Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feb. 24 - Mar. 2, 2013 Discussions

This week's Sunday comment on my web site was entirely about the introduction to Professor Lance deHaven Smith's upcoming book "Conspiracy Theory in America."

I found Professor Smith's beliefs to be so bizarre that I had to read and re-read the introduction at least a half dozen times.  I even made a copy of it for myself, so I could highlight in red his most unbelievable beliefs.  Nearly every paragraph seems to argue something that I see as totally crazy.

Professor Smith's primary belief seems to be that it is the duty of every American to be suspicious of everything the government does, and to call for investigations of everything that seems suspicious.  And, anyone who disagree is UN-American.  He appears to argue that suspicions alone are enough to start an investigation of a government official, and, since there is no way to prove a politician is NOT corrupt, every "investigation" must therefore either find proof of corruption or be deemed a failure because the investigators obviously didn't look in the right places or look hard enough.  Or maybe the investigators joined the conspiracy.    

Professor Smith somehow believes that "the United States was founded on a conspiracy theory."  He claims the Declaration of Independence argues that King George was conspiring against the people of America.  Reading the Declaration of Independence, however, clearly shows that it presents a long list of evidence proving that King George was acting like a tyrant.  No conspiracy.  Just a list of facts showing injustices ordered and directed by the King.

The craziest part of Professor Smith's theory may be his belief that people who did as he suggests are the kind of villains he wants stopped.  Nixon and his aids suspected the Democrats of doing things that were illegal, so Nixon's aides set out to find evidence of it.  They committed crimes during their search, resulting in the Watergate scandal.  Bush-Cheney suspected Saddam Hussein of having connections to al Qaeda and being somehow responsible for 9/11, so they set out to find evidence of it.  That led to an unnecessary war and the finding NO evidence of a connection between Hussein and 9/11 or al Qaeda.

The Introduction to Professor Smith's book also includes some truly crazy beliefs about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  Professor Smith argues that as soon as investigators found that USAMRIID may have had a connection to the anthrax attacks, the investigators should have assumed that the U.S. Military may also have been behind 9/11.  Why?  Because Professor Smith has a crazy belief that governments are the same as individual criminals.  If individual criminals can be caught by looking for patterns in their crimes, then investigators should look for the same thing when they suspect governments of crimes. Professor Smith wrote:
It is routine police protocol to look for patterns in burglaries, bank robberies, car thefts, and other crimes, and to use any patterns that are discovered as clues to the perpetrators’ identity and the vulnerabilities to crime that are being exploited. This method of crime analysis is shown repeatedly in crime shows on TV. It is Criminology 101. There is no excuse for most Americans, much less criminal investigators, journalists, and other professionals, to fail to apply this method to assassinations, election fiascos, defense failures, and other suspicious events that shape national political priorities.  
Evidently Professor Smith cannot see any difference between administrations or eras.  He feels that, if President Nixon helped cover up an illegal break-in at the Watergate Hotel, it should be assumed that President Obama is currently helping cover up a U.S. Government plot that Professor Smith believes was behind 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001.

Professor Smith's book won't actually be published until April.  When it is, I hope there will be some discussion about it.  I hope it won't just be ignored the way the recent conspiracy theory paper by Professor Martin Hugh-Jones, Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg and Dr. Stuart Jacobsen was ignored.  I think Professor Smith's book could be a very fascinating look into the workings of the mind of a true conspiracy theorist.

Meanwhile, on this forum last week, I had a long discussion with R. Rowley who seems to truly believe that he knows who sent the anthrax letters, and it wasn't Dr. Bruce Ivins.  Mr. Rowley doesn't think the FBI "bungled" the investigation, he just thinks they didn't understand evidence, they used wrong investigative techniques, they used invalid reasoning, and they came up with the wrong suspect.  Mr. Rowley plans to write a book in which he'll show why the FBI was wrong, and he'll explain his theory about the art of linguistics and how it shows someone other than Dr. Ivins was the culprit.  But, when you get to the end of Mr. Rowley's book, you'll find he doesn't name the real culprit.  You just have to trust that he's right.  That seems like a practical joke to me, but it appears Mr. Rowley has high hopes for the book.  

Ed

117 comments:

  1. From the above by Mister Lake:
    -----------------------
    Mr. Rowley doesn't think the FBI "bungled" the investigation,
    ------------
    Me: so far, so good!

    ------------------- he just thinks they didn't understand evidence,
    -----------------------------------

    I never wrote any such thing. It's funny that in last week's blog thread, Mister Lake was lecturing ME on what a summary was, and yet his summaries of my positions are so frequently erroneous, and repetitively so.

    The Feds understand evidence. In Amerithrax they didn't have enough to convict Ivins so they used the same psychological tactics they had used on Hatfill (and for the same reasons): to make him 'crack' and confess all the details, give them the 'missing' evidence. But as with Hatfill, there was no 'missing' evidence to provide. And Ivins wasn't as strong as Hatfill.

    Back to Mister Lake:

    they used wrong investigative techniques,
    ---------------------------------

    Well, any 'technique' that leads to the suicide of the main suspect is probably 'wrong'. But perhaps I'm underestimating Mister Lake's Schadenfreude?

    Back to Mister Lake:
    ---------------

    they used invalid reasoning, and they came up with the wrong suspect.
    ------------------------------------
    Okay, that's about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wrote: "he just thinks they didn't understand evidence,"

    And R. Rowley responded: "I never wrote any such thing."

    You CONSTANTLY argue that the evidence against Ivins doesn't prove anything. You point out one item of evidence after another and claim that by itself it doesn't prove guilt and therefore means nothing. That implies that the FBI doesn't understand evidence, but you do.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "any 'technique' that leads to the suicide of the main suspect is probably 'wrong'."

    So, what is your recommendation? Don't question or investigate any suspects who might commit suicide? Let every criminal go free who might be a suicide risk?

    Or is this another example of how you think you know better ways of proving a criminal case than the FBI does?

    What is your recommended way of investigating a suspect that would eliminate all possibility that he might commit suicide rather than be put on trial?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr. Rowley,

    1. What is your basis for believing that your understanding of evidence is better than that of the Department of Justice?

    2. Why do you think the FBI failed to name your suspect as the anthrax killer? Do you believe that you are a better investigator than anyone and everyone in the FBI?

    3. Why do you refuse to look at all the evidence as the case against Ivins? (A) Is it because you know you have no argument if you do not do things that way? Or (B) is it because you do not accept the way American courts, juries and judges look at evidence?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  4. From Mister Lake's first post:
    ----------------------
    I wrote: "he just thinks they didn't understand evidence,"

    And R. Rowley responded: "I never wrote any such thing."

    You CONSTANTLY argue that the evidence against Ivins doesn't prove anything. You point out one item of evidence after another and claim that by itself it doesn't prove guilt and therefore means nothing. That implies that the FBI doesn't understand evidence, but you do.
    ======================================================
    You are mixing up two (to my mind) distinct things:

    1) what is their evidence against Ivins? (Mister Lake is impressed with it, I'm not)

    2) what CLAIMS are made about that evidence in the Investigative Summary (Final Report)?

    Naturally, the whole purpose of the Investigative Summary is to sell the public on the idea that: Ivins did it, and did it alone and since he's dead, we can close the case. MY WAY of expressing that, since I don't think the evidence contained therein has much AT ALL to do with Ivins' even potential guilt, is: the document is strictly for PR purposes. I've written that ('It's a PR document') dozens of times in this venue and others.

    Said another way, the Final Report puts a brave front on, but I don't think it truly reflects the underlying opinions (or at least the full range of opinions) of ALL the investigators. It's PR and PR puts forth an 'official position' rather than the more complicated reality.

    Said yet ANOTHER way: I think the investigators:

    1)were looking for, and were chagrined not to have found evidence that Ivins made those trips to Princeton.

    2)were looking for, and were chagrined not to have found evidence that Ivins did drying/purifying of anthrax in the Aug to Oct 2001 period.

    3) were looking for, and were chagrined not to have found evidence
    that Ivins' printing matched that the anthrax letters (here DXer or someone else might actually find among all those raw documents the report of the handwriting expert(s) and, dollars to donuts, the experts said it was a poor match to Ivins' printing; this was prettied up to 'inconclusive' just like the polygraph exams, but NOT by the handwriting expert(s)).

    4)were looking for, and were chagrined not to have found evidence
    that the photocopy machine at the library at USAMRIID could have been used to photocopy the Brokaw and/or Daschle texts.

    (The investigators realize that what they DID come up with mostly doesn't bear on the crime itself: history of mental illness, burglaries, a penchant for late-night drives to mail gifts, and let's not forget the ancestral homestead in Central Jersey!)

    Once he committed suicide, the investigators realized they weren't going to get any confession to bring to light any more evidence. They HOPED (ie wanted to believe) that they hadn't caused an innocent man to commit suicide, but that his death was at least partly a result of 'consciousness of guilt'. But lacking any other major suspect, they were left to make the best of a bad situation. Voila! The Final Report.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mister Lake addressing me:
    ---------------------------
    2. Why do you think the FBI failed to name your suspect as the anthrax killer? Do you believe that you are a better investigator than anyone and everyone in the FBI?

    =======================================
    My suspect wouldn't have made any of their 'lists of suspects'.
    He wasn't/isn't technically a scientist, didn't/doesn't work in biodefense. May never have even been at USAMRIID, even to visit.
    So the failure to see him as a suspect was understandable.
    ----------------
    My chief advantage: I knew the guy even before I started studying Amerithrax. Plus the psycho-linguistics bit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ed spouts such nonsense.

    Ed writes:

    "Ivins had a life-long fascination with codes."

    Bruce had no more a fascination with codes than other educated people. Codes, by their nature, are fascinating. Ed may not be fascinated with codes.

    Ed writes:

    "Ivins admitted to breaking into a KKG office to steal their cypher book (i.e., code book)."

    Hundreds of millions of people have committed theft, to include burglary and massive copyright infringement. It is not relevant.

    Ed writes:

    "(4) The hidden message in the media letters related to his two assistants."

    The handwriting forensics indicate that the critical letter was not in fact double-lined. That concocted "message" was made up. The GAO now knows this, even though Ed does not know this because of his lack of contacts.

    Ed writes:

    "(5) Ivins couldn't explain the unusual hours he spent in his lab during the times when the spores would have been made."

    But he did explain. The DOJ took his documents and then lied about them in summarizing them to superiors.

    Ed writes:

    (7) Ivins tried to intimidate witnesses.

    No he didn't. Ed thinks ordinary emails are "intimidation" or "harassment." Ed is paranoid.

    Ed writes:

    "(8) Ivins tried to mislead the investigation."

    This involves circular reasoning. It presumes he was guilty.

    Ed writes:

    "(9) Ivins created spores containing silicon just like what was in the attack spores."

    If this were true, then one would want to know what happened to the contents of Flask 1030. Ed doesn't even know what Flask 1030 was used for -- or its origin.

    Ed writes:

    (10) Ivins had multiple motives for sending the letters.

    The FBI acknowledges that it would be speculating as to motive. Speculation is not evidence. The FBI similarly argued that Dr. Hatfill had a motive. Yet a federal district court found that there was not a scintilla of evidence he was guilty.

    Ed writes:

    (11) Ivins had multiple connections to the scene of the crime.

    Ed's parents didn't go to Princeton. Most educated people in the Notheast have connections to Princeton as strong or stronger than Dr. Ivins.

    "(12) Ivins controlled the murder weapon."

    The FBI says that "up to 377" had access to Ames. That's just down from the 700 who had access to Ames before the 4 morphs are considered.

    All of Ed's points are as specious -- as his claim a First Grader wrote the letters.

    Ed is what he calls a True Believer.

    ReplyDelete
  7. R. Rowley wrote: "You are mixing up two (to my mind) distinct things:

    1) what is their evidence against Ivins? (Mister Lake is impressed with it, I'm not)

    2) what CLAIMS are made about that evidence in the Investigative Summary (Final Report)?"


    All you are saying is the same thing you've been saying or years: Your BELIEFS override all the facts.

    You appear to have NO understanding of how a real criminal investigation works. You BELIEVE they should to do things your way, i.e., start with a BELIEF about who did it, and then look for evidence to verify that BELIEF. You want a BELIEF to be the driving force for the investigation.

    That is NOT the way real criminal investigations work. In REAL criminal investigations, the FACTS drive the investigation

    Ivins wasn't even a suspect for the first THREE years of the investigation. It wasn't until the evidence started to show that flask RMR-1029 was the source for the attack powders that the FBI started to look at Ivins more carefully.

    The FBI saw that Ivins appeared to have tried to mislead the investigation by first supplying a sample from RMR-1029 that could not be used in court, and when that was rejected, he supplied a sample that did not match what was actually in flask RMR-1029. Deliberately misleading an investigation is evidence of guilt. (Your BELIEF that nothing is evidence unless by itself it is conclusive proof of guilt is TOTAL NONSENSE.)

    The FBI found that Ivins tried to destroy evidence by doing unauthorized cleanups of the areas where he may have accidentally left behind anthrax spores. Destroying evidence is evidence of guilt. (Your BELIEF that nothing is evidence unless by itself it is conclusive proof of guilt is TOTAL NONSENSE.)

    During questioning, Ivins TOLD the FBI about his obsession with the KKG sorority and his long drives at night to commit burglaries. Those FACTS connected him to the crime scene AND helped explain why the letters were mailed from so far from where he lived.

