Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nov. 18 - Nov. 24, 2012 Discussions

My web site comment for Sunday, November 18, is mostly about the new YouTube videos I'm creating to show what the facts say about the handwriting in the anthrax letters and envelopes.  The first video in the series can be viewed by clicking on the image below.  It explains Fact #1 and Fact #2, and it's 3 minutes, 26 seconds long.

What I try to point out in the first video is that there were very significant differences between the handwriting on the letter sent to Tom Brokaw and the handwriting on the envelope addressed to Tom Brokaw.  I've found no evidence that any "handwriting expert" ever addressed those differences.  I don't think it's because they have no explanation.  I think it's because the "experts" never noticed those very important differences.

I may send out another press release to TV outlets which will include a link to the first video.  No one in the media ever reported on those significant differences, either.  Probably because no "expert" ever mentioned them.  But, when you view the video it becomes the proverbial "elephant in the room" that no one mentions.

"Handwriting experts" did mention other differences that I'll describe in the second video in the series, but don't recall any "handwriting expert" ever trying to explain those differences.  They are NOT explained by some theory that a semi-illiterate Muslim terrorist did the writing.  Nor are the differences explained by the theory that the handwriting is "disguised."  The differences are NOT accounted for by the common disguising techniques of writing upside down, writing with the wrong hand, copying someone else handwriting, etc., etc.

My Sunday comment also mentions that the "Look Inside" feature is now working on's ad for my book.  So, people can read the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 1, plus they can get a glimpse at the first pages from the first 33 chapters before that ability is turned off. 

And, my comment mentions the rantings by "Anonymous" (a.k.a. "DXer") where he endlessly argues opinions against facts, arguing that if someone has stated some opinion that disagrees with the facts, then the facts are wrong.  As "Anonymous," he posted to last week's blog entry.  As "DXer" he posted at least 45 messages to Lew Weinstein's blog arguing that he disagrees with what I wrote and how I wrote it.  He also sent me three emails (so far) this morning.  But, he's been doing that sort of thing for nearly eleven years, so that's not really news.



  1. Here are a couple items of nonsense from "DXer's" recent posts to Lew Weinstein's blog site:

    Yesterday, DXer wrote:

    "Many people, including Ed, did not realize that Dr. Ivins computer was within the B3."

    Really? Where was it located? Inside the biosafety cabinet? Inside the ice machine or flask washer?

    How come there was no computer in B3 when the FBI photographed every inch of it on November 2, 2007? Click HERE for a photo tour of the lab.

    Ivins work computer was in his OFFICE. Claiming it was in B3 is just another example of DXer's lack of elementary research.

    This morning, "DXer" makes another absurd claim in the post HERE. He wrote:

    "At page 235, Ed addresses Flask 1030 without realizing that Flask 1030 was left over after being used in aerosols. Silica would be used to unclog the nozzles."

    How does DXer fantasize the silica used to unclog spray nozzles would get back into flask RMR-1030? That's like saying a person could not have used ticket #1234 to board a flight from NYC to LA because ticket #1234 was found torn up in a wastebasket in LA after the flight, and torn-up tickets cannot be used to board a flight in NYC. It's totally absurd reasoning.

    DXer seemingly makes such absurd claims without any understanding of basic logic.

    The facts say: He understands nothing. That's why he explains nothing.


  2. Ed, the list of 97 errors are of a simple -- check the document -- type and I'd like to get started.

    As Factual Error #1, on page 352, you say the author Yuri says Waly Samar was Iranian-born.

    Oh, really? Where? Stop making stuff up. Cite and fact-check what you write.

  3. Errata #2. Rehlman ---> Relman.

    On page 352, you write:

    "Dr. David Rehlman, who had been co-chair on the review of the Amerithrax case by the National Academy of Sciences, also argued hat al Qaeda could have done it."

    In his piece in SCIENCE, "Have We Met The Enemy?", he discusses the science relating to the testing done in Afghanistan. I don't see that you cite the article or evidence any awareness of the issue.

