Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13, - May 19, 2012 Discussions

My Sunday May 13 comment covered a lot of different topics.  I mentioned how Anthrax Truthers (and "Truthers" of all kinds) will go quiet if you can manage to get them to discuss facts instead of just their beliefs.  They have no facts of their own, and they misunderstand or deliberately misinterpret the key facts that are known, so when confronted with solid facts, all they can do is either go silent or start hurling personal insults.

I mentioned that I gave up on the two agents I'd contacted last month, and I sent out query letters to a dozen other agencies.

I mentioned some interaction I had with an FOIA officer at the FBI who was trying to fulfill my request for some pictures.  She pointed out where one of the pictures could be found on a DOJ web site I'd totally forgotten about.  That led me into a discussion of the differences between photos in pdf format on the DOJ site versus photos I obtained back in 2002 that were in high resolution TIF format.

Then I got into the kind of problems encountered when trying to track down the source of something - like a well-known picture of Bruce Ivins in his lab.

Lastly, I discussed some emails I'd exchanged with a scientist who wanted information about how Ivins was able to make the anthrax powders in the letters if he didn't take the spores directly out of flask RMR-1029.  The scientist was able to see that it was easy IF you didn't make a lot of silly assumptions about Ivins following standard procedures when creating the powders.

That discussion also pointed out the need that exists for my new book.  But, I'm working on it as fast as I can.

Ed

120 comments:

  1. Regarding your comment of May 17th: I think there's a real chance the perp is the Anthrax Killer, since my analysis indicates he was mailing white-powder hoaxes long before the fall of 2001 and has continued stuff in a similar vein since the fall of 2001.

    The Bureau is afflicted by a linkage-blindness in all this: everything has to fit in one box ("real anthrax attack") or another ("anthrax hoax") when the underlying psychology is the same, merely the opportunity changed somewhere in mid-2001: he had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swipe some real spores.

    As in the Amerithrax mailings, the language in the mailings ISN'T 'bad English', it's pseudo-bad English. Crucial difference.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Richard Rowley wrote: "I think there's a real chance the perp is the Anthrax Killer, since my analysis indicates he was mailing white-powder hoaxes long before the fall of 2001 and has continued stuff in a similar vein since the fall of 2001."

    Maybe you failed to notice, but they KNOW who sent the anthrax letters of 2001.

    It makes no sense to have some guy send out real anthrax and then to send out hoax letters. The underlying psychology is VERY different. No one has ever been proved to have sent out both hoax and real anthrax letters.

    The facts say the anthrax mailer made the spores that were in the letters, so all he had to do was save some of the spores and he could make an infinite supply of them whenever he wanted.

    But, I agree that the "bad English" is probably someone trying to write "bad English" to mislead investigators.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe you failed to notice, but they KNOW who sent the anthrax letters of 2001.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Yeah, like at one time they 'knew' how many angels could fit on the head of a pin!

    "It makes no sense to have some guy send out real anthrax and then to send out hoax letters."
    -----------
    To you, perhaps, Mister Lake, but we aren't talking about YOUR psychology, we're talking about the PERP's psychology. It is the 'panic effect' that is the psychological charge of the mailings, a charge that hoaxes can deliver as well as true anthrax mailings. That's 'terrorism' in its purest form: not as an instrument for a cause, but terror for terror's sake.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Richard Rowley wrote: "we're talking about the PERP's psychology."

    Right. And as I said, "No one has ever been proved to have sent out both hoax and real anthrax letters."

    If the person has real anthrax, he sends out real anthrax. If he has no access to real anthrax, he sends out hoax powders. He doesn't decide one day to use the real stuff and the next day to send out hoaxes. There's no evidence that that ever happened anywhere at any time. It makes no sense.

    The psychology is very different.

    A hoaxer wants to scare people, but he knows his powder is harmless, and he knows he's doing nothing BUT scaring people. There's no other objective. It's just the fun of watching people run around. He doesn't expect the authorities to crack down on the distribution of baking powder or flour.

    Someone who sends out real powders, however, wants to scare people with THE REAL THING to achieve some personal goal. Scaring people is a means to an end. He wants some kind of action taken that involves protecting people from anthrax.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A year and a half ago I wrote: "There's no other objective. It's just the fun of watching people run around."

      WOW! What was I thinking? Of course there is USUALLY some other objective - typically harassment. The typical anthrax hoaxer sends out his hoax letters to harass people he/she has a grievance against: abortion clinics, law enforcement officials, former employers, etc. He/she might enjoy watching people run around, but that just means he achieved his goal and succeeded in harassing them.

      The psychology MAY be different from someone who actually sends out real anthrax. But it doesn't have to be different.

      I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote the comment above. Maybe I was viewing hoaxers as being pranksters, whereas the anthrax mailer was deadly serious. If so, I was wrong. Hoaxers can also be deadly serious.

      Ed

      Delete
  5. Richard,

    Can we assume that you believe that the North Texas hoaxer also sent the anthrax letters because it's possible that your "person of interest" could have done both?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  6. Right. And as I said, "No one has ever been proved to have sent out both hoax and real anthrax letters."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well, since in the totality of human history, only the year 2001 saw "real anthrax letters" sent, that's a very small pool of evidence (psychological or otherwise) to base an opinion on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Richard Rowley wrote: "since in the totality of human history, only the year 2001 saw "real anthrax letters" sent, that's a very small pool of evidence (psychological or otherwise) to base an opinion on."

    It's not an opinion if the FACTS say it's never been done.

    It's only an opinion if you believe the facts don't mean anything.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's not an opinion if the FACTS say it's never been done.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    I don't follow you here. You AREN'T claiming (are you?) that outside of the Amerithrax letters, nothing like it ("real anthrax letters" being sent) had been done PRIOR to 2001, right? So then, if no REAL anthrax letters were sent from 1776 to 2000, how could there POSSIBLY be (even theoretically) an instance of the same person(s) sending BOTH 'real anthrax' letters and hoaxes? If NO 'real anthrax' letters were sent in those 224 previous years, how could there POSSIBLY be an instance in which the same person/group sent BOTH (ie both white powder hoaxes AND real anthrax)?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Richard,

    The facts say Ivins had access to anthrax and sent the anthrax letters.

    There are no facts which say Ivins also sent hoax letters.

    There are no facts which say anyone else who sent hoaxes also sent real anthrax letters.

    Ergo, the facts say it's never been done.

    If you believe the facts don't mean anything because it's never been done ... that's just your opinion.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  10. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------
    A hoaxer wants to scare people, but he knows his powder is harmless, and he knows he's doing nothing BUT scaring people. There's no other objective.[...]
    =========================================
    In some instances that's true but probably a MAJORITY of hoax letters sent have a purpose:

    1) a HUGE category of hoax powder letters/packages is sent by anti-abortion extremists/terrorists (they are terrorists, but for them, as for Islamic terrorists, the terror is instrumental, a means to an end or part of a larger war). The targets are predictable: abortion clinics, doctors known to perform abortions, abortion referral places (like Planned Parenthood) etc.
    They basically follow the pattern of terrorist-bomber Eric Rudolf, though he never bothered with powders.
    The PURPOSE is: to shut down the facilities, even if only for a day. And, if it be possible, for the individual doctor/clinice/etc. to be forced out of the abortion line. Via fear. (Sometimes even killing the doctor).

    2) people with grudges against particular institutions (schools, courthouses, police etc.) Again terror to effect 'revenge' as they see it. So we could easily imagine the Mad Bomber of New York of the 1940s-50s using anthrax letters (hoax or real) instead of his bombs.
    Ditto with the Unabomber.
    ========================================================
    Terror for terror's sake, however, is rare. That's the Anthrax Killer's bag.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The facts say Ivins had access to anthrax and sent the anthrax letters.

    There are no facts which say Ivins also sent hoax letters.

    There are no facts which say anyone else who sent hoaxes also sent real anthrax letters.

    Ergo, the facts say it's never been done.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Okay, but you've switched your emphasis. In the beginning you were saying that the strongest 'evidence' against the same person/group doing Amerithrax and (a subset of) anthrax hoaxes was: nothing like it had been done before. With the operative word "before". But since the Amerithrax mailings were, sensu strictu, unprecedented, that AUTOMATICALLY means that there COULD BE no 'precedent'.

    NOW all you are saying is: you think Ivins did it, you think the Task Force proved it.

    Don't agree. But it's a different argument entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Richard Rowley wrote: "The PURPOSE is: to shut down the facilities, even if only for a day."

    Agreed. The purpose of many (possibly most) hoax letters is to harass some person or some organization. The purpose of the anthrax letters wasn't to harass anyone, it was to alert America to the dangers of a bioweapons attack.

    "Terror for terror's sake, however, is rare."

    No, unfortunately, it's not. It's called "terrorism," and it's going on all the time all over the world. Typically, however, they use bombs. If they use the mails, it's to send bombs not hoax letters.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "NOW all you are saying is: you think Ivins did it, you think the Task Force proved it."

    No, I'm saying the FACTS say that Ivins did it. The "task force" compiled the facts showing that Ivins did it.

    Here's my argument regarding the North Texas hoax letters:

    FACT: There have been tens of thousands of hoax letters.

    FACT: There has been only one case of someone sending REAL anthrax letters.

    FACT: No hoax letter has ever been connected to the person who sent the anthrax letters containing REAL anthrax.

    FACT: There is no evidence connecting the North Texas hoax letters to the anthrax letters.

    Does that mean that it is impossible for someone to send out both real and hoax anthrax letters? No, of course not. It just mean there is no evidence that it has ever been done.

    You might believe that the North Texas hoax letters were sent by the same person who sent the anthrax letters, but there are no facts to support such a belief.

    The fact that it is possible does NOT mean that it happened.

    The FACTS say it didn't happen.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous wrote me an email questioning my sources when I wrote "There have been tens of thousands of hoax letters."

    One source HERE says:

    "As a result of the anthrax letters, biohazard screening technologies costing millions of dollars were developed to detect and kill biological threats carried inside mail. Ten years, hundreds of suspicious substances on and hundreds of thousands of hoax white powder letters later, the legacy of those 2001 letters continues to have an impact."

    Richard Preston's book "The Demon in the Freezer" says:

    "[David Lee] Wilson was head of the [FBI's] HMRU [Hazardous Materials Response Unit] between 1997 and 2000, and during those years the number of credible bioterror threats or incidents rose dramatically, up to roughly 200 per year, or one biological threat every couple of days. Most of them were anthrax hoaxes."

    That was before the anthrax attacks. Things have gotten worse since then. There have been many cases where a single individual sent out HUNDREDS of hoax letters.

    So, I'd say that tens of thousands of hoax letters is a good estimate.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hmmm. "Anonymous" is unable to dispute my estimate of "tens of thousands of hoax letters," so he sent me THREE emails complaining that I didn't use the sources he would prefer I use.

