very large group who has looked at the evidence that Ivins did it and decided that it proves Ivins' guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.
    ==============================================================
    Funny though, that when I asked you to name journalists who agreed with you in that "very large group" (I did that on this very thread) that the case against Ivins was proved "beyond a reasonable doubt" you named not a single journalist.

    And although I started in on newspaper editorials commenting on same, I found (and listed) 4 newspaper who were NOT in your "very large group" (5 if you count the Frederick News-Post)and you named not a single editorial, though you are apparently familiar with them all, which endorsed the government's case to the "beyond a reasonable doubt" stipulation.

    Makes me wonder who-------OUTSIDE OF THE DoJ-------is in this "very large group".

    ReplyDelete
  50. I would like to go back to this statement by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    I find it totally weird that you all seem to think you are in agreement because you all distrust the government, and you totally avoid discussing how you also disagree with each other.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't think we EVER said we are in agreement on our favorite suspect (that's a strawman argument on the part of Mister Lake).
    Rather we have been united since late 2008 by dissatisfaction with the case against Ivins, a dissatisfaction that only deepened in Feb 2010.

    I don't know why you find that so mysterious: it happens in democratic politics all the time: the electorate FREQUENTLY 'throws the bums out', despite the fact that they aren't sure what the next party/mayor/governor/president will do and despite the fact that the coalition is composed of elements that have diametrically opposed 'solutions' in the policy area. Dissatisfaction is a great motivator in human affairs. At least temporarily a great uniter.

    ReplyDelete
  51. There is not a single person on the planet who today would say that they agree it is 99% certain a First Grader wrote the letters. Or that there is any probability. Ed is the sole True Believer who persists in the theory despite the FBI's conclusion that Dr. Ivins acted alone. Ed is the true believer. Ed is the conspiracy theorist. Ed is the minority of one. To avoid being ridiculed for being a true believing nutter who imagines a First Grader helped Dr. Ivins, he avoids the merits and endlessly advances his schtick without realizing it applies to him.

    Ed is correct, however, that there is no evidence that Dr. Ivins wrote the letters.

    Nor is there any evidence he made the dried powder. Nor any evidence he traveled to Princeton. Nor is there any evidence he bought the envelope. The difference between the FBI's theory and Ed's theory is that the FBI's theory is reasonable whereas Ed's theory is not and never has been.

    It should have been a big red flag to Ed that no one agreed with him that a FIrst Grader wrote the letters. But, see, that's the nature of a True Believer -- it doesn't matter that no one agrees with him.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous wrote: "I was arguing the CONCEPT: how many people on THIS PLANET (or at least in the US) subscribe to that concept (that the earth is flat)?"

    And: "And you think that YOU know the truth because you parrot the government line."

    And: "we have been united since late 2008 by dissatisfaction with the case against Ivins, a dissatisfaction that only deepened in Feb 2010."

    You can post all the messages you want, but the argument still boils down to facts against beliefs.

    The facts say Ivins committed the anthrax attacks of 2001. I have the facts listed on my site. The DOJ has the facts listed in their Summary Report. And the FBI files show the facts in detail.

    You don't believe the facts. You are "dissatisfied" with the facts. You want different facts.

    Then FIND THEM! FIND BETTER FACTS. PRESENT THEM.

    Until you do, your arguments are absurd. And, if you want the FBI to find the real facts for you, that is even more absurd. It's CRAZY!

    You accuse me of "parroting" the FBI. I can accuse you of "parroting" the anti-government rabble. Does that solve anything?

    Disbelieving the facts doesn't alter the facts. They're still facts.

    Ten million beliefs do not equal a single fact.

    At one time, everyone in the world believed that the earth was flat. That didn't make the earth flat. EVERYONE WAS WRONG. (I think the Flat Earth Society may just be a group that gets enjoyment out of arguing against what is known. Their pleasure comes from arguing, not from proving anything.)

    The facts say Ivins was the anthrax mailer.

    NO ONE has any facts which prove otherwise.

    NO ONE has any facts which make a better case against someone else.

    If one person has solid facts and ten million people only have opinions and beliefs, I'll side with the guy with the solid facts every time.

    Arguing beliefs against beliefs is a waste of time. Progress can be made only by discussing facts. But, you believe the facts aren't really facts, so you reduce everything to opinions and beliefs.

    Until you can start discussing FACTS that support your claims, you are just wasting time.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  53. The Second Anonymous wrote: "It should have been a big red flag to Ed that no one agreed with him that a FIrst Grader wrote the letters. But, see, that's the nature of a True Believer -- it doesn't matter that no one agrees with him.

    When I point out to you that it was "Brother Jonathan" who first proposed that a First Grader wrote the letters, you accuse me of stealing his theory.

    Then, when it suits your purposes, you argue that no one else believes that a child wrote the letters.

    When I say I've received emails from people who agree, you want to know their names so that you can call them up and attack them for believing what you do not believe. When I refuse to give you their names, you claim they don't exist.

    The facts say that the letters and envelopes were written by a six year old child. I've provided the link to the facts. It's HERE. But, you just ignore the facts and continue to argue that there are no facts. It's a totally mindless argument.

    There's no way to have an intelligent discussion with someone who refuses to look at the facts and who mindlessly attacks anyone who disagrees with him.