    But as for the errata, note that his name is Relman, not Rehlman. He was the chair of the June 2012 conference at NAS at which the key FBI genetics scientist presented on the science relating to anthrax. That scientist famously said that she thinks the FBI's use of science probably was misleading.

  4. For your convenience, note that on the front page of the Frederick News-Post on August 27, 2001, an article about day care centers explained: “Nine YMCA child care centers … are closed today the first day of school due to staffing shortages.” Another front page article on August 27, 2001 has the headline: “Teachers try to set tone as schools open doors.” Before you argue about what the FACTS indicate you need to get the FACTS right.

  5. "Anonymous" wrote: "As Factual Error #1, on page 352, you say the author Yuri says Waly Samar was Iranian-born."

    Congratulations! You have indeed found another error in the book. Waly Samar was an Iraqi-American. He was not "Iranian-born." I'll fix that in subsequent editions. I remember researching it. The error was probably a typo.

    However, since you are nitpicking, I don't mention Yurii on page 352. He's mentioned on page 353.

    And his name is Yurii, not Yuri.


  6. "Anonymous" wrote: "In his piece in SCIENCE, "Have We Met The Enemy?", he discusses the science relating to the testing done in Afghanistan. I don't see that you cite the article or evidence any awareness of the issue."

    I have a copy of the article, and I've read it. Citing the article would just have increased the length of the book. It wouldn't have added anything meaningful.

    "But as for the errata, note that his name is Relman, not Rehlman."

    Agreed. It's a typo.



  7. Where did you disclose in your book that Diane Ivins first applied for a license to run a day care long AFTER the anthrax mailings?

  8. Since we're pointing out errors, here's something that "DXer" posted to Lew Weinstein's blog yesterday:

    "On the subject of Ed’s confusion regarding computers, not only does Ed not understand what rooms were encompassed by the hot suite — for which entry was controlled and recorded by the card access (he mistakenly equates it as only B313) — but he doesn’t understand there was an additional computer that Pat Fellows took home with her (according to Bruce). "

    This is typical of "DXer's" posts. He wrote it in response to my questions about where the computer was located in B3 that he says many people, including me, do not know about (see the first comment in this thread).

    I provided a link to pictures of Ivins' lab in room B313, which showed no computer. So, "DXer" now appears to suggest that Ivins used it somewhere else in Suite B3 - like maybe in the animal rooms or in one of Patricia Worsham's labs or in the shower room. Or maybe Ivins used it while sitting on the can.

    I don't have any pictures of those places. And "DXer" doesn't say exactly where he fantasizes the computer was used inside Suite B3.

    But, I wonder how "DXer" thinks computers were taken in an out of a Biosafety Level-3 suite. How were they sterilized before bringing them into the Suite? How were they sterilized before taking them out of the suite? Were they washed down with soap and water in the showers? UV light certainly won't kill spores that get into the spaces around the keyboard keys and into plug sockets. Did they dip the computers in bleach?

    "DXer" fails to explain. He just believes Ivins was using a computer inside Suite B3 somewhere, and, in his mind, that helps explain all the unexplained hours Ivins spent in Suite B3.

    "DXer" also says Pat Fellows would take the computer home. So, he's also saying that at USAMRIID, people would not only take computers in and out of BSL-3 suites, they'd also take the computers home without fear of lab contamination killing their families.

    I would think that would require some very clear documentation to prove, since, on the face of it, it seems careless and idiotic.

    Or maybe "DXer" was just posting total nonsense about Ivins using a computer inside suite B3.


  9. "Anonymous" wrote: "Where did you disclose in your book that Diane Ivins first applied for a license to run a day care long AFTER the anthrax mailings?"

    When she applied for a license is irrelevant.

    David Willman interviewed many people, and he says the day care business was started even before they decided to adopt (see page 37 of his book). That was in 1984, about 18 years before she applied for the license.