    ROTFLMAO

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  15. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    --
    FACT: There has been only one case of someone sending REAL anthrax letters.
    ------------------------------
    I would say "one case in the US that we KNOW of", and that only if we 1) lump the October 2001 mailings with the September 2001 mailings AND we stipulate that the anthrax contamination sent to Dr Antonio Banfi in Santiago, Chile in 2001 somehow doesn't count.
    Since I think the same person/group sent the letter to Banfi, this isn't much of a stipulation FOR ME. But for those who think it totally unrelated, they AUTOMATICALLY think there were two such instances: Amerithrax and Banfi.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Responding to me, Mister Lake wrote:
    ----------
    "Terror for terror's sake, however, is rare."

    No, unfortunately, it's not. It's called "terrorism," and it's going on all the time all over the world. Typically, however, they use bombs. If they use the mails, it's to send bombs not hoax letters.
    =========================================
    No, I'm making a distinction between two psychologies:

    1) instrumental terrorists: al qaeda, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weather Underground, Eric Roberts (and other anti-abortion terrorists), Tamil Tigers, [fill in the blank with just about any known or even unknown terrorist group/individual].
    They are instrumental terrorists because they have a cause or causes which are their goals. Bombs or white powder hoaxes or other deadly mechanisms/substances are merely INSTRUMENTS.

    2)'pure terrorists' do it for the fun of terrorism.
    So: Szilveszter Matushka. And who else? No one comes readily to mind. Except the Anthrax Killer. A VERY rare type.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Richard Rowley wrote: "I would say "one case in the US that we KNOW of", and that only if we 1) lump the October 2001 mailings with the September 2001 mailings AND we stipulate that the anthrax contamination sent to Dr Antonio Banfi in Santiago, Chile in 2001 somehow doesn't count.

    Since I think the same person/group sent the letter to Banfi, this isn't much of a stipulation FOR ME."


    I see no reason to believe the Chile letter had anything to do with the actual anthrax attacks of 2001:

    "U.S. Believes Lab Contamination Was Source of Anthrax in Chile

    By Mark Schoofs
    Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
    29 November 2001

    Federal health officials said that laboratory contamination appears responsible for the mysterious positive anthrax test of a letter sent to a Chilean pediatrician, leaving the fatal cases of two women in New York City and Oxford, Conn., as the most recent suspected to be bioterrorism.
    "

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "2)'pure terrorists' do it for the fun of terrorism."

    "Matuska's motives remain unclear. His first attack was initially thought to have been politically motivated. At his trial, Matuska claimed to have been ordered to derail the express by God. Matuska has also been quoted as explaining his crimes by saying: "I wrecked trains because I like to see people die. I like to hear them scream." It was reported that he achieved orgasm while watching the trains he had sabotaged crash." Source: Wikipedia

    Matuska was either insane or politically motivated. Either way, I don't see him as a "pure terrorist."

    I think "pure terrorists" probably only exist in comic books.

    Hoaxers BELIEVE what they're doing cannot harm anyone.
    Terrorists INTEND to kill.

    Ivins' case was in between.

    Ivins didn't plan to kill anyone, but his ignorance of all the possible consequences of what he was doing resulted in the death of five people and injury to 17 others. That puts him in a category similar to the "political activist" who thinks a government building is empty when he sets it afire and kills people who were not known to be in the building.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous sent me an email that said this:

    "By Alexandra Seltzer
    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Updated: 7:06 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, 2012

    While the spate of recent white powder incidents might seem to signal they are increasing, the number has remained about 300 incidents per year nationally since 2008, according to FBI statistics."


    The question is, I guess, did the number of hoaxes before 2008 add up to "tens of thousands"?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  19. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------
    Matuska was either insane or politically motivated. Either way, I don't see him as a "pure terrorist."
    ===========================================================
    What political motivation? I NEVER read anything about any political motivation he had, and I don't think it would have escaped the chroniclers of his crimes. He did it for the sheer pleasure of the acts.

    As to "insane", well, that's an interesting word: at one level it just means VERY VERY mentally ill. And that's essentially what Ivins is accused of being. I don't just mean that he's been labelled "mentally ill" and accused of sending the letters. I mean he's accused ALSO of:

    1)selecting a mailbox based on where a sorority office was, despite the fact that this mailbox selection neither abets nor hinders the commission of the crime, and has no effect whatsoever on the sorority ('female fraternity') in question.

    2)selecting the GENERAL location of the mailbox based on ancestral connections to that part of New Jersey and Princeton (the town, the university). AGAIN, this neither aids nor hurts the commission of the crime, so it's difficult to see any SANE reason for such a selection.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    And while I'm back on this "mailbox-selection" hobbyhorse of mine, I recently saw something analogous in incongruity. In the Oliver Stone movie JFK, there's a scene where New Orleans DA Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner), the conspiracy theorist PAR EXCELLENCE, takes his immediate subordinates to a stretch of Lafayette Square, which is evidently the central business district of the city. He points out the street address that Lee Harvey Oswald (falsely?)* chose as the address stamped on the back of his FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE fliers. Then Garrison, somewhat triumphantly, points down the street to the local HQS of the OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE, the FBI, and (some other intelligence/law enforcement agency). The very proximity of these organizations tells Garrison that Oswald MUST have been a crypto- minion of one or more these organizations. Though his subordinates ALSO think there's much fishy about the JFK assassination, they are puzzled that their boss thinks the proximity thing has any significance. Me too!


    *I think the N.O. branch of the FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA organization was a one-man outfit: Lee Harvey Oswald and no one else in N.O.
    And the street address on the fliers held no office of the chapter.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Richard Rowley also wrote: "2)'pure terrorists' do it for the fun of terrorism."

    And from the Wiki article Mister Lake linked:
    "I wrecked trains because I like to see people die. I like to hear them scream."

    What's political about that??????

    ReplyDelete
  21. Richard Rowley wrote: "What political motivation? I NEVER read anything about any political motivation he had, and I don't think it would have escaped the chroniclers of his crimes."

    According to one source:

    "He first derailed the Berlin-Basel express train, south of Berlin on 8 August 1931; at the scene of the attack they found a defaced Nazi newspaper suggesting that it was politically motivated attack."

    But, I'm not willing to argue the matter. He seems to have been crazy.

    Ivins was mentally ill, yet fully functional in society. He was apparently a sociopath. The reasons he chose the mailbox probably didn't have anything to do with his plan, it more likely had to do with where he was when he decided to alter his plan and return home. I think he had planned to drive about 10 more miles to Franklin Park to mail the letters there. But, after stopping to take a look at the KKG office building, he decided he'd gone far enough, and he used the nearest mailbox. He probably knew that mail from both Princeton and Franklin Park would be processed at the same mail center, so it didn't make any difference if he drove the extra ten miles or not.

    The only reason we know the letters were not mailed from Franklin Park is because the mailbox in Princeton contained spores. Ivins would never have believed that it was possible for spores to leak out of the envelope, particularly after he taped the seams shut to prevent it from happening.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  22. "He first derailed the Berlin-Basel express train, south of Berlin on 8 August 1931; at the scene of the attack they found a defaced Nazi newspaper suggesting that it was politically motivated attack."
    ============================================================
    Yes, I read it! Now do a little analysis: how many newspapers do you think there would be on a crowded Basel to Berlin train in the 1930s, an age before Internet, mobile phones, transistor radios, or for that matter, ANY mobile information device? Hundreds! And I know that because as a boy/teenager I would see HUNDREDS of tabloids/broadsheets being read daily on the New York subway, and this about 30 to 40 years after the derailments in question (ie when there were at least transistor radios)!
    (Furthermore, depending on exactly where "the scene of the attack" was,-------the greater Berlin area would have been, even then, one of the more crowded cities in Germany------newspapers being sold by vendors on a street parallel to the rail-line cannt be precluded).

    The odds of a given newspaper found at such a train wreck site belonging to the perpetrator of the derailment seem, to me, infintessimally small. It's not as though there weren't plenty of people (Jews, Communists to begin with) who didn't despise the NAZI PARTY and wouldn't be MORE than willing to express it by defacing a Nazi newspaper (remember: in 1931 the Nazis had still not come to power).

    ReplyDelete
  23. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    Matuska was either insane or politically motivated. Either way, I don't see him as a "pure terrorist."

    I think "pure terrorists" probably only exist in comic books.
    =========================================================
    Okay, you've effectively categorically eliminated a label. But without addressing what I was using the label for: MOST individual terrorists/terrorist groups have a larger motive/purpose/goal ("the revolution", "jihad", "stopping abortion", "elevating the proletariat to be the ruling class", "driving the Brits out of Ireland", "stopping the War in Vietnam" etc. etc.). I call them "instrumental terrorists".

    Nevertheless, there are individuals (and probably some groups) who don't have such broader goals: they enjoy terroristic acts for their own sake. Matuska is one such (clear-cut) case. It doesn't matter to me if you don't want to call these non-instrumental terrorist "pure terrorists" and/or you want to call them something else. They exist.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Richard Rowley wrote: "The odds of a given newspaper found at such a train wreck site belonging to the perpetrator of the derailment seem, to me, infintessimally small."

    As I said, I'm not going to argue this subject with you. I don't have the time to do the research.

    I would assume that if they found the newspaper and considered it to be a "clue," they found it where the culprit committed the crime -- next to a switch or next to something he put on the tracks. Who knows? Who cares?

    I have no interest in this subject.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  25. And from that story on the anthrax in Santiago:
    --------------
    By contrast, the "light culture growth" obtained in the Chilean lab "is more consistent with contamination from a laboratory source." He said that the CDC is working with the Chilean lab, which will send to the CDC other samples of anthrax it had in its possession. The CDC will then determine if they are the same. The anthrax strain also occurs in nature, Dr. Cohen said.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Ten years ago. When are we going to get an update?

    (And that last sentence seems somewhat odd: is it suggesting that an anthrax-contaminated piece of mail got that way by "communing with nature"?!?!!?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Richard Rowley wrote: "Nevertheless, there are individuals (and probably some groups) who don't have such broader goals: they enjoy terroristic acts for their own sake."

    Who cares? If such people exist, the term for them is "CRIMINALLY INSANE."

    There's a difference between "criminally insane" and "mentally ill," and there are many degrees and varieties of both.

    Putting everyone who commits terrorist acts into two categories is probably total nonsense.

    This discussion doesn't have anything to do with the anthrax attacks of 2001.

    Ivins was "mentally ill," but he didn't want to kill anyone. It appears he was just trying to get anthrax vaccine development back on track. He wanted to scare people and make them think about the need for a good anthrax vaccine. And, he may also have figured that a REAL anthrax attack was imminent and America wasn't prepared, so he wanted to make that point.