    The FBI had no choice but to check the copy machine in the USAMRIID library to see if it had been used to produce the letter copies. The fact that that copy machine apparently was NOT used means nothing. If the FBI hadn't checked it, they wouldn't know that it was NOT the copy machine that was used. (Your BELIEF that failing to find evidence everywhere you look means you are looking in the wrong places IS TOTAL NONSENSE.)

    There are a lot of things they HAD to check because such things MIGHT produce evidence. But, the fact that they did NOT produce evidence means nothing. Fingerprints on the envelopes and letters is a prime example. They HAD to check, even though the chances of finding the killer's fingerprints on the envelopes or letters were probably a million to one against.

    The were also hampered by the fact that they didn't start looking for evidence to VERIFY that Ivins was the killer until years after the crime. That meant that it would be highly unlikely that security camera recordings would still exist showing Ivins driving through Princeton. But, they probably HAD to check.

    If you check for evidence and find nothing, that just means you didn't find any evidence there. That does NOT invalidate all the other places where you DID find evidence.

    Worst of all, you FANTASIZE about the FBI's and the DOJ's motives, and you want them to have done things your way. That's pure bias.

    You ignore the fact that the DOJ was seeking an indictment at the time of Ivins' suicide. You ignore the fact that the DOJ called Ivins' lawyer to warn him that Ivins seemed suicidal.

    Your arguments are pure mindless bias. They have no basis in reality. You truly believe you are right, so you just make up things to argue that the FBI was wrong.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the details of Richard's theory to include where he imagines there to have been access. (There wasn't even Ames anthrax at the location). Respectfully, there is no factual basis to his theory -- not as to access to Ames or anthrax, let alone a dried powder; not as to proximity to the mailbox. There is a total absence of any relevant evidence. It is telling, then, when (because of his articulateness and agreeable disposition) he runs circles around Ed and his First Grader Theory. When stripped of Ed's gloss of a First Grader Theory, an Ivins Theory is a thousand times more powerful than Richard's theory.

      Delete
  8. R. Rowley wrote: "My suspect wouldn't have made any of their 'lists of suspects'.
    He wasn't/isn't technically a scientist, didn't/doesn't work in biodefense. May never have even been at USAMRIID, even to visit.
    So the failure to see him as a suspect was understandable.
    ----------------
    My chief advantage: I knew the guy even before I started studying Amerithrax. Plus the psycho-linguistics bit."


    That is NOT an "advantage." It's bias. You knew the guy, so you think you have reason to believe he did it. You didn't know Ivins, so you have no reason to think that Ivins did it. And, you clearly don't care what the evidence says.

    You believe that your "psycho-linguistics" findings are better evidence than everything the FBI found that points to Ivins. Why? Because you found it and it's what you believe.

    In short, you don't care what the facts say, you're going to believe what you want to believe.

    So, why even discuss this subject? Do you think you can get people to convert to your beliefs by just saying the same things over and over and over and over?

    People like me look at the evidence. The evidence says Ivins was the anthrax killer. You have NO meaningful evidence to support your beliefs.

    True Believers and conspiracy theorists have their OWN beliefs, so nothing you can say would change their minds.

    So, what is it you are trying to do? Are you just trying to show the world that you are incapable of changing your mind about what you believe? I think everyone can see that already.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous wrote: "Bruce had no more a fascination with codes than other educated people."

    FALSE. Ivins had an obsession with KKG's cyphers.

    "Hundreds of millions of people have committed theft, to include burglary ... It is not relevant.

    FALSE. It is very relevant since it showed he drove long distances to commit his crimes AND his family knew nothing about what he was doing. So, they couldn't provide him with any alibi for the time of the crimes.

    "The handwriting forensics indicate that the critical letter was not in fact double-lined. That concocted "message" was made up."

    FALSE. Your beliefs do not change the facts.

    " The DOJ took his documents and then lied about them in summarizing them to superiors."

    FALSE. Your beliefs do not change the facts.

    "Ed thinks ordinary emails are "intimidation" or "harassment."

    FALSE. Your beliefs do not change the facts.

    tried to mislead the investigation."

    This involves circular reasoning. It presumes he was guilty.


    FALSE. Misleading an investigation doesn't require assuming guilt. It's evidence of guilt.

    "Ed doesn't even know what Flask 1030 was used for -- or its origin."

    FALSE. Ivins created the contents of Flask 1030 between Nov. 1995 and Nov. 1996 from 13 separate production runs. The material was used as a source for vaccine tests.

    "Ivins had multiple motives for sending the letters.

    The FBI acknowledges that it would be speculating as to motive. Speculation is not evidence."


    FALSE. The FBI listed possible motives. Proof of motive is not necessary to argue motive in court.

    "Most educated people in the Notheast have connections to Princeton as strong or stronger than Dr. Ivins."

    FALSE. Whether or not anyone else had similar ties to the crime scene is irrelevant if they are not suspects.

    "The FBI says that "up to 377" had access to Ames."

    FALSE. Up to 377 had THEORETICAL access to flask RMR-1029, but the facts say that only Ivins and his subordinates actually accessed the flask or knew where it was.

    "Ed is what he calls a True Believer."

    FALSE. A "True Believer" is someone whose mind cannot be changed by FACTS. That applies to "Anonymous," but my mind has been changed many times during the course of this case by the finding of new facts.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, the Ames was in both buildings at various locations. There was no need to access to the flask -- access could have been from the other locations it was available. See, e.g., Henry Heine's explanation.

      Indeed, one thing we know is that it did NOT come directly from Flask 1029.

      That's a pretty basic point for you to be confused about.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous wrote: "Ed, the Ames was in both buildings at various locations."

      Flask RMR-1029 was stored in the cold room B311, two doors down from Ivins' lab. Aliquots from that flask were prepared and sent to other locations where they were almost always quickly consumed in tests.

      Henry Heine's beliefs had nothing to do with reality.

      That's a pretty basic point for you to be confused about.

      Ed

      Delete
  10. My chief advantage: I knew the guy even before I started studying Amerithrax. Plus the psycho-linguistics bit."

    That is NOT an "advantage." It's bias. You knew the guy, so you think you have reason to believe he did it. You didn't know Ivins, so you have no reason to think that Ivins did it.
    =====================================================
    That's kind of ironic. Many moons ago (sorry can't be more precise: the memory is going!)I was talking to you (here or another venue) and you accused me (perhaps I was going under the 'anonymous' rubric) of being prejudiced because I KNEW Ivins.
    I set you straight then. NOW you are accusing me of bias because I DIDN'T know Ivins.

    Thanks to a lot of periodical articles, and especially David Willman's book (MIRAGE MAN), I feel as though I do know Ivins. And the Ivins that you and the Task Force see/claim to see is not the man I see. And that quite apart from the (almost wholly lacking) physical evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  11. R. Rowley wrote: "You are mixing up two (to my mind) distinct things:

    1) what is their evidence against Ivins? (Mister Lake is impressed with it, I'm not)

    2) what CLAIMS are made about that evidence in the Investigative Summary (Final Report)?"

    All you are saying is the same thing you've been saying or years: Your BELIEFS override all the facts.
    ----------------------------------------------
    No, your summary there is lacking. Apparently you take every word that is written by a DoJ employee as Gospel truth, and so anyone who realizes that organizations like DoJ have their own axes to grind, their own spin to put on even criminal cases is doing it for some perverse 'belief-based' reason.

    To prove the crimes of Amerithrax, you need to prove the subtasks of those crimes. So far they haven't laid a glove on Ivins

    ReplyDelete
  12. R. Rowley wrote: "Thanks to a lot of periodical articles, and especially David Willman's book (MIRAGE MAN), I feel as though I do know Ivins. And the Ivins that you and the Task Force see/claim to see is not the man I see."

    So, you're saying you didn't really KNOW Ivins? You just read some stuff about him and feel that you know him?

    Is that the same way you "know" your suspect? You read some stuff about him and feel you know him? Or did you actually know him personally?

    You are BIASED in favor of the suspect you found. You are BIASED against the suspect the FBI identified because they didn't do things your way. If you did not know either one personally, then the bias seems based entirely on the fact that you think you are smarter than the entire FBI.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "Apparently you take every word that is written by a DoJ employee as Gospel truth"

    It has nothing to do with who wrote the Summary report. It has to do with the FACTS and the EVIDENCE. I've explained that to you countless times. The FACTS AND EVIDENCE say that Ivins was the anthrax killer. The Summary report merely summarizes the FACTS AND EVIDENCE.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "To prove the crimes of Amerithrax, you need to prove the subtasks of those crimes. So far they haven't laid a glove on Ivins"

    You seem to be once again saying that you are the only valid judge of evidence, and if the DOJ didn't provide evidence according to your own personal standards, then it is not evidence.

    That was ridiculous the first time you said it, and it just gets more ridiculous every time you say it.

    You are not the judge of what is evidence and what is not. The Rules of Evidence determine what is valid evidence and what is not. And, arguing that a summary isn't valid because it's a summary and doesn't lay out the evidence the way it would be laid out in court is also ridiculous.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  13. Posted by Mister Lake:
    --------------------
    You are BIASED against the suspect the FBI identified because they didn't do things your way.
    =============================================
    Mister Lake: up to August of 2008, I had no idea WHAT the Task Force was doing, beyond what was in news reports and what appeared on YOUR site (an earlier version of this one).
    To be honest I STILL don't know what they did linguistically, beyond what's in that VANITY FAIR article by Don Foster. I asked you on one of these threads with what forensic linguist they replaced Foster, and I don't think you replied. If they DIDN'T replace him, then they ignored a whole skein of evidence except what Foster gave them over a few months(?) in late 2001/early 2002 (for I have the distinct impression he was long-gone from the investigation before writing that article). That would be ignoring the linguistic elements for 6 years (2002 to 2008).
    Not a good thing (as Martha Stewart would say).

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are not the judge of what is evidence and what is not. The Rules of Evidence determine what is valid evidence and what is not. And, arguing that a summary isn't valid because it's a summary and doesn't lay out the evidence the way it would be laid out in court is also ridiculous.
    ===================================================
    What's in the Final Report is "evidence" of a generic sort, not of a (necessarily) legally applicable sort. I'M the one who, in our previous discussions, (Plus Anonymous) who was quoting from the Rules of Evidence, you, as always, were quoting from some 'dictionary of legal terms'. What, of the generic 'evidence' of the Final Report would have been admissible in a notional trial of Bruce Ivins would have been determined by a judge, knowledgeable about those Rules of Evidence AND weighing the prejudicial nature of revelations about Ivins' break-ins etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mr. Rowley,

    As usual, you don't even make sense.

    "To be honest I STILL don't know what they did linguistically .."

    You seem to be arguing that ONLY linguistics are important evidence. Everything else is meaningless. That is beyond absurd.

    "I'M the one who, in our previous discussions, (Plus Anonymous) who was quoting from the Rules of Evidence"

    As I recall, you quoted words from the Rules of Evidence but had no clue as to what those words really meant.

    You remember things you wrote, but you ignore the fact that it was pointed out to you that what you wrote was total nonsense.

    Ed


    ReplyDelete
  16. R. Rowley also wrote: "To prove the crimes of Amerithrax, you need to prove the subtasks of those crimes. So far they haven't laid a glove on Ivins"

    You seem to be once again saying that you are the only valid judge of evidence, and if the DOJ didn't provide evidence according to your own personal standards, then it is not evidence.
    ======================================================
    No, it's not a matter of "personal standards", it's the same general thing in all, let's say, violent crime.

    Bank robbery: recovering the money at house or in vehicle of 'suspect' would do nicely as a surrogate for just about all the other elements, since that bank money didn't mysteriously materialize in Jake's jalopy. But if the money is well hidden?
    Never discovered?

    Eye witnesses seeing the robbery (naturally this could include ANY of the subtasks: driving up to the bank; walking into bank with guns and/or masks out; eyewitnesses inside bank (possible voice recognition); exiting bank ; speeding off in car. Possible noting of model/make of vehicle. Possible noting of tag numbers.

    At some locations getaway vehicles will leave tread marks and these can sometimes be traced, but the treadmarks would be a RESULT of one of those sub-tasks: drive to/from bank.

    Subtasks, the above are ALL subtasks that have to be performed for a bank robbery to be complete. Each one provides an opportunity for witnesses: bank employees, customers, passers-by,
    other motorists etc.
    Plus (nowadays)inside the bank closed circuit TV catching one or more subtasks on video.

    A bank robber "acting alone" would perforce HAVE TO perform all of those subtasks: it's a tautology. Ivins was in the same boat (more or less): HE had to do all the subtasks. To prove he did it, minus something tying him to the letters directly (fingerprints, DNA etc), is: proof he did one or more subtasks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mr. Rowley,

    As usual, you don't even make sense.

    "To be honest I STILL don't know what they did linguistically .."

    You seem to be arguing that ONLY linguistics are important evidence. Everything else is meaningless. That is beyond absurd.
    =================================================
    You seem to be in a very intense competition with yourself, Mister Lake: to try to write the most inaccurate summary of your opponent's ideas/positions possible.

    I wrote that doing nothing with the linguistic skein of evidence
    for 5 or 6 years would have been an error IF THAT'S WHAT THEY DID.

    What did they do?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Richard imagines access to virulent Ames at the University of Washington in the Pacific Northwest.

    There was no virulent Ames at the University of Washington.