    Here's a quote from a Seattle newspaper:

    "Neighbor Bonnie Duggan, who brought her daughter, Natalie, to Ivins' home near Fort Detrick on occasion [...] Diane Ivins was a stay-at-home mom who ran a day care center out of the family's home, and the Ivinses were heavily involved in their children's activities, Bonnie Duggan said."

    The facts say the day care center was started around 1984 - maybe earlier.


  10. All of the sourcing has been cited to you numerous times.

    For example, an interview statement transcribed 12/21/2006 explains “IT services received a ticket from USAMRIID BRUCE IVINS on July 19, 2001, with a request for IT services to set up a Macintosh computer in the 1425 hot suite.”

    He wrote former assistant/colleague on February 6, 2004 “RE: Missing computer”

    “I sent this around to people in our division. I’m wondering if the computer was lost or misplaced during the decontamination of my office, when everything in it had to be removed and deconned, either autoclaved, pulled out and bleached off, or shipped down _____________ for gamma irradiation sterilization. If I am unable to find it it, is there a way to find out what it is worth at present? Thanks for all of your help. As I told you, this is the only hand receipt item that still remains missing. Everything else has been accounted for. Thanks.”

    On February 18, 2004 he wrote an email noting that "I hope nobody decided to "adopt" it.

    The "national security" sample of powdered anthrax also went missing.

  11. "Anonymous" wrote: “IT services received a ticket from USAMRIID BRUCE IVINS on July 19, 2001, with a request for IT services to set up a Macintosh computer in the 1425 hot suite.”


    "I’m wondering if the computer was lost or misplaced during the decontamination of my office ..."

    He asked IT services to set up a "computer in the 1425 hot suite."

    He says the computer disappeared from his office.

    Your sourcing doesn't answer any of the key questions: Where was the computer located? In his office or in Suite B3? How did they decontaminate it IF they took it in and out of the B3 suite?


  12. It's totally absurd to believe that Ivins would go through the process of decontaminating himself to get into Suite B3 just to use a computer there when he had a perfectly good computer he could use in his office. And, then he'd have to decontaminate himself to leave Suite B3 when he was done using the computer. Why would anyone do things that way? It makes no sense.

    Where did he use it? How often did they take it in and out of Suite B3?

    FYI, if Ivins sent emails from a Macintosh, anyone could examine the source code for the message and determine if it was sent from the Macintosh laptop or from the computer in his office. So, any claim that he was sending emails from the Macintosh would need to be verified by examining the email source code.


  13. It was located IN the B3, Ed, beginning on July 19, 2001.

    Dr. Ivins IPs or his two other computers were MMCN 0599 and MMCN F1326. Both IPs began 140.139... (I have the full IP but it is not handy).

    The MMCN for a third computer, the PowerMac, was MMCN 7380.

    The PowerMac was set up in the hot suite on July 19, 2001 -- the day he put in the work order.

    It was installed in the hot suite and set up for internet service on July 19, 2001 between the times of 9:32 and 11:33 a.m (according to the work order)

    Where is it?

    If you want to know the lay out of things, to include the location of computers, the expert I consult with Dr. Andrews, former chief of bacteriology.

    In early 2007, he explained to the FBI agents who came to Wyoming that Dr. Ivins liked taking showers in the hot suite and surfing the internet.

    I recommend you consult with the folks at USAMRIID who had personal knowledge as to the location and whereabouts of the computer.

    The documents about the missing computer from the B3 have been uploaded and online for years.

  14. Anonymous wrote: "It was installed in the hot suite and set up for internet service on July 19, 2001 between the times of 9:32 and 11:33 a.m (according to the work order)"

    Okay. Very interesting. But, it's all meaningless if you cannot prove that Ivins was using the Macintosh in Suite B3 most of the time during all those unexplained hours.

    Until you can prove that Ivins was using the Macintosh in Suite B3 during those unexplained hours, this is all just an irrelevant side issue that has nothing to do with the case against Ivins.