    Whatever his reason, it wasn't because he was criminally insane and liked to watch people die, nor was he was trying to overthrow the government. His motives appear to be to help get his career back on track. That's NOT a typical "terrorist" motive. And, I don't think he got any pleasure out of hurting people. The facts say he was a "basket case" when people started dying.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have no interest in this subject.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Well, by my lights, the subject isn't Matuska PER SE; it's whether people such as I describe in general terms exist.
    As I said, a small group in per centage terms. But probably larger than would be generally understood because we frequently give them other labels: at least a subset of "serial killers" are ALSO what I call "pure terrorists": they not only enjoy the act of killing, they enjoy the publicity, the cat and mouse game with the authorities.
    So: Jack the Ripper, Zodiac (original recipe), the Monster of Florence, and a number of less famous killers-cum-terrorists.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Partial by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    Who cares? If such people exist, the term for them is "CRIMINALLY INSANE."
    ------------------------------------------
    No, I think that's broader: the Unabomber was/is schizophrenic, homicidally so, and thus "criminally insane". But even he had a (utopistic) goal: the elimination of technology as we know it.
    So, for him terror was instrumental.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Richard Rowley wrote: "Ten years ago. When are we going to get an update?"

    You seem to be the only one interested in this subject.

    I have a bunch of articles about it on my site. Go to the original main page. There are articles which say

    1. The letter was a window envelope.
    2. The address was typed.
    3. The return address was for a medical publishing company in Orlando.

    The New York Times said:

    "There was no powder found in the letter, but its insides were swabbed by technicians reaching into a sanitized cabinet with protective gloves. The specimen was stored and cultivated in a petri dish, tested positive for anthrax, and then sent up to the United States for further testing.

    Ms. Vega Morales said that the C.D.C. had said that the strain of anthrax found in Chile was similar to strains that had been found in Turkey.


    If you're interested in this subject, DO SOME RESEARCH. If you find something of value, post it here. Otherwise, it is off topic.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  30. If you're interested in this subject, DO SOME RESEARCH.
    -----------------------------
    Actually, I did some of my own peculiar research but I can't share it here.

    As to the 'update' I was talking about, it centered on whether that Chilean lab had that particular strain of anthrax on hand so that the 'contamination' could have taken place. If not, then it needs to be 'rethunk'! It that REALLY such an odd interest?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Richard Rowley wrote: "Is that REALLY such an odd interest?"

    It's not "odd," it's just not an interest we share. So, you're really wasting your time trying to get me interested. I think it's a dead issue.

    There was no quantity of powder in the envelope. They apparently just found a few spores when they swabbed the inside of the envelope. And, "lab contamination" would mean that either the swab wasn't sterile, or it became contaminated before it was used to inoculate the plate. OR the plate became contaminated when they opened it to apply the swab to it.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  32. Richard Rowley wrote: "Is that REALLY such an odd interest?"

    It's not "odd," it's just not an interest we share. So, you're really wasting your time trying to get me interested. I think it's a dead issue.
    =============================================================
    Let's review timewise:

    1776 to August 2001: absolutely NO verifiable anthrax attacks through the mail in US history, but a number (dozens to hundreds?) of white powder hoaxes in the last decade or two of the 20th Century).

    September of 2001: several anthrax-bearing letters sent through
    the US mails. (concurrent hoax letters from St Pete target at least one of the addressees of the true anthrax letters: Tom Brokaw, and that hoax letter's postmarked Sept 20th, ie before anyone knew there was a mail-borne anthrax attack underway)

    October of 2001: several anthrax-bearing letters sent through the US mails. (More St Pete hoax letters sent)

    November of 2001: anthrax-contaminated mailing sent to Antonio Banfi in Argentina (and hoax letter sent to Senator Daschle from London, although it isn't discovered until January of 2002
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/04/us/a-nation-challenged-threats-powder-sent-to-daschle-hoax-is-seen.html )
    ===============================================================
    I submit the above is best explained in terms of a group, not one person plus 'copy cats', since no MERE 'copy cat':
    1) knew on Sept 20th 2001 that there was a true anthrax attack underway and that Tom Brokaw was a target.

    2)would have even the tiniest amount of anthrax powder 'on hand' just in case there was an anthrax attack, so as to contaminate the Banfi mailing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Richard Rowley wrote: "I submit the above is best explained in terms of a group, not one person plus 'copy cats'"

    No one is talking about "copy cats." You need to do better research.

    1. The hoax white powder letter phenomenon really began when, a few weeks prior to the December 15, 1997 announcement of the Anthrax Vaccine Program, US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen held up a 5-lb. bag of sugar on the Today Show and warned that if the bag contained anthrax, it could kill half of Washington, DC.

    2. Between 1997 and 2000, the number of credible bioterror threats or incidents rose dramatically, up to roughly 200 per year, or one biological threat every couple of days. Most of them were anthrax hoaxes.

    3. The number of white powder hoaxes got so bad that the Canadian Military did research on how dangerous it would be to open a letter filled with real anthrax powder. Their report was published in September 2001, just before the mailings. You can read it by clicking HERE.

    4. Steven Hatfill and his boss at SAIC asked William Patrick III to produced a similar report at about the same time. It was also produced shortly before the mailings.

    5. So, we had a constant flow of hoax letters going through the mails - roughly one every couple days.

    That means that NONE of the hoax letters that went out in September of 2001 were "copy cats". They were just more of the same -- more hoaxes in the flood of hoaxes.

    Therefore, your premise is FALSE. There is NO CONNECTION between any hoax before October 2001 and the anthrax letters. Timing is not enough to establish a connection, since hoax letters were being sent before, during and after the real letters.

    The discovery of anthrax in the Chile letter was the result of increased scrutiny and testing. There is absolutely NO reason to connect it to the anthrax attacks.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  34. Richard Rowley wrote: "I submit the above is best explained in terms of a group, not one person plus 'copy cats'"

    No one is talking about "copy cats." You need to do better research.
    ===========================================================
    What do you mean? Are you denying that the Amerithrax attacks unleashed a floodgate of FALSE similar mailings ?(ie copycat: looking like anthrax bearing letters without being anthrax letters, just like the Tylenol poisonings of 1982 produced 'copycats': BOTH other tamperings with Tylenol and false-claims of such tamperings. And that's EXACTLY what they were called in 1982: copy-cat cases). The way to distinguish is via chronology: a Sept 20-postmarked hoax letter couldn't possibly be a copy-cat centered on the Sept 18th postmarked first wave of Anthrax attacks.

    It's the CHRONOLOGY that let's you know that.
    ----------------------------
    Back to Mister Lake:
    The discovery of anthrax in the Chile letter was the result of increased scrutiny and testing. There is absolutely NO reason to connect it to the anthrax attacks.
    ============================================
    Actually, there is: that mailing was sent by the same group.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Richard Rowley wrote: "a Sept 20-postmarked hoax letter couldn't possibly be a copy-cat centered on the Sept 18th postmarked first wave of Anthrax attacks."

    I explained this. Why ask questions if you aren't going to read the answers?

    THERE WAS A FLOOD OF HOAX LETTERS GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME AS THE ANTHRAX LETTERS WERE SENT. The flood of hoax letters started years earlier.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: that mailing was sent by the same group."

    That is a baseless claim. You're not going to convince anyone of your beliefs by just stating baseless claims that ignore the facts.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  36. I explained this. Why ask questions if you aren't going to read the answers?

    THERE WAS A FLOOD OF HOAX LETTERS GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME AS THE ANTHRAX LETTERS WERE SENT. The flood of hoax letters started years earlier.
    ===========================================================
    Wow. Apparently Mister Lake and I have different definitions of
    "flood". Here's mine: a SUDDEN uptick in some activity that reaches close to astronomical figures. I hardly think that the April 1997 B'nai Br'ith mailing (which incidently was sent by that very same Anthrax Killer, which is one of SEVERAL reasons why I say he enjoys, REALLY enjoys, sending hoaxes as well as the real McCoy, but in 1997 he didn't have access to anthrax) produced anything comparable to the Sept-Oct 2001 mailings.
    My source? Well, a partial of ONE of the above posts written by Mister Lake that Mister Lake claims I'm not reading:
    -----------------
    One source HERE says:

    "As a result of the anthrax letters, biohazard screening technologies costing millions of dollars were developed to detect and kill biological threats carried inside mail. Ten years, hundreds of suspicious substances on and hundreds of thousands of hoax white powder letters later, the legacy of those 2001 letters continues to have an impact."
    =================================================================
    That's what Mister Lake wrote above.
    "Hundreds of thousands of hoax white powder letters" according to the source cited by Mister Lake. And when? In the ten years SINCE Amerithrax. A 'flood'. And what are the figures for the April 1997 to Sept 2001 period? Back to Mister Lake and the posts I "haven't been reading": (same post as above):
    -----------
    "[David Lee] Wilson was head of the [FBI's] HMRU [Hazardous Materials Response Unit] between 1997 and 2000, and during those years the number of credible bioterror threats or incidents rose dramatically, up to roughly 200 per year, or one biological threat every couple of days."

    So 200 a year makes 1000 in the 4 years between 1997 and 2001.
    Compare: 1000 post-B'nai Br'ith hoax (one every other day) versus the "hundreds of thousands" since October of 2001. Which could most accurately be termed a "flood"? You decide, oh mighty reader!

    ReplyDelete
  37. That is a baseless claim. You're not going to convince anyone of your beliefs by just stating baseless claims that ignore the facts.
    ==============================================================
    Actually, I'm not trying to convince you of MY claims. My goals with you are far more modest.

    The people I try to convince of the big things are: people who have a professional responsibility to keep it under their sombreros (ie professional journalists), AND those whom I trust personally from long personal experience with them.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Just to be as clear (without giving too much away!) about my hypothesis in its totality:

    The same person:

    1) sent the petri dish in April of 1997 to B'nai Br'ith.

    2) sent white powder mailings to news outlets in 1999:
    -----
    February 1999 (B): There is another hoax anthrax attack (see April 24, 1997). A handful of envelopes with almost identical messages are sent to a combination of media and government targets including The Washington Post, NBC's Atlanta office, a post office in Columbus, Georgia (next to Fort Benning, an Army base), and the Old Executive Office Building in Washington. The letters contained fake anthrax powder.
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/timeline/AAanthrax.html
    --------
    3) sent the Amerithrax letters of 2001.

    4) sent the St Pete hoax letters of 2001.

    5) sent the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter of Sept 2001.

    6) sent the anthrax-contaminated mailing to Antonio Banfi in 2001.

    6) sent the threatening Goldman Sachs letters of 2007.

    7) sent the Goldman Sachs apology letters of 2007.

    8) sent the "jihad boom" threatening postcards in Florida in 2007.

    Nor do I assume that the above is a comprehensive list of his terrorist-fun activities. He's too old to have started in 1997.

    ReplyDelete
  39. And back to Banfi (if I haven't posted this already):

    So the news accounts say that it "may have been lab-contamination" in Argentina. But since they typed the strain of anthrax, determining among other things that it appears naturally in Turkey, all they had to do was 1) check the lab inventories in the (Buenos Aires?) lab to establish that they had that strain (a necessary but, in itself, insufficient requirement for the contamination) in the lab and/or 2) speak with their bench scientists who work with anthrax to check 1) and to determine if this was possible (based on where/when the in-house anthrax was worked with).
    Shouldn't have taken 10 years. Shouldn't have taken 5. Shouldn't have taken a year. Shouldn't have taken a week. Should have taken, at most 1 to 2 business hours (which includes checking the inventories and talking to the bench scientists). The fact that there's no follow-up story on this speaks for itself.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Richard Rowley wrote: "The fact that there's no follow-up story on this speaks for itself."