    But, you're right about one thing: If the facts prove something, and no one else agrees with the facts, then I will agree with what the facts say regardless of how many people disagree. That doesn't make me a True Believer, however. It makes me someone who views facts as more important than beliefs.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  54. Ed, are you saying that you've received one or more emails who agrees that it is 99% certain a First Grader wrote the letter? Just give a number of the people who agree with you. We don't need names. In contrast, what is a fair estimate of the people who are not persuaded by the FBI's case against Dr. Ivins? I could name 25 experts in the field off the top of my head. I could not name a single person -- of any qualification -- who agrees with your First Grader Theory. And yet major media outlet after major media outlet -- and an army of experts -- have stated their belief that the FBI's case against Dr. Ivins is not persuasive. You say I ignore your First Grader theory. No, Ed. It is EVERYONE who ignores your First Grader theory. You might want to consider a different means of advocating your theory if you haven't even found one person who agrees. I have looked at your links. It wouldn't even pass for a credible science experiment by a second grader. Mr. Willman, for example, went to Finland to explore a Battelle theory but he thinks your First Grader theory is really really stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The Second Anonymous wrote: "You might want to consider a different means of advocating your theory if you haven't even found one person who agrees. I have looked at your links."

    I've presented it on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. It doesn't make any difference to me if people refuse to DISCUSS the facts.

    You're the one who brought it up. It apparently bothers you that it isn't a widely accepted hypothesis. It doesn't bother me.

    It's what the facts say. Until someone else can show that it is NOT what the facts say, then it remains what the facts say. And it doesn't matter one iota how many people refuse to accept what the facts say.

    I'm open to PROOF that the hypothesis is wrong. No one has even attempted to show such proof. Like you, they just state their beliefs.

    The number of people who believe in something has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether it is true or not. Facts and evidence determine whether it's true or not.

    Until there is proof otherwise, the facts say that a child of about six wrote the anthrax letters and addressed the anthrax envelopes. Opinions and beliefs change nothing.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  56. You write:
    "II've presented it on a take-it-or-leave-it basis." -- words of a True Believer (who doesn't realize that his entire schtick applies to him.

    Isn't a widely accepted hypothesis? What I said is that you haven't persuaded even a SINGLE person of it. I've said that the theory lacks your lack of common sense and lack of critical reasoning ability.

    "Until there is proof otherwise, the facts say that a child of about six wrote the anthrax letters..."

    There are close parallels with this First Grader theory and the reasoning ability on all other issues.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Okay, I R. Rowley (anonymous 1) wrote the posts yesterday from
    Jan 19, 2012 04:38 PM
    through
    Jan 19, 2012 06:22 PM
    Then at
    Jan 20, 2012 06:55 AM anonymous 2 starts up (just for anyone's info; I might take a powder at this point)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Anonymous wrote: "What I said is that you haven't persuaded even a SINGLE person of it."

    And, I've told you again and again that people have written me to say they agree with the hypothesis. And then you argue that they don't number as many as those who disagree. And I argue that numbers don't mean anything, because everyone in the world once believed the earth was flat, but that didn't make it flat. Do we really have to go around and around on this over and over?

    I'd like VERY much to have some handwriting experts show me where the hypothesis is wrong (or if they agree with it).

    But, if I want the unbiased opinion of a handwriting expert, I have to pay for it. And, I don't want it that much.

    I've asked so-called "handwriting experts" who have given opinions about the anthrax handwriting what they think of my hypothesis, but the response has been either (1) they refuse to say anything, or (2) they say they have already given their opinion and they stick by it (because they were paid for it. If they change their mind, the FBI could ask for their money back.)

    It appears to be a matter where no one is willing to be the first to give an evaluation of the evidence out of fear that their opinion will later be proved wrong.

    The difference between your idea of a True Believer and mine is kind of interesting:

    I say a True Believer is someone who believes what he believes regardless of what the facts say, and he attacks anyone who disagrees. And, according to Eric Hoffer, there's no way to change the mind of a True Believer except to convert him to a new belief.

    You seem to believe that a True Believer is someone who accepts what the facts say regardless of how many ignorant people with only opinions disagree. That's not a "True Believer." That's someone who looks at the facts. Show him better facts, and he'll change his mind. Therefore, he cannot be a True Believer.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  59. R. Rowley (couldn't resist)
    ---------------------------
    partial post by Mister Lake
    -------
    You accuse me of "parroting" the FBI. I can accuse you of "parroting" the anti-government rabble. Does that solve anything?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    You want us to believe two contradictory things:

    1)that "Amerithrax Truthers" (Mister Lake's term not mine)
    can't agree among themselves on much of anything, except that Ivins is likely innocent.(More or less true:which is why I call such persons "sceptics")

    2)that those SAME "Amerithrax Truthers" are "parroting" each other.

    (a 5 cent cigar to anyone who can point out the logical error involved in 1 when set alongside 2)

    (Naturally, because there is no evidence that Ivins was in Princeton, no evidence he wrote/printed the letters, no evidence he did any drying in late summer/fall 2001, no evidence he bore any special hostility towards the addressees,AND because he passed two polygraph tests etc. these points---
    critical to any examination of the Case----are going to crop up again and again. But only because THOSE are the very "facts" we deem important, not the fact that Ivins liked women's underwear or had a grandfather who owned a house near Princeton in the 19th Century or had a sorority obsession etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Richard Rowley wrote: "Okay, I R. Rowley (anonymous 1) wrote the posts yesterday"

    I can tell the difference between your posts and "DXer's" posts as "Anonymous." We've been arguing for around ten years.

    I may take a powder, too, since it's been clear for nearly ten years that there's no way to change "DXer's" mind about anything. And, if given a chance, he'll drive away anyone else who might want to hold a discussion.

    And, it gets pretty tedious arguing the same thing over and over for year after year. I'm just going along for awhile to get his arguments on record. I may want to refer to them in a comment on my site.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  61. Richard Rowley wrote: "(a 5 cent cigar to anyone who can point out the logical error involved in 1 when set alongside 2)"

    It's not a logic error, since the Anthrax Truthers DO NOT ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER.

    If they did argue with each other, then they couldn't be "parroting" each other. But, they don't.

    They "parrot" each other in claiming that the government hasn't proved anything, that all the evidence isn't really evidence, etc.

    You are saying the same thing as Anonymous #2: The evidence isn't evidence. The government hasn't proved anything. Ivins is innocent. Technically, you may not be "parroting" him and he may not be "parroting" you, but with all the same things being said over and over, it seems like mindless "parroting." And you all seem to "parrot" Anthrax Truthers in the media or who are reported on in the media. If it's not "parroting," it certainly seems like the mindless, unthinking words from parrots.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  62. Ed, instead of continuing to urge that a First Grader wrote the anthrax articles -- which everyone who knows you thinks is really stupid -- you should read the articles that come down on Amerithrax. For example, what did you think of the article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists posted on the website of the Council of Foreign Relations? What do you think of the report about Ames at Tora Bora? Am I correct that you don't even know what BL-3 lab that Rauf visited in which reported back to Dr. Ayman that he had achieved the targets? How do you intepret the sentence "I achieved the targets." Am I correct that therefore you are not even in a position to discuss whether the BL-3 lab had Ames? Am I correct you don't know what lab equipment that the MI5 seized from Rauf's luggage? If you don't know the lab and strain, am I right you are not in a position to discuss its provenance or its genetic similarity or dissimiarity to the mailed anthrax?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------
    The facts say Ivins was the anthrax mailer.

    NO ONE has any facts which prove otherwise.

    NO ONE has any facts which make a better case against someone else.
    ==============================================================
    Give me 5 years and you'll have all that. And more.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Anonymous #2 wrote: "Ed, instead of continuing to urge that a First Grader wrote the anthrax articles -- which everyone who knows you thinks is really stupid -- you should read the articles that come down on Amerithrax."

    I've already explained to you that I do NOT urge people about anything related to the handwriting. It's an analysis of the facts, and it's presented on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. You're the one who keeps bringing it up.

    And, if you look at my web site you'll see I have links to THOUSANDS of articles about Amerithrax, and I've read them all - some several times. Arguing that you believe that you've read an article that I haven't read is silly and petty. Who cares? This blog is for INTELLIGENT discussions about the anthrax attacks of 2001, not a place for petty claims about who read some article first.

    "Am I correct you don't know what lab equipment that the MI5 seized from Rauf's luggage?"

    Am I correct in that you don't understand that this web site is about the anthrax attacks of 2001, not about your obsessions with suspicious Muslims?

    You need to stay on topic, otherwise I'm going to have to either start deleting your off-topic, irrelevant posts and/or block you entirely from this blog.

    If you believe that what MI5 found in someone's luggage IS relevant, you need to first establish relevance.

    The facts say Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters. You have NO FACTS saying otherwise. So, do not continue to post irrelevant material about your obsessions here.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  65. Apparently, Anonymous #1 wrote: "Give me 5 years and you'll have all that. And more."

    Sorry, I doubt that there will be many people still interested in the anthrax attacks five years from now.

    Meryl Nass hasn't mentioned the subject in months. She didn't even bother to comment on the settlement in the Stevens case.

    I haven't seen a newspaper or media article on the subject since November 30, 2011.

    The GAO report should be out in the first half of this year.

    I hope to have my book done sometime this year.

    I don't anticipate that my web site will continue beyond January of 2014.

    So, you may be talking to the wind when you explain your "evidence" in 2017.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  66. Partial post by Ed Lake:
    --------------
    Apparently, Anonymous #1 wrote: "Give me 5 years and you'll have all that. And more."

    Sorry, I doubt that there will be many people still interested in the anthrax attacks five years from now.
    ===============================================================
    Well, that's too bad. But SOMEONE will be interested in the case 5 years from now. And that's all that matters to me.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "(a 5 cent cigar to anyone who can point out the logical error involved in 1 when set alongside 2)"

    It's not a logic error, since the Anthrax Truthers DO NOT ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER.
    =================================================================
    Well, since certain "Truthers" write constantly about Muslim suspects and I NEVER write about Muslim suspects, I can hardly be charged with "parroting" the writings about the Muslim suspects.

    If some "Truthers" think it an inside job (ie a government project to see how an anthrax-through-the-mail scenario would truly play out, a project that somehow got out of hand)those who don't hold to that opinion (those who think foreign Muslims did it, and those who have idiosyncratic hypotheses like I do) can't possibly be taxed with "parroting" their line.

    Again, the only thing we agree on (Amerithrax sceptics)and that we can be charged with mutually parroting is the weaknesses of the government's case, which are:

    1) no sign Ivins ever in New Jersey in the right timeframe.

    2)no sign Ivins did drying of anthrax in right timeframe.

    3)no sign of dry anthrax spores in Ivins vehicle/residence.

    4)no sign Ivins xeroed letter at any xerox machine convenient to his location.

    5)mismatch between his block printing and that of Amerithrax letters.

    6)no sign Ivins bore any special animosity to the addressees.

    Etc. Naturally these points will come up again and again because not only are they wholly absent from the gov't case, but they are the very elements one would look for in analyzing the motivation of and probable guilt of ANY suspect (not just Ivins).

    ReplyDelete
  68. Anonymous #1 wrote: "Again, the only thing we agree on (Amerithrax sceptics)and that we can be charged with mutually parroting is the weaknesses of the government's case"

    And, that's all I'm charging you with.

    "1) no sign Ivins ever in New Jersey in the right timeframe."

    Ivins had no alibi, and it has been established that he commonly drove long distances to do things so he couldn't be blamed. That is sufficient. Demanding absolute proof is ridiculous.

    "2)no sign Ivins did drying of anthrax in right timeframe."

    Ivins was committing a crime! Criminals try to avoid leaving behind solid evidence of their crimes. Ivins had the means and opportunity. That's what a jury demands.

    "3)no sign of dry anthrax spores in Ivins vehicle/residence."

    Ivins had 20 years of experience working with anthrax and cleaning up after himself. Ivins worked with anthrax every day. If anthrax HAD been found, you'd be arguing that it resulted from his normal work.

    "4)no sign Ivins xeroed letter at any xerox machine convenient to his location."

    There are probably hundreds of Xerox machines "convenient" to his location, and thousands more which he could have used during one of his long drives. And, they didn't even start looking at Xerox machines in the USAMRIID area until YEARS after the crime. Finding the right Xerox machine could be virtually impossible.

    "5)mismatch between his block printing and that of Amerithrax letters."

    The FBI experts say the handwriting evidence is INCONCLUSIVE. There are just too many ways to disguise one's handwriting (writing with the wrong hand, copying someone else's handwriting, writing upside down, tricking someone else into doing the writing for you, etc.)

    "6)no sign Ivins bore any special animosity to the addressees."

    Actually, there IS evidence that he bore animosity toward Daschle and Leahy and to New York City. But, the crime wasn't a crime of passion or vengeance against individuals. It was a crime intended to look like a biological attack upon America by Muslim terrorists. The attacker evidently expected to benefit by the government's and public's reaction to the attacks.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  69. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    "2)no sign Ivins did drying of anthrax in right timeframe."

    Ivins was committing a crime! Criminals try to avoid leaving behind solid evidence of their crimes.[...]
    ================================================================
    Okay, but what you are overlooking is: a criminal committing the (ostensibly)"perfect crime" is going to have a nearly identical "evidence" profile as those who are innocent. So, YOUR ASSUMPTION (that Ivins)"hid" all the really good (because directly related to the crime(s)) evidence could just as easily be explained by Ivins' true innocence.as....persons who ARE 100% innocent(ie the evidence of the task/subtaskes is going to be just as sparse). --------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually, there IS evidence that he bore animosity toward Daschle and Leahy and to New York City.[...]
    --------------------
    And how does sending anthrax to two(2) tabloids in Florida connect to that as a motivation?!? Honestly, Mister Lake, your attribution of motivation to Ivins (again parroting that of the gov't) is SO incomplete, so scattershot, so riddled with inconsistencies that you wouldn't be able to convince ANYONE (here I'm talking about the motivation alone) who was familiar with the specifics of the case AND didn't agree with you to begin with.
    (Heck, why not claim Ivins bore animosity toward very old women who live in Connecticut? Or Vietnamese immigrants? Or better yet, postal workers! It would make about as much sense)

    In other words, you can convince yourself of anything (vis a vis motivation), if there is no need for consistency or to look at the OVERALL pattern (at least 2 letters sent to Florida, at least 2 letters sent to Washington DC, so hostility toward SOME aspect of "New York attitude" doesn't seem to explain the crimes AT ALL, with or without Ivins).

    All the New York targets (addressees)-----the Vietnamese immigrant was almost certainly untargetted--------were MEDIA outlets. Meaning publicity was likely the motive in the selection of those addressees. Just like the Florida addressees. The DC ones (ranking Senators) were likely designed to generate publicity, because of the prominence of the politicians targetted. But try finding THAT in the FINAL REPORT!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Partial by Mister Lake:
    -------
    "5)mismatch between his block printing and that of Amerithrax letters."

    The FBI experts say the handwriting evidence is INCONCLUSIVE.[..]
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Actually no "experts" are listed (at least in the summary per se, I haven't read any of the supplementary material). And I would note that that "inconclusive" is the label that they put on ANY uncongenial (to their overall take)test results (see: Ivins' polygraph tests).

    ReplyDelete
  71. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    "4)no sign Ivins xeroed letter at any xerox machine convenient to his location."

    There are probably hundreds of Xerox machines "convenient" to his location, and thousands more which he could have used during one of his long drives.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Then why do they try to make it sound like Ivins used the one in the Fort Detrick library? Because they know at some level that the evidence against Ivins is weak. It's a PR document.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------
    "2)no sign Ivins did drying of anthrax in right timeframe."

    Ivins was committing a crime! Criminals try to avoid leaving behind solid evidence of their crimes.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    The "Ivins was committing a crime!" is the tipoff that THAT is your starting point, your conclusion BEFORE looking at the (pertinent) evidence. Everything ELSE is judged as useful and/or true and/or valuable only to the extent that it buttresses that conclusion, that starting point.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ---------------
    "1) no sign Ivins ever in New Jersey in the right timeframe."

    Ivins had no alibi, and it has been established that he commonly drove long distances to do things so he couldn't be blamed. That is sufficient.[...]
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Boy I would HATE to be up on a murder rap with you on the jury!
    Guy knew how to shoot a gun? Has no alibi? That is sufficient!

    Not!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous #1 wrote: "And how does sending anthrax to two(2) tabloids in Florida connect to that as a motivation?!?"

    I told you that the motivation was to profit by the reaction to what appeared to be a biological attack from Muslim terrorist.

    I only mentioned Ivins' dislike of Leahy, Daschle and NYC to correct your belief that Ivins had nothing against his targets. He did - against SOME of them. But, that still wasn't his motive. So, you are just twisting things to be argumentative.

    "Actually no "experts" are listed (at least in the summary per se, I haven't read any of the supplementary material). "

    A few names of handwriting experts came up in media reports. There were discussions about them on various forums. I've probably got emails in my archives from over a half dozen. It was all long before Ivins was named as the anthrax mailer.

    "Then why do they try to make it sound like Ivins used the one in the Fort Detrick library?"

    Probably for the same reason they mentioned the lyophilizer: Because they didn't realize how people would misinterpret it. It's something they checked because it's something that was OBVIOUS they HAD to check. If they didn't mention it, people would wonder why they didn't mention it.

    "The "Ivins was committing a crime!" is the tipoff that THAT is your starting point, your conclusion BEFORE looking at the (pertinent) evidence."

    No, just the opposite. The evidence clearly says that Ivins sent the letters. He even put a secret message in the media letters that pinpoints him as the person who did it. Therefore, he must have dried the powders during his unexplained evening hours in his lab. And, that means he knew that he had to make sure he didn't leave a lot of evidence of his crime around.

    Is that your only remaining argument: Twisting my words to suggest they mean something I didn't mean?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  75. Anonymous #1,

    All you are doing is arguing each point as if it wasn't part of a larger case. That is WRONG! Juries look at ALL the evidence before making a judgement. They do not make judgements on each piece of evidence as it is being presented.

    Endlessly arguing that a single item of evidence isn't conclusive proof of guilt just makes you look like someone who doesn't understand evidence.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  76. Partial post by Ed Lake:
    -------
    Anonymous #1 wrote: "And how does sending anthrax to two(2) tabloids in Florida connect to that as a motivation?!?"

    I told you that the motivation was to profit by the reaction to what appeared to be a biological attack from Muslim terrorist.
    =============================================================
    So why bring in Ivins' alleged hostility to New Yorkers AT ALL?
    Why does the FINAL REPORT do that? Because, as I've noted COUNTLESS times, the REPORT isn't concerned with 1)a meticulous review of all the facts 2)any facts or patterns that are difficult to attribute SPECIFICALLY to Bruce Ivins (and picking out New York was a way to do that). That's because they want all 'threads' to go back to Ivins and ANYONE could have wanted to generate publicity.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------------
    Anonymous #1,

    All you are doing is arguing each point as if it wasn't part of a larger case.
    ==============================================================
    Actually YOU YOURSELF did that a few posts ago by making a big deal (as the FINAL REPORT does) about Ivins' hostility to New York. THAT doesn't fit the larger case (the mailings to DC and Florida). So why did you do it, Mister Lake? (I know, I know! The Bureas is always right, even when they are wrong)

    ReplyDelete
  78. Anonymous #1 wrote: "So why bring in Ivins' alleged hostility to New Yorkers AT ALL?"

    It's important to understand why one decoded message in the media letters is "FNY." He had a hostility toward New York.

    But, his motive for sending the letters to New York media outlets wasn't his hatred for New York, his motive was to create what appeared to be a Muslim terrorist attack so he could profit from it.

    I suppose he COULD have sent the anthrax letters to media outlets in Chicago or Los Angeles. But, he didn't. He chose New York TV personalities and a tabloid published in Florida that was distributed all over the country. He probably saw those as the places where he'd get the most "bang for a buck." And, he'd be able to watch the reaction on TV more easily.

    You're just playing word games. It's getting tedius.

    Ed

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  79. Anonymous #1 wrote: "THAT doesn't fit the larger case (the mailings to DC and Florida)."

    It certainly does fit into the larger case in many ways. The two decoded messages in the media letters were "PAT," the name of one of his favorite assistants (Patricia Fellows), and "FNY," a reference to the arguments he had with his most favorite assistant, Mara Linscott, who was a big Yankee's fan and talked a lot about how much she loved New York, while Ivins talked about how much he hated New York.

    The Big Picture isn't just motive for sending the letters. It's also motive for coding "PAT" and "FNY" as a hidden message in the media letters.

    Ed

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  80. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------------
    Anonymous #1 wrote: "THAT doesn't fit the larger case (the mailings to DC and Florida)."

    It certainly does fit into the larger case in many ways. The two decoded messages in the media letters were "PAT," the name of one of his favorite assistants (Patricia Fellows), and "FNY," a reference to the arguments he had with his most favorite assistant, Mara Linscott, who was a big Yankee's fan and talked a lot about how much she loved New York, while Ivins talked about how much he hated New York.

    The Big Picture isn't just motive for sending the letters.[..]
    ==============================================================
    No it isn't but as I pointed out in the past, human language (and the ability to process information) IS linear/sequential (and we have to talk about each skein on its own merits before putting it into the larger picture) and we WERE talking about motivation when this New York stuff came up.

    As I've pointed out countless times, I reject the FBI 'amino acid code' at every level of analysis: what the 'plain text' is, whether that plain text can be translated into a amino acids, and their 'breakouts'.

    But EVEN IF one took those breakouts to heart, PAT could refer to "Pat Leahy" (one of the addressees) or Pat Nixon, or Pat Sajak, or Pat Riley, or Pat Boone, or Pat O'Brien, or Pat the character of ambiguous gender in Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, or Pat Buchanan, or (insert anyone of hundreds of thousands to millions of Patricks, Patricias etc. in the English-speaking world). The attribution of that "PAT" to Patricia Fellows is a RESULT of their desire to pin the crimes on Ivins, NOT 'evidence' that led them TO Ivins in the first place. There is a difference.

    The fact that I have to note this in the above paragraph is what's wrong: they weren't trying to figure out why some letters/strokes were highlighted at that point, they were trying to come up with a 'solution', no matter how convoluted, that tied it to Ivins (this likely posthumously, though the FINAL REPORT provides no chronological breakdown on when they 'solved' the highlighting.

    This reminds me of the old saying "Find me a man, and I'll make you a case." Pathetic.

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  81. r Rowley
    -----------
    The Big Picture isn't just motive for sending the letters. It's also motive for coding "PAT" and "FNY" as a hidden message in the media letters.
    ===========================================================
    And THAT motive is nowhere stated in the FINAL REPORT.
    So what was it, Mister Lake? Merely a 'shout-out' to Patricia Fellows? An effort to incriminate her? What? "Motive" = reason for doing something. And neither you nor the Task Force nor the DoJ has supplied that motive.

    I can think of NO plausible reason to include the first or nick-name of your 'favorite assistant' inside a code in a letter containing anthrax.

    I can think of NO plausible motive to mail a letter from a mailbox within X number of feet from a sorority office that the perp has an obsession with.

    I can think of NO plausible motive to pick a town to do the mailing from based on where my grandpa lived in the 19th Century.


    So the DoJ has come up with something VERY interesting: "motives" which aren't motives at all!

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  82. Richard Rowley wrote: "I can think of NO plausible reason to include the first or nick-name of your 'favorite assistant' inside a code in a letter containing anthrax."

    So, if you can't think of a reason, there can be no reason, and it could not have been done? Is that your claim?

    I think we need to take a break. That kind of ridiculous reasoning is a real waste of my time.

    Ivins had his OWN motives. They are not YOUR motives. Ivins was mentally ill with obsessions you clearly cannot comprehend. So, the fact that he didn't do things the way you would do them is an absurd argument.

    The information about PAT and FNY is on page 60 of the Summary Report. The code came from Godel, Escher, Bach and a magazine about codons that Ivins threw away after his home was searched.

    The way you continuously refuse to look at ALL the evidence and how the pieces fit perfectly together is becoming tedious. I'm not going to argue those subjects with you any more. We both know each others' point of view. And, there doesn't appear to be any hope of agreement.

    And, I don't really have the time to go back to threads from weeks ago to discuss the same things over again.

    Ed

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  83. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    I suppose he COULD have sent the anthrax letters to media outlets in Chicago or Los Angeles. But, he didn't.[...]
    ============================================================
    We DON'T know that. All we can talk about is: letters which were recovered or letters which were discarded and left a trace that was detectable AND WAS DETECTED in 2001.

    For all we know OTHER dailies received letters (but no one got sick and the letters were discarded without notice). For all we know CNN in Atlanta might have received a letter that was discarded without incident.

    You are judging by (mere) surface things. (Nearly) always a mistakee.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Parrial post by Mister Lake:
    -------------------------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "I can think of NO plausible reason to include the first or nick-name of your 'favorite assistant' inside a code in a letter containing anthrax."

    So, if you can't think of a reason, there can be no reason, and it could not have been done? Is that your claim?
    =================================================================
    Mister Lake, I repeatedly asked YOU in many threads why a person would do that (pick mailing points by such arcane criteria), and YOUR response was: What am I, a mindreader? If it's NOT in the FINAL REPORT (and it's not) and you, the leading defender of the FINAL REPORT online, can't explain what motive Ivins (or anyone else! Ivins was not from the planet Mars! He would have the same basic psychology as anyone else for mailing letters!)had to do such things then it's really no explanation at all (remember: motive=reason for doing something). It's merely retrofitting the evidence to a preselected suspect.

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  85. Richard Rowley wrote: "You are judging by (mere) surface things. (Nearly) always a mistakee."

    Yes, I am looking at the evidence. Your statements say you value beliefs more highly than evidence.

    And, as a result, you don't even look at the evidence.

    "For all we know OTHER dailies received letters (but no one got sick and the letters were discarded without notice). For all we know CNN in Atlanta might have received a letter that was discarded without incident."

    The facts say otherwise. There was no trace of spores in post offices in Atlanta. The bag containing the AMI letter was apparently trucked through Atlanta on its way to the West Palm Beach distribution center, but no spores were detected in Atlanta.

    Is it totally impossible for there to have been an eighth letter? No. But, there's no evidence of it. And, if there's no evidence of it, it's not worthy of discussion. It's not part of the case.

    Yes, I look at the evidence. And the evidence now says that you do NOT care about evidence. You've made it very clear that, whenever you have a belief, your belief outweighs all the evidence.

    That doesn't leave much room for discussion, since I'm only interested in discussing the facts.

    Ed

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  86. Richard Rowley wrote: "Ivins was not from the planet Mars! He would have the same basic psychology as anyone else for mailing letters!"

    TOTAL NONSENSE. No two people think exactly alike. No two people have exactly the same motivation for doing something. You can talk about generalities, like everyone's need for food, shelter, love, freedom from fear, etc. But, when it comes to details like putting a coded message in a terrorist letter, there can be NO general explanations. It's not something that happens all the time.

    "It's merely retrofitting the evidence to a preselected suspect."

    I think it's clear that you do not care about facts, but the facts say you are as wrong as you can be wrong.

    The contents of flask RMR-1029 led the FBI to Ivins in 2004 or 2005. It wasn't until after November 7, 2007, when Ivins threw away the code book and codon magazine that the FBI was able to decode the message in the media letter.

    Ivins was fascinated with codes. He burglarized KKG sorority houses to steal their code books and materials. He used similar codes in an email. The decoded messages pertain to two women with whom Ivins was obsessed. Ivins was DRIVEN by his obsessions.

    Ivins didn't think the anthrax letters would kill anyone. We don't know exactly what his motivation was for putting the coded message in the letters, but it's clear that there is a message there and it connects to Ivins in numerous ways. So, in court it would be permissible to project a possible motive: The DOJ projected that he expected to use the coded message to impress Nancy Haigwood and/or Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott in some way. He wanted to show them how clever he was.

    I think he wanted to be able to show people how he'd warned America about the dangers of a bioweapons attack and got them to change course on vaccine development. He expected to be a hero. And, he put the coded message in the letter because he wanted to make sure that he could prove he did it when the time came.

    If you dig into Ivins' mind and history, you'll see that he put a clause in his will to give money to Planned Parenthood if his wife didn't allow his body to be cremated (which was totally against his wife's beliefs).

    So, he was getting back at his wife and manipulating her AFTER HIS DEATH. That means it's not unthinkable that he put the message in the media letters so that, after his death, the world would know how he'd fooled everyone. Ivins' history shows that he got a great deal of pleasure from doing a lot of things that neither his wife nor anyone else in the world knew about. He'd drive long distances at night and leave bottles of booze on Mara Linscott's porch and be amused that she couldn't be certain who it came from. He'd write her encrypted letters mailed from distant places. Ivins was EXACTLY the type of person who would put a coded message in a letter meant to appear that it came from someone else. He'd done it before.

    Is this all "speculation"? Not exactly. It's an interpretation of the facts. And, when it comes to motive, that's allowed in court. Motive is entirely inside a person's mind, and sometimes that person doesn't even know what his or her motive is for doing something. So, there really isn't any way for an outsider to know. But, experts in psychology can give "expert opinions."

    You may consider it all to be nonsense because it doesn't fit with your beliefs, but experts in psychology have "expert opinions" about your kind of thinking, too.

    Ed

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  87. Richard Rowley wrote: "For all we know CNN in Atlanta might have received a letter that was discarded without incident."

    The facts say otherwise. First of all, they tracked the trail of anthrax spores through the post offices, and there were no spores detected in Atlanta post offices.

    Second, when the anthrax letters went through the postal machines, one machine put a bar code on the bottom of each letter and similar bar codes on the bottom of every letter that went through the machine before and after the anthrax letters.

    The machine also recorded each bar code and the time on a tape or disk file.

    The FBI went through that list and attempted to track down every letter that went through the machines at about the same time. They found one in Arkansas that was still contaminated. I wrote about it on page 198 of my 2005 book. The bar code data said that one letter went to someone on Ottilie Lundgren's mail route. The bar code data also said that NO ONE on Kathy Nguyen's mail route received a letter that went through the machines at around the same time as the anthrax letters.

    So, in addition to the evidence from the spores, the evidence from the bar codes also says that no letter went to CNN.

    Is it absolutely conclusive? No. You are still free to believe what you want to believe. But, there is no evidence to support your belief, AND there is evidence that disputes your belief.

    Ed

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  88. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --------
    And, when it comes to motive, that's allowed in court. Motive is entirely inside a person's mind, and sometimes that person doesn't even know what his or her motive is for doing something. So, there really isn't any way for an outsider to know. But, experts in psychology can give "expert opinions."
    ==============================================================
    "Expert opinions" about patients they have never met? Have never examined? No. And we covered this ground before.

    The trouble is: you (and the DoJ) want to have it both ways:

    1)claim over and over and over again that Ivins' motive(s), both for the Amerithrax crimes in general, and for the selection of Princeton AND the particular mailbox in Princeton are all part of the "evidence" against him.

    2)when one asks, where the logic is in picking a mailbox within X number of feet from a sorority BUSINESS OFFICE and/or based on where one's father went to college, there's no LOGICAL (or legal) reply.

    3)it's all: what am I a mindreader? And 'motive is entirely within someone's head'.

    Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. The Unabomber's motive was in his manifesto as well as in his head.

    OJ Simpson's motive for killing his wife was the chronic jealousy he showed for years (via domestic battery incidents, threats he made to Nicole, scenes played out in front of witnesses. This was presented in court via 911 call, via the testimony of Nicole's sister etc. NO 'psychologist' presented anything.

    For motive to be presentable in court it has to manifest itself in similar forms.

    There is no such evidence in the FINAL REPORT on Ivins.

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  89. Richard Rowley wrote:

    "2)when one asks, where the logic is in picking a mailbox within X number of feet from a sorority BUSINESS OFFICE and/or based on where one's father went to college, there's no LOGICAL (or legal) reply."

    FALSE!

    It's been stated repeatedly that Ivins had an obsession with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. And the mailbox picked was the closest mailbox to that sorority office.

    It may seem illogical to you, but FOR IVINS is was a perfectly logical place to mail the letters.

    This isn't about what YOU think. It's about what Ivins was thinking.

    Motives are entirely inside a person's head. And, as I've said many many times, even the person committing the crime may not know his own motives.

    Saying that the anthrax attacks aren't like the Unabomber attacks is absurd. They are different crimes committed by different people. The same with the OJ murders. Different crime, different motives.

    "For motive to be presentable in court it has to manifest itself in similar forms.

    There is no such evidence in the FINAL REPORT on Ivins."


    If you go to the SUMMARY REPORT, you'll see that there's an entire section on MOTIVE that begins on page 38. It's all about the many reasons Ivins had to commit the crime.

    They don't talk about "motive" when it comes to choosing the mailbox.

    When the SUMMARY REPORT talks of the KKG office in Princeton, they talk about how it connects to Ivins' obsessions. This is from page 90:

    "The mailbox at 10 Nassau Street was approximately 175 feet from the front door of 20 Nassau Street, an office building which houses, among other things, the offices of the Princeton chapter of the KKG sorority. As set forth above, Dr. Ivins had a long-standing obsession with this sorority, dating back 40 years."

    They don't talk about a "motive" for mailing the letters from Princeton, they just talk about connections between the scene of the crime and Ivins' obsessions.

    YOU ask why Ivins would choose that mail box. That is a question about "motive," so the answer relates to motive. But, in court it wouldn't be done that way. In court, they would just show the connections Ivins had to the scene of the crime. And they'd talk about Ivins' obsessions. They'd probably let the JURY make the connections and see that for Ivins it was a perfectly logical place to pick to mail the letters. It wouldn't be logical for anyone else, but it WOULD be logical for Ivins.

    Ed

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  90. Richard Rowley wrote: "For motive to be presentable in court it has to manifest itself in similar forms."

    And it would have been. Ivins motive for the crime is documented in emails showing how upset he was over the status of the anthrax vaccine program and how they were talking about shutting it down and transferring him to work on a glanders vaccine. His motive for the crime was to get the anthrax vaccine program back on a high-priority track. Documents show that.

    That was Ivins' motive for the crime.

    You seem to be mixing up the motive for the crime with Ivins reasons (or motive) for mailing the letters from Princeton.

    I think we need to stop using the term "motive" when we discuss why Ivins picked Princeton to to mail the letters. That really has nothing to do with his motive for the crime, it has to do with his obsessions and his plans to get away with the crime. It's about his planning, not about his motive.

    My personal hypothesis is that Ivins wanted to mail the letters from as close to Newark as he could get. One of the 9/11 aircraft had taken off from Newark International, and he wanted the letters to be connected to the 9/11 attacks and the 9/11 Muslim terrorists.

    But, the drive from Frederick to Newark would have been about 10 hours, round trip. Ivins either changed his mind while driving or decided before leaving that he wouldn't go any further than Princeton. Princeton was on the way to Newark, and it cut the drive to about 8 hours.

    And, since he was going to be in Princeton anyway, he evidently decided to feed his obsessions and check out the local KKG office. Mailing the letters from the closest mailbox to the KKG office was just one of his private little pleasures, a way to get back at KKG for what he fantasized they had been doing to him for 40 years.

    Ed

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  91. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    Richard Rowley wrote:

    "2)when one asks, where the logic is in picking a mailbox within X number of feet from a sorority BUSINESS OFFICE and/or based on where one's father went to college, there's no LOGICAL (or legal) reply."

    FALSE!

    It's been stated repeatedly that Ivins had an obsession with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. And the mailbox picked was the closest mailbox to that sorority office.
    ==============================================================
    So what? It just isn't that that doesn't "prove" anything, it's that that doesn't connect to ANY stated motive.

    An IMPUTED motive along those lines would be:

    1)Ivins was SO delusional that he thought that the P.O. pickup guy would take the anthrax letters directly to KKG (via mental telepathy, ignoring the facts that pickup personal just collect, they don't sort/deliver mail), striking against his 'enemies'. (This, a true, if weird, imputed motive, isn't in the FINAL REPORT, nor has Mister Lake ever brought it up)

    or

    2)Ivins was SO delusional that he believed that the proximity to the KKG office would induce the investigative agents to suspect (and possibly convict!) members of KKG of sending the letters. Here the (underlying) motive would be his obsession with/hatred for KKG but the PROXIMATE motive would be 'framing' KKG for the crimes.

    THOSE would be (examples of)motives for choosing that mailbox that connects it to Ivins' delusion/obsession with KKG. Both (and probably anything else you could come up with)highly improbable, unprovable (unless Ivins kept a diary so-stating), and therefore unpresentable in a courtroom setting (inadmissible).

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  92. Richard Rowley wrote: "2)Ivins was SO delusional that he believed that the proximity to the KKG office would induce the investigative agents to suspect (and possibly convict!) members of KKG of sending the letters."

    I think you're going a bit overboard, but theory #2 is probably the closest of the two "motives" you imagine for Ivins.

    I don't think Ivins was trying to get the FBI to think that KKG members were behind the attacks. I think it's clear that he wanted the FBI to think that Muslim terrorists were behind the attacks.

    But, why did Ivins choose the mailbox nearest to the KKG office?

    My best guess is that is where he ended up. He started out planning to drive to Newark. He had driven as far as Princeton, where he had to feed his obsessions by checking out the KKG office. And, once his obsession had been fed, he decided it wasn't really necessary to drive any further toward Newark. So, he simply dropped the letters into the closest mailbox. It was the one he'd passed as he drove to the KKG office.

    His obsessions were satisfied, and the mailbox was close enough to Newark to suggest a connection to the 9/11 hijackers who had taken off from Newark. It was getting late. He had to get back to Frederick in time to join others for a trip to Covance in Pennsylvania. So, he dropped the letters in the nearest mailbox and headed back home.

    I don't think it was anything more dramatic than that. Once his obsession had been fed, his thought processes changed.

    Ed

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