    The FACTS say that Ivins was making and drying anthrax powders during those times. The fact that a computer existed in Suite B3 during that same time changes NOTHING.


  15. Ed, any criminal investigator should want to obtain such a computer to study the contemporaneous record of what was done in the B3 that it contained. Whether it contained data relating to the animal studies, email traffic or had a browser history showing it was used to surf porn. So the question is: Where is the computer? What happened to it? From the IP, can an internet surfing history be determined? Did Dr. Ivins use it to edit Wikiepedia? Was it cloned when all the computers at USAMRIID reportedly were cloned? If not, why not?

    I see now that the IP for Dr. Ivins two main computers were


    Question: What was the IP of the missing Apple laptop?

  16. "Anonymous" wrote: "Ed, any criminal investigator should want to obtain such a computer to study the contemporaneous record of what was done in the B3 that it contained."

    I've never claimed to be a "criminal investigator." I'm an analyst - a desk guy who studies the facts and puts all the pieces together to see what they mean. I only do research when there's an inconsistency. I don't track down computers that do not appear to have anything to do with anything.

    Your questions should be addressed to the FBI. You fantasize that the answers will somehow prove Ivins to be innocent, in spite of the mountain of facts which show he was guilty. So, you've got a lot of "criminal investigating" to do if you ever want to prove your beliefs to be anything buy unsupported beliefs.


  17. A 302 interview statement transcribed 12/21/2006 explains that computers from the hot suite were decontaminated by the personnel working in those suites and then transferred to IT:

    “__________ advised to the best of _____ knowledge, temporary internet files and cookies were not transferred. ___________ clarified, typically only documents on the C-drive of the old computer were transferred to the new computer.”


    “IT services received a ticket from USAMRIID employee BRUCE IVINS, on July 19, 2001, with a request for IT services to set up a Macintosh computer, __________ for ___________ and ________ for use in the ____ hot suite. ________________ the IP address from IVIN’s office computer, located in Room ____ of USAMRIID Building 1425 was _______ and the MMCN on the same was ______________________ had no knowledge if _________ was ever connected to the internet while in the ____ hot suite.”

  18. When GAO studies the FBI records taken from Dr. Ivins office in February 2005, it will see that the Apple laptop computer is not the one that had been in the B3 in Fall 2001. Another Apple computer was also taken in February 2005, as well as a Dell.

    The records from the Apple laptop computer that had been in the B3 are missing.

  19. "Anonymous,"

    I deleted your post which was mostly just personal attacks, and I deleted your post where you continue to absurdly argue that "equivalent" means anything Ivins wanted to consider to be "equivalent." In real life, "equivalent" would almost certainly mean purchased, pre-prepared slants that some established company other than Remel guaranteed to be "equivalent" to Remel slants.

    The idea that Ivins could mix growth media and prepare his own slants and that the FBIR should have accepted them blindly as being "equivalent" to Remel slants is just plain ridiculous.

    I let the post that begins "When GAO studies ..." go through, even though it says nothing relevant.

    The other post doesn't say much either. It says that "computers from the hot suite were decontaminated by the personnel working in those suites," but it provides no information about how that is done.

    And it seems to suggest that the Macintosh computer you repeatedly talk about was never connected to the Internet while in the hot suite.

    So, everything remains the same: Ivins unexplained overtime hours in Suite B3 remain unexplained.

    All we've determined is that they may have used a Macintosh computer somewhere at some time in some suite in Building 1425 -- probably Suite B3.


  20. Errata - #42 - "after the hearing examiner looked at the video the FBI had taken of Ivins standings in the street to take photographs and approaching the FBI vehicle"

    That incident involved "Hatfill" rather than "Ivins".

  21. Re: "Errata - #42,"

    Thanks. It's a typo that I and the two proof readers all missed.


  22. Amerithrax science update (B3D1, p. 270) states that missions by FBI personnel detected DNA from the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis on both the May 2004 and November 2004 missions; samples from the first mission were processed by NBFAC and samples from the Second mission were processed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. You say you didn't cite to the NAS panel's Vice-Chairman's piece in Science discussing this testing because it wouldn't have added anything. Where do you discuss the testing at all?

  23. "Anonymous,"

    It would take me too long to figure out what you're talking about. I've got too many other things to do. I don't have time to decipher your convoluted, off-topic, and apparently irrelevent question.

    My book is about what the facts say about Dr. Ivins and the anthrax attacks of 2001. There are comments about testing the lab in Afghanistan on page 223. And, as you know, Relman is mentioned on page 352.


  24. Ed Lake writes at page 223 that "The same was true of a small lab [no trace of anthrax] in Afghanistan which intelligence agents had identified as a possible site for bioweapons development."

    Actually the contemporaneous documents withheld until after the NAS panel's report was due says just the opposite in connection with the May 2004 and November 2004 missions. (See B3D1, p. 270)

    Here are qualified government experts who can address the scientific issues presented.

    Genome Differences That Distinguish Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis

    Lyndsay Radnedge,1 Peter G. Agron,1 Karen K. Hill,2 Paul J. Jackson,2 Lawrence O. Ticknor,2 Paul Keim,3 and Gary L. Andersen4,*


    The three species of the group 1 bacilli, Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, are genetically very closely related. All inhabit soil habitats but exhibit different phenotypes. B. anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is phylogenetically monomorphic, while B. cereus and B. thuringiensis are genetically more diverse. An amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis described here demonstrates genetic diversity among a collection of non-anthrax-causing Bacillus species, some of which show significant similarity to B. anthracis. Suppression subtractive hybridization was then used to characterize the genomic differences that distinguish three of the non-anthrax-causing bacilli from B. anthracis Ames. Ninety-three DNA sequences that were present in B. anthracis but absent from the non-anthrax-causing Bacillus genomes were isolated. Furthermore, 28 of these sequences were not found in a collection of 10 non-anthrax-causing Bacillus species but were present in all members of a representative collection of B. anthracis strains. These sequences map to distinct loci on the B. anthracis genome and can be assayed simultaneously in multiplex PCR assays for rapid and highly specific DNA-based detection of B. anthracis.

    This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy at the University of California (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, under contract no. W-7405-Eng-48). The Chemical and Biological National Security Program of the U.S. Department of Energy funded this work.

    We are extremely grateful to Kimothy Smith for assistance with the B. anthracis collection used in this study and Nancy K. Montgomery for preparing genomic DNA. We also appreciate the technical contributions of Aubree Hubbell, Anne M. Erler, Silvia Gamez-Chin, Cheryl Strout, Julie R. Avila, and Linda L. Ott at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

  25. Anonymous,

    I was tempted to delete your post, but I decided to let it go through to illustrate the nonsensical, off-topic and irrelevant arguments you continuously post here and on Lew's site.

    You quote what I wrote in my book and then claim that the NAS said the "opposite." The opposite of what? The opposite of "The same was true"? What's the opposite of that? The same was false? The opposite was true?

    And, the papers you mention do not provide any information about what was found in the lab in Afghanistan. So, they are irrelevant and just a waste of time. Papers about "scientific issues" don't mean that the "scientific issues" support any claim you have - even if you falsely believe they do.

    If you want to post here, explain your beliefs. Provide evidence. Don't just list documents as if they mean something. That is a technique best described as: "When you have no facts to support your argument, bury your opponent in bullsh*t."


  26. Anonymous,

    I'm not going to delete your post arguing once again the old argument that the three samples found in the lab in Afghanistan have some significance. I just don't have the time to locate the document which shows that investigators returned to the lab and did 1,254 tests, all of which proved negative for anthrax, showing that the first three tests were false positives.

    I don't want to post your message and leave it unanswered, either. So, I'll just leave it in the queue.

    Maybe someday I'll find the time to argue this once again. But, right now I've got better things to do.