    The fact that there was no follow-up story means THE MEDIA lost interest. It doesn't mean that there were no further scientific or investigatory findings.

    In the real world (which is very different from your fantasy world) not every mystery is solvable or worth the cost of solving. Once it's determined that the spores were most likely some kind of lab contamination and NOT some kind of terrorist activity, the investigation immediately gets a lower priority or it's shelved totally. Your beliefs are irrelevant.

    About 200 white powder incidents were occurring every year in the four years prior to the anthrax attacks. That's roughly one every other day.

    Therefore, there's no reason to believe that hoax letters sent during the weeks before and after 9/11 had any connection to the anthrax letters. The statistics say there should have been roughly 45 hoax letters sent during August, September and October of 2001.

    There is NO REASON to connect the anthrax letters to any hoax letters. You can fantasize about reasons, but without proof, your beliefs are just beliefs. And, since you ignore facts and play word games in order to maintain your beliefs, there isn't really much point in arguing with you on this subject.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  41. Richard Rowley,

    Have you even bothered to look at the facts? You appear to have started with a belief and then just looked for facts which you can distort to fit your belief.

    The Quantico letter gave information about the sender. When pointing at Dr. Assaad, the writer said,

    "I work with this religious fanatic. The entire past year, he has expressed his excitement at every terrorist attack in Isreal. He has also told me his sons will give their lives if necessary, and when I asked, he said that he will also give his life if necessary."

    The St. Petersburg hoax letters also gave information about the sender. The Troxler letter said:

    "Howard Toxler ... 1st case of disease now blow away this dust so you see how the real thing flys. Oklahoma-Ryder Truck! Skyway bridge-18 wheels."

    The Goldman Sachs letters also gave information about the sender:

    "This letter is being dictated to and written by our daughter, so that you can compare her printing to that on the 70 infamous Goldman Sachs letters mailed out two weeks ago."

    And the "jihad boom" postcards showed that ...

    "There's certainly a kazillion differences in handwriting between these postcards and the anthrax letters.

    It's interesting that the writer draws a line through the number 7. That indicates a European or non-US background."


    He also didn't use serifs on his number 1's, and he printed with upper and lower case letters.

    Any connection between these hoax cases and the anthrax letters is totally in your imagination.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  42. I regret to say that I mistakenly called "Eric Rudolf" "Eric Roberts" in one of my above posts. The latter is an actor and the brother of Julia Roberts. My goof!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Richard Rowley wrote: "I mistakenly called "Eric Rudolf" "Eric Roberts""

    I wouldn't be overly concerned. This blog only gets about 60 "page views" per day, and I seriously doubt that Emma Roberts father is one of them. ;-)

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  44. Partial by Mister Lake"
    ------
    Richard Rowley,

    Have you even bothered to look at the facts? You appear to have started with a belief and then just looked for facts which you can distort to fit your belief.
    ============================================
    How do you mean? Have you been reading my mind since late 2005 when someone asked my opinion about Amerithrax for the first time?
    Because if you DON'T have mind-reading powers, you can't possibly know how much work I've put into various aspects of Amerithrax since that time. What 'not knowing the facts' amounts to with Mister Lake is: not agreeing with the Task Force/DoJ/Mister Lake.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Partial by Mister Lake:
    ----
    The Quantico letter gave information about the sender. When pointing at Dr. Assaad, the writer said,[...]
    ========================================================
    Yes, and the info the 'sender' provided wasn't true: he WASN'T a co-worker with Assaad. If he had had ANY personal familiarity with Assaad, he would have known the guy was a Coptic Christian and would have had as much interest in "jihad" as Mary Poppins. It's a provocation and a red herring. One you can't seem to see through.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Another partial by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    The St. Petersburg hoax letters also gave information about the sender. The Troxler letter said:

    "Howard Toxler ... 1st case of disease now blow away this dust so you see how the real thing flys. Oklahoma-Ryder Truck! Skyway bridge-18 wheels."
    ==========================================================
    WHAT "information about the sender"? That he likes making references to the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh which was done via a bomb in a Ryder Truck? That he tries to connect that to an implied threat to the Skyway Bridge of Tampa Bay, Florida? ALL that tells you is that he LIKES sending various threatening communications through the mail. It tells you NOTHING else (except at the psycho-linguistic level) about the sender.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    The Goldman Sachs letters also gave information about the sender:

    "This letter is being dictated to and written by our daughter, so that you can compare her printing to that on the 70 infamous Goldman Sachs letters mailed out two weeks ago."
    ============================================================
    It's TOTAL BS, Mister Lake! Is that SO difficult to understand?!?!? The next thing you will be telling me is that the Amerithrax letters "told us about the sender" because he wrote "Allah is Great". Totally bogus, all of it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ---------
    And the "jihad boom" postcards showed that ...

    "There's certainly a kazillion differences in handwriting between these postcards and the anthrax letters.

    It's interesting that the writer draws a line through the number 7. That indicates a European or non-US background."
    ================================================
    Totally bogus: I write the numeral 7 with a line through it, and have done that since 1976, not because I'm European/of non-US background, but because that's how I was trained to do it in the military to help distinguish #1 from #7. I don't know whether only people in my job category/ies were trained that way or if it was/is a military-wide thing (like the 24 hour time-keeping rather than 12 hour plus AM/PM). I found even after military service that this line through the #7 was useful and I'm sure LOTS of other people have done likewise. In and of itself, this tells you: nothing.
    Except for the Goldman Sachs letters, he tends to alter his handwriting/conventions thereof when sending these threatening communications.

    ReplyDelete
  49. He also didn't use serifs on his number 1's, and he printed with upper and lower case letters.

    Any connection between these hoax cases and the anthrax letters is totally in your imagination.
    ========================================
    Yeah, like I respect your linguistic opinions!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Partial by Mister Lake going back a bit:
    ---------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "The fact that there's no follow-up story on this speaks for itself."

    The fact that there was no follow-up story means THE MEDIA lost interest. It doesn't mean that there were no further scientific or investigatory findings.

    In the real world (which is very different from your fantasy world) not every mystery is solvable or worth the cost of solving.
    ==============================================================
    WHAT "mystery"? Either the lab in Argentina HAD that strain of anthrax, or it DIDN'T. Either the contamination alleged was possible or it wasn't. Two long-distance phone calls on the same day from EITHER the CDC or the FBI to the Argentinian lab would have at least established whether it was POSSIBLE.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Richard Rowley wrote: "What 'not knowing the facts' amounts to with Mister Lake is: not agreeing with the Task Force/DoJ/Mister Lake."

    Disagreeing with the FBI doesn't automatically make you right.

    The facts speak for themselves. I disagree with the FBI on numerous details, but there's no doubt that they are right about the main fact: Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters.

    All you are doing is showing the world that you don't care what the facts say, you're going to believe what you want to believe.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "Yes, and the info the 'sender' provided wasn't true: he WASN'T a co-worker with Assaad."

    Prove it.

    The fact that Assaad was a Coptic Christian wouldn't mean anything to someone who was just listening to what Assaad said and not doing research into Assaad's personal history.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "It's TOTAL BS, Mister Lake! Is that SO difficult to understand?!?!?"

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "Except for the Goldman Sachs letters, he tends to alter his handwriting/conventions thereof when sending these threatening communications."

    You're rationalizing. Your twisting and distorting the facts to make them fit your beliefs.

    If the facts said that the anthrax mailer was seven feet tall, you'd say your suspect was standing on a box.

    If the facts said that the anthrax mailer was blind, you'd say that your suspect was wearing a blindfold.

    If the facts say that the anthrax mailer was an expert in forensic anthropology, you'd say your suspect went to the library and looked up forensic anthropology there.

    You have NOTHING to support your beliefs other than more beliefs.

    The facts are clear: The Goldman Sachs letters, the Jihad postcards, the Assaad letter, the St. Petersburg letters and the anthrax letters were all sent by different people.

    Trying to argue that they were sent by someone who alters his handwriting, changes locations, changes his personality and changes his modus operandi with every mailing is just plain ridiculous.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

    All you offer are preposterous beliefs.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  52. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ------------
    About 200 white powder incidents were occurring every year in the four years prior to the anthrax attacks. That's roughly one every other day.
    ============================================
    So, let's analyse what that means in concrete terms:

    200 w.p. incidents for the entire USA per year.
    US population approximately 300 million persons.
    If we throw out 50 million as too young and/or not having their own personal addresses to even potentially be the addressees for such white powder mailings we still have 250 million persons (a quarter billion) who can potentially be the recipients.
    There are 50 US states, so on AVERAGE each state was receiving 4 white powder mailings per annum.(200 divided by 50)
    But since NY State has a larger than average population, let's multiply that 4/yr by 10: 40, perhaps 50 mailings per annum.
    But of those 40 to 50 w.p. mailings per year, we KNOW where the vast majority were going: the same place OTHER threatening mailings were going: (in no particular order)abortion providers/referral places, courthouses, schools (all levels),
    law enforcement agencies, prisons/jails etc.

    Of those 40 to 50 w.p. mailings only the smallest fraction would be going to news media. And since NYC is chockful of news media, even THOSE wouldn't be all going to NBC. Perhaps 10 to 20% at most.

    So, PROBABLY: in a good year (between 1997 and 2001)Tom Brokaw of NBC was receiving zero w.p. mailings.
    In a bad year 3 to 10.*

    *Of course we are going here on KNOWN w.p. mailings and undoubtedly sometimes the letter openers at the news media outlets just discarded the letters withou notifying anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Richard Rowley wrote: "What 'not knowing the facts' amounts to with Mister Lake is: not agreeing with the Task Force/DoJ/Mister Lake."

    Disagreeing with the FBI doesn't automatically make you right.
    =======================
    Nor does agreeing with them.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Richard Rowley wrote: "So, PROBABLY: in a good year (between 1997 and 2001)Tom Brokaw of NBC was receiving zero w.p. mailings. "

    Now you're being just plain silly. But you've done a very good job of illustrating how you can distort the facts to make them fit your beliefs.

    You can use statistics to argue that the anthrax mailings were impossible and could never have happened. But, who besides you would believe it?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  55. Richard Rowley also wrote: "Yes, and the info the 'sender' provided wasn't true: he WASN'T a co-worker with Assaad."

    Prove it.

    The fact that Assaad was a Coptic Christian wouldn't mean anything to someone who was just listening to what Assaad said and not doing research into Assaad's personal history.
    ==============================================================
    What the letter sender CLAIMED was that Assaad was grooming his sons to be jihadists. But a Coptic Christian wouldn't do that. It's as simple as pie, yet you can't discern this after ten years. Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Richard Rowley wrote: "What the letter sender CLAIMED was that Assaad was grooming his sons to be jihadists. But a Coptic Christian wouldn't do that. It's as simple as pie, yet you can't discern this after ten years. Amazing."

    What the letter sender CLAIMED was what he or she believed NOT what YOU believe.

    It's as simple as pie, yet you can't discern this after ten year. Astounding!

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  57. You still haven't explained why you take on face value the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter writer, the St Pete hoax writer to Howard Troxler, the Goldman Sachs apology writer, etc.

    but

    You don't think the Amerithrax writer was a Muslim.Why not take THAT on face value?!?

    You aren't being consistent. I am: they are ALL hoaxes in text content as well as in powder content (those that have powder content).
    --------------------------------------------------------

    ReplyDelete
  58. Partial by Mister Lake:
    ---------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "So, PROBABLY: in a good year (between 1997 and 2001)Tom Brokaw of NBC was receiving zero w.p. mailings. "

    Now you're being just plain silly. But you've done a very good job of illustrating how you can distort the facts to make them fit your beliefs.
    ==============================================
    That's exactly what you have done, Mister Lake, by repeatedly referring to the 200/year figure as though all 200 were being sent to Tom Brokaw. They WEREN'T: this was a figure for the entire USA

    ReplyDelete
  59. And I'd LOVE to learn what information "the sender was telling us about himself" in the letter to Howard Troxler!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Richard Rowley also wrote: "Except for the Goldman Sachs letters, he tends to alter his handwriting/conventions thereof when sending these threatening communications."

    You're rationalizing. Your twisting and distorting the facts to make them fit your beliefs.
    =======================================================
    Well, since his efforts to disguise his handwriting in Amerithrax convinced YOU that a 6 or 7 year old printed the texts, I'd say you are his #1 sucker on the handwriting disguise.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
    =================================================
    Once more with the message board cliches.

    I would say that claiming that a man

    1) dried anthrax in Sept-Oct 2001 (when there's no evidence he did so)

    2) wrote pseudo-jihadist texts in which he put that dried anthrax (when there's no evidence he did)

    3) drove (twice!) to Princeton NJ to mail the letters (when there's no evidence that he did)

    4) and that these crimes have been proved "beyond a reasonable doubt"

    is a pretty 'extraordinary claim'. And IF "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" then the legal standard would be even higher. I don't think the Task Force/DoJ even met the lower one.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Richard Rowley wrote: "You aren't being consistent. I am"

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead."
    -- Aldous Huxley


    I don't take things at "face value" if there's any reason to think they should NOT be taken at face value. There was a MOUNTAIN of facts indicating that the anthrax letter writer wasn't a MUSLIM terrorist -- among them the fact that the letter writer clearly didn't want to harm anyone, and the fact that there was no Arabic in the letters and the writer wrote "Allah is great" instead of "God is Great" or "Allahu Akbar" which would be more typical of Muslim terrorists.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "That's exactly what you have done, Mister Lake, by repeatedly referring to the 200/year figure as though all 200 were being sent to Tom Brokaw."

    You just endlessly distort the facts. All I said was that there were many hoax letters being sent through the mails at about the same time the anthrax letters were being sent. That shows they weren't "copy cat" letters. And it indicates there's NO CONNECTION between the hoax letters and the anthrax letters.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  63. Richard Rowley wrote: "I'd LOVE to learn what information "the sender was telling us about himself" in the letter to Howard Troxler!"

    Among other things, it tells us that the letter writer KNEW ABOUT Howard Troxler. Who outside of Florida knows about Howard Troxler? And, his comments about the Skyway bridge indicates he probably lives in Florida.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "Well, since his efforts to disguise his handwriting in Amerithrax convinced YOU that a 6 or 7 year old printed the texts, I'd say you are his #1 sucker on the handwriting disguise."

    I have explained in detail and with illustrations why the facts say a child wrote the letters. All you do is state your beliefs and opinions without any proof.

    Richard Rowley wrote: "IF "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" then the legal standard would be even higher. I don't think the Task Force/DoJ even met the lower one."

    Yes, you've given us many examples of your opinions. They are just your opinions and have nothing to do with reality.

    In reality, the FBI/DOJ had a SOLID case against Bruce Ivins. Contrary to your endless misunderstandings, circumstantial evidence is REAL evidence.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  64. The facts are clear: The Goldman Sachs letters, the Jihad postcards, the Assaad letter, the St. Petersburg letters and the anthrax letters were all sent by different people.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Yeah, just like it was "clear" that Matuska derailed trains to spite the Nazis!

    ReplyDelete
  65. If the facts said that the anthrax mailer was seven feet tall, you'd say your suspect was standing on a box.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Since I've seen online photos of the anthrax killer, I can aver that he's considerably shorter. No matter what the "facts" say.

    (A sincere hint to improve your prose style for the book(s) and elsewhere: try to rein in your use of the word "fact"; it's a rhetorical crutch and, like all rhetorical crutches, is less effective the more you use it)

    ReplyDelete
  66. You just endlessly distort the facts. All I said was that there were many hoax letters being sent through the mails at about the same time the anthrax letters were being sent.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    But "many" is a relative term: having 3 automobiles is "many" for most people. So is having 3 bathrooms. But 200 w.p. mailings per annum in a nation of over a quarter billion is STILL relatvely small. Brokaw wasn't getting them every other day, or even every other week.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------
    I don't take things at "face value" if there's any reason to think they should NOT be taken at face value.
    -------------------------------------
    And you think that a white powder hoax letter to Howard Troxler has credibility?!?!? Why, for gosh sake?

    ReplyDelete
  68. In reality, the FBI/DOJ had a SOLID case against Bruce Ivins. Contrary to your endless misunderstandings, circumstantial evidence is REAL evidence.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Only when the circumstantial evidence:

    1) puts the defendant near the scene of the crime at the time of the crime's commission (wasn't done)

    2) establishes that sub-tasks necessary to the commission of the crime were done by the defendant (wasn't done on: the drying/purifying of the spores, letter writing, letter xeroxing, two drives to and from Princeton)

    Heck, what else is there? What's in the FINAL REPORT is bad psychology. That's all. USAMRIID wasn't even the proximate source of the anthrax!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Richard Rowley wrote: "And you think that a white powder hoax letter to Howard Troxler has credibility?!?!? Why, for gosh sake?"

    What are you talking about? Credibility for what?

    The Troxler letter exists. It was postmarked in St. Petersburg. It contained a white powder. It was sent in early October, 2001, BEFORE the anthrax letters were found.

    Those are facts.

    What "credibility" am I giving to it? All I'm saying is that it was another hoax letter among many hoax letters being sent out around that time, and there's absolutely NO reason to believe it had any connection to the anthrax letters.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  70. Richard Rowley wrote: "And you think that a white powder hoax letter to Howard Troxler has credibility?!?!? Why, for gosh sake?"

    What are you talking about? Credibility for what?
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Let's go to your ORIGINAL post on the St Pete hoax letter to Troxler: (partial for the post, but the entirety of the Troxler letter part):
    ---------
    The St. Petersburg hoax letters also gave information about the sender. The Troxler letter said:

    "Howard Toxler ... 1st case of disease now blow away this dust so you see how the real thing flys. Oklahoma-Ryder Truck! Skyway bridge-18 wheels."
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "The St. Petersburg hoax letters also gave information about the sender." What "information about the sender"?!?!?!?
    I asked you this before and you didn't reply. We can figure out that the sender (or his agent) was in St Pete because of the postmark, NOT because "the sender gave us information". We can tell he's one of those people who likes to send out white powder threat letters, but that's because that's what the letter contained, NOT because of "information" that the sender told us about himself.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Richard Rowley wrote: "I'd LOVE to learn what information "the sender was telling us about himself" in the letter to Howard Troxler!"

    Among other things, it tells us that the letter writer KNEW ABOUT Howard Troxler. Who outside of Florida knows about Howard Troxler?
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Give me a break! Anyone who was reading Troxler's newspaper (St Pete Times) would have the potential to know that, and now with the Internet and Internet editions, that's a world-wide possibility. Once again, we have Mister Lake falling for surface deceptions.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Richard Rowley wrote: "What "information about the sender"?!?!?!?"

    I replied. He knows about Howard Troxler. He knows about the Skyway bridge. That and the postmark says he's familiar with Florida and probably lives there.

    This debate is getting idiotic. All you do is argue about WORDS and state your BELIEFS instead of looking at facts.

    The FACTS say that the handwriting on the Troxler envelope is NOTHING like the handwriting on the anthrax letters or the Jihad postcards or the Goldman Sachs letters or the TYPING on the Assaad letter. The FACTS say they were all written by different people. Your beliefs and claims do not change what the facts say.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  73. Richard Rowley wrote: "Once again, we have Mister Lake falling for surface deceptions."

    And, once again you are rationalizing to twist the facts to fit your beliefs.

    You're saying what the FACTS say isn't what is real. But, you have no better facts. You only have claims and beliefs.

    We're just going in circles. I look at the facts. You have claims and opinions. There is no hope of a meeting of the minds.

    So, we're just wasting time. (Fortunately for you, I have time to waste while I'm waiting on word from the agent looking at my book.)

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  74. Richard Rowley wrote: "What "information about the sender"?!?!?!?"

    I replied. He knows about Howard Troxler. He knows about the Skyway bridge.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    I knew about Mike Royko in the 1980s at the very latest, but I never lived in Chicago. I knew about Herb Caen in the 1970s but never lived in the Bay Area. The really good libraries, for many decades, have carried out-of-town newspapers, so even in the pre-Internet age, this amounts to very little.

    The Skyway Bridge is probably like the Golden Gate or Brooklyn bridges: a landmark of the area and a tourist's point of interest. No special local presence/familiarity is necessary.
    If a hoax letter mentions the Space Needle, would you then conclude he has good knowledge of Seattle?!?!?
    (These landmarks are frequently shown on TV in connection with sporting events, sometimes shots from blimps or helicopters and Tampa Bay has had pro football and baseball for some time)

    Wild overextrapolation.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Richard Rowley wrote: "Wild overextrapolation."

    No, it's just what the facts say. And, as usual, you choose to ignore the facts and believe what you want to believe.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  76. No, it's just what the facts say. And, as usual, you choose to ignore the facts and believe what you want to believe.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    And you ignore all my points about libraries having out-of-town newspapers, blimps showing aerial shots of cities in which baseball and football games are being played, the fact that one doesn't have to have EVER been to a place to have some loose familiarity with it (I've never been to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone or Grand Teton, yet could easily make some reference to them in a letter, if I so chose).

    Let the reader draw his own conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Richard Rowley wrote: "Let the reader draw his own conclusions."

    Yes, let's let the reader draw his own conclusions as to whether facts mean anything at all.

    You say they don't mean anything if you can dream up alternative explanations.