    Thus, his theory is a non-starter.

    He similarly imagines, without any factual basis, proximity to the mailbox at issue.

    Thus, his theory is a non-starter even before you get to issues relating to motive and processing or evidence of having committed the crime.

    While I enjoy reading the points he makes about an Ivins Theory, there is no "there there" to his own theory.

    The fact he did not even know where his acquaintance lived in September/October 2001 is akin to Ed not knowing the first day of school with respect to his imaginary First Grader. In both cases, even the most rudimentary inquiry would have revealed the relevant facts as to what was, on its face, an implausible theory.

    ReplyDelete
  19. R. Rowley wrote: "To prove he did it, minus something tying him to the letters directly (fingerprints, DNA etc), is: proof he did one or more subtasks."

    You fantasize as to what the "subtasks" are and how they must be proved. You demonstrate once again that you do not understand facts, evidence or the Rules of Evidence. It is not necessary to prove that Ivins used a particular method to make the anthrax powders. Nor is it necessary to have documents showing that he made the powders. All that is necessary is to show that he had the MEANS to make the powders. That can be done by having an expert take the stand and testify that he made a duplicate of the powders using materials and equipment available to Ivins. Anyone who says that Ivins didn't have the MEANS to make the powders is ignorant of the facts. Anyone who says there has to be some record of Ivins making the powders is ignorant of the Rules of Evidence.

    The same holds true with the drive to New Jersey. Anyone who says there must be some record of the drive to New Jersey is totally ignorant of the Rules of Evidence and how evidence works in court.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "I wrote that doing nothing with the linguistic skein of evidence for 5 or 6 years would have been an error IF THAT'S WHAT THEY DID.

    What did they do?
    "

    It's your belief that it was an "error" if they did nothing with linguistics. It's up to you to explain your beliefs, not me.

    The facts say that Don Foster tried to persuade the FBI to use linguistics to point at someone Foster thought did it, but his "linguistic evidence" was both wrong and worthless.

    It's really IDIOTIC to argue that linguistics can mean anything significant if the culprit feigned the linguistics of a Muslim terrorist when writing the letters. It's as idiotic as a handwriting "expert" divining the personality of a person who disguised his handwriting when producing a writing sample.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous wrote: "Thus, his [R. Rowley's] theory is a non-starter even before you get to issues relating to motive and processing or evidence of having committed the crime."

    Agreed. But the real question is: How do you convince Mr. Rowley of that?

    Facts mean nothing to him. Evidence means nothing to him. He's going to believe what he wants to believe.

    The same, of course, applies to you. Facts mean nothing to you. Evidence means nothing to you. You just believe what you want to believe.

    You can't even explain with evidence who made the powders and who mailed the letters. All you can do is what R. Rowley does: Argue that you do not believe the evidence against Bruce Ivins and that if it cannot be be proved that it is totally impossible for someone else to have done it, then Ivins didn't do it, your suspect did.

    I know you truly believe you are right, but the facts and evidence say you are wrong.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, I would have reason to know who made the powders or who mailed the letters.

      The fact that we do not know that is by no means evidence that Dr. Ivins did.

      As for the evidence relating to how Dr. Ivins did, the key issue was how he spent his time. I have obtained and mastered the documents relating to his work with the 52 rabbits. You are the only person who does not understand the work with the rabbits.

      AUSA Lieber never mentioned in her summary to her bosses. I can assure you everyone else in Washington D.C. paying attention to the matter does -- to include the CIA, FBI, Army and GAO.

      Delete
    2. With respect to access to Ames, it is what GAO understands that is important, not Mr. Rowley (who I think is great, albeit mistaken).

      As for what GAO understands on that issue, it is what Yazid Sufaat or his assistant Hilmi is telling his questioners that is important.

      In 10 years, you've never even addressed the relevant issues.

      Hilmi and his mom will be entitled to a $5 million reward under the Rewards for Justice program. Alternatively, the Malaysian officials will be.

      Delete
    3. Ed, you have a need to "know" -- a need to express certainty.

      You are what you call a True Believer.

      The GAO's mission is to assess the gaps in what is known.

      That is the strength of Edward Jay Epstein's chapter. He explains what is known -- and what is not known.

      Delete
    4. "Anonymous" wrote: "You are the only person who does not understand the work with the rabbits."

      No, I'm just the only person who has bothered to argue with you about it. Everyone else just ignores you, because what you argue is just nonsense.

      Why don't you explain your beliefs about the rabbits? Why just argue that it means something without telling everyone exactly what it means? Why don't you TELL everyone HOW and WHY your evidence proves what you believe it proves? Why do you just IMPLY that it means something?

      You never explain your beliefs. Is that because you cannot explain your beliefs? Is it because your beliefs are JUST beliefs unsupported by any facts or evidence?

      "Anonymous" also wrote: "Ed, you have a need to "know" -- a need to express certainty."

      A "need to know" is not the same as a "need to express certainty".

      When "experts" disagree, I like to know who is right. The only way to do that is look at the facts. You, however, always argue that the "expert" who agrees with you must be the expert who is right - because that is what you believe.

      I have no need to express certainty. In fact, I recently posted a series of quotes showing how absurd it is for YOU and Mr. Rowley to express certainty. Here they are again:

      "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin

      "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one." - Voltaire

      "Convictions are more dangerous of truth than lies." - Frederick Nietzche

      You believe with total certainty, regardless of what the facts say. That is what everyone calls a True Believer.

      I state what the facts say and challenge everyone to provide better facts which show that the known facts are misleading and that the "truth" is something different.

      If the facts say that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer, it doesn't make any difference that you do not care what the facts say and will continue to believe what you want to believe. You're not going to convert anyone to your beliefs by just rambling incoherently about what you think the GAO "understands" or how someone is going to be entitled to a reward for something.

      EXPLAIN YOUR BELIEFS. If you don't, it is an admission that you cannot explain your beliefs. Arguing that you do NOT believe the evidence against Ivins is NOT an explanation of what you really DO believe.

      Ed

      Delete
    5. I explain my analysis here, Ed.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      I don't do it on a blog of a fellow who has spent the past 10 years arguing that the facts establish that a First Grader wrote the Fall 2001 anthrax letters.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous wrote: "I explain my analysis here, Ed."

      No, you do NOT.

      That web site is just a hodgepodge of incoherent images that explain ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You may be attempting to IMPLY something, but it's anyone's guess as to what that is. There's no reason for anyone to dig through it to figure out what you are trying to IMPLY.

      Maybe you do not understand what the word "explain" means.

      --------------------------
      ex·plain (k-spln)
      v. ex·plained, ex·plain·ing, ex·plains
      v.tr.
      1. To make plain or comprehensible.
      2. To define; expound: We explained our plan to the committee.
      3.
      a. To offer reasons for or a cause of; justify: explain an error.
      b. To offer reasons for the actions, beliefs, or remarks of (oneself).
      v.intr.
      To make something plain or comprehensible: Let me explain.
      --------------------

      There is NOTHING on that web site where you EXPLAIN what you mean.

      You make NOTHING plain or comprehensible. Just the opposite. You make everything a puzzle that people are supposed to figure out.

      There's no way to tell if anything on that site is your own words. It looks like an incoherent scramble of images of miscellaneous documents.

      Since you evidently do not know HOW to explain something, below are five simple questions you just need to answer in as few words as possible. The answers would be an explanation of your beliefs.

      1. Who do you believe mailed the letters?

      2. Why do you believe that person is the mailer?

      3. How do you believe that person obtained the anthrax?

      4. Why do you believe the FBI is wrong?

      5. Why do you believe you are right?

      The world breathlessly awaits your explanation.

      Ed

      Delete
    7. If you prefer text, I explain the analysis here.

      ANTHRAX AND AL QAEDA: THE INFILTRATION OF US BIODEFENSE

      http://www.blurb.com/b/3459068-anthrax-and-al-qaeda-the-infiltration-of-us-biodef

      Delete
    8. Anonymous wrote: "I explain the analysis here."

      No, you do NOT. Somewhere there's a version of your book that anyone can go through for free. I went through it. It's the same incoherent image-based material you have at the other web site.

      You do not answer even the most basic questions:

      1. Who do you believe mailed the letters?

      2. Why do you believe that person is the mailer?

      3. How do you believe that person obtained the anthrax?

      4. Why do you believe the FBI is wrong?

      5. Why do you believe you are right?

      So, you explain NOTHING. Is it because you are incapable of explaining anything? Or are you like Mr. Rowley and afraid of getting sued if you explain who you think did it?

      How do either one of you expect to get converts to your beliefs if you cannot explain anything coherently?

      Ed

      Delete
    9. I wrote this about the book by "Anonymous": It's the same incoherent image-based material you have at the other web site.

      I checked again and saw that all anyone has to do is click on "PREVIEW BOOK!" on the illustration of the cover of the book on the site HERE and it shows you a small version of the entire book.

      I can see that there are lots of incoherent images in the book, but mostly it is text. However, the text seems to be the same incoherent blather seen on Lew Weinstein's site. It's a lot of disconnected thoughts and ideas adding up to nothing.

      Here's the paragraph from page 431 after the sub-heading: Conclusion:

      Dr. Zawahiri accomplished the attack on the US "structure" he intended. With the planes, Al Qaeda struck the US trade dominance (World Trade Center) and its military might (Pentagon). With the anthrax, some US-based supporter(s) of the goals of Zawahiri rounded out the field that they imagine provides support to Israel - the legislative branch and the media. Analogous letter bombs were sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the Blind Sheikh and militant Islamists responsible for that attack and a related plot. Thus, relying on the postal service to send its deadly missives in connection with an earlier attack on the World Trade center is not only Al Qaeda's modus operandi, it is its signature.

      "Letter bombs sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center"?

      I don't have time to dig through the book to see what the author means, but the only "letter bombs" that show up doing a Google search are ones mailed FOUR YEARS after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

      So, it's an al Qaeda "signature" to send out letter bombs 4 years after one attack and to send out anthrax letters 1 week after another attack. That's a stretch.

      And the paragraph indicates that the author doesn't even know how many people were involved in the anthrax letter mailings, much less exactly who they were. It just assumes they were "US-based supporter(s)."

      The final two paragraphs of the book are as follows:

      " As the the FBI's Ivins Theory stands based on evidence disclosed to date, Amerithrax looks to be a total mess. There needs to be a full-blown review of the Amerithrax Investigation by either Congress, a Committee or Inspector General. For starters, the FBI and various agencies need to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. If the United States government is so inefficient in producing documents under the FOIA, it does not bode well for its efficiency in sharing information internally. Efficiency in sharing of information is critical to "connecting the dots."
      Anyone not part of the solution is part of the problem."


      There's no "explanation" in any of this. It's a theory unsupported by evidence and a complaint that the FBI isn't providing the evidence. It answers NONE of the key questions:

      1. Who do you believe mailed the letters?

      2. Why do you believe that person is the mailer?

      3. How do you believe that person obtained the anthrax?

      4. Why do you believe the FBI is wrong?

      5. Why do you believe you are right?

      The book appears to just assume it was al Qaeda supporters, and therefore the FBI is wrong. And, if it is assumed the FBI is wrong, that means the author is automatically right.

      Facts are facts. Beliefs are not facts. Opinions are not facts. Endless blather explains nothing.

      Ed

      Delete
    10. I took another look at the "book" written by "Anonymous" that can be accessed by clicking HERE.


      "Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense" is a very strange book. It has no title page, it has no copyrights page, it has no table of contents, and it has no index.

      It doesn't even have chapters. Page 1 starts as one would start a novel:

      "The man on the telephone was telling me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI was wiretapping his telephone."

      There are illustrations on pages 2, 3, 4 and in many many places throughout the book, but there are no captions under the illustrations, and it's hard to tell if they actually explain anything in the text or if they are just illustrations by someone who likes to create impressionistic illustrations. The text pages all seem to say the "book" is an "Aug. 9, 2012 DRAFT", which presumably means it's not or wasn't intended to be the final product.

      Page 16 has a title at the top: "I. Vanguards of Conquest."

      Page 78 has a title near the middle of the page: "II. Means. Al Qaeda Biochem Program Codenamed Yogurt."

      Page 215 has a title: "III. Motive: Reason Senators Leahy and Daschle and the US Media Were Targeted."

      Page 280 has a title: "IV. Modus Operandi: 'Pouring Musk on Barren Lands'."

      Page 344 has a title: "V. Opportunity: Tracking Potential Al Qaeda or Egyptian Islamic Jihad Supporters."

      And, page 383 has a title: "VI. Sheiks, Bioweaponeers and DARPA."

      So, while there are no chapters, if you try hard enough and carefully enough, you will find there there are sections to the book.

      There also appear to be topic headings throughout, which makes it look like a jumbled series of rambling essays. I noticed "conclusions" more than once as a topic heading, and I think I saw more than one "Silicon Signature" topic heading.

      Of course, even a quick, half-hour skim through the book detected errors. But, if it's a "draft," one would expect that.

      Why publish a "draft" of rambling essays? Only "Anonymous" can explain that. But, he seems very reluctant to explain anything.

      To me, it seems like a very VERY difficult read. It's just too badly organized, and it doesn't really seem to have a purpose. It seems like the author just wants to say, "Here are my thoughts. This is why I believe what I believe." However, it's all so disorganized and rambling that it seems next to impossible for any outsider to decipher.

      But, that's just my opinion.

      Ed

      Delete
    11. "Anonymous" just sent me an email - apparently in response to what I posted above - but as incoherent as usual. He wrote:

      "But you have long since become irrelevant to the GAO review given you don't even address the issues with which they are tasked."

      Am I "irrelevant" to the GAO review? How does one become "relevant" to the GAO review? Why would one WANT to be "relevant" to the GAO review? I have no desire or obsession to try to convince the GAO to see things my way, as "Anonymous" apparently has. I want the GAO to do an independent review of the Amerithrax investigation and to provide that review to the American public. If their independent review disagrees with something I have argued, I'll study their findings to see whether their arguments are convincing or not. If they are, I'll adjust to their findings. But, I can't see that happening in any significant way, since they will supposedly be working with facts and evidence, NOT with beliefs from True Believers and conspiracy theorists.

      Once again "Anonymous" fails to explain himself.

      I sent a suggestion to the GAO recommending that they do three tests to verify how the silicon got into the attack spores. I think those test results would shut off a lot of idiotic debate.

      I also sent the GAO a copy of my book. My book explains a lot of details about things Ivins evidently did prior to the attacks which I think would help the GAO understand Ivins and his thought processes.

      Is that "relevant"?

      Of course, what I sent to the GAO is all about facts and evidence. The email from "Anonymous" also shows that "Anonymous" has absolutely no concern about facts and evidence. He clearly feels only his bizarre beliefs are "relevant" to the GAO or anything else.

      Ed

      Delete
    12. Ed, you are not well read.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous,

      I consider myself "well read," but, it's not how MUCH you read, it's how much you understand.

      Since you don't seem to understand much of anything (if you did, you'd be able to explain things, which you never seem able to do), you might try being more selective in what you "read" and spend more time trying to understand what it is the author is saying.

      There's not much point in reading if you don't understand anything you read.

      Understand?

      No, I suppose you don't.

      Ed

      Delete
    14. I've explained the relevance of the Al Hayat letter bombs many times -- as recently as yesterday in discussing the calls made from the subtilis expert's room after WTC 1993 and billed to the safe house used by KSM's nephew Ramzi Youssef, the WTC bomber. The apartment was at Kensington Ave in Jersey City. You just aren't well read so it's not possible to address the issue with you. The subtilis expert was discussed by the Director of Biological Services at the University of Colorado in a recent article on Amerithrax and was mentioned by the DOJ in Amerithrax Investigative Summary. I have emailed the subtilis expert to get his input.

      I don't provide the explanation here because this is where we debate your theory a First Grader wrote the letters. On that issue I have pointed out that you are mistaken there were any First Graders to which Dr. Ivins had access. Basic inquiry would have confirmed that.

      On related points, illustrating your failure to correct mistakes that are pointed out, you are mistaken that First Graders have homework; mistaken that they carry backpacks containing such homework; mistaken that the First Day of school was the day you said etc. Did you make the corrections in selling your online book?

      Delete
    15. Anonymous wrote: "I've explained the relevance of the Al Hayat letter bombs many times"

      The "Al Hayat letter bombs" may be relevant to your personal beliefs, but they are not relevant to the anthrax attacks of 2001. All you have are theories, no meaningful evidence.

      The facts say that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer. Your personal theories do not change those facts.

      Anonymous also wrote: "I don't provide the explanation here because this is where we debate your theory a First Grader wrote the letters."

      We don't "debate" anything. You state your belief that a child did NOT do the handwriting, and I list FACTS which show that a child DID write the letters and address the envelopes. You ignore the facts and re-state your beliefs. That is not a "debate."

      And repeatedly bringing up minor and unimportant errors I may have made about details doesn't change ANY of the undeniable facts which say Ivins used a child just starting first grade to write the letters and address the envelopes. It's just your way of avoiding any discussion of important facts and issues.

      Ed

      Delete
    16. It's not possible analyze the relevance of something Ed if you are not informed about it. For example, I just informed myself (by googling) about First Graders and homework. They apparently oftentimes do nowadays! My daughter's private school did not believe in homework (and there was none) -- even in sixth grade. But the difference between me and you Ed is that I inform myself of other theories. You don't. You are what you call a True Believer. In response to the suggestion that the Al Hayat letter bombs to media and people in symbolic positions in DC and NYC were by supporters of the blind sheik (they were sent to the nonexistent "parole officer" at Leavensworth where 3 of the WTC bombers were imprisoned), you haven't even been able to address the issue because you are content to remain uninformed. You, sir, don't do your homework even though you consider yourself a researcher. You aren't a researcher. You fancy yourself an analyst. But you aren't an analyst because you aren't a researcher.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous wrote: "It's not possible analyze the relevance of something Ed if you are not informed about it."

      That's your problem, then. You want others to do the same analysis you did and come up with your findings.

      That's not the way it works.

      In real life, YOU do the analysis, you then EXPLAIN your analysis to others, and the others can check it out to see if your analysis is valid or not.

      Other people have other things to do. They cannot be bothered to repeat everything you've done just to see if you might be right. If you want to convince people that you are right, YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN YOUR FINDINGS TO THEM.

      You don't explain anything. When you truly understand something, you can explain it to others. You cannot explain anything, so it's pretty clear that you do not really understand anything.

      I do research, I analyze the facts, and I explain my findings to people. I then ask people to find errors in my findings .. if they can, since I want to be as correct as possible. That's called the "scientific method."

      You start with a belief, you bury everyone in meaningless material that you believe supports that belief, and then argue that anyone who disagrees with your beliefs isn't as good an analyst or researcher as you are.

      We have different methods. Mine is the "scientific method." Yours appears to be the "Lunatic Fringe method."

      Ed

      Delete
  21. Posted by Mister Lake:
    ---------------
    R. Rowley wrote: "To prove he did it, minus something tying him to the letters directly (fingerprints, DNA etc), is: proof he did one or more subtasks."

    You fantasize as to what the "subtasks" are and how they must be proved
    ==========================================================
    Gee, I was pushing 40 before I started using the Internet, and in those 40 years no one ever announced to me what MY 'fantasies' were. Good reason for that: it's illogical and requires major mind-reading. Even psychiatrists---the profession most concerned with patients' fantasies---ASK their patients what their fantasies are. In conversing with Mister Lake, every other line is him announcing what my 'fantasies' are. Sorry, sir, but my 'fantasies' involve drinking beer with curvaceous blondes, and in your DOZENS of guesses about what my 'fantasies' were, you never came even close.

    To disprove what I said about the subtasks of a bank robbery, show where I'm in error. To disprove what I said about what the subtasks of Amerithrax were, show where I'm in error. But Mister Lake can't do that, doesn't have the wherewithal for it.
    So instead he heads to the Internet-message-board-and-blog standard polemical tricks/provocations (pretty much the same thing), ONE of which is: to announce that your opponent is "fantasizing" and to PRETEND to be the 'rational one'.

    Won't wash for the discerning reader. And you must have readers.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If the prosecution wanted to use forensic linguistics as evidence in a case, the judge would have to agree that forensic linguistics is a reliable methodology and that the "expert" giving the testimony is an acknowledged expert.

    The Daubert Standard would make forensic linguistics VERY questionable evidence in any trial. It's difficult to even imagining someone trying to use it.

    A report on linguistics is HERE.

    Click HERE to find the source for the following information:

    --------------------
    Forensic Linguistics and its Problems

    Although forensic linguistics has been around for some time it can best be described as having only reached its infancy. Similar to computer analysis of artistic style provided by Farid discussed in New Technologies of Fine Art Authentication (FAR) much work still has to be accomplished before it can be considered as a mechanism of scientific analysis. The problems forensic linguistics must overcome are as follows:

    1. In any scientific undertaking analysis demands reliability. Except for a few successes such as the Lindbergh case,(there are some critics who would argue that the kidnappers were framed) many cases exist which turn out to be unreliable. Hakill sued the forensic linguist for his findings. The detective who wrote a book on the findings of a forensic linguist was sued for using the findings in his book.

    2. It is not clear how the field wants to structure itself. Is it literary forensics, stylistics, or what? It is a field searching for a definition.

    3. ...

    4. Although the tell tales of style may be present in a certain culture how significant are such telltales or identifiers in predicting where a persons’ origin emanated from?

    5. Just because a person uses complex words does not mean he or she is highly educated. Dictionaries are readily available to supply complex words.

    6. The use of quantitative analysis to ground forensic linguistic conclusions has been taken to task by those who use it. Foster noted that using statistics in linguistic analysis is not grounded in sound science.

    7. The Daubert court rulings have demanded that experts providing testimony must demonstrate that they are experienced, educated, trained, and have been peer reviewed in their endeavors. Except for one course provided by a forensic linguist there are not a lot areas whereby a forensic linguist could demonstrate that he or she satisfies the requirements or standards of expertness.

    Summary

    It is not altogether clear what or where forensic linguistics is moving towards. Its ambiguous nature grounded on the subjectivity of stylistics makes it more apparitional than concrete. I do not think that it has demonstrated that merely because one writes in a certain fashion today, tomorrow or next year that same fashion will be duplicated. Its reliability is weak, and it seems to be trying to connect to a field of science when in fact its literary content is somewhat beyond the realm of science. ...

    Conclusion

    From the above analysis of forensic linguistics it is reasonable to assert that at this stage of its development its use as a tool in provenance determination or analysis leaves much to be desired. Although it has potential, that potential is not close at this point: Very few practitioners, little in the way of available experience and education providers, few identified peer groups, and comparatively little in the way of journals acknowledging its structures, systems, and processes seem to be grounding its reviews and conclusions.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  23. R. Rowley wrote: "To disprove what I said about what the subtasks of Amerithrax were, show where I'm in error."

    I've shown you where you are in error dozens of times. You just don't seem to understand. Or you ignore the facts and just argue the same thing over again.

    Pick a specific "subtask" and how you believe it must be proved, and tomorrow I'll show you where reality ends and your fantasies begin.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  24. R. Rowley wrote: "To disprove what I said about what the subtasks of Amerithrax were, show where I'm in error."

    I've shown you where you are in error dozens of times.
    ===============================================
    Not on the subtasks. If you think the subtasks of Amerithrax are fewer or greater in number, OR of a completely different character than what I supplied, then just list them/say what they are.
    But that subtasks are an integral part of human activity (NOT just criminal activity) is close to a tautology.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Pick a specific "subtask" and how you believe it must be proved, and tomorrow I'll show you where reality ends and your fantasies begin.
    ===============================================
    I NEVER wrote the words "how it...MUST be proved"; once again Mister Lake botches my position, my opinion by inventing something and attributing it to me via some not-so-sneaky insertion.

    Rather I wrote that there were a NUMBER of ways that a subtask COULD be established evidentiarily.


    Driving to and from Princeton from Frederick, Maryland, is a subtask that ANY perp living/working in Frederick, acting alone, would have had to perform to commit Amerithrax. And I ALREADY gave ways in which that trip (those trips) might have been documented (established via evidence). Aren't you even READING my posts?!!?!?!? (Hint: that material on subtasks begins on last week's thread starting no later than:

    r rowley February 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM
    But perhaps with some material before that.

    ReplyDelete
  26. R. Rowley wrote: "If you think the subtasks of Amerithrax are fewer or greater in number, OR of a completely different character than what I supplied, then just list them/say what they are."

    What's the point? You've repeatedly demonstrated that you cannot be convinced by any facts.

    "Driving to and from Princeton from Frederick, Maryland, is a subtask that ANY perp living/working in Frederick, acting alone, would have had to perform to commit Amerithrax. And I ALREADY gave ways in which that trip (those trips) might have been documented (established via evidence)."

    What you are doing is saying that ONLY something you believe "might" have happened is acceptable to you as evidence that Ivins drove to Princeton.

    There are OTHER types of evidence that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ivins drove to Princeton. But evidently you do not understand how circumstantial evidence works. Let me try to explain once again:

    I went to my mailbox yesterday and found a letter in the box. I didn't see the mail carrier make a delivery, which would have been DIRECT evidence of how the letter got into my mail box. But the letter itself is INDIRECT evidence that the mail carrier put the letter in the box. The mail carrier is SUPPOSED to be the only other person with a key. It's certainly POSSIBLE that someone else made a key and placed the letter in the mailbox, so I cannot say I "KNOW WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY" that the mail carrier put the letter in the box, but I have no facts or evidence to support such an unusual occurrence. So, I CONCLUDE beyond a reasonable doubt that the regular mail carrier put the letter in the box.

    The facts say that Ivins made the anthrax powders.
    The facts say that Ivins prepared the anthrax letters.
    The facts say that Ivins acted alone when making the powders.
    The facts say that Ivins frequently drove long distances at night to commit crimes and pranks.
    The facts say that Ivins had no alibi for the times of the crimes.

    The letters were placed in the Princeton mailbox by someone. The logical conclusion is that the letters were placed there by the person who made the powders and prepared the letters. There is no evidence proving otherwise. And, Ivins established driving long distances to commit crimes as his modus operandi. And, Ivins established that his family never knew what he was doing when he went out at night to make his long drives to commit crimes or play pranks.

    The facts say that Bruce Ivins drove to Princeton to mail the letters. If you personally require other kinds of evidence before you will be convinced, that's your problem. The evidence explained above is sufficient to convince almost any jury that Ivins mailed the letters beyond any reasonable doubt. I cannot say it's a certainty, of course. But, it's a logical conclusion.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is Mister Lake:
    ---------------------
    I went to my mailbox yesterday and found a letter in the box. I didn't see the mail carrier make a delivery, which would have been DIRECT evidence of how the letter got into my mail box. But the letter itself is INDIRECT evidence that the mail carrier put the letter in the box. The mail carrier is SUPPOSED to be the only other person with a key. It's certainly POSSIBLE that someone else made a key and placed the letter in the mailbox, so I cannot say I "KNOW WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY" that the mail carrier put the letter in the box, but I have no facts or evidence to support such an unusual occurrence. So, I CONCLUDE beyond a reasonable doubt that the regular mail carrier put the letter in the box.
    ========================================================
    The problems with this analogy (only the most salient ones):

    1)delivering mail is a 5 or 6 days a week occupation performed by
    an established work force of postal employees. They have some sort of management structure to ensure that all the routes are covered either by the regular carrier or a substitute. Sometimes there are screw-ups, but most deliveries are made on most days.
    So Mister Lake's INFERENCE that the 'postal employee' made the delivery is certainly justificed. But note that even here, Mister Lake cannot determine from the delivery alone, whether it was 'Jethro' the carrier who usually does the route, or some substitute (Jared or Marcia or whoever). That's because even this inference, based on a regular activity, isn't (necessarily) individual-specific.

    2)the anthrax mailings weren't the product of a regular workforce, or of another regular and regularized activity. If it was a one-man operation, then there was no management as in the example of the ordinary mail in the box. Mailing anthrax is in the super-rare activity category: a black swan. Inferences can be made but we need to be super-circumspect about making them.
    (End of Part I)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Part I
    ----------------
    3)the further problem with the analogy is: we know (in general terms) that people/organizations send letters, packages etc. all the time and we know that they keep records of same. Not so with the Amerithrax mailings, as far as we know.

    4)the Ivins-must-have-mailed-it inference might well be justified if we had better indications (I use this word to avoid the more loaded word of "evidence") that Ivins did the prior subtasks.
    Let's start with the one we all agree on:

    a)neither I, nor anonymous, nor Mister Lake think Ivins printed those texts. That's one prior subtask shot completely to hell.

    b)the drying/purifying is similarly unattested: the Final Report lists times when Ivins was at work late at night and INFERS that he was involved in surreptitious drying/purifying, but has no evidence that that was indeed the case. Another subtask shot down.

    c)it was further not established that Ivins did the photocopying.
    One can infer that he did the photocopying SOMEWHERE, SOMETIME but that's not the same as establishing it evidentiarily, and localizing it geographically and chronologically.

    d) the only subtask we can 'charge' Ivins with reasonably is the activity he did weekly, if not daily at USAMRIID: grow (wet) spores. That was part of his job, so it has little of probative value in determining whether he was involved in Amerithrax.

    In short, the logic of having 'proved' Ivins' guilt is a circular logic: we can infer the mailing trips, because we ALREADY inferred the letter-writing, drying/purifying, photocopying.
    It's a brief full of inference but little else.

    ReplyDelete
  29. R. Rowley wrote: "In short, the logic of having 'proved' Ivins' guilt is a circular logic: we can infer the mailing trips, because we ALREADY inferred the letter-writing, drying/purifying, photocopying."

    You just continually demonstrate that you do not understand evidence or how it is used in court. You also jumble up evidence with non-evidence. There was NO evidence related to copy machines. There was NO evidence related to handwriting. Those subjects would not have come up in the trial unless they were brought up by the defense. And that seems unlikely, since the defense wouldn't have anything concrete to present.

    There are NO inferences made in a trial. In a trial, it's already established that the defendant is "the accused." So, it's not necessary to infer anything.

    What happens in court is that evidence is presented, item by item, building a case against the defendant. The defense attorney can question witnesses to try to create doubt about the evidence or the expertise of the expert witnesses, but since it's all about evidence and facts, there often isn't much else the defense can do.

    The prosecution presents its ENTIRE case before the defense gets to present its side of the case. So, there is no "circular logic," as you fantasize. It's item by item, one after another until done.

    It doesn't seem like the defense could have mounted much of a case, since they would have had NOTHING except some friends who could testify that Ivins could never have done such a thing.

    The evidence is presented to convince the jury that it cannot ALL be just a series of coincidences. The defense can try to argue that it IS all an incredible series of coincidences, but if there's as much evidence as there would have been in the Ivins trial, it would take a total fool to think it could ALL be an incredible series of coincidences.

    Click HERE to view a list of items that could have been presented in court and the possible response from the defense.

    Jury selection is supposed to get rid of fools and people who already have fixed opinions about the case. The facts say that there is very little chance that Ivins would have been found "innocent for lack of sufficient evidence." There was more than sufficient evidence by any reasonable measure.

    But, I can't say it would be impossible for a jury to fail to convict. All it takes is one juror with a bug up his ass to create a hung jury and the possibility that Ivins would have gotten off.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  30. I could probably have added: When a jury hands down a verdict of "not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence" they are saying NOTHING about innocence.

    A "not guilty" verdict is NOT a finding that a person is "innocent."

    So, even if Ivins had gotten off, you'd still just get reporters interviewing jurors about why they weren't fully convinced he did it. If a juror ever said he thinks someone else did it, he would be admitting to lying to the judge, since (1) there would have been nothing presented in court about any other suspect, (2) all the jurors would have sworn they had no opinions about the case before the trial began, and (3) the only evidence that a juror is allowed to consider is the evidence that is presented in court.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  31. Mister Lake posts:
    --------------
    There was NO evidence related to copy machines. There was NO evidence related to handwriting.
    =====================================
    Agreed. Because the printing was a non-match. Because the USAMRIID library photocopier (which they DID check)showed nothing to indicate it was the photocopier used. Undoubtedly, somewhere in the bowels of the FBI/DoJ there is paperwork (from the handwriting expert, from the person(s) who checked out that USAMRIID library) explicitly stating this: non-match on the printing, non-match on the USAMRIID photocopier.

    If I understand "discovery" correctly in the legal sense, then Ivins lawyers could have/would have asked to be provided with copies of all that paperwork (handwriting analysis, photocopier analysis)and the prosecution would have been OBLIGED to provide it.

    So, Mister Lake is PROSPECTIVELY wrong: it would have been evidence, evidence used by the defense.

    ReplyDelete
  32. There are NO inferences made in a trial. In a trial, it's already established that the defendant is "the accused." So, it's not necessary to infer anything.
    --------------------------------------------
    No, you are wrong. And I think you are wrong BECAUSE you have never really thought long and hard and deeply about the role of inference in science and for that matter in our daily lives.
    That's particularly strange, given the fact that you provide an excellent example of the latter via your inference that the postal employee was the one who put the mail in the box.

    Let's go to another case, my old stand-by: the criminal trial of OJ Simpson. ONE of the subtasks he had to perform was to make a trip to her residence (in another part of Brentwood), plus the return trip (you could, if you wanted, call that 2 subtasks).
    So were these trips established via evidence? No, they were not.
    But the prosecution fully expected that the jury could INFER those two (shortish) trips in the Bronco by looking at all the blood/DNA evidence.....both at the murder scene and at OJ's house. Of course he was acquited but I don't think it was because the inference was too much of a strain.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Posted by Mister Lake:
    ---------------
    The evidence is presented to convince the jury that it cannot ALL be just a series of coincidences.
    =========================================
    Whether you feel comfortable with the label or not, "it cannot ALL be just a series of coincidences" is an inference.

    ReplyDelete
  34. R. Rowley wrote: "So, Mister Lake is PROSPECTIVELY wrong: it would have been evidence, evidence used by the defense."

    Nonsense. If the defense were to ask for information about photocopy machines, the prosecutions would have provided them with BOXES FULL OF MATERIAL.

    The FBI checked every copy machine in just about every laboratory and library in the State of New Jersey. They couldn't find a match, although there were news reports which indicated that they did find a match.

    They probably also checked every publicly accessible copy machine in the Frederick area - and maybe copy machines at the Library of Congress, too, since Ivins went there often.

    So, what does this prove? It just proves the FBI found no copy machine evidence that could be used in court.

    What could the defense do with this? NOTHING. It is evidence of NOTHING. Since every single one of those machines could have been cleaned and/or repaired between the times the letters were photocopied and the time the FBI got to the machine to test it, it cannot even be argued that a "no match" means that the machine wasn't the one Ivins used.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/15/national/15ANTH.html
    http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/misc2.html#pr020121

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  35. So, what does this prove? It just proves the FBI found no copy machine evidence that could be used in court.
    =============================================
    This proves that a subtask, INTEGRAL to performing the Amerithrax crimes could not be reasonably laid at the feet of Bruce Ivins.
    But it is the sum TOTAL of all those subtasks (the trips can be broken down into two parts each: the trip there and the trip back, so there's no evidence for any 4 of those subtasks)unproved that leads us to believe that 1)Ivins would not have been convicted
    and 2) he was probably innocent in a moral sense.

    ReplyDelete
  36. R. Rowley wrote: "Whether you feel comfortable with the label or not, "it cannot ALL be just a series of coincidences" is an inference."

    Don't you have anything better to do than argue semantics? I'm trying to write a comment for my web site for tomorrow.

    in·fer (n-fûr)
    v. in·ferred, in·fer·ring, in·fers
    v.tr.
    1. To conclude from evidence or premises.
    2. To reason from circumstance; surmise: We can infer that his motive in publishing the diary was less than honorable.
    3. To lead to as a consequence or conclusion: "Socrates argued that a statue inferred the existence of a sculptor" (Academy).
    4. To hint; imply.


    The prosecution does not really INFER anything. They state at in their opening remarks what they will PROVE. They say they will PROVE Ivins was the anthrax killer. Then, they present the evidence.

    The JURY can INFER or "conclude from evidence" that Ivins drove to New Jersey.

    The JURY can INFER or "reason from circumstance" that Ivins drove to New Jersey.

    When the prosecution has finished presenting the evidence to the jury, and the defense has finished presenting its arguments to the jury, the jury could then infer from the evidence that Ivins was guilty. Or they could infer that he is not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

    I like the example from Socrates: The prosecution shows the jury a statue, the jury infers that there must have been a sculptor.

    The prosecution shows the jury rubble and chisels found in Mr. X's studio, and the jury infers that Mr. X is the sculptor.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  37. "What is the difference between infer and conclude?"

    "Even tho the definitions sound a lot alike, most people use "infer" to mean imply, not say directly. Conclude is usually used when basing an assumption on evidence."

    SOURCE

    The prosecution says directly. They do not infer or imply.

    The jury infers from the evidence (or concludes) that X is guilty or not guilty.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  38. Socrates: The prosecution shows the jury a statue, the jury infers that there must have been a sculptor.

    The prosecution shows the jury rubble and chisels found in Mr. X's studio, and the jury infers that Mr. X is the sculptor.
    ===============================================
    I repost this portion because it illuminates the problem splendidly:

    "Socrates: The prosecution shows the jury a statue, the jury infers that there must have been a sculptor."

    1)Socrates is (probably) going to be right close to 100% of the time (there are rock formations carved by the wind of many centuries that give the appearance of a human sculpture, but nothing with the detail of a Mount Rushmore). HIS inference is: from a specific product, to the conclusion that only a sculptor could produce such a thing. A conclusion that the author was human and not random accident.

    2)not so with the second point: (repost)

    "The prosecution shows the jury rubble and chisels found in Mr. X's studio, and the jury infers that Mr. X is the sculptor. "

    Given: Mister X has a studio. It is either just a sculptor's studio or it includes sculpting with other activities (painting say).

    Finding "rubble and chisels" in ANY scultor's studio would justify the inference that sculpting had gone on there.

    But it would not, in and of itself, justify the inference that a specific statue had been sculpted there. That is the limit of the inference.

    No one, to my knowledge, claims that 'natural forces' created the Amerithrax powder, or printed those Amerithrax letters, or mailed the letters in Princeton. We all expect a human agent. So we are in accord with Socrates.

    The analogue of the "rubble and chisels" would be: dried anthrax powder residue found in Ivins' vehicle or domicile. Or similar crime-specific physical evidence. Not in play in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  39. R. Rowley wrote: "This proves that a subtask, INTEGRAL to performing the Amerithrax crimes could not be reasonably laid at the feet of Bruce Ivins."

    NO, IT DOES NOT. In your dreams and fantasies that may be true, but it is not true in any court in America. In court, it wouldn't even be mentioned, since it proves NOTHING.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "But it is the sum TOTAL of all those subtasks ... that leads us to believe that 1)Ivins would not have been convicted and 2) he was probably innocent in a moral sense."

    Only in your fantasies. In the real world, what you believe is ridiculous.

    fan·ta·sy (fnt-s, -z)
    n. pl. fan·ta·sies
    1. The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy. See Synonyms at imagination.
    2. Something, such as an invention, that is a creation of the fancy.
    3. A capricious or fantastic idea; a conceit.
    4.
    a. Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements.
    b. An example of such fiction.
    5. An imagined event or sequence of mental images, such as a daydream, usually fulfilling a wish or psychological need.
    6. An unrealistic or improbable supposition.


    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  40. R. Rowley wrote: "But it would not, in and of itself, justify the inference that a specific statue had been sculpted there. That is the limit of the inference."

    Your just playing games. I didn't have time to lay out all the details about the rubble, showing that it was the same kind of marble from the same quarry, showing that the grain in the marble statue matched the grain in pieces of rubble, showing evidence that the sculptor was working on something that is no longer in his studio, showing that the sculptor had a fascination with the subject of the sculpture, showing that other sculptures created by that same sculptor showed the same techniques and talent, etc., etc., etc.

    It's a waste of everyone's time to play games which argue that an analogy is not the same as the real thing.

    The purpose of an analogy is to make a point. It's NOT to show that something exactly the same happened before.

    a·nal·o·gy (-nl-j)
    n. pl. a·nal·o·gies
    1.
    a. Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.
    b. A comparison based on such similarity


    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  41. R. Rowley wrote: "This proves that a subtask, INTEGRAL to performing the Amerithrax crimes could not be reasonably laid at the feet of Bruce Ivins."

    NO, IT DOES NOT. In your dreams and fantasies that may be true, but it is not true in any court in America. In court, it wouldn't even be mentioned, since it proves NOTHING.
    =======================================
    How "not mentioned"?

    1)Mister Lake HIMSELF affirms that there is undoubtedly much paperwork that documents the non-match to the USAMRIID copier (and other local photocopiers).

    2)Mister Lake doesn't dispute that 'discovery' would obligate the prosecution to turn over those documents to the defense.

    3)So what's to stop the defense from saying, at the beginning of the defense-in-main something along the following lines:

    'If it please the court, I would like to enter into evidence this FBI document #[so and so], dated [so and so] which explicitly states, and now I'm reading from the document "The USAMRIID copier could not be matched to the flaws observed in the Amerithrax letters which were photocopied somewhere". The document is signed both by the technician [so and so] and by Special Agent [so and so]'

    The judge would likely say "Very well, this will be exhibit # [so and so].
    --------------------------------------------------------
    On what basis could the prosecution object to the entering of the document into evidence? Relevance? But it is relevant. And the very fact that the Task Force had the check done affirms its relevance to the case.

    ReplyDelete
  42. R. Rowley wrote: "On what basis could the prosecution object to the entering of the document into evidence? Relevance? But it is relevant. And the very fact that the Task Force had the check done affirms its relevance to the case.

    Only in your fantasy world.

    In real life, an investigation typically involves countless dead ends, false leads, searches for evidence that result in finding nothing, and maybe even nut case confessions. None of it is admissible in court because IT PROVES NOTHING.

    In real life, THE JUDGE wouldn't allow it. It's assumed that lots of things were checked that provided nothing of value. If the defense brought up such things in the pre-trial conferences, the judge would demand relevance. If the defense argued that it's relevant because it did NOT match, the judge might laugh and think it's a joke, but he would NEVER allow such nonsense to be presented in court.

    It would be a total waste of time since it PROVES NOTHING.

    If the defense tried to bring up such nonsense during the trial, the judge would probably have the defense lawyer thrown in jail for contempt.

    It would imply that testimony from every person who the FBI questioned in the case should also be admitted, even if it proves nothing because the person questioned knew nothing.

    TRIALS ARE ABOUT PRESENTING EVIDENCE TO PROVE A CLAIM.

    The judge won't allow lawyer to waste time presenting "evidence" which proves absolutely nothing.

    You really need to try to understand how the real world works. It works nothing like your fantasies.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  43. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ---------------
    R. Rowley wrote: "On what basis could the prosecution object to the entering of the document into evidence? Relevance? But it is relevant. And the very fact that the Task Force had the check done affirms its relevance to the case.

    Only in your fantasy world.
    =======================================
    That doesn't answer my question. Nor does the rest of your post.
    That question was:
    On what basis could the prosecution object to the entering of the document into evidence? Relevance?
    -----------------------------------------------
    Instead Mister Lake goes back to his 'all-those-who-disagree-with-me-on-Ivins-are-fantasizing trope. An old tactic, and getting older by the nanosecond.
    --------------------
    The way the 'real world' of trials works is, among other things, the entering the evidence, including but not limited to paperwork evidence. Since a lot of this stuff (admissibility) is handled in chambers (ie in a backroom where judge, prosecutor(s) and defense
    meet more informally and without....I think!....a recorder present), in the given scenario (the USAMRIID copier paperwork) the whole thing would have been likely dealt with in that way.
    The prosecution wouldn't have had a (procedural) leg to stand on.

    ReplyDelete
  44. It's a waste of everyone's time to play games which argue that an analogy is not the same as the real thing.
    ---------------------------------------------
    That was not what I said. I said that your analogy:

    1)even 'as is' was not individual-employee specific (could have been the regular carrier, could have been a fill-in).

    2)wasn't applicable to Amerithrax because: Anthrax 'deliveries' to mailboxes don't happen on a regular basis, aren't being overseen by supervisors, don't in and of themselves point to anyone in particular. Hence don't point to Ivins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You prove my point with your ridiculous arguments.

      I'm going to take a few hours off to each lunch and run some errands.

      Ed

      Delete
  45. R. Rowley asks once again: "On what basis could the prosecution object to the entering of the document into evidence? Relevance?"

    YES. It is not relevant. The JUDGE wouldn't allow it.

    The PURPOSE of a trial is to present a claim and evidence supporting that claim, then present a counter claim (defense) and evidence supporting the counter-claim.

    The jury then decides which side is right - if they can.

    Materials which do not support a claim or dispute a claim in NOT EVIDENCE and is IRRELEVANT.

    The claim is that Ivins was a mass killer.

    The counter claim is that Ivins is innocent.

    Crap about copy machines proves nothing for either of these claims.

    What is so difficult to understand about that?

    Ed




    ReplyDelete
  46. The claim is that Ivins was a mass killer.

    The counter claim is that Ivins is innocent.

    Crap about copy machines proves nothing for either of these claims.
    =============================================
    The devil is in the details. A 'mass murder' which included a photocopied document (letter text) sent through the mails makes the origin of that photocopying activity a detail that could have decisive significance. That's why a judge would have admitted it, leaving it to the jury to decide how much weigh to give that particular piece of evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  47. R. Rowley wrote: "That's why a judge would have admitted it, leaving it to the jury to decide how much weigh to give that particular piece of evidence."

    Okay, you've made it clear you don't like me using the word "fantasy." So, I'll use "ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality" instead, even though it requires a lot more typing.


    Your argument is a ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality.

    A copy machine that was NOT found proves NOTHING in this case.

    If the judge admitted something so ridiculous, the prosecution would likely call for a mistrial and the judge would probably be disbarred as being incompetent.

    The only way the copier would have "decisive significance" is if the copy machine that was used WAS FOUND.

    Why do you persist with this ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality?

    What do you believe that NOT finding the copier proves for the defense?

    If you think it proves that the FBI is incompetent, that is a DIFFERENT CLAIM. It would require a DIFFERENT TRIAL. Ivins would have been on trial, NOT the FBI.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  48. The only way the copier would have "decisive significance" is if the copy machine that was used WAS FOUND.
    ----------------------------------
    I meant decisive for the jury, since ultimately it is the jury that is deciding what is "decisive" but there would have been no procedural justification for Rachel Lieber to have objected to the entry into evidence of that report on the USAMRIID library copier: it's clearly relevant to questions of guilt or innocence.

    ReplyDelete
  49. R. Rowley wrote: "there would have been no procedural justification for Rachel Lieber to have objected to the entry into evidence of that report on the USAMRIID library copier: it's clearly relevant to questions of guilt or innocence."

    Again, you have a ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality. Why do you persist?

    How is NOT finding the copier that was used "relevant to the questions of guilt or innocence"?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  50. How is NOT finding the copier that was used "relevant to the questions of guilt or innocence"?
    ----------------------------------------------
    For the same reason the copier was tested in the first place: it was at the general workplace of Ivins, the defendant.

    You have to remember: the defense is trying to prove a NEGATIVE.
    A negative final verdict (he didn't do it) is going to require that a lot of negatives (holes) in the prosecutor's case be exposed. Each subtask, save only the wet spore growing, provides that. They couldn't prove Ivins: dried/purified spores, printed the letters, photocopied the letters, made the trips to Princeton.
    Only a series of bare inferences even give the skeletal outlines of a case against Ivins. Not enough.

    ReplyDelete
  51. R. Rowley wrote: "For the same reason the copier was tested in the first place: it was at the general workplace of Ivins, the defendant."

    Again, you have a ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality. Why do you persist?

    The fact that it was at his workplace is irrelevant. It means NOTHING.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "You have to remember: the defense is trying to prove a NEGATIVE."

    That is another ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality. In fact, it's probably beyond ridiculous and into CRAZY LAND.

    The defense is trying to prove that the prosecution is WRONG or that the evidence is not sufficient to convict. They try to prove there is "reasonable doubt." They do NOT try to prove that the defendant didn't do it. If they could do that, there wouldn't be a trial in the first place.

    I've tried to point out to you that the jury does NOT say the defendant is innocent. They can only say the defendant is "not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence." That means HE COULD HAVE DONE IT, but the evidence wasn't sufficient to convince the jury of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Your ridiculous beliefs have NOTHING to do with reality.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  52. A good source on questions of admissibility is here:
    http://brainz.org/how-evidence-admissibility-determined/
    Only a tad:


    Admissible evidence is any testimonial, documentary or tangible evidence that may be presented to a judge or jury to establish if it will be considered in a court case. The evidence must have some indicia of reliability and must be relevant without being prejudicial in order for it to be admissible.

    The first factor in determining the admissibility of the evidence is relevancy. Evidence must show essential to the facts of the case. The evidence must show it could help with the investigation of the case or prove or disprove certain facts about the case.
    -------------------snip-----------------------------------
    That last part again: "prove or disprove certain facts about the case".

    If the USAMRIID copier wasn't the copier used, that doesn't clear Ivins but it does all but eliminate claims that Ivins working at USAMRIID could have done the copying AT HIS WORKPLACE at any time, but especially when the prosecution makes claims about 'unexplained' late night hours at the workplace.

    ReplyDelete
  53. The defense is trying to prove that the prosecution is WRONG
    ------------------------------------------
    Isn't that a "negative"? Isn't "not guilty" a negative too?
    Doesn't everything that begins with the word "not" connote something negative???!?!?

    ReplyDelete
  54. R. Rowley wrote: "If the USAMRIID copier wasn't the copier used, that doesn't clear Ivins but it does all but eliminate claims that Ivins working at USAMRIID could have done the copying AT HIS WORKPLACE at any time, but especially when the prosecution makes claims about 'unexplained' late night hours at the workplace."

    First, I don't think they proved the copier was NOT the copier that was used. All they could find was that there was NO EVIDENCE that it was the copier that was used. It was still possible that repairs or cleaning of the machine during the years between the mailings and the testing of the machine could have made tests unreliable.

    Second, the "unexplained late night hours" were ALL in Suite B3. They did NOT include time spent in the library.

    Therefore, the copier neither proves nor disproves any facts about the case. The copier findings would be IRRELEVANT.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  55. I've tried to point out to you that the jury does NOT say the defendant is innocent.
    -------------------------------------------
    I knew that 40 to 50 years ago Mister Lake; I'm no spring chicken!
    -------------------------------------------
    However, for any OTHER readers, I'M saying that Ivins was innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  56. First, I don't think they proved the copier was NOT the copier that was used. All they could find was that there was NO EVIDENCE that it was the copier that was used. It was still possible that repairs or cleaning of the machine during the years between the mailings and the testing of the machine could have made tests unreliable.
    ------------------------------------
    Then that's what the prosecution's counter-argument would have been IF THAT'S WHAT THE PAPERWORK SAID (read: the evidence).
    Mister Lake wants to litigate all the elements of the case on the Internet, ruling what's admissible or inadmissible on his own understanding(s). That's not the way to determine admissibility.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Too bad we can't lure 5 to 10 attorneys to this site to adjudicate this stuff; Mister Lake will never believe anything I write about the law!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I wrote: "The defense is trying to prove that the prosecution is WRONG

    And R. Rowley responded: "Isn't that a "negative"? Isn't "not guilty" a negative too?"

    No. The term is "not guilty DUE TO A LACK OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE." I keep trying to tell you that it is NOT the same as "innocent" or "not guilty."

    Proving someone is wrong is NOT proving the negative. It's just proof that someone is mistaken or lying. It happens all the time. It seems to me you mentioned the movie "Twelve Angry Men" at one time. In it, the prosecution claimed that the knife that was used in the killing as a "one of a kind." But, Henry Fonda went out and found another knife just like it. So, whoever said the knife was unique as wrong. No one proved any negative. They just proved someone was wrong.

    Proving the negative would be trying to prove that it was NOT POSSIBLE for aliens to have transported down to the house where the killing took place and hypnotized the boy into killing his father. How do you prove that is NOT possible?

    R. Rowley wrote: "I'M saying that Ivins was innocent.

    In reality, what you are saying is that you BELIEVE that someone else did it, and even though you cannot prove anything, your BELIEFS that someone else did it are still sufficient to convince you that that means that Ivins was innocent.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  59. R. Rowley wrote: "Mister Lake wants to litigate all the elements of the case on the Internet, ruling what's admissible or inadmissible on his own understanding(s). That's not the way to determine admissibility."

    And

    "Too bad we can't lure 5 to 10 attorneys to this site to adjudicate this stuff; Mister Lake will never believe anything I write about the law!"

    And you evidently don't believe anything anyone says unless they agree with you.

    I'm not trying to "litigate all the elements of the case on the Internet." I'm trying to show you that your BELIEFS about the law are wrong. But, since you just change the subject or repeat the same nonsense over again, it's clearly a waste of time.

    I don't think having 5 or 10 attorneys here would help any. You'd still believe what you want to believe.

    There are many ways to prove you wrong, but is there any way to get you to admit you are wrong? The evidence says no.

    Your fantasy that a judge would allow the defense to claim that because no one found the copier that was used, that means something about Ivins guilt or innocence - is just plain preposterous. There are probably web sites where the question can be posed to lawyers to see what they say. But, who would write the question? And could we agree on the question? If we cannot even agree on the question, it's a certainty that you won't agree to anyone's answer.

    This is my last post for today.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  60. Partial post by Mister Lake:
    ----------------------
    No. The term is "not guilty DUE TO A LACK OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE."
    =====================================================
    I've heard hundreds of verdicts read by foremen/judges on TV, some dramas, some real-life. Not a single reading was "not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence". ALL the readings, to my recollection, were either "guilty" or "not guilty". (This would include but not be limited to our old standby "Twelve Angry Men").


    One might INTUIT that the reason that a given jury ruled "not guilty" was because there was a lack of sufficient evidence. And I'm sure that that phrase is used by the judge in his instructions to the jury, but that is merely to drive home to the jury that one does not have to think that 'someone else did it' in order to come to a 'not guilty' verdict. The final judgement is as much on the prosecution's case as it is on the free-standing likelihood that the defendant did it.

    And we mustn't mistake 'insufficiency' for paucity. The OJ Simpson trial produced a mountain of physical evidence by the prosecution. The 'insufficiency' that the jury found was in its reliability.

    And that's in counter point to a point Mister Lake made recently (I think this thread): the FBI isn't on trial, Ivins is. But the reliability of the organization making the case is always on trial implicitly. The LAPD was found guilty of racism and possible evidence tampering by that OJ jury.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm not trying to "litigate all the elements of the case on the Internet."
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Well, you certainly have made sweeping statements about admissibility, sweeping statements that I would have disagreed with (based on my own layman's understanding) in 1985, 1995, 1999 etc. ie years before Amerithrax ever happened. So my judgements on these things aren't geared to morphing my previous understandings just for the purpose of defending Bruce Ivins.

    As to questions we could ask an attorney: one easily formulatable one would be:

    If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between the photocopied Amerithrax letters and the USAMRIID library copier, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?

    A second would be:

    If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between exemplars of Ivins' printing and the printing of the Amerithrax letters, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?

    I think the answer to both questions is: yes.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Back a ways up the thread:
    -------------------------------------
    R. Rowley also wrote: "You have to remember: the defense is trying to prove a NEGATIVE."

    That is another ridiculous belief that has nothing to do with reality. In fact, it's probably beyond ridiculous and into CRAZY LAND.
    ========================================================
    Overheated rhetoric will get you nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  63. R. Rowley wrote: I've heard hundreds of verdicts read by foremen/judges on TV, some dramas, some real-life. Not a single reading was "not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence".

    I just checked the OJ verdict, and you are definitely right there.

    However, "not guilty" can only mean "not guilty due to a lack of sufficient evidence," since a trial is to prove guilt, not to prove innocence. Some legal dictionaries show that "not guilty" MEANS "not proved guilty."

    I realize that it can be argued that in America a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, so if he wasn't proven guilty, he's still presumed innocent. But, that doesn't mean he was actually innocent or even that he was proved innocent.

    It's another area where it takes a lot of words to explain something that is really very simple.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  64. R. Rowley wrote: "If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between the photocopied Amerithrax letters and the USAMRIID library copier, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?"

    The question is misleading and incomplete. There is no claim that the photocopier testing is evidence of anything. Therefore, the question should be:

    "If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between the photocopied Amerithrax letters and the USAMRIID library copier, but no evidentiary claim is made regarding the photocopier, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?"

    The answer would be "no."

    R. Rowley also wrote: "If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between exemplars of Ivins' printing and the printing of the Amerithrax letters, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?"

    Again, the question is misleading and incomplete. The question should be:

    "If there is documentation at FBI/Justice indicating a non-match between exemplars of Ivins' printing and the printing of the Amerithrax letters, but no claim regarding handwriting was made by the prosecution, would such documentation be admissible by the defense?"

    The answer might be, "Maybe, but the prosecution would be able to put a handwriting expert on the stand to rebut and dispute any claim that a "non-match" is proof of whatever the defense is trying to prove."

    This is a "proving the negative" situation. The defense CANNOT prove the handwriting is NOT the disguised handwriting of Bruce Ivins. Therefore, before the judge would even allow the documentation to be admitted, the defense would have to show how it is NOT a "prove the negative" situation.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  65. This is a "proving the negative" situation. The defense CANNOT prove the handwriting is NOT the disguised handwriting of Bruce Ivins. Therefore, before the judge would even allow the documentation to be admitted, the defense would have to show how it is NOT a "prove the negative" situation.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    No, once again you are mixing together in a Hungarian goulash all the roles of the participants: (in the case of BOTH reports):

    1)the defense would try to enter the report into evidence

    2) prosecution might object(but I think not)

    3)judge would rule it admissible.

    (Then after it was entered as evidence):

    4)the prosecution in closing arguments would downplay the significance of the handwriting report/copier-report, either by ignoring it completely or by claiming that Ivins a)cleverly disguised his printing b) used another 'unknown' photocopier.

    5)the defense would play up the report(s), noting that if a perpetrator-----not just Ivins-------made dried powder in his own workplace lab, he might well do the photocopying in his workplace library. That the printing is 'disguised' is going to be the general understanding (I think) but that won't point at Ivins.
    There you go: insufficiency of evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  66. R. Rowley wrote:

    "1)the defense would try to enter the report into evidence

    2) prosecution might object(but I think not)

    3)judge would rule it admissible."


    Nonsense. It would never get that far. The judge would rule against the defense in the pre-trial hearings.

    1) The defense would ask that they be allowed to enter the report into evidence.

    2) The prosecution would object on the basis of relevance.

    3) The judge would ask the defense to show relevance.

    4) The defense would not be able to show relevance to any claim made by the prosecution.

    5) The judge would rule that the report is not admissible.

    R. Rowley also wrote: "There you go: insufficiency of evidence."

    You're talking about evidence that would NOT be admitted while ignoring the mountain of evidence that WOULD be admitted. That's just plain silly.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  67. "1)the defense would try to enter the report into evidence

    2) prosecution might object(but I think not)

    3)judge would rule it admissible."

    Nonsense. It would never get that far. The judge would rule against the defense in the pre-trial hearings.
    ------------------------------------------
    Don't think so. And that's why we need a DISINTERESTED attorney.

    ReplyDelete
  68. R. Rowley wrote: "And that's why we need a DISINTERESTED attorney."

    Yes. Also, it occurred to me while eating lunch that there are BASIC questions a lawyer would ask that I didn't think to bring up. Example:

    WHO would present the copier testing report and HOW would they do it?

    If the defense called the FBI agent who wrote the report, what is that FBI agent going to say other than it proved nothing?

    Then what? Who is going to testify or explain what the defense lawyer believes the report shows?

    The defense lawyer can't explain anything. He's not a qualified expert on copier testing.

    If the defense lawyer tries to argue with the FBI agent that the report has other significance, the prosecution will object again, since the lawyer is not asking questions, he's making claims he has no expertise to make.

    WHO would present the copier testing report and HOW would they do it?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  69. If the defense called the FBI agent who wrote the report, what is that FBI agent going to say other than it proved nothing?
    -----------------------------------------------
    No.
    On direct the FBI agent, like all witnesses, is merely reponding to questions.

    On cross-examination, the agent is ALSO responding to questions, but the prosecutor would undoubtedly try to edge in the idea that there's not much impact on the overall probability of guilt just on the report. It isn't just the defense that is playing the probability game, it's both parties.

    ReplyDelete
  70. R. Rowley wrote: "On direct the FBI agent, like all witnesses, is merely reponding to questions."

    This continues to appear to be another one of your ridiculous beliefs that has nothing to do with reality - only far more ridiculous than ever before.

    1. You believe the defense is going to call an FBI agent as a witness for the defense to testify to something the FBI agent and the prosecution would consider to be ridiculous, and neither the FBI agent or the prosecution could do anything about it.

    2. You believe that, through careful questioning, the defense is going to establish that in theory a villain would use a copier from his own workplace to make copies of a threatening letter, and he would in theory assume that the letters could not and would not be traced back.

    3. You believe that the jury is going to accept that, because there is no evidence that Ivins used the USAMRIID copy machine, that somehow means that Ivins didn't make the letter copies.

    4. You believe that this can be done in a federal courtroom without the judge or the prosecution being able to stop such nonsense.

    5. You see nothing wrong with your reasoning and believe that any unbiased lawyer or judge would fully agree.

    What you believe is absurd beyond belief.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  71. Posted by Mister Lake:
    -------------
    1. You believe the defense is going to call an FBI agent as a witness for the defense to testify to something the FBI agent and the prosecution would consider to be ridiculous, and neither the FBI agent or the prosecution could do anything about it.
    ========================================
    That "ridiculous" bit is Mister Lake projecting his thoughts onto persons unknown (largely) to him.
    FBI agents have to testify all the time to stuff they would rather not testify to. It goes with the territory of law enforcement. Far from believing 'the prosecution could [not] do anything about it', I already cited the likely strategy to downplay the reports in the closing arguments of the prosecution.

    ReplyDelete
  72. 3. You believe that the jury is going to accept that, because there is no evidence that Ivins used the USAMRIID copy machine, that somehow means that Ivins didn't make the letter copies.
    -------------------------------------
    I think that the calculations of the jury are going to be composed of many elements: the lack of physical evidence directly tying Ivins to the letters (DNA, fingerprints); the lack of documentation of his two purported trips to Princeton ; the lack of evidence Ivins printed the texts (part of that lack is documented in the handwriting analysis document); the lack of evidence Ivins photocopied the texts (part of that lack is in the USAMRIID photocopier document(s)).

    For MANY elements there's no way for a jury to be 100% sure, but they must go by their best calculations, both on individual skeins of evidence and on the overall case.

    ReplyDelete
  73. 5. You see nothing wrong with your reasoning and believe that any unbiased lawyer or judge would fully agree.
    ----------------------------------
    An unbiased experienced attorney might find fault with some of the wordings I use here, but not with my overall drift.

    ReplyDelete
  74. R. Rowley wrote: "I think that the calculations of the jury are going to be composed of many elements: the lack of physical evidence directly tying Ivins to the letters (DNA, fingerprints); the lack of documentation of his two purported trips to Princeton ; the lack of evidence Ivins printed the texts (part of that lack is documented in the handwriting analysis document); the lack of evidence Ivins photocopied the texts (part of that lack is in the USAMRIID photocopier document(s))."

    And: "An unbiased experienced attorney might find fault with some of the wordings I use here, but not with my overall drift."

    So, according to you, the only evidence the jury will be concerned with is the lack of the kind of evidence you want, and they won't even think about all the evidence that the prosecution would have spent weeks presenting to them?

    The overall drift of your reasoning is that juries would listen to you - even though you are not there - and wouldn't listen to the prosecution at all.

    Your ridiculous beliefs have nothing to do with reality - as always.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  75. So, according to you, the only evidence the jury will be concerned with is the lack of the kind of evidence you want,[...]
    =============================================
    It's not a matter of what I "want", it's a matter of what sorts of evidence have DIRECT BEARING on the crimes themselves. Ivins' DNA and/or fingerprints on the envelopes and/or letters would have such a direct bearing, they would be in the difficult-to-impossible range to explain away ('innocently') by the defense (Ivins was not moonlighting at the post office in Trenton).
    And the evidence of the subtasks would also have direct bearing on the crimes themselves (since the crimes are made up of those subtasks), though with a (slightly)better chance that, here or there, they could be explained away by the defense (ie a trip at night to the north of Frederick could be explained away in terms of Ivins just liking to take long drives to get away from home/clear his head).

    ReplyDelete
  76. R. Rowley wrote: "It's not a matter of what I "want", it's a matter of what sorts of evidence have DIRECT BEARING on the crimes themselves. Ivins' DNA and/or fingerprints on the envelopes and/or letters would have such a direct bearing, they would be in the difficult-to-impossible range to explain away ('innocently') by the defense (Ivins was not moonlighting at the post office in Trenton)."

    But NOT FINDING fingerprints or DNA has no "DIRECT BEARING" on the crime. Your hypothetical is that FINDING such evidence would be difficult-to-impossible to explain away.

    NOT FINDING evidence just means they didn't find evidence where there is nothing that says there MUST be evidence there. A test that finds nothing where there can logically be nothing has no "direct bearing" on anything. It's meaningless. It's irrelevant.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  77. But NOT FINDING fingerprints or DNA has no "DIRECT BEARING" on the crime.
    -----------------------------------------------
    It has direct bearing on the strength of the case against the defendant. THAT is what the jury ultimately evaluates.

    And Montooth, or other investigators, when testifying would be asked directly by Kemp(or DeGonia): 'did you find Dr Ivins' fingerprints on the letters or envelopes?' 'Did you find Dr Ivins' DNA on the letters or envelopes?' There could be no objection to such questions.

    ReplyDelete
  78. R. Rowley wrote: "And Montooth, or other investigators, when testifying would be asked directly by Kemp(or DeGonia): 'did you find Dr Ivins' fingerprints on the letters or envelopes?' 'Did you find Dr Ivins' DNA on the letters or envelopes?' There could be no objection to such questions."

    Agreed. But that's NOT WHAT THE DEBATE IS ABOUT. The debate is about presenting documents that are not evidence pointing to Dr. Ivins guilt or innocence.

    The defense can certainly ask the questions you mention, and the prosecution can then cross-examine the witness to ask if NOT finding DNA or fingerprints is unusual, unheard of, or somehow meaningful to the case. Those experts can then state their opinion that not finding DNA or fingerprints has no meaning and doesn't change their findings.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  79. Agreed. But that's NOT WHAT THE DEBATE IS ABOUT. The debate is about presenting documents that are not evidence pointing to Dr. Ivins guilt or innocence.
    -----------------------------------------
    Any document touching on a forensic element of the case is ipso facto 'relevant', since Ivins couldn't POSSIBLY prove that he didn't even touch those letters. These documents (the handwriting comparisons, the photocopier analysis) serve as surrogates for that.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Your ridiculous beliefs have nothing to do with reality - as always.
    -------------------------------------------
    Funny that so many of my "ridiculous beliefs" coincide with what I find when I do searches and find legal sites that describe court procedures.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Anonymous wrote: "Any document touching on a forensic element of the case is ipso facto 'relevant', since Ivins couldn't POSSIBLY prove that he didn't even touch those letters."

    That is absurd logic. The handling of the letters would have been mostly done inside a biosafety cabinet using gloves. When making copies of the letter, it's a simple matter to make seven copies when you only need five, and then touch only the outside copies when taking them from a machine. Or you can handle them with a handkerchief or tweezers. Or you just grasp them with your fingernails. Ivins wouldn't need to prove he did NOT touch the letters. The prosecution would prove that he must have put the powder in the letters because all the evidence says he was the anthrax killer. The fact that it would have been done in a biosafety cabinet is evidence that fingerprints wouldn't be left on the letters.

    The envelopes are a bit more complicated. But, Ivins probably bought them from a vending machine in bundles of five. There's a band around the envelopes, so you just touch the band when removing them from the machine.

    Ivins was an EXPERT on avoiding touching things with his bare hands that could be dangerous.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  82. Mister Lake posted:
    --------------
    Anonymous wrote:[...]
    No, that was little old me, r rowley.
    --------------------
    "Any document touching on a forensic element of the case is ipso facto 'relevant', since Ivins couldn't POSSIBLY prove that he didn't even touch those letters."

    That is absurd logic. The handling of the letters would have been mostly done inside a biosafety cabinet using gloves. When making copies of the letter, it's a simple matter to make seven copies when you only need five, and then touch only the outside copies when taking them from a machine.[...]
    ===================================================
    That, whether the handling of the letters "would have been done" mostly inside a biosefety cabinet using gloves, is Mister Lake's speculation. And I find it more convenient when I write/print letters to eschew any biosafety cabinet. Plus the letters, if taken from Frederick, were carried in some fashion.

    As I already noted, there's no way a person can proved such a negative "I never even touched those letters!" but absences of evidence can serve as (imperfect) surrogates for that.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Ivins was an EXPERT on avoiding touching things with his bare hands that could be dangerous.
    -------------------------------
    I'll take your word for it. But that in itself doesn't preclude his innocence.

    ReplyDelete
  84. R. Rowley wrote: "I find it more convenient when I write/print letters to eschew any biosafety cabinet."

    So do I. But we're not talking about where the letters were written, we're talking about the handing of PHOTOCOPIES of letters that are going to be used in a CRIME.

    Only an idiot would fail to take precautions where handing copies of letters that are going to be used in a major crime.

    This is my last post for awhile. It's lunch time, and then I'm heading to the health club for a workout.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  85. Only an idiot would fail to take precautions where handing copies of letters that are going to be used in a major crime.
    ----------------------------------------
    Our prisons are full of such idiots.

    But we're talking about paucity of evidence. The best way for the defense to point that out is: skein by skein. No fingerprints/DNA on the envelopes (which were not photocopied) is one such (perhaps 2 such) skein(s).

    ReplyDelete
  86. R. Rowley wrote: "But we're talking about paucity of evidence."

    No, we're not. There is a MOUNTAIN of evidence pointing to Ivins' guilt. You just refuse to see it. Instead, you demand evidence where there was no evidence. You appear to want the world to operate according to your standards.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  87. R. Rowley wrote: "But we're talking about paucity of evidence."

    No, we're not. There is a MOUNTAIN of evidence pointing to Ivins' guilt.
    -------------------------------------------------
    As already noted by me on several occasions, that 'evidence' mostly had to do with stuff that doesn't tell you anything about guilt/'non-guilt'. Or even likelihood of guilt. 'Defendant suffered from mental illness' doesn't tell you whether he committed crime X, Y, or Z. 'Defendant's grandfather lived, in the 19th Century, in Central New Jersey' tells you nothing about the likelihood of guilt for Amerithrax. 'Defendant's father attended Princeton 60 or 70 years ago' tells you nothing about the likelihood the defendant did the Amerithrax crimes. 'Defendant broke into sorority houses 2 or 3 times years earlier' tells you nothing about the likelihood the person committed Amerithrax. Etc.

    These---------and the list goes on and on--------are things that have little to no bearing on the likelihood that the defendant was INVOLVED in Amerithrax, let alone that he was the 'sole perpetrator'.

    So, I stand corrected: it isn't the paucity of evidence, it's the fact that the evidence presented in the Final Report has so little bearing on the crimes themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  88. R. Rowley wrote: "As already noted by me on several occasions, that 'evidence' mostly had to do with stuff that doesn't tell you anything about guilt/'non-guilt'."

    And, as already noted by me on numerous occasions, your ridiculous beliefs have nothing to do with reality.

    Each "pebble" on the "mountain" may not by itself establish Bruce Ivins' guilt, but THE MOUNTAIN DOES.

    If you cannot grasp that basic fact about circumstantial evidence, what's the point of discussing this? You refuse to believe how the legal system works in criminal trials.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  89. Each "pebble" on the "mountain" may not by itself establish Bruce Ivins' guilt, but THE MOUNTAIN DOES.
    --------------------------------------------
    Nice metaphor, but in many cases we aren't even talking about pebbles. A pebble may be small and weigh little but they weigh SOMETHING. As noted, many of the items ticked off as indicating Ivins' guilt have no (evidentiary) weight whatsoever (ie no logical connection to likelihood of guilt).

    Take the 'mental illness' bit. Do we know that any of the 19 Sept 11th hijackers/terrorists were mentally ill? No, we don't.

    The same way with Amerithrax: do we have ANY way of knowing 1)that the perpetrator(s) was(were) mentally ill? 2)what illnesses he (they)suffered from? Again, separate from the Ivins hypothesis, we don't. His mental illness tells us little to nothing about the likelihood he did it.

    It is a preexisting suspicion about Ivins that induces people to speculate he 'did it' for some mental illness reason. Not verifiable.

    ReplyDelete
  90. R. Rowley wrote: "many of the items ticked off as indicating Ivins' guilt have no (evidentiary) weight whatsoever (ie no logical connection to likelihood of guilt)."

    That is your BELIEF. Your BELIEFS clearly have nothing to do with reality.

    You just continue to argue that unless a single item of evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it is not even evidence. That is a RIDICULOUS BELIEF.

    "circumstantial evidence n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from an eyewitness or participant and requires some reasoning to prove a fact. There is a public perception that such evidence is weak ("all they have is circumstantial evidence"), but the probable conclusion from the circumstances may be so strong that there can be little doubt as to a vital fact ("beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal case, SOURCE

    R. Rowley also wrote: "The same way with Amerithrax: do we have ANY way of knowing 1)that the perpetrator(s) was(were) mentally ill?"

    Yes, we do. We have testimony and records from Dr. Ivins' psychiatrists.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  91. R. Rowley also wrote: "The same way with Amerithrax: do we have ANY way of knowing 1)that the perpetrator(s) was(were) mentally ill?"
    Yes, we do. We have testimony and records from Dr. Ivins' psychiatrists.
    ---------------------------------------
    Mister Lake, as always, is reversing the natural procedure:

    1) the whole purpose of this (notional) trial of Ivins is to determine whether he did the Amerithrax crimes.

    2)the proposition that he did them is not advanced by saying that he was mentally ill, because a)most violent crimes aren't committed by the mentally ill and b)it hasn't been established, apart from the Ivins Hypothesis, that the perp(s) of Amerithrax was/were mentally ill.

    Again Mister Lake ASSUMES the very thing under contention. Ivins did it.


    ReplyDelete
  92. R. Rowley wrote: "Again Mister Lake ASSUMES the very thing under contention. Ivins did it."

    And you assume he didn't do it.

    The FBI has evidence saying Ivins did it. His psychiatric records are part of that evidence.

    You have NOTHING to say he didn't do it except your RIDICULOUS BELIEF that what the Department of Justice considers to be evidence against Ivins isn't really evidence.

    Repeatedly arguing that an item of evidence is not evidence unless by itself it fully proves Ivins guilt is BEYOND absurd.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  93. R. Rowley wrote: "Again Mister Lake ASSUMES the very thing under contention. Ivins did it."

    And you assume he didn't do it.

    The FBI has evidence saying Ivins did it. His psychiatric records are part of that evidence.
    ------------------------------------------------
    I think there would have been an admissibility problem with using his "psychiatric records".

    I've never in my life heard of even a single murder case in which the patient's medical records were entered into evidence TO PROVE GUILT. Because it's a violation (big time!) of patient-doctor confidentiality. Because even the establishment of mental illness X does nothing to establish the defendant/patient did crime Y.

    When psychiatrists ARE brought in is usually when an insanity/temporary insanity plea is contemplated. Not in the cards for Ivins. (or there is some question as to whether the defendant is even mentally competent to stand trial)

    In addition, I think for THIS TYPE of record, there would have to be the psychiatrist himself authenicating/explaining those records in open court. And that would be a violation of doctor/patient confidentiality.

    This is another element that was used in the Final Report that likely could not have really been used in a trial.

    ReplyDelete
  94. R. Rowley wrote: "I've never in my life heard of even a single murder case in which the patient's medical records were entered into evidence TO PROVE GUILT."

    The psychiatric records might have been used to explain MOTIVE.

    If you persist in believing that nothing is evidence unless by itself it proves GUILT, you will never understand anything about how evidence is used in court.

    Whether it would violate doctor-patient confidentiality is a different issue.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  95. Rowley wrote: "I've never in my life heard of even a single murder case in which the patient's medical records were entered into evidence TO PROVE GUILT."

    The psychiatric records might have been used to explain MOTIVE.

    If you persist in believing that nothing is evidence unless by itself it proves GUILT,[...]
    ========================================================
    Oh, I like that! Observe:

    1)The primary purpose of a trial is to determine LEGAL culpability (guilty/not guilty)

    2)It is repeatedly pointed out to Mister Lake that so many items he ticks off from the Final Report have little to nothing to do with guilt.

    3)In the case of INADMISSIBLE 'psychiatric records' he then switches the argument not to determination of guilt, but to 'motive'.

    4)Yet in other contexts, Mister Lake, quite correctly, points out that for the VERDICT determination of motive isn't necessary.

    C'mon, would it hurt you to admit the obvious: the psychiatric stuff in the Final Report has nothing to do with either guilt OR motive and is just there for its prejudicial effect on the reader?

    (And of course that's one of the reasons-----there are a few!----that psychiatric records generally aren't included in the prosecutor's brief: prejudice. The 'jury' ends up trying, not the defendant, but a label put on the defendant by some shrink, which is again one of the reasons the records are inadmissible; another: doctor-patient confidentiality).

    ReplyDelete
  96. R. Rowley wrote: "C'mon, would it hurt you to admit the obvious: the psychiatric stuff in the Final Report has nothing to do with either guilt OR motive and is just there for its prejudicial effect on the reader?"

    That may be "obvious" to you, since you have a different theory about the case, but I think it's obvious to nearly everyone else in the world (Anthrax Truthers excluded) that Ivins had severe mental problems and those mental problems would have been PART of the legal case presented against him in court.

    Page 41 of the Summary Report says:

    "Dr. Ivins’s profound mental health struggles provide both a context for his motives to commit the crime and an explanation for how he could commit such a horrific and tragic offense. The mental health information contained in this Investigative Summary derives from the following sources of information: (1) interviews of people close to Dr. Ivins; (2) interviews of Dr. Ivins himself; (3) a review of thousands of e-mail messages by Dr. Ivins and about Dr. Ivins; and (4) a review of his prescription records."

    It doesn't say anything about using in court Ivins' psychiatric records from his various psychiatrists. So, I should have spent more time framing my argument. I was busy with other things and getting very tired of debating nonsense. I slipped up. I apologize. I should have done a better job of showing that your arguments are total nonsense.

    A circumstantial case involves explaining items of evidence one by one to the jury so that they can see how everything fits together. Some evidence explains motive, some explain opportunity, some explain means. Together, they prove Ivins' guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    It may not be necessary to prove motive in a trial. But, in the Ivins case they would almost certainly have presented a LOT of evidence showing his motives for committing the crime. No single item would prove he did it, of course. But, all the evidence together would prove that Ivins was the anthrax killer - beyond any reasonable doubt.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete