Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Subject: Anthrax Truthers

After 11 years of debating with Anthrax Truthers, it's clear that they all think the FBI is wrong because each one has his own personal theory about the case.

Interestingly, not a single Anthrax Truther seems capable of fully explaining his or her own theory.  It seems that all they can talk about is reasons why they think the FBI's evidence is inadequate to convince anyone that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer.  Yet, inexplicably, they cannot explain why their own evidence about their own suspect is better than the FBI's evidence.  They hesitate to even attempt to explain their case against their own suspect.  Instead, they look upon all the others with theories as agreeing with them because all the others disagree with the FBI.

The logic for each individual Anthrax Truther is: Everyone agrees that the FBI is wrong, that means I'm right.

In reality, it just means that they have a theory that no one else in the world fully agrees with.  Yet, they believe it is a better theory than the FBI's case against Dr. Ivins because no Anthrax Truther agrees with the FBI.
"I never cease to be dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe."
                                                        - Leo Rosten
Ed

29 comments:

  1. Toni Locy has written a new book about responsible reporting on a criminal case -- to include Amerithrax. You should read it and take her lessons and explanations to heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a reporter with confidential sources. My sources may help me to understand the science involved in some kind of evidence, but that's not "confidential" information.

      However, I usually don't name my sources anyway, since there are nut cases on the Internet who will call or email my sources to criticize them for talking with me or for accepting the FBI's explanation for who sent the anthrax letters.

      There are people on the Internet who so truly believe they are right that they'll call and harass with emails anyone who disagrees with them.

      Ed

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    2. Protecting sources is a very small part of her book. She would help you understand the nature of the court system, the burden of proof, the importance of not uncritically accepting a prosecutor's spin etc. -- and how to responsibly approach blogging or reporting on the subject. For example, she would never invent an imaginary First Grader after someone's death. She even defines "Burden of Proof" given that some folks -- like you -- don't understand it.

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  2. Anonymous wrote: "she would never invent an imaginary First Grader after someone's death."

    Neither would I. First, the First Grader hypothesis was developed more than SIX YEARS before Ivins' death. Second, the hypothesis is based up on undeniable FACTS, which you do not seem able to comprehend.

    If you believe Locy's book explains "burden of proof," I urge you to read it carefully, since you seem to claim that Dr. Ivins couldn't have been making anthrax powders in his lab in early October 2001, but you have no proof to back up that claim. All you have are meaningless documents.

    You should spend more time trying to UNDERSTAND things, instead of just claiming that because you read a book you know more than anyone else. If you cannot EXPLAIN a subject, that means you do not UNDERSTAND that subject.

    Ed

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  3. It's real simple, Ed.

    Rachel said there was no experiment that required he be in the lab those nights and weekend.

    The documents show that she was mistaken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous wrote: "Rachel said there was no experiment that required he be in the lab those nights and weekend."

      And, where did she say this? You should quote exactly what she said and provide the link, instead of just making stuff up.

      If you are referring to the Summary Report, this is stated on page 30:

      "There was no big experiment or project going on in September/October 2001 that would justify all of the time in the hot suites. Even Dr. Ivins could not explain this extraordinary change in his work schedule."

      That is clearly very different from what you claim Rachel Lieber said.

      If that's the comment you meant, then you have just confirmed that your documents prove absolutely nothing. It doesn't even appear that your documents were intended to prove anything meaningful.

      Ed

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    2. Anonymous,

      Checking further to see if Rachel Lieber ever said anything like what you claim, I looked at her Oct. 10, 2011 PBS interview and found this:

      "And to the point some people suggest that he did have good reason to be in there, that there were animal challenges going on and somebody has to go in and evaluate the animals to see how they’re doing in response to their vaccinations and being exposed to anthrax, if you look at his lab notebooks, there absolutely are notations here and there about his going in to check on certain animals. And it would justify 20, 30 minutes in the lab, maybe an hour at most. But he’s spending something like two hours and 45 minutes, two hours and 45 minutes, two hours and 45 minutes, each night leading up to the mailings."

      That also seems VERY DIFFERENT from the claim you made up.

      Why don't you just admit it? Your claims about what Ivins was doing in his lab during those evenings have nothing to do with reality. It's just made up nonsense intended to justify your belief that Ivins was innocent.

      The FACTS say that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax killer - beyond any reasonable doubt.

      Ed

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  4. Ed,

    Good luck in your endeavors. The real issue relates to whether the AUSA's are guilty of prosecutorial misconduct for not disclosing the information about the rabbit study, suppressing the documents and shredding the civil depositions at which the experiments were addressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous wrote: "The real issue relates to whether the AUSA's are guilty of prosecutorial misconduct for not disclosing the information about the rabbit study...

      Is it really? I thought the issue was whether or not Ivins was making anthrax powders in his lab.

      You seem to have issues of your own, which no one else cares about, because your issues seem to be just more bizarre interpretations of the facts.

      Since you now evidently acknowledge that Ivins had plenty of time to make anthrax powders in his lab, it looks like your remaining issues are purely your concern.

      Good luck with your endeavor to attempt to get the Department of Justice to do things the way you think they should be done.

      Ed

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  5. Mister Lake posted:
    --------------------
    Anonymous wrote: "she would never invent an imaginary First Grader after someone's death."

    Neither would I. First, the First Grader hypothesis was developed more than SIX YEARS before Ivins' death.[...]
    ==================================================
    Okay, but isn't that true about just about ALL alternative hypotheses to the DoJ's one of Ivins-alone-did-it?
    If you have a major case open for 6 to 7 years before the government's 'confidential suspect' is even mentioned, and then ONLY because he has committed suicide, it's inevitable that those most keenly interested are going to develop ideas along the lines that they did. It's like the JFK assassination without a Warren Commission Report: a vacuum that needs to be filled.

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  6. R. Rowley wrote: "If you have a major case open for 6 to 7 years before the government's 'confidential suspect' is even mentioned, and then ONLY because he has committed suicide ..."

    It is the RESPONSIBILITY of the Department of Justice to keep names of possible suspects secret whenever possible, in case they turn out to be innocent. About the only time they mention the name of a suspect before he's indicted is if the suspect is a fugitive and they need to put out wanted posters or alert the public.

    Internal documents show that Ivins became a "highly sensitive suspect" in the case before August 2007. The DOJ was preparing to indict him in mid-2008, and they were presenting evidence to the grand jury when Ivins committed suicide.

    It's unfortunate that it took so long to determine who did it, but that the way things happen sometimes.

    I think the Summary Report and the 9,600 pages of supplemental documents make it clear the DOJ had a solid case against Ivins.

    None of the "alternative hypotheses" have any meaningful evidence whatsoever. They are all about beliefs. You can't even get any of the Truthers to lay out their case against their own suspects - other than claims taken from history. Professor Lance deHaven Smith's theory is that since Richard Nixon was a crook, that means all American Presidents are crooks, and Smith considers that "evidence" that the government was behind the anthrax attacks.

    The difference between my hypothesis that a child wrote the letters and other people's theories about who sent the anthrax letters is that my hypothesis PREDICTED that the anthrax killer would have access to a child just starting first grade. At the time the theory was developed, no suspect was known to have such access.

    A good hypothesis can often be used to make predictions.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote: "A good hypothesis can often be used to make predictions."

      I have another hypothesis that could be predicting a future event.

      Although no official finding has confirmed it, the evidence says that Ivins grew the attack spores on plates which he threw into autoclave bags after counting colonies for dilution tests. The facts say the colonies were allowed to fully grow over the surface of the hundreds of plates while sitting at room temperature in the bags for weeks in Ivins' lab or by the autoclave.

      This hypothesis says that if someone were to repeat that process, if they were to start the growth at incubator temperatures and complete the growth at room temperatures, the result would be spores with the same "silicon signature" as the attack spores.

      Sooner or later, someone is almost certainly going to perform such a test. My hypothesis has already predicted the results.

      Ed

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  7. Mr. Lake. I am in the class. I did the homework. I agree with you I think a 1st grader did it. but i think it was a girl
    i know a girl who rites like that but she was to young. so i know it is not here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brad,

      You could be right. I have no solid reason to assume that it was a boy. I just write "he" because it's easier than always writing "he or she."

      The facts seem to indicate it would have been a boy or girl who got on and off the school bus near the Ivins home.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Ed

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    2. Brad, I'm in Miss Johnnson's class and also took the class. I think it's mean to say that a girl would write the letters, but the writing sure looks like it was somebody from first grader.

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    3. Brad and Angelina,

      I think you are both putting me on, and "Anonymous" probably put you up to it.

      The child would be about 17 years old now, and I don't think 17-year-olds would worry as much about boys being "mean" to girls.

      Ed

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    4. Brad,

      BTW, I watched "Killing Them Softly" last night, and I thought it was terrible.

      Ed

      Delete
  8. So, my interpretation of those early Tualatin connections to your website would be: almost certainly someone on the instructional end, ie someone drawing up lesson plans, was doing it from Tualatin. But whether that means they are 'consultants' for the Portland schools or they work for BOTH school districts or [some other possibility] I'm not sure. Certainly no student would be accessing your site at 9:21 PM on the 5th via a school computer. And the instructor (or someone----supervisor? consultant?) would have to check out your site for: appeal to students, appropriateness of subject matter etc.

    ----------------------------------
    Was that visit from Florida, really from Florida, or was it some kind of error?
    ----------------------------------
    It was really from Florida, but I can't tell you how I know that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R. Rowley wrote: "It was really from Florida..

      The IP address 76.7.48.26 traces to Winter Park, Florida. I assume that's where the visitor was. It just seemed odd that another one of the visitors used IP 76.27.219.83 which traces to Portland, Oregon.

      But, I suppose some Oregon school official could have been in Florida at the time, and he (or she) needed to check the links on their test page by using his laptop. It's anyone's guess as to what the details were.

      Ed

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  9. Just a followup to my previous: the profile of Tualatin on Wikipedia indicates that the city has at least a portion in another school district (see botton):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tualatin,_Oregon
    -----------------
    Education

    The city of Tualatin falls incompletely under the jurisdiction of the Tigard-Tualatin School District. This district contains 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. Of these schools, five are actually located within Tualatin city limits: Bridgeport Elementary School, Byrom Elementary School, Tualatin Elementary School, Hazelbrook Middle School, and Tualatin High School. The city also includes Arbor School of Arts and Sciences, an independent K8 school.

    [edit] High schools
    Tualatin High School

    [edit] Middle schools
    Hazelbrook Middle School

    [edit] Elementary schools
    Bridgeport Elementary
    Byrom Elementary
    Tualatin Elementary
    Deer Creek Elementary

    A small section of the city is part of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Those students usually go to the same elementary, middle, and high schools: Stafford Primary, Athey Creek Middle School, and Wilsonville High School, respectively.
    ------------------------------
    So perhaps this explains the discrepancy (ie why Portland as well as Tualatin show up as originating places for access to Mister Lake's site).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Rowley,

      IP addresses 66.154.128.0 to 66.154.255.255 seem to relate to the Tigard-Tualatin school district.

      198.237.16.0 to 198.237.31.255 seem to relate to the Roseburg school district.

      The Beaverton school district seems to be somewhere in the 50.32.0.0 to 50.55.255.255 range.

      And Portland seems to be the entire 159.191.0.0 to 159.191.255.255 range.

      Tualatin and Beaverton are suburbs of Portland, but Roseburg is 150 miles away.

      I don't think knowing exactly which schools were involved can explain much.

      My site is visited several times a day - EVERY DAY - by someone or some people at Purdue University in East Lafayette, Indiana. And, it's been going on for years. That's another mystery.

      And, someone at 198.105.219.56 has been checking my site every half hour, night and day since March 10th. It seems to be someone at monitorengine.com.

      The Russian mystery continues.

      The Chinese searches for log-in pages I don't have continue.

      I don't mind mysteries. I don't have to solve them all. On something like this, I just keep an eye open for more information.

      The Oregon mystery was just very unusual, and it required a lot of my time to check things out. And, I thought it might make an interesting comment for my site.

      Ed

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    2. It might not have anything to do with anything, but there was a big anthrax hoax news story in Portland last December. The headline was Suspects in anthrax hoax, killing spree, conduct secret, sexy correspondence in Columbia County Jail.

      I remember doing a search for something else in Portland recently. But I can't remember what it was all about.

      There's more recent story about that anthrax hoax letter. Headline = Antagonist of Oregon public officials pleads guilty in Portland courtroom to federal crimes but it doesn't look familiar.

      They could, however, relate to why the Oregon school system decided to teach kids how to research anthrax.

      Ed

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  10. Another possibility I should have brought up in my prior posts is:
    instructors, all levels, frequently have interpersonal networks: friends in same institution, friends who USED to be in same institution etc. And teachers might share a 'brainstorm' of an idea. Including in the let's-have-the-kids-use-the-internet-to-make-distinctions-about-sources area. So teacher A (one school/school district)tips off teacher B (another school/school district) about a website (or multiple websites) that might prove useful to make some academic point.

    Somehow 'Brad and Angelina' slipped right by me the first time.
    I blew it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. R. Rowley wrote: "Somehow 'Brad and Angelina' slipped right by me the first time."

    He fooled me when he posted as "Brad." But, as soon as "Angelina" showed up, I figured it was probably just another "game" from "Anonymous."

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was just saving my log files prior to shutting down for today, and I noticed this from that Purdue University IP address:

    128.210.124.8 - - [27/Mar/2013:13:28:16 -0400] "GET /Update-History2012-Pt-2.html HTTP/1.1" 200 147772 "http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22richard+rowley%22+anthrax&qs=n&form=QBRE&pq=%22richard+rowley%22+anthrax&sc=0-20&sp=-1&sk=" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0)"

    They must be reading this blog and decided to check out Mr. Rowley and what he has written about anthrax.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  13. Speaking of off-topic stuff, Mister Lake, what with his interest in photography, might be interested in this:
    http://news.msn.com/rumors/rumor-north-koreas-latest-military-image-photoshopped
    Asuming he hasn't seen it already.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R. Rowley wrote: "Assuming he hasn't seen it already."

      Yes, someone else mentioned it via an email this morning. Here's my response:

      "I can see why they think it might be faked. The four hovercraft in the background look very suspicious. But the bottom photo on the web page HERE shows all six hovecraft on the beach, and the picture doesn't look faked.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/03/is-this-north-korean-hovercraft-landing-photo-faked/100480/

      Ed

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  14. They must be reading this blog and decided to check out Mr. Rowley and what he has written about anthrax.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    "There that crack pot RR goes again!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R. Rowley wrote: "There that crack pot RR goes again!"

      Looking at the links that the Bing.com search produced, I found one that said,

      "America's dangerous Game" - Film von Richard Rowley und Jeremy Scahill ├╝ber den Krieg der USA gegen vermutete und wirkliche Al-Kaida-Gruppen im Jemen.

      Ed

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