    I say they do mean something until PROVED wrong by other facts.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  78. Gee only 2 explicit (and 1 implicit) references to "facts" in above post. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Richard,

    Let me repeat to make things very clear, since I think we've reached the essence of our disagreement over the Amerithrax investigation.

    You say FACTS don't mean anything if you can dream up alternative explanations.

    I say FACTS are of key importance until disproved by better FACTS.


    That's a fundamental disagreement. You voice the arguments of the "average" person who is notoriously irrational. Click HERE for a Newsweek article titled "The Limits of Reason: Why evolution may favor irrationality."

    I'm arguing the way investigators and scientists are supposed to argue. We look for facts and don't pay much attention to opinions or beliefs unless they come from some key source.

    So, since you cannot discuss FACTS, there really isn't much point of arguing. We can never get anywhere.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  80. You say FACTS don't mean anything if you can dream up alternative explanations.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Read what you just wrote here, Mister Lake. You'll find that an 'alternative explanation' is an "explanation" in lieu of another one (call it the "original explanation"). But you LABEL that original explanation a "fact", and thus intellectually entomb yourself: you cannot admit that there IS an alternative explanation (or explanations) because of your appalling inability to DISTINGUISH a fact from an explanation (here 'explanation'= an interpretation of some event/feature/true 'fact'). From long exposure to your writings it's clear to me that you have a sort of labelling/categorizing mania, which begins with designating all of your interlocutors "True Believers" "Conspiracy Theorists" and the like. This resembles the Christians of centuries ago who labelled those of different faiths 'pagans', 'savages' etc. Naturally this doesn't make for a fruitful dialogue, because your running assumption is: you're right, the OTHER PERSON has foolish ideas, argues in an irrational way, is ignorant of the subject under discussion etc. and your one true hope is to enlighten them.
    That's a far cry from my attitude in having discussions with people on the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Since Mister Lake is a big fan of dictionaries, I consulted one again:
    hoax n.1 an act intended to trick or dupe: a piece of trickery:
    imposture

    2 something accepted or believed in through trickery : something established by fraud or fabrication

    ReplyDelete
  82. I should have mentioned somewhere in this thread that Ayaad Assaad HIMSELF has stated that there's a good chance that the person who denounced him in the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter was the same as the sender of the Amerithrax letters.

    ReplyDelete
  83. And since I brought Ayaad Assaad into it, here's what he said in 2003: http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/accusedscientist.html

    Source: Washington Times, August 10, 2003

    Accused scientist says letter links to anthrax mailers

    By Guy Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

    The FBI won't release an anonymous letter, which in the days before the 2001 fatal anthrax mailings, accused an Egyptian-born scientist of plotting biowarfare against the United States, saying it would divulge secret sources in the continuing investigation.

    In a July 7 note citing the sources, the FBI denied Ayaad Assaad, the letter's subject, access to the evidence. Mr. Assaad said he's convinced it is linked to a person or a group responsible for the anthrax mailings that killed five persons.

    "They know damn well that this letter is connected to the anthrax sender," he said, adding that the FBI's refusal to provide a copy suggests "they're trying to protect whoever sent it."
    --------------snip snip-------------------------------
    I think Assaad overestimated the perspicacity of the Task Force.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Richard Rowley wrote: "You'll find that an 'alternative explanation' is an "explanation" in lieu of another one (call it the "original explanation")."

    You're right. My wording wasn't perfect, even though it expresses the essence of our disagreement very well.

    A fact isn't an explanation, it's just a fact. So, I need to work on the wording to describe how you ignore the facts by arguing that they mean nothing.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "I should have mentioned somewhere in this thread that Ayaad Assaad HIMSELF has stated that there's a good chance that the person who denounced him in the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter was the same as the sender of the Amerithrax letters."

    And, you demonstrate once again that you only understand beliefs and opinions. Who cares what Dr. Assaad believes if the FACTS say he's wrong?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  85. Okay,

    Here's another try at defining the essence of the disagreement between Ed Lake and Richard Rowley:

    Richard Rowley says FACTS don't mean anything if he can dream up reasons why they don't mean anything.

    Ed Lake says FACTS are of key importance until disproved by better FACTS.


    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  86. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------------
    Richard Rowley also wrote: "I should have mentioned somewhere in this thread that Ayaad Assaad HIMSELF has stated that there's a good chance that the person who denounced him in the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter was the same as the sender of the Amerithrax letters."

    And, you demonstrate once again that you only understand beliefs and opinions. Who cares what Dr. Assaad believes if the FACTS say he's wrong?
    ===============================================================
    WHAT "facts"?!?!?!? You for some perverse reason, decide to take the word of an anonymous letter writer. Assaad certainly knows the people he was working with at the EPA in 2001. In fact he's a world-class expert on who his co-workers were at that time and how they related to him and whether it was even REMOTELY possible one of those co-workers could have misconstued something Assaad said so as to INNOCENTLY think that Assaad was a terrorist/potential terrorist/guy grooming his sons for jihad.
    After 2 years of thinking it over, he came to the conclusion that not a coworker did this but one of the Amerithrax perps.

    No "Facts" say he's wrong, and Mister Lake has cited none. Mindlessly repeating a provocation/red herring does not make that provocation/red herring a "fact".

    ReplyDelete
  87. Richard Rowley asked: "WHAT "facts"?!?!?!?"

    The facts that you ignore. The facts that say Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters. A summary of those facts was published by the Department of Justice. Also, the fact that there is no similarity of any kind between the anthrax letters and the Assaad letter.

    And, of course, Assaad was just stating his OPINION. He cited no facts to support his OPINION.

    Who cares about Assaad's opinion if it is not based upon facts?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  88. Richard Rowley asked: "WHAT "facts"?!?!?!?"

    The facts that you ignore. The facts that say Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters.[...]
    ===========================================================
    Ivins is innocent, obviously so to anyone who has any sort of knowledge of:

    1) psychology (Sathoff probably is okay in a clinical setting but he sure was a bust as a forensic psychiatrist!)

    2)what constitutes evidence that a person committed a crime.

    3)what constitutes reasonable doubt.
    Etc.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Back to Mister Lake:
    ------
    And, of course, Assaad was just stating his OPINION. He cited no facts to support his OPINION.

    Who cares about Assaad's opinion if it is not based upon facts?
    =====================================================
    As I said, but you did not refer to in ANY way, his opinion was based on his knowledge of the persons with whom he worked in the fall of 2001. We, you and I, have NO KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER of those persons, how they related to Assaad, etc. Intimate knowledge of that work environment, and those co-workers beats no knowledge every time. And if it wasn't a co-worker then the letter writer was lying. And the long-dispersed Camel Club wouldn't be a likely source of the provocation.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Back to the Skyway Bridge and how difficult it would be for someone who was never in Tampa to know about it:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&cp=13&gs_id=12&xhr=t&q=images+of+skylanders&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1618&bih=728&wrapid=tljp1338305704509022&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=rezET__FN-r16AGMltmrCg#q=tampa+bay+skyway+bridge&um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=b26faeb7265df622&biw=1618&bih=893

    ReplyDelete
  90. Richard,

    It's not about other possible ways someone could know about the Skyway bridge.

    It's about what the FACTS say.

    FACT 1: The letter was mailed from St. Petersburg, FL.
    FACT 2: The letter mentioned the Skyway Bridge.
    FACT 3: The letter was addressed to a Florida columnist.

    These FACTS say: Until proved otherwise, the letter writer is MOST LIKELY a Florida resident.

    Note that I do not say he IS a Florida resident. It's possible that - as with the anthrax letters mailed from New Jersey - the letter writer COULD have driven many hundreds of miles to mail the letters from St. Petersburg. But, most past cases show that isn't LIKELY. And, until there are MORE FACTS supporting such a situation, it's just a possibility.

    So, you seem to believe that the FACTS mean nothing, that they should be ignored. So, the search might as well begin in New York City instead of in St. Petersburg. Or Walla Walla, Washington.

    The problem is: If the police believed as you believe, no crimes would ever get solved. You're saying that if someone was held up on the corner of State and Main in Boise, Idaho, the investigation might as well begin in Los Angeles.

    Don't you see how preposterous your beliefs are?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  91. It's not about other possible ways someone could know about the Skyway bridge.

    It's about what the FACTS say.

    FACT 1: The letter was mailed from St. Petersburg, FL.
    FACT 2: The letter mentioned the Skyway Bridge.
    FACT 3: The letter was addressed to a Florida columnist.

    These FACTS say: Until proved otherwise, the letter writer is MOST LIKELY a Florida resident.
    ========================================================
    Why would you say THAT? The letter writer is committing a crime by sending a threatening communication through the US mail. Threatening in its text, and threatening in the white powder contents. If you are doing that, you are going to try to conceal, to the extent possible, your location. Aren't You the one who thinks that the Amerithrax perp lived in Frederick Maryland even though the postmark was Trenton, NJ?
    If I were an Ed Lakeian writer (I'm not!) I would say "Until proved otherwise, the letter writer is MOST LIKELY a New Jersey resident."
    Reductionism. Frequently erroneous. Don't blame it on 'facts'.
    We choose which facts we select and how we interpret the facts.

    ReplyDelete
  92. So, you seem to believe that the FACTS mean nothing, that they should be ignored. So, the search might as well begin in New York City instead of in St. Petersburg. Or Walla Walla, Washington.

    The problem is: If the police believed as you believe, no crimes would ever get solved. You're saying that if someone was held up on the corner of State and Main in Boise, Idaho, the investigation might as well begin in Los Angeles.

    Don't you see how preposterous your beliefs are?
    ===========================================================
    No, you're blinkered by your slavish devotion to the G-men.
    A postmark is a clue (as opposed to a mere "fact" a word you seem to take particular relish in using, overusing, misusing, and abusing even when that overuse is pointed out to you again and again and again), but clues can can be false trails. Red herrings. Not a single Unabomber mailing had a Montana postmark. Not a single Unabomber explosive device was delivered to a Montana location (not even a dud). The G-men hadn't the SLIGHTEST
    idea that the Unabomber was in Montana......until his family members came forth and told them their suspicions, suspicions based on the contents (bother in ideological terms and the phrasings) of the Unabomber's Manifesto. About 16 years into the case.
    Same thing applies here: the linguistics solves the case.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I think that rather than talk about the TOWN OF QUANTICO LETTER denouncing Ayaad Assaad in the abstract, it is better to present it.
    The text:
    ---------------------------------------
    This guy is a potential terrorist. I don't know if he is guilty but he has certainly
    expressed contempt for the US government even though he works for the US
    EPA
    Please talk to him to make certain that he is not involved in further terrorist
    activity.

    I work with this religious fanatic. The entire past year, he has expressed his
    excitement at every terrorist attack in Isreal. He has also told me that his sons
    will give their lives if necessary. He believes strongly that the US government needs to be
    taught a lesson, even though, as I have reminded him, he works for the US
    government. Please find out if he plans more terrorism. This guy has access to
    many dangerous biological poisons, as a result of his security clearance, and his
    frequent trips to the US EPA toxilogical laboratories.
    Here is his name:
    AYAAD ASSAAD
    His position: Toxicologist with the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, OPP
    (part EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances, OPPTS), Crystal
    Mall II Building in Crystal City, his office is on the 8th floor, he rides the blue line
    home and has often spewed government hatred.

    ReplyDelete
  94. And back to the INVESTIGATION into who wrote the TOWN OF QUANTICO letter:
    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?anthraxattacks_suspects=anthraxattacks_author_of_ayaad_assaad_letter&timeline=anthraxattacks
    --------------------------------------------------

    February 11-March 17, 2004: FBI Interviews Scientists, Asks If They Wrote Anonymous Letter Possibly Linked to Anthrax Attacks On February 11, 2004, the FBI interviews at least one scientist from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks (see October 5-November 21, 2001). The name of the person interviewed is not known, but he is asked whether he wrote an anonymous letter to the FBI that possibly set up scientist Ayaad Assaad as a patsy for the attacks just before they occurred (see October 3, 2001). Assaad worked at USAMRIID, the US Army’s top bioweapons laboratory, until 1997, and has worked at the EPA since then. The unnamed scientist says that he had nothing to do with the letter. It appears this person is possibly subjected to a polygraph test after this, but if so the results are not known. [Hartford Courant, 2/17/2004] On March 17, 14 additional EPA employees are interviewed about the letter. The interviews are said to focus on trying to find out who wrote it. [Washington Times, 3/30/2004]
    Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ayaad Assaad
    Category Tags: Author of Ayaad Assaad Letter, FBI Investigation
    ---------------------------------------
    May 11, 2004: FBI Re-interviews Possible Anthrax Attacks Patsy Assaad The FBI re-interviews Ayaad Assaad, who was the target of a letter sent just before the 2001 anthrax attacks that seemed to point to him as being responsible for those attacks (see October 2, 2001). Assaad was interviewed about this shortly after the letter was sent (see October 3, 2001), and this is the second time the FBI has questioned him. The FBI tells him that he is not a suspect but they are interested in where he was when the anthrax letters were mailed. He gives documentation showing that he was in the Washington, DC, area at the time. He is also asked about his knowledge of producing anthrax. Assaad, who has been working at the Environmental Protection Agency since 1997 (see May 9, 1997), is an expert on the toxin ricin, and says he has never handled anthrax. He also says he has never been vaccinated against anthrax. He believes the FBI indeed is not interested in him as a suspect but as someone the anthrax attacker or attackers may have tried to frame. [Associated Press, 5/16/2004] Officially, the government has consistently claimed that the letter had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks and was just a strange coincidence. But CNN reports, “government sources said the interest in Assaad centers on the [anonymous] letter and the theory that whoever mailed it could have also been involved in sending the anthrax letters. ‘It is one of several out there,’ one source said when asked how accepted that theory is. ‘No one has been ruled out.’” [CNN, 5/17/2004] Assaad claims that prior to this interview, he had contacted the FBI four times over the past two and a half years, offering to tell what he knows about his former colleagues who might have sent the letter. But he says he was rebuffed all four times. [Hartford Courant, 5/16/2004]
    Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ayaad Assaad
    Category Tags: Author of Ayaad Assaad Letter, FBI Investigation
    ============================================================
    So my "preposterous belief" at least about the letter in question was current in early to mid-2004, about 18 months to 2 years before I was interested in Amerithrax.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Richard Rowley wrote: "Aren't You the one who thinks that the Amerithrax perp lived in Frederick Maryland even though the postmark was Trenton, NJ?"

    Yes, NOW I think the anthrax perp lived in Frederick,MD. But from November 2001 until August 1, 2008, I believed the anthrax perp most likely lived in Central New Jersey. In 2005 I wrote a book which said that. It was what the facts available to me said.

    But, NEW FACTS showed that the old facts were insufficient to explain what took place. On August 1, 2008, NEW FACTS made it very clear that the old facts had been misleading.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "We choose which facts we select and how we interpret the facts."

    YOU choose which facts to use. Investigators do NOT choose which facts to investigate. The FACTS drive the investigation. That's why the FBI spent over a year looking around Central New Jersey for the culprit. The FACTS indicated that the culprit lived in Central New Jersey. Then more facts appeared which said that might not be true, the culprit might live in Maryland. I've explained this all to you before.

    If you can't understand even the most basic aspects of investigating a crime, then we really have nothing to talk about.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "the linguistics solves the case."

    The "linguistics" solve nothing. Your "linguistics" theory doesn't even made any sense, and I seriously doubt there is anyone else in the entire world who believes it isn't just plain nonsense.

    Richard Rowley also wrote: "So my "preposterous belief" at least about the letter in question was current in early to mid-2004, about 18 months to 2 years before I was interested in Amerithrax."

    At that time, the FBI had no suspects. So, they were investigating every lead. That doesn't mean that your "preposterous belief" was ever accepted by the FBI as anything other than a remote possibility. The FBI followed THOUSANDS of "leads" that went nowhere. The Assaad letter was one such "lead." It went nowhere.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  96. At that time, the FBI had no suspects. So, they were investigating every lead.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Law enforcement should investigate every lead EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE
    (a)SUSPECT(s).

    ReplyDelete
  97. Richard Rowley wrote: "Law enforcement should investigate every lead EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE (a) SUSPECT(s)."

    In your fantasy world, that might work. But in this world it's usually not practical to chase down every lead - particularly after you have leads that point to a suspect. There isn't enough money, there isn't enough time, there isn't enough manpower.

    So, when investigators find a good lead, they tend to focus on it until it proves to be a blind alley - or until it leads to a person who has a perfect alibi. Then they go back and start working on other leads again.

    In the Amerithrax case they had lots of leads that didn't pan out. There were scientists pointing at Steven Hatfill as the culprit. Those leads had to be pursued. They had people pointing to scientists all over the country. Each lead was checked out.

    I had a woman write me dozens of times because she believed that a record producer in California was the anthrax killer. She was emailing everyone to promote her theory - including the FBI.

    But, how much time should investigators spend on a theory that says that the markings that gas line and power line workers make on pavements to mark the location of underground lines match the writing on the anthrax letters? Like you, the woman persisted with her belief for YEARS. She even went around taking pictures of the writing on the pavement and sending the photos to everyone.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  98. On my web site, I still have some "handwriting" pictures the woman took. Click HERE to view 4 of them.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  99. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -----------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "Law enforcement should investigate every lead EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE (a) SUSPECT(s)."

    In your fantasy world, that might work. But in this world it's usually not practical to chase down every lead
    --------------------------------------
    Don't agree: in Amerithrax they were given every resource: they had the regional offices at their disposal(s).

    What comes through on the letter:

    1) Despite two mini-investigations (ie interviewing Assaad twice, and around the time of the second one interviewing his co-workers,
    the letter-writer doesn't seem to have been id-ed.

    2) Though I don't know that Assaad has commented on this since, it would not be AT ALL SURPRISING that he continues to think the letter writer was one of the Amerithrax perps.

    3) For a person who doesn't take it as a given that Ivins was guilty, there's a real chance that Assaad is right.

    4) Mister Lake's own dismissal of this is based on HIS belief that Ivins did the crime.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    The FBI followed THOUSANDS of "leads" that went nowhere. The Assaad letter was one such "lead." It went nowhere.
    ============================================================
    What that might mean is: the investigators didn't know how to properly exploit the lead. Just because the investigators don't know to to exploit something, or fail to do so, doesn't mean that the lead itself is valueless.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    -------------
    Richard Rowley wrote: "Aren't You the one who thinks that the Amerithrax perp lived in Frederick Maryland even though the postmark was Trenton, NJ?"

    Yes, NOW I think the anthrax perp lived in Frederick,MD. But from November 2001 until August 1, 2008, I believed the anthrax perp most likely lived in Central New Jersey. In 2005 I wrote a book which said that. It was what the facts available to me said.
    ==============================================================
    You keep on phrasing it that way, but that anthropomorphizes the 'facts', as though you, yourself, were not interpreting them, labeling them clues etc. That's not useful, and you're only fooling yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Richard Rowley wrote: "What that might mean is: the investigators didn't know how to properly exploit the lead. Just because the investigators don't know to to exploit something, or fail to do so, doesn't mean that the lead itself is valueless.

    Like I said: You live in a fantasy world that doesn't have anything to do with reality.

    You need to write the the FBI and tell them that you know the proper way to do an investigation, and you're willing to teach a class at the FBI academy.

    You're just wasting my time. Possibilities don't mean anything. Only SOLID PROOF would mean anything now.

    You not only don't have any solid proof of anything, you don't even have a believable theory.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard Rowley wrote: "What that might mean is: the investigators didn't know how to properly exploit the lead. Just because the investigators don't know to to exploit something, or fail to do so, doesn't mean that the lead itself is valueless.

      Like I said: You live in a fantasy world that doesn't have anything to do with reality.
      ==================================================
      Here I'm not just talking about Amerithrax and/or the investigators of that case, I'm making a general statement: sometimes investigators can't/won't/don't know how to exploit a lead: see Etan Patz Case:
      http://abcnews.go.com/US/etan-patz-suspects-sister-cops-pleas/story?id=16447810

      Delete
    2. Back to the text of the letter: One thing that stands out is: the letter has internal contradictions.
      Opening of letter:
      "This guy is a potential terrorist. I don't know if he is guilty[...]"

      Well, if a person is only a POTENTIAL TERRORIST, then he isn't guilty of anything YET. Logic 101.
      It continues: "he has certainly
      expressed contempt for the US governmen".
      I'm not sure there are many Americans who HAVEN'T, at one point or another in their lives, expressed contempt for the US government: the IRS, Congress, the sitting president. That contempt sometimes is the fuel for 'throwing the SOBs out of office'.

      THEN, changing tacts, the letter writer drops the 'contempt' theme and announces that Assaad is a "religious fanatic", who is excited about every terrorist attack on Israel AND (very next clause)who says that his sons will give their lives "if necessary". Then in this same section the letter writer implores: "Please find out if he plans more terrorism." But he has evidently already forgotten that Assaad is only a POTENTIAL terrorist. How then could he plan MORE terrorism??!?

      None of this nonsense can be explained in terms of a 'misunderstanding' over some one or two conversations overheard and misunderstood. This is an obvious provocation and red herring. One read by the FBI just a few days before the Amerithrax attacks became known publicly.

      Delete
  103. Richard Rowley wrote: "You keep on phrasing it that way, but that anthropomorphizes the 'facts', as though you, yourself, were not interpreting them, labeling them clues etc. That's not useful, and you're only fooling yourself."

    You need to look up what "anthropomorphize" means. It doesn't mean what you think it means.

    Everyone who looks at facts interprets them based upon his or her own experience. Granted. If you know about a MACHINE that can do it, tell the FBI about it.

    On this planet, people do investigative work, not machines. That means people look at the facts, people determine what the facts MOST LIKELY mean, and then people take action accordingly. They do it based upon established procedures and methods.

    I don't know how things work on your planet, but it obviously isn't the way things are done here.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  104. Richard Rowley wrote: "You keep on phrasing it that way, but that anthropomorphizes the 'facts', as though you, yourself, were not interpreting them, labeling them clues etc. That's not useful, and you're only fooling yourself."

    You need to look up what "anthropomorphize" means. It doesn't mean what you think it means.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    an·thro·po·mor·phize (nthr-p-môrfz)
    v. an·thro·po·mor·phized, an·thro·po·mor·phiz·ing, an·thro·po·mor·phiz·es
    v.tr.
    To ascribe human characteristics to.
    v.intr.
    To ascribe human characteristics to things not human.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    That's EXACTLY how I meant it, Mister Lake. You pretend that the "FACTS" ----------don't take my word that you overuse the word, Mister Lake, any proofreader of your prose will tell you the same thing!----------'tell' us something, rather than the true situation: we, fallible human beings, pick and choose features of something and then (sometimes) label this or that feature a 'fact'. Facts, true ones and pseudo-facts, are collected by humans, put in various constellations, paradigms and used by humans: to draw a conclusion here, to conduct an argument there. They do nothing on their own, including define themselves. They are like ammunition used in a rifle. The shooter uses them but they have no willpower, no persuasive power of their own.

    You however are so hung up on the English idiom 'the facts tell us' that you seem to LITERALLY think that facts are engaged in a conversation with us. It isn't so: you a CHOOSING to pick out certain things, and to rhetorically elevate them, partially by dubbing them "facts". And anyone who so egregiously overuses a word, as you do "fact", is bound to overuse it and misuse it. To your own confusion.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Richard Rowley wrote: "You however are so hung up on the English idiom 'the facts tell us' that you seem to LITERALLY think that facts are engaged in a conversation with us. It isn't so: you a CHOOSING to pick out certain things, and to rhetorically elevate them, partially by dubbing them "facts"."

    If you do not think that we should use facts to "tell us" what happened when a crime is investigated, what do you believe we should use? Tarot cards? An Ouiga board? Or should all the investigators all over the world just call you up and ask you who committed the crime.

    Your beliefs are so far from reality that it's becoming a total waste of time to even discuss things with you.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  106. This is where I have a real problem with Ed Lake, on one hand I appreciate his posted web pages that have documents on the Anthrax/Amerithrax case, my problem is with his conclusions and calling them as "facts".

    It's not a proven "fact" that Ivans mailed anything in the anthrax case(s) in particular. It took too many years for the FBI to zero in on Ivans and I believe he was chosen as a "default" suspect.

    Just because it has been said that Ivans had some quirks and possibly sent others "funny" letters proves nothing.

    The FBI would have people believe that the case has been solved. While I admire the fact that they reported early on that the crime was probably a domestic one, the conclusion that it had to be Ivans and Ivans alone is just plain wrong and does not fit with the known evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  107. A DIFFERENT "Anonymous" wrote: "my problem is with his conclusions and calling them as "facts"."

    I NEVER do that. I know that conclusions are not facts. And I know the difference between conclusions and facts.

    The FACTS say Ivins was the anthrax killer. That doesn't make it a "fact" that Ivins was the anthrax killer. That makes it a "conclusion" based upon the facts.

    "Anonymous #2" also wrote: "It took too many years for the FBI to zero in on Ivans and I believe he was chosen as a "default" suspect."

    That's your problem, then: You BELIEVE something that the facts say is nonsense.

    1. Ivins had multiple motives to commit the crime.

    2. Ivins was in charge of "the murder weapon."

    3. Ivins worked long hours ALONE in his lab at the time the powders would have been created.

    4. Ivins had NO EXPLANATION for the long hours he spent ALONEin his lab at night and on weekends.

    5. Ivins had NO ALIBI for the times the letters were mailed.

    6. Ivins made it a practice to travel long distances to commit crimes or to do things he didn't want to be traced back to him.

    7. Ivins had an OBSESSION with the KKG sorority that had an office near the mailbox.

    8. Ivins had all the necessary equipment to make the anthrax powders.

    9. Ivins was a top expert on purifying anthrax spores like those in the letters.

    10. When a friend asked him if he sent the letters, Ivins replied, "If I did it, I don't remember doing it."

    And I could go on and on. If you don't believe Ivins sent the anthrax letters, that just means you haven't looked at the evidence objectively. It took so long because they had to develop a totally new science - Microbial Forensics - to figure things out. Ivins was a "suspect" years before he killed himself. The FBI waited for YEARS for the Microbial Forensics techniques to produce solid evidence about the source of the anthrax. And, while doing that, they had to investigate Ivins in ways that wouldn't tell everyone in the world he was a suspect.

    BTW, I'd appreciate it if you'd include some kind of unique identification in your messages. It gets REALLY confusing when there are multiple people calling themselves "Anonymous" and posting very different arguments. Just signing your messages "Anonymous #2" would be fine.

    Welcome to the discussion.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  108. Anonymous #2,

    I forgot one key fact pointing to Ivins: He was fascinated with codes. He even burglarized sorority houses to steal their coded ritual books and decoding materials.

    There was a CODED MESSAGE in the first anthrax letter that when decoded one way was "Pat", and when decoded a second way was "FNY". Ivins was obsessed with two women who had worked for him. One was named "Pat." The other was a big fan of New York City (and FNY supposedly means "F**K NEW YORK.")

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  109. and FNY supposedly means "F**K NEW YORK.")
    ================================================
    Another egregious example of an interpretation that is treated as a fact (though, blessedly, Mister Lake doesn't use the word right here).

    I don't think a single cryptoanalyst/cryptographer would sanction all the 'decoding' done up to this point (and no professional in that field is named in the FINAL REPORT), but why couldn't FNY mean:
    ----------
    Fabius NY or Fairfield NY or Fallsburg NY or Farmersville NY
    or Farmington NY or Fayette NY or Fenner NY or Fenton NY or Fine NY or Fishkill NY or Fleming NY or Florence NY or Florida NY
    or Floyd NY or Forestburgh NY or Forestport NY or Fort Ann NY
    or Fort Covington NY or Fort Edward NY or Fowler NY or Frankfort NY or Franklin NY or Franklin NY or Franklinville NY or Freedom NY
    or Freetown NY or Fremont NY or Fremont NY or French Creek NY or
    Friendship NY or Fulton NY?
    (all legit placenames in New York State:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_towns_in_New_York

    We KNOW why: because, rather than being an open-ended effort to see if there was a code and to decipher it, the investigators (themselves not professional crypto-professionals) were guided by
    a preexisting notion that it had to be Ivins and so ANY 'Ivins connection' no matter how convoluted was: a hit. A 'decryption'.
    A solution. It is exactly what Mister Lake is always complaining about: a rationalization.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote: "and FNY supposedly means "F**K NEW YORK."

      And Richard Rowley misread things so he could argue: "Another egregious example of an interpretation that is treated as a fact"

      Since when does supposedly mean something is a fact?

      Richard Rowley wrote: "I don't think a single cryptoanalyst/cryptographer would sanction all the 'decoding' done up to this point"

      No one needs the opinion of a cryptoanalyst on this. It's a biological code, not a international code or some kind of spy code. So, it's just another one of your ridiculous arguments.

      Yes, there are other possible interpretations for FNY, but only ONE makes sense when all the facts are viewed together -- which you seem incapable of doing.

      Your arguments just get more and more ridiculous.

      Ed

      Delete
  110. Partial by Mister Lake:
    ----------
    If you do not think that we should use facts to "tell us" what happened when a crime is investigated, what do you believe we should use? Tarot cards?
    ========================================================
    No, as I alreay explained you overuse/misuse the word (such that I think you should delete it from your vocabulary entirely).
    When the school year begins isn't a "fact", it is a constellation of state and local and (sometimes) school/school district variant 'facts' (multiple multiple variations) but your rhetorical penchant for misuse of the word caused you to write:

    [number] FACT: the school year begins in September.
    (and as already noted by me, both in the original document AND in the first revision, without qualification, geographical or otherwise)
    You only confuse yourself by labelling interpretations "facts".
    (See my prior post on the 'decryption(s)')

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's already been explained to you that I thought it was a fact that the school year began in September, but I later LEARNED that in FACT it began in August.

      The FACTS didn't change. The FACT is the school year began in August. I was merely in error in thinking otherwise, and I learned that I was in error. It didn't change ANYTHING in the debate. So, it was an IRRELEVANT ERROR.

      Don't you understand the concept of learning? Why do you bring this up again? Are you arguing that you do not make mistakes? It seems to me that all you do is make mistakes. Nothing you argue makes any sense.

      Ed

      Delete
  111. Richard Rowley wrote: "I don't think a single cryptoanalyst/cryptographer would sanction all the 'decoding' done up to this point"

    No one needs the opinion of a cryptoanalyst on this. [...]
    --------------------------------------------------
    Wrong. and any lawyer would tell you the same: cryptoanalysis is a highly complex undertaking/profession that people in NSA and elsewhere devote their lives to.
    But then, the Task Force had a professional 'forensic psychiatrist' working with it as a consultant and the psychology is appalling, so go figure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard Rowley wrote: "Wrong. and any lawyer would tell you the same: cryptoanalysis is a highly complex undertaking/profession that people in NSA and elsewhere devote their lives to."

      Your beliefs have nothing to do with the realities of the Amerithrax investigation.

      Ed

      Delete
  112. The FACTS didn't change. The FACT is the school year began in August.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    All sorts of facts change: the ambience temperature, barometric pressure, the name of the King of Spain, even the elevation of mountains changes eventually.

    And yes, sooner or later the school year begin/end times will change too.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I wrote: "and FNY supposedly means "F**K NEW YORK."

    And Richard Rowley misread things so he could argue: "Another egregious example of an interpretation that is treated as a fact"

    Since when does supposedly mean something is a fact?
    ===========================================================
    Well, weren't you the one who claimed at the get-go (as soon as the 'code' was revealted) that the 'code' constituted "smoking gun evidence" of Ivins' guilt?
    And what did you mean by that, that the code was very dubious?!?
    A mere hypothesis? That's not how MOST people use the phrase "smoking gun". To this day, you seem the only one who ever was PARTICULARLY taken with that skein of, uh "evidence" (wink, wink).

    ReplyDelete
  114. Richard Rowley wrote" "Well, weren't you the one who claimed at the get-go (as soon as the 'code' was revealted) that the 'code' constituted "smoking gun evidence" of Ivins' guilt?"

    Your arguments getting more and more preposterous.

    The coded message was "smoking gun" evidence for many reasons.

    To pick out a word I used to argue that the whole "smoking gun" subject is "dubious" is ridiculous.

    You have no evidence to support your beliefs. So, you just argue about words because you have nothing of any real substance to argue about.

    You're just wasting my time.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete