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Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks
(2009-2014 Edition)

Commentary
& Analysis
by
Ed Lake

IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR SEE ANY ERRORS ON THIS SITE, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT:
detect (at) newsguy (dot) com

The discussion blog for this web site is at
anthraxdebate.blogspot.com

New book - front cover

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from the Printer!


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Click HERE to buy the Kindle version!

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My original analysis and working hypothesis,
and everything from prior to January 1, 2005, 

can still be accessed by clicking HERE.
All the information gathered and analyzed from
January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2008,
can still be accessed by clicking HERE.
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CONTENTS

(click on the Section to go to it)

Overview
Thoughts and Comments
  Latest references (top)
Latest references (end)

VIDEOS
  12 FACTS which  show that a child wrote the anthrax letters
Ed Lake describes his book "A Crime Unlike Any Other"

KEY SUPPLEMENTAL PAGES

(click on the name to link to the page)
Where & When Bruce Ivins Made the Anthrax Powders ... Allegedly
How Bruce Ivins Made the Anthrax Powders ... Allegedly
FOIA Pictures of Bruce Ivins' Laboratory
FOIA Pictures of Bruce Ivins' Office
The Bruce Ivins Timeline
The Errors That Snared Dr. Bruce Ivins
Bruce Ivins' Consciousness of Guilt
The Coded Message in the Media Letters (the "smoking gun")
Dr. Ivins' "Non-Denial Denials"
Evidence vs. Beliefs
The Mysteries of the AFIP "Report"
The Facts Say: A Child Wrote The Anthrax Letters

The Attack Anthrax Pictures
The annotated version of the Aug. 18, 2008, roundtable discussion
Van Der Waals Forces & Static Electricity: How they affect bacillus spores
The Steven Hatfill Timeline/The Attempted Lynching of Steven Hatfill
The Campaign to Point the Finger at Dr. Hatfill
Dr. Hatfill & The "Clueless" Media
The Media & Iowa State University
PBS Frontline vs. The Anthrax Facts
Anthrax, Assaad, Terror and the Timeline
Other Theories About the Anthrax Case
The Illogical al Qaeda Theory
Mohamed Atta did NOT write the anthrax letters
Reviews of my first book
My comments about other anthrax-related books

Overview

This web site was started on November 22, 2001 to keep track of facts related to the anthrax attacks which had become a major news event during the previous month.  I found that most people only wanted to discuss beliefs, opinions and conspiracy theories.  I wanted to see what the facts said.  Plus, news stories were appearing and then being deleted, and I needed a place to retain the articles which contained new information.  So, for the next seven years I accumulated facts and references and analyzed all the data I could find.  In March of 2005, I even self-published a book describing what the first three years of my analysis had found. 

On August 1, 2008, the news broke that the person the FBI believed to be the anthrax mailer had committed suicide.  His name was Dr. Bruce Ivins, and he worked at the USAMRIID labs at Ft. Detrick, MD.

The conspiracy theorists and True Believers who had argued their beliefs and opinions for the prior seven years were not persuaded by the FBI's evidence.  They continue to argue their beliefs and opinions, claiming that the FBI cannot prove Dr. Ivins was guilty.  After all, if the FBI was right, that would mean they have been wrong for seven years.  And that couldn't be, even though they don't even agree with each other about key facts:

Some still believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
Some still believe Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks
Some still believe a vast Jewish conspiracy was behind the attacks.
Some still believe the Bush administration was behind the attacks.
Some still believe the CIA was behind the attacks.
Some still believe pharmaceutical companies were behind the attacks.
Some still believe a writer was behind the attacks in order to sell books.
Some still believe Dr. Steven Hatfill was behind the attacks.
Some still believe a different scientist was behind the attacks.
Some still believe that a military person was behind the attacks.
Some still believe their next door neighbor was behind the attacks.

Some still believe the attack spores were "weaponized" with silica or silicon and that anyone who says otherwise is either lying or incompetent.  They still believe there must be some vast criminal conspiracy to cover up the real facts, because they simply do not believe anything the government - and particularly the FBI - says.

Some still believe that Dr. Ivins did not have the ability to make the attack anthrax. 

And, perhaps most bizarre of all, some still believe that there is some similarity between the "investigation" of Dr. Steven Hatfill (who was eventually exonerated) and the investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins.  The facts show that the two cases could not be more different.  Dr. Hatfill was the victim of an attempted lynching by conspiracy theorists, people in the media and some politicians.  They worked together for six months to get Dr. Hatfill arrested for a crime he didn't do.  The FBI's Hatfill "investigation" was purely political and based upon "tips" from those same conspiracy theorist scientists who claimed the FBI was "covering up" for Dr. Hatfill when the FBI's investigation found nothing to tie him to the mailings.  The Ivins investigation, on the other hand, was the result of years of detailed scientific analysis and an equally detailed criminal investigation.

The Case Against Dr. Ivins

The facts say that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer:

1.  He was in charge of the RMR-1029 flask containing the "mother" spores which produced the attack anthrax "daughter" spores.  He was in charge of "the murder weapon."

1.1  He tried to destroy "smoking gun" evidence that he had encoded a hidden message inside the media letters, but the evidence was recovered and clearly points to Dr. Ivins as the anthrax mailer.

1.2  He was a diagnosed sociopath.  In 2000, a year before the anthrax mailings, Ivins had talked with his mental heath counselor about his plan to poison a "young woman."  The counselor called the police, but because Ivins hadn't provided a name, there wasn't anything they could do.  The facts indicate the woman was Ivins' former assistant, Mara Linscott.  Ivins evidently changed his mind about poisoning her.

2.  The FBI investigated everyone else who had access to the RMR-1029 flask and eliminated all of them as suspects.  Eliminating potential suspects is routine police procedure.

3.  He had worked with Bacillus anthracis for over 20 years and had all the necessary expertise and equipment to prepare the spores in the anthrax letters.  He could routinely make a trillion spores a week.

4.  He accessed the locked suite (B3) where the RMR-1029 flask of spores was stored at the times the attack anthrax would have been prepared.

5.  He worked alone and unsupervised in his lab for long hours at night and on weekends during the time the attack anthrax would have been prepared.

6.  He had no scientific reason or verifiable explanation for working those hours or at those times.

7.  In December of 2001, Dr. Ivins secretly swabbed and bleached more than 20 areas in his lab, destroying possible evidence.   In April of 2002, he did it again.  Both cleanings were unauthorized and against protocol.  His explanations for doing it were contradictory to his actions.

8.  Investigators examined another flask of Ames anthrax spores created by Dr. Ivins for his own use in his work and found that a percentage of the spores in flask RMR-1030 contained silicon just like what was in the attack spores.

9.  It was not commonplace for him to work long evening hours in the Bacteriology Division's Suite B3 before the anthrax attacks or in the months after the anthrax attacks.  His long hours in Suite B3 at that time broke his normal work pattern.  Suite B3 was a BioSafety Level-3 area.


10.  He had multiple motives for sending the anthrax letters.

11.  He tried various ways to mislead investigators when they started to suspect him.

12.  He had no verifiable alibi for the times when he could have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters.

13.  He was known to drive long distances and to use various methods to mail letters and packages so they could not be traced back to him.

14.  He had various connections to the New Jersey area where the anthrax letters were mailed.  The ZIP Code used in the return address on the senate letters was 08852.  It belongs to Monmouth Junction, NJ.  According to a letter in Ivins' files, his ancestors on his father's side came from an area then known as Monmouth, NJ.  Plus, Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL, is where the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority (an obsession of Ivins') was founded.

15.  He had serious mental problems, which appear to include murderous impulses.   He'd been seeing psychiatrists since 1978.

16.  The pre-stamped envelopes which were used in the attacks had print defects, and one of the post offices which sold those envelopes was a post office which Dr. Ivins used.

17.  His wife ran a day care center at the time of the attacks, Ivins had many contacts with children, and the facts indicate that a child of about 6 was used to do the actual writing on the anthrax letters.

18.  Investigations found no evidence that someone other than Dr. Ivins sent the letters.

19.  There is no evidence that Dr. Ivins could not possibly have sent the anthrax letters.

20.  People commit suicide to escape justice.  People who are unfairly accused sue their tormenters.

Although the case was officially closed on February 19, 2010, there may still be some additional facts pointing to Dr. Ivins' guilt which have not yet been disclosed by the FBI, specifically information related to his sessions with his psychiatrist or psychologist.  That information is still "under seal" by court order.

Meanwhile, those who cannot accept the FBI's findings continue to use every tactic they can to cast doubt upon the FBI's findings.  They have no proof of Dr. Ivins' innocence, so all they can do is try to make it appear that if there is any doubt - reasonable or not - about Dr. Ivins' guilt, then he must be innocent.

Conspiracy Theorists and True Believers 

Because they often support each other in opposing the FBI's official findings, it is sometimes difficult to tell a Conspiracy Theorist from a True Believer.  But, there is really are very distinct differences:

Conspiracy theorists often do not know or care who sent the anthrax letters, they only know that "the government" cannot be trusted, "the government" is lying about something, and they want to expose it.

True Believers feel they know beyond any doubt who sent the anthrax letters, and anyone who does not believe as they believe - including the FBI - is just not looking at the right facts.

Both will do anything and everything they can to get the undecided and uncertain to join with their cause.  And there are differences in their tactics as the go about their recruiting: 

The #1 tactic used by conspiracy theorists is junk science.  They wildly misinterpret facts about the case, they claim their bizarre misinterpretations prove something, and they demand that those misinterpretations and baseless claims be either accepted or disproved.
 
The #1 tactic used by True Believers is to accuse the non-believer of being "closed minded" and to wear down the non-believer as he tries to prove he is not "closed minded."

There's really no point to arguing with a True Believer.  Back in 1951, Eric Hoffer published his landmark book "The True Believer" in which he stated that the only way to change a True Believer's mind is to convert him to a different belief.  So, unless you are prepared to do that, it's best to just avoid them.  They will bury you in irrelevant facts if you don't avoid them, they'll claim that if you do not read everything they read and interpret everything the way they interpret them, then you are ill-informed and your opinion is worthless.

Conspiracy theorists, however, appear ready to debate some of the relevant facts of the case.  They just move on to different facts if they are proven wrong about their first set of facts.  Example:

The initial theory about the anthrax being "weaponized" was that the attack spores were coated with bentonite and the government was covering up that fact.  That theory was quickly shown to be false.  When the next theory that the attack spores were coated with fumed silica was also disproved, they moved on to a new theory that the attack spores had tiny particles of silica glued to them to defeat van der Waals forces.  When that was shown to be nonsense, they moved on to a theory that the spores were treated with a waterproofing substance that would coat the spore coat without leaving any trace on the exosporium. 

The conspiracy theorists and True Believers seem to have a few followers in Congress.  Perhaps there will also be some Congressional hearings.  I hope so.  Congressional hearings seem to be the only way to clarify certain details about others who were caught up in the investigation. 

Thoughts and Comments
by Ed Lake

Updates & Changes: Monday, September 1, 2014, thru Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 1, 2014 (B) - Someone sent me a link to a blog that contains what appears to be a list of filings in a lawsuit that retired foreign service officer Kenneth Dillon has instituted against the FBI in order to obtain Amerithrax documents he evidently feels were not adequately supplied via FOIA requests.  Click HERE to go to the blog. 

It appears that all but two of the documents require accessing PACER to obtain the pdf file (or using the other service favored by the web site).  And the two pdf documents that can be accessed for free do not seem to explain anything.

But, I said I'd write a comment about it, and now I have.

September 1, 2014 (A) - If there are any science geeks out there who read this web site, you might be interested in some sensational photographs that NASA put on their web site yesterday showing the space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station on May 23, 2011.  Click HERE to go to that specific web site entry.  Click HERE to go to the place where the very large images can be viewed and downloaded.

Here's a low-res version of one of the images:

space shuttle Endeavor at space station

Click HERE to go to the hi-res version that is 25.2 inches wide by 16.8 inches high, at 240 pixels per inch.

Updates & Changes: Sunday, August 24, 2014, thru Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 2014 - I keep thinking that there has to be some way to get the Anthrax Truthers to discuss things intelligently.  But, I'm also getting close to simply giving up.

How many times can they bring up the same nonsense without realizing it is nonsense?  How many times can it be pointed out to them that what they're saying is nonsense, without them understanding that it is nonsense.  For example, this is the title of a new thread on Lew Weinstein's blog:


Their "documentary evidence" is the Reference Material Receipt Record form that was created when the contents of flask RMR-1029 were created:

Form RMR-1029 - early version


In the space marked "storage," which is circled in red on the above form, it says "room 115, Bldg 1412."

But, Bruce Ivins claimed repeatedly that the RMR-1029 flasks were "never" kept in Building 1412.  It was the FBI who wanted to know if he was telling the truth or not.

In FBI document #847423, dated September 8, 2004, at the bottom of page 7 and into page 8 it says,

IVINS explained that RMR 1029 was maintained in two 500 mL flasks in suite B3.  When material was needed for a challenge, IVINS would remove the volume of spores needed in the challenge and place this volume in a Gibco serum bottle.  This Gibco serum bottle was then transported to building 1412 at USAMRIID, where it was aliquoted for use in the challenge.  IVINS stated that the two 500 ml flasks that contained RMR 1029 were never taken over to building [1412].

On page 9, Ivins says something similar:

As with RMR 1029, the main flask storing RMR 1030 was never taken from 1425 to 1412.

Six months later, on page 10 of the original version of FBI document #847444, dated March 31, 2005, and under a report section titled "Reference Material Receipt Record Inconsistencies Regarding Location of RMR 1029" Ivins says the same thing, but much more clearly and emphatically:

IVINS advised that the large flask of RMR 1029 was always stored in suite B3 of Building 1425.  IVINS advised that the copy of the form indicating RMR 1029 was stored in room [115] of Building 1412 was wrong.  "We never stored 1029 in the big flask in [115]," he said.  

But, apparently later in the day, Ivins changed his mind - more or less.   Page 93 of FBI file #847545 is a memo that Ivins wrote to the FBI on March 31, 2005.  Ivins stated:

6) Where the flasks of RMR 1029 were kept.  Since we had a lab (115) in Building 1412 at the time, and since the spores were intended for aerosols, it's possible that at least one of the flasks was kept in the lab refrigerator in 115 or in the 1st floor coldroom (much less likely) for a certain amount of time.  We were eventually - I think it was probably before 2001 - "moved out" of the area by Aerobiology, and at that point may be brought RMR 1029 material back to 1425.  I honestly don't remember, but it would make sense. 

So, it was the FBI that determined that flask RMR-1029 could have been stored in Building 1412 for a period of time.  (That would be required for Steven Hatfill to have access to it, since Hatfill worked in Building 1412.)

I recall this same argument from years ago, but it was probably in the posts of mine that they deleted from Lew's blog.  That may be one reason they're bringing up the same nonsense again.  In that discussion, I recall finding some evidence that indicated that RMR-1029 was originally planned to be kept in room 115 in Building 1412, but it never actually happened that way.  Instead, Ivins was moved out of his lab in 1412 before the contents of the flask were created, and the actual storage was always in 1425.

When I get some time, I may go through all the posts I archived from Lew's blog and put them in a file that I can search. 

But, I think the point is made that the FBI was NOT trying to claim that RMR-1029 was never stored in 1412.  Bruce Ivins tried to make that claim, and the FBI's investigation showed his claim to be (apparently) untrue.  Yes, that meant that the people working in Building 1412 (like Steven Hatfill) could have accessed the flask and thus also had to be investigated as possible suspects.  But, it was already known that they had to be checked out, since aliquots from RMR-1029 were routinely sent to Building 1412, and an aliquot could possibly have been used to create the contents of the anthrax letters.

There's no sense in the Anthrax Truther's argument at all.  Even more ridiculous is another discussion they are starting up once again in another new thread: 


The FBI asked questions about olive oil, which in the past had been used at USAMRIID as an anti-foaming agent.  And different anti-foaming agents were suspected of causing the silicon to appear in the coats of anthrax spores.  But, the anthrax truthers can dream up endless other fictional reasons for inquiring about olive oil -- reasons which they can twist to support their beliefs about the FBI and about who actually sent the anthrax letters.  Their reasoning is just plain nuts.

Looking at page 15 of FBI document #847408, which is dated 04/07/2004, I see it says,

XXXXXXXXXX in the past olive oil was used for aerosol challenges.  The olive oil was used for challenges involving toxin proteins.  Olive oil has not been used during challenges for ten (10) years.  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has not seen a bottle of olive oil at USAMRIID since the early 1990's.

This appears to be just an example of the FBI trying to find every standard method for making anthrax spores in order to see if any standard method left behind the silicon signature that was found in the attack spores.

The above examples of "new arguments" from the Anthrax Truthers show why they never learn anything.  They aren't looking for what actually happened, they are looking for new ways to argue that the FBI was doing things incorrectly because they believe the FBI is either incompetent or was involved in some criminal conspiracy to blame Bruce Ivins for an act of biological terrorism done by someone else. 

In reality, it is the Anthrax Truthers who are incompetent and who are trying to blame someone else for an act of biological terrorism committed by Dr. Bruce Ivins.


August 30, 2014 - This is off topic, but someone might find it interesting.  This morning I finished reading a hardcover edition of "Déjà Dead" by Kathy Reichs.   Here is part of Kathy Reichs' bio:

Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel, brought her fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

"Temperance Brennan" is, of course, also "Bones" in the TV series of that name, which has so far been on the air for 10 seasons.  (Kathy Reichs is a producer on that show.)

I found the hardcover copy at a used book store for less than a dollar.  As I recall, I stopped watching the "Bones" TV series during season 4 or 5.  I just got tired of Temperance Brennan's lack of ability to understand basic social skills, and the fact that each episode of the show seemed to try to involve a more gruesome death than the previous episode.  But, I was curious about the books and how Kathy Reichs writes.

In
"Déjà Dead," Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, but her personality is very different from the TV show.  She's a divorced mother with a grown daughter, and her social skills are excellent.  She works in Montreal, Quebec, not in Washington D.C.

The book has a lot of very gruesome details about bodies and how and why murders are committed.  Early in the reading process, I almost gave up on finishing it several times because of all the grisly details.  I stuck it out because Kathy Reichs is a very skilled writer of description and character, an ability I need to develop for my own books.   And she writes in first person, which is how my sci-fi books are written.

So, now the question is: Did I learn enough from
"Déjà Dead" to get back to work on my own book and try to make my descriptions and characters more interesting?

Time will tell.

August 28, 2014 - I see that DXer seems to have ended his "bloodhound evidence" rants.  He's gone back to arguing the nonsense that Ivins' work with rabbits at the time of the anthrax attacks somehow proves Ivins couldn't be the anthrax mailer, and DXer found someone who agrees with him.  So, he's as firm in his beliefs as ever, and there's clearly no way any facts could change his mind.  He's also posting comments about how the FBI should have done their investigation in order to conform to DXer standards.

During the course of our "debate," I found a copy of "Bacillus anthracis comparative genome analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation," the peer reviewed science article about how work with DNA helped find the source of the anthrax used in the anthrax attacks of 2001.  It came out in March 2011, but, previously I'd only provided a link to the abstract and links to articles about the report.  An example HERE says:

It took nearly a decade before University of Maryland researchers were allowed to talk about their work identifying the anthrax strain used in the 2001 deadly letter attacks. But now, they and the other key members of the high-powered science team have published the first account of the pioneering work, which launched the new field of “microbial forensics” and gave bioterrorism investigators a way to “fingerprint” bacteria.

Until last week, I didn't have a copy of the article in my files.  I'm not sure why, but now I do.  While reading it I noticed this statement:

The comparison of the Ames Ancestor genome sequence identified no differences compared with that of the Ames Florida isolate, an isolate obtained directly from the individual infected at the AMI building. This finding suggests that the variation in the Ames Porton isolate was most likely caused by years of laboratory culture and treatments to remove the plasmids.

That statement seems to indicate that the basic DNA of the supply of Ames anthrax used at Porton Down is/was no longer identical to the DNA of the original sample of "ancestor Ames" they obtained from USAMRIID.  Nor, of course, does it match Ames Florida, which was taken from the body of Bob Stevens.   It seems that, over the years, whenever Porton Down would start to run low on Ames, they would use their remaining supply to grow a new supply - sometimes using added chemicals.  And, as a result, they bred a new variation of Ames.  Ames Porton with the two plasmids pX01 and pX02 is genetically different from Ames Ancestor, and, of course, so is plasmidless Porton Ames.  That seems to mean that if they supplied some other lab with a sample of "Ames Porton" (or if al Qaeda stole some of Ames Porton), the DNA of that sample would not be identical to "Ames Ancestor" or "Ames Florida."  And, of course, it would not be a match to spores found in the anthrax letters.  

If my understanding is correct, that means that any belief DXer might still have that al Qaeda could have obtained Ames Porton and used it to create the attack spores cannot be true.  The DNA would not match -- even if they somehow managed to magically grow all four of the morphs that were in both the attack powders and in flask RMR-1029.

August 27, 2014 - Yesterday afternoon, probably in response to the comment I wrote here yesterday morning, "DXer" posted this comment to Lew Weinstein's blog:

The bloodhounds did not alert to Bruce Ivins.

The bloodhounds DID alert to Patricia Fellows, the lab technician spinning things against Ivins. (Willman, p. 200). The deployments occurred the latter half of 2002.

The FBI should produce to GAO the bloodhound canine report relating to Bruce Ivins showing that there not a positive alert.

It constitutes prosecutorial and investigative misconduct to withhold evidence tending to be exculpatory — whether from a judge, jury, the public, superiors — or the GAO..

Okay, this time DXer provided a reference I can check out.  Here's what it says on page 200 of David Willman's book "The Mirage Man":

          As of January 2003, Lambert and his investigators knew that the dogs had alerted on at least one other scientist, Patricia Fellows, who formerly worked at USAMRIID but was implicated by no credible evidence. (20)  A document that Lamert prepared for Director Mueller's personal briefing of Senators Daschle and Leahy in January 2003 said that bloodhounds had reacted to Hatfill and Fellows only, adding "however, she assisted with the initial processing of the Daschle/Leahy evidence." (21)
          By this Lambert was suggesting that although the dogs' identification of Hatfill remained significant, their reactions to Fellows could be discounted because she had helped the FBI handle the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001 and imparted her scent at that time to the materials that were later presented to the dogs.  Others within the FBI saw the bloodhounds' identification of Fellows differently:  It was a strong reason to abandon all of the dog "evidence." (22)

David Willman explains some of the many problems with "dog evidence" on the previous page of his book (page 199), including cases where the "dog evidence" was wrong.  Then he wrote,

          Nonetheless, Richard Lambert persisted in making the dog evidence a pillar of the FBI's case against Hatfill.  His approach  raised concerns among some scientific specialists at the FBI.  Said one of them, Agent Jenifer Smith, "Dogs work extremely well with explosives.  They work really well with drugs.  But a major investigation like this, you're  going to suddenly start relying on dog technology?  It was surprising to see those things used in an organization where we don't use psychics." (18)
          The unavoidable problem with relying on the bloodhounds to pinpoint a killer or a rapist is that there is no way to know what scent or other factor a dog may be reacting to.   

The bloodhounds supposedly sniffed scents (PLURAL) taken from the Leahy anthrax letter.  No one knows what kind of scents were extracted from the Leahy letter by the STU-100 vacuum device.  They don't know how many different scents there were on the envelope or to whom or what the scents belonged.    The anthrax letters had been dropped in a mailbox, then transported to a post office, then run through postal machines, mixed with countless other letters, and handled by an unknown number of people, before the Leahy letter was finally recovered by the FBI. 

For all that we humans know, the dogs could have been reacting to machine oil or wool clothing or a type of shoe leather or paper fibers or a brand of shampoo. 

While many others in the FBI totally disagreed with him, senior FBI agent Richard Lambert was evidently convinced that Dr. Hatfill was the anthrax mailer.  Lambert was apparently grasping at straws in an attempt to find evidence to support his belief (much as DXer is doing today in trying to show al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks).  Special Agent Lambert's "dog evidence" was pure crap.  Many others in the FBI knew it was pure crap.  The fact that Lambert relied upon crap didn't change the fact that it was crap.

And now DXer wants that crap "evidence" to be used as exculpatory evidence proving Bruce Ivins was innocent.  That is just plain ridiculous.

The GAO is undoubtedly aware that the bloodhounds didn't react to Ivins when they were searching for a scent taken from the Leahy anthrax letter.  All it means is that the dogs probably weren't looking for Ivins' scent.  No one knows what scent they were looking for, since the bloodhounds reacted to both Patricia Fellows and Steven Hatfill.

And no one cares.  It was an investigative avenue that went nowhere

Whether something is true or not is not affected by how strongly someone believes it.  SA Lambert evidently believed all the conspiracy theorists who were pointing at Dr. Hatfill as being the anthrax mailer.  Lambert was under extreme pressure to find the anthrax mailer.  The bloodhounds provided him with some hope that he'd found some useable evidence to help prove that Dr. Hatfill was the anthrax killer.

SA Lambert evidently clung to that hope until he transferred off the case and was replaced by SA Edward Montooth. 

It's difficult to figure out exactly what DXer is thinking when he endlessly argues about the bloodhound "evidence." But, this morning I see a whole new string of rants on the subject.  Whatever he is trying to do, he is trying very hard to do it.


Late yesterday, DXer also ranted about polygraph tests.  Here is his recommendation:

The FBI should rely more on hard science that has been proved by repeated, controlled experiments in peer-reviewed literature. Lead bullet analysis and hair analysis are just of the many fields that have led to false convictions.

Using the best possible methods not only helps avoid false convictions but helps make sure the perpetrator is caught — and the threat neutralized.

Duh!  Unfortunately, in our real world we don't have control over what evidence is found.  And investigations are done by human beings who often make mistakes.  Early in an investigation you can have ten different investigators with ten different theories of who did it.  And each can have his or her own reasons for believing what they believe.  But, the system doesn't work on beliefs.  It works on evidence.  And, gradually over a period of years, the evidence in the Amerithrax investigation began to point to Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins as being the anthrax killer.   Evidence that was initially ignored was reevaluated and added to the pile.  Example: Testimony from Nancy Haigwood.  And scientific areas where there seemed no hope of finding evidence turned out to provide some of the best evidence.  Example: Microbial Forensics.

DXer is evidently grasping at straws in hopes of finding some way to convince people that he knows "the truth" and that the FBI was wrong.  Trying to argue that the bloodhound "evidence" is somehow exculpatory of Dr. Ivins is an indicator of pure desperation.

If DXer wants to convince people that he is right and that al Qaeda operatives were actually behind the anthrax attacks of 2001, all he needs to do is provide BETTER evidence than the FBI has against Bruce Ivins.  Is that too much to ask?  Silly arguments over bloodhound evidence isn't going to convince anyone.  Complaints that the FBI isn't following investigative tracks that DXer wants them to follow isn't going to convince anyone.

If DXer believes that
Yazid Sufaat created the attack spores, that Mohammed Atta wrote the anthrax letters and that the anthrax letters were mailed by Adnan El-Shukrijumah, DXer should provide evidence to support those beliefs.  DXer should provide meaningful evidence of exactly how Yazid Sufaat obtained anthrax from flask RMR-1029 and how and where Yazid Sufaat made the spores.  DXer should explain how the handwriting on the anthrax letters matches Mohammed Atta's handwriting.  DXer should explain how it is certain Adnan El-Shukrijimah mailed the letters.  Complaining that the FBI should find the evidence for him just shows that DXer has no meaningful evidence to support his beliefs.

He's just arguing his unsupported and illogical beliefs against the solid facts found by the FBI which prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax killer.


August 26, 2014 - This morning, I see there are several more posts by "DXer" to Lew Weinstein's blog on the subject of the use of bloodhounds in the Amerithrax investigation.  I can't make much sense of any of them.  One post even says,

Amerithrax represents the greatest counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

Really?  Or did "DXer" simply forget to include the word "failure," which he typically includes when he writes such sentences?

Another comment provides a good example of how "DXer" cannot and will not explain his own arguments:

When Scott Decker in his manuscript announces the use of carbon dating as pointing to Dr. Ivins’ guilt, the skeptical reader’s reaction should be: Hunh?

Why doesn't DXer explain how Scott Decker used carbon dating in this way?  DXer not only seems incapable of explaining anything, he seems to deliberately write comments that require explaining before they make any sense.  But, more likely he's just trying to say he has read Scott Decker's unpublished manuscript, and if anyone wants to know what DXer is talking about, that person should read Decker's manuscript, too.   Until then, DXer's comment will remain unchallenged. 

This is probably yesterday's most ridiculous comment by DXer:

Like the other science used in Amerithrax — to include the analysis of the ink, paper, toner, photocopier tracks, hair, fiber, digital forensics , chemical analysis of Flask 1029 etc, the evidence tended to be EXCULPATORY of Dr. Bruce Ivins.

There might be something genuinely interesting about bloodhound evidence in the files that DXer mentions, but none of it relates to the case against Bruce Ivins.  DXer's absurd rantings about such things being "EXCULPATORY of Dr. Bruce Ivins" change nothing.  So, there doesn't seem to be any reason to try to decipher any more of DXer's gibberish.  He's evidently just on another one of his incomprehensible rants. 

August 25, 2014 - It's difficult to be certain, but I seem to be having another indirect discussion with the conspiracy theorist/True Believer known as "DXer," where he posts his arguments to Lew Weinstein's blog, and I post my arguments here on my site. 

In yesterday's comment, I pointed out that the bloodhounds used during the Amerithrax investigation had nothing to do with the case against Bruce Ivins.  The bloodhounds were used in an investigation of a different "person of interest," Steven Hatfill.  Later in the day, DXer posted what appears to be a response.  I can't be certain it is a response, because it says nothing about my earlier comment.  Instead, it presents what seems to be a totally different argument regarding the bloodhounds.  Only this time DXer tries to show why he believes it is related to the case against Bruce Ivins.  DXer wrote:

In her civil deposition in the Hatfill lawsuit against the United States, Virginia Patrick explained that the FBI Agents — one included Scott Decker — told her and her husband that the bloodhounds were the “smoking gun” that proved Dr. Hatfill was behind the anthrax mailings.
...

In the living room, agents told them they knew Hatfill was the mailer because of the “smoking gun” evidence. The entire news-reading world would soon know what the FBI suspected and what it claimed as the “smoking gun.”

She knew that the bloodhounds — who arrived just 5 minutes from when one of the agents called — had been waiting nearby. She describes the demonstration as involving someone with a handkerchief and taking it behind a tree — and then the bloodhound finding the agent.
...

This supposed “smoking gun” evidence pointed AWAY from Bruce Ivins.

The deposition of Virginia Patrick (the wife of William Patrick III) can be viewed by clicking HERE to access a pdf file, and then going to page 208 in that file.

Reading the deposition, the first thing that becomes clear is that it is unclear if the FBI agents ever actually used the term "smoking gun."  Steven Hatfill's lawyer, Tom Connolly, asked a question answered by Virginia Patrick,

Q.  Did the FBI agents say to you words to the effect that the FBI had smoking gun evidence to demonstrate that Dr. Hatfill was the anthrax killer.

A.  Yes.

Hatfill's lawyer uses the term "smoking gun" over and over.   During the meeting with the FBI, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick did not accept that bloodhounds were as reliable as the FBI agents were claiming.  Mrs. Patrick says she asked the FBI agents,

if this really proves that Steven did this why don't you arrest him
 
But, she doesn't recall what their response was.

The idea that the bloodhounds had provided "smoking gun" evidence is so ridiculous that no one believes it, then or now.  DXer seems to be merely using it as some kind of desperate claim that it points away from Dr. Ivins.  But, it doesn't really point anywhere.  It's  just nonsense.  So, the question really is: Why did the FBI agents say such a thing?

Back on July 3, 2005, I wrote a long comment about the deposition of Virginia Patrick.  As part of that comment, I wrote:

To me, the incident is further evidence that the real purpose for having the bloodhounds sniff around various locations was to determine where Dr. Hatfill had and had not been during the period when the FBI had lost their tail on him.  If Dr. Hatfill had visited the Patricks that same day or the day before, and he gave Virginia Patrick a hug, he could have left enough of his scent on her for the bloodhounds to detect it.

It seems certain that, on July 31 and August 1, 2002, FBI agents were trying to find out if Hatfill had visited the Patricks during the period where the FBI had lost their tail on Hatfill.   At the time, the conspiracy theorists who were out to lynch Dr. Hatfill for the anthrax attacks considered Bill Patrick to be a possibly accomplice.  And, during that 2002 trip to Louisiana to interview for a job, Dr. Hatfill had apparently ditched the FBI's tail on him on the morning of July 31.  (Dr. Hatfill told me on the phone that ditching the FBI at that Denny's restaurant in Louisiana was "unintentional".)   To the FBI, when a suspect ditches his tail, that can be viewed as a serious indicator of guilt.  But, more importantly at the time, if there had been another anthrax attack after the FBI lost their tail on Dr. Hatfill, it would have been disasterous to the FBI.  It could have literally destroyed the FBI.

It seems obvious that the FBI gave the Patricks a line of bull about the bloodhounds as a way of getting them to let the bloodhounds sniff around their property without a search warrant.  They were looking for Hatfill's scent.  The FBI agents probably also wanted to make it clear to the Patricks that if they assisted Hatfill in any way, they might be tried as accomplices to whatever criminal acts Dr. Hatfill had committed or might commit.

There was no new anthrax attack during the time Hatfill wasn't being tailed by the FBI.  The bloodhounds did NOT provide any "smoking gun" evidence for or against anyone.   The statements supposedly made by the FBI to Virginia Patrick about the bloodhounds providing "smoking gun" evidence were in no way related to the DOJ's case against Dr. Bruce Ivins.   And, anyone who suggests that the FBI agents' line of bull to the Patricks somehow points "AWAY from Bruce Ivins" is living in a fantasy world.   End of story.

August 24, 2014 - Last week, for reasons that he almost certainly cannot and will not explain, "DXer" started posting bizarre and meaningless comments about bloodhound evidence on Lew Weinstein's blog.  For example, this morning he posted this:

Is there a canine deployment sheet(s) for Dr. Ivins? How many deployments were there as to all subjects. What percentage of those deployments resulted in alerts?

And this is from a few days ago:

The mailed letters were used as the scent article. At Denny’s were the dogs alerting to olive oil used in connection with the mailed letters? Denny’s sells french fries.

French fries prepared in olive oil?  Yech!  The comment continued with this:

The bloodhounds were an important scientific method used in Amerithrax that served to seriously derail the investigation even though the method had never been validated.

Wha...?  Here's another example of DXer's comments about bloodhounds last week:

In its report, GAO should set forth the facts relating to the FBI’s reliance on the bloodhounds and STU-100.

WHY!!???   I did some research and found that the STU-100 is a like a handy-vac designed specifically for forensic work:

The Scent Transfer Unit (STU-100) was specifically designed for Forensic Specialists, Investigators, Evidence Response Teams, Identification Departments and Scent Dog Handlers. The Scent Transfer Unit allows law enforcement to collect evidence from any item without destroying fingerprints on the item, collect trace evidence at a crime scene without contamination, collect scent evidence from hard to access places not accessible to a search dog and gives law enforcement a scent pad to store in scent banks for future use on repeat offenders

STU-100

There is absolutely NO bloodhound evidence in the DOJ's case against Bruce Ivins.  

The word "bloodhound" does not appear anywhere in the Amerithrax investigative summary.  Nor does the word "scent."  Yet, DXer inexplicably posted this:

What specific additional sourcing exists that the bloodhounds were “trained specifically to sniff out RMR-1029.” How would that be attempted? The FBI Agents should explain the method they relied upon for all those years in support of its “FBI’s Theory.” With 60 additional Scent Transfer Units purchased by the FBI in 2010 or so, if we don’t learn from mistakes, we are bound to repeat them.

I did a Google search for the quote "trained specifically to sniff out RMR-1029” and was surprised to find it came from The Washington Post.  In her review of David Willman's book "The Mirage Man," Dina Temple-Raston wrote:

Willman writes that the FBI felt it had an unassailable source: a team of bloodhounds from Southern California. They had been trained specifically to sniff out RMR-1029.

The problem is: David Willman wrote no such thing in his book.  At least not that I can find.  (Bloodhounds aren't listed in the index, but they are mentioned on page 172.)  The comment DXer relies upon seems to be some kind of bizarre misunderstanding by Dina Temple- Raston.   Most of the time, the bloodhounds were looking for Steven Hatfill's scent.  Other times, the bloodhounds were looking for a human scent extracted from the envelopes after the envelopes had been irradiated.  Training bloodhounds to sniff out anthrax from RMR-1029 would be STUPID beyond belief, since trying to find anthrax spores by using a bloodhound would also mean that the bloodhound would probably die of anthrax if it found any.

I also did some quick research into the STU-100 Scent Transfer Unit and found an FBI web page which provides all the information that anyone probably needs to know about the subject.  Here are a couple paragraphs:

The use of the STU-100 has been controversial in several court proceedings. A review of defense expert witness testimonies and the subsequent appellate court decisions highlight the misunderstanding of human-scent evidence (California vs. Flores 2000; California vs. Willis 2002; California vs. Willis 2004).

In one testimony, a defense expert in veterinary medicine testified, “We don’t know what human scent is” (California vs. Flores 2000). Yet in a later testimony, this same expert stated the method to clean scent from the STU-100, “does not remove all of the odors reliably by any means.” That he had never seen the STU-100 before the day of this testimony did not deter the expert from opining, “It’s going to collect a sample that has an unknown degree of contamination” (California vs. Willis 2002). These types of unsupported opinions have cast an inaccurate and negative light on a very useful tool. The notion that a scent pad collected by any means contains only one scent is not realistic. That multiple scents on a scent article render a positive outcome useless has been scientifically proven wrong. All scent collection methods will create pads with blended odors. Because human scent is easily transferred, a positive trail or identification resulting from any scent article only shows a relationship to that article and must be verified and corroborated through other investigative means.

And here's the conclusion drawn by the authors of the FBI article:

Used with discretion, the information gained from human-scent-discriminating dogs can be a valuable tool for law enforcement. The ability of these dogs to establish a connection between people and crime scene evidence has been demonstrated through scientific study, practical experience, and confirmed criminal case results.

However, in the world of conspiracy theorists and True Believers, it appears that unless something can be certified as 100% reliable and 100% accurate, then it is totally and completely worthless.  And even if a device like the STU-100 had absolutely NOTHING to do with the DOJ's case against Bruce Ivins, it seems the mere fact that the FBI used one during the course of the investigation somehow proves something to the Anthrax Truthers.  What it proves, they cannot explain.

It's just more of their inexplicable, screwball nonsense.

Bloodhounds have been used to track scents for hundreds of years.  Are they 100% accurate?  Probably not.  But they are still the best tool available for the work they do.  

In another ridiculous post last week, DXer wrote this on a different subject:

Armed with additional exemplars of Atta’s handwriting, GAO has the expertise in-house to make its own comparison of the handwriting.

I have obtained from USAMRIID and uploaded numerous samples of Dr. Ivins’ handwriting — which looks nothing like the mailed anthrax letters.

Why on earth would the GAO "make its own comparison of the handwriting" on the anthrax letters versus Mohammed Atta's handwriting?  Should it be done just because DXer continues to believe that Muslim terrorists were behind the anthrax attacks?   In another post last week, DXer wrote:

I have suggested that Atta’s friend, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, was the mailer of the Fall 2001 anthrax letters. He was with Atta in Florida when immigration forms were filled out. The GAO should obtain and state the conclusion of the FBI’s handwriting expert who compared Shukrijumah’s handwriting with the Fall 2001 letters. That same examiner concluded that Dr. Ivins probably did not write the letters.

Anyone should be able to clearly see that Mohammed Atta's handwriting does NOT match the handwriting on the anthrax letters.  The only people who wouldn't be able to see that would be people who are obsessed with a theory that Mohammed Atta wrote the letters and/or people who cannot comprehend basic handwriting analysis.  Besides, Adnan El-Shukrijumah was almost certainly in Afghanistan at the time of the mailings. 

The GAO's job isn't to second guess the FBI's investigation and do an amateur criminal investigation of their own.  That would be unbelievably stupid and irresponsible.   Here's what the GAO says about their responsibilities on their web site:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
...

Our Mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.

The primary job of the GAO is to look for waste and inefficiency in the government.

Did the FBI waste money during their investigation of the anthrax attacks of 2001?  Probably.  But, that doesn't mean it was "waste" that can be corrected by some finding by GAO accountants.  Perhaps, while doing a criminal investigation, the FBI shouldn't investigate everyone who might be responsible for a crime, they should investigate only the person who was actually responsible for the crime.  That would definitely save the taxpayers a lot of money.  Of course, if the GAO knows how to do that, they would need to explain as part of their findings the technique the FBI should use to investigate only guilty people.  However, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that kind of "finding."

It's hard to imagine what the GAO will recommend in its review of Amerithrax.  They certainly will not recommend that the case be re-opened and that al Qaeda be blamed until it can be proved that al Qaeda was NOT responsible.  Nor will the GAO recommend that the FBI consult with conspiracy theorists on all controversial cases.

I'm looking forward to reading the GAO's review.   I'm also looking forward to the reactions from the conspiracy theorists and True Believers when the review doesn't show what they want it to show.   But I already know what the conspiracy theorists will be saying.  They'll be saying that, because the GAO's report didn't show the FBI was wrong about who mailed the anthrax letters, that proves there's a government conspiracy going on, and the GAO is just another part of that vast government conspiracy.

Hiring Conspirators
Updates & Changes: Sunday, August 17, 2014, thru Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 22, 2014 - On Wednesday, I felt in the mood to read another thriller.  I was specifically interested in reading
"Two for the Dough," the 2nd book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.   I'd already read the first and 3rd book in the series, and the 3rd book contained matters which seemed to indicate it would be more enjoyable for me if I read the Stephanie Plum books in sequence.  For example, in the first book, a character named "Lula" was a prostitute who provided Plum with some information to track down a bail skipper.  In the third book, Lula worked as a file clerk for the same bail bondsman that Plum worked for.  How did that transition come about?

I didn't have a copy of "Two for the Dough," and neither did my library.  At least they didn't have it on-line in e-book form.  So, after lunch on Wednesday I decided I'd drive the 5 miles to the actual library to see if they had it available in paper form.  But first, I thought I'd try a local used book store that's not very far from where I live.

I couldn't believe it.  My jaw literally dropped open.  They had only one Stephanie Plum novel on their shelves, and it was a paperback edition of "Two for the Dough."  It was like Fate, or a Sign.  So, I bought it for 89 cents.

I just finished reading it.  Another enjoyable read.  I have a copy of the 7th book in the series, and numbers 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.  But, I need to find #4 to read next.  That could take awhile.  So, either I'll read another Jack Reacher novel, or one of the other thrillers I have available, by authors such as Jonathan Kellerman, Robert B. Parker, Brad Thor, Craig Johnson and Kathy Reichs.  Or I'll work on my own novel and start the second draft.  Reading "Die Trying" and "Two for the Dough" hopefully gave me some insights into how to make the characters in my book more interesting.

But, first I need to start working on Sunday's comment.  Lew Weinstein seems to be on a real rant against the FBI.  His latest absurdity:

FBI had, then tossed anthrax type … but they still insist Ivins was the one … they have no case … first they were stupid, then arrogant

And "DXer" is ranting incomprehensibly about bloodhounds and handwriting, displaying a total ignorance of evidence that he's never displayed so well and thoroughly before. 

Unless something more worthwhile pops up, I'll probably write something about those screwball posts in my Sunday comment.      


August 21, 2014 - I noticed that "DXer" posted this comment early this morning:

Amerithrax represents the greatest lapse in counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

I found it interesting because of the comment "DXer" wrote less than 3 weeks ago:

In order to encourage the FBI and DOJ to provide documents under FOIA in response to long pending document requests, I will ask Lew that this blog no longer use the phrase “dropped ball” or “biggest counterintelligence analysis failure in US history.”

Maybe DXer thinks that "greatest lapse in counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States" is totally different from "biggest counterintelligence analysis failure in US history."

Or maybe someone realized that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for DXer to ask Lew Weinstein to stop using a term on his blog that only DXer uses.  It makes even less sense than almost everything else they post.  Check out this statement from Lew:

The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline. The real questions are why the FBI persists in sticking to such a pathetic story and why it is taking GAO so long to issue its report?

Mr. Weinstein seems very anxious to read a report that will almost certainly support nothing he believes about the Amerithrax investigation. 

I'm also interested in reading the GAO review of Amerithrax.  But, I'm not pacing the floor and yelling at the walls because the GAO isn't doing it as quickly as I want it done, which is what Mr. Weinstein seems to be doing.  If he's upset now, imagine how upset he'll be when the review actually comes out. 

I strongly suspect that the GAO review will be released around the 13th anniversary of the anthrax attacks -- which would be sometime between September 18, when the first letters were postmarked, and October 5, when the first victim died.  That seems the "appropriate" time.  Even if the review was already finished and printed, I'd probably wait until then to release it.  With all the terrible things in the news these days about beheadings, a Middle East war, riots in the streets, ebola outbreaks, floods and fires, no one but a few die-hard Truthers and followers of the case would even notice if it was released today.  People might not notice on the anniversary of the attacks, either.  But, at that time the media will likely be looking for something related to the anthrax attacks to write about.  And the GAO review would provide them with something to write about.

That's the way I'd do it.     

August 20, 2014 - I spent the past two days reading "Die Trying" by Lee Child, the second book in his Jack Reacher series. That didn't give me much time to do anything else.  I read the library book on my Kindle, where it is supposedly 577 pages.  I read 32% on Monday and finished it at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, which included reading for ½ hour while on the treadmill and for 20 minutes while on the exercycle at the health club.

It's kind of a preposterous story, but enjoyable nonetheless.  Jack Reacher just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (or right place at the right time) when radical Right Wing extremists planning to set up their own independent country in Montana, kidnap the daughter of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (an FBI agent who also happens to be the President's goddaughter).  Jack Reacher is kidnapped with her. 

Writing a comment about this book isn't entirely off topic.  At one point, Jack Reacher gets into a debate with a conspiracy theorist who thinks the U.S. government is corrupt and evil, and that government agents plan to control everyone by putting microchips in their brains.  So, Reacher tries to get the guy to talk about other governments:

     “You liked their systems?” Reacher asked.
     “What systems?” Ray asked back.
     “Their governments,” Reacher said. “Their laws, their liberties, all that stuff.”
     Ray looked mystified. “Never noticed,” he said. “Never paid any attention.”
     “So how do you know they’re better than ours?” Reacher asked.
     “Who says they’re better?” Ray said.
     “You do,” Reacher said. “Last night you were telling me how bad it is here in America. Got to be better everywhere else, right?”
     Ray shook his head. “I never told you that,” he said.
     “So is it or isn’t it?” Reacher asked.
     “I don’t know,” Ray said. “Probably. Lot of things wrong with America.”
     Reacher nodded. “Lot of things,” he said. “I agree with you. But I’ll tell you something. It’s better in America than everyplace else. I know, because I’ve been everyplace else. Everyplace else is worse. A lot worse. Lot of things wrong in America, but plenty more things wrong everyplace else. You guys should think about that.”
     Ray looked across through the gloom. “You think we’re wrong?” he asked.
     Reacher nodded. “I know you’re wrong,” he said. “For certain. All that stuff you were telling me is bullshit. All of it. It’s not happening.”
     “It is happening,” Ray said. “Beau says so.”
     “Think about it, Joe,” Reacher said. “You were in the service. You saw how it all operated. You think those guys could organize all that stuff and keep it a secret? They ever even give you a pair of boots the right size?”
     Ray laughed. “Not hardly,” he said.
     “Right,” Reacher said. “So if they can’t organize your damn boots, how can they organize all this other stuff Beau is talking about? What about these transmitters hidden in all the new cars? You think Detroit can do all that stuff? They’d be recalling them all because they didn’t work right. You a gambling man, Joe?”
     “Why?” he asked.
     “What are the odds?” Reacher said. “Against they could organize a huge massive conspiracy like that and keep it all a secret for years and years?”
     A slow smile spread across Ray’s face and Reacher saw that he was losing. Like talking to the wall. Like teaching a chimpanzee to read.
     “But they haven’t kept it a secret,” Ray said triumphantly. “We found out about it. I told you, Beau’s got the proof. He’s got the documents. It’s not a secret at all. That’s why we’re here. Beau’s right, no doubt about it. He’s a smart guy.”
     Reacher closed his eyes and sighed.

Since there doesn't appear to be any way to get an anthrax truther or conspiracy theorist into any kind of intelligent discussion, I might try writing some fictional discussions for this blog.   While I can't imagine them intelligently discussion their beliefs, I can imagine how such a discussion would go if they didn't just walk away or launch a personal attack when their beliefs are shown to be nonsense.

August 17, 2014 - I can't just keep showing - week after week - how absurd the beliefs and opinions of Anthrax Truthers are.  It not only gets repetitious, but it might also start causing people to start feeling sorry for the Anthrax Truthers because I'm always "picking on" them.
Picking on Truthers

However, I've seen no news about exactly when the GAO (General Accountability Office) will be releasing its review of the Amerithrax investigation (although everyone is hoping it will be next month or the month after).  And it'll probably be more than a month before there's any further news on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which also has a lot of conspiracy theorists waiting to say, "I told you so!"

So, there's not much to write about today that's "on topic."

I don't know if anyone really cares or not that I've finished the first draft of my second sci-fi novel.  It didn't reach the minimum of 40,000 words needed to be classified as a "novel" and not a "novella," but I shouldn't have any problem reaching and surpassing that number in the second draft.  Here are the statistics for the first draft:

Chapter  Pages   Pgs total   words   wds total        Start
   1       8          8       1738      1738         June 15
   2      10         18       2060      3798         June 17
   3       7         25       1571      5369         June 17
   4      10         35       2348      7717         June 18
   5       8         43       1750      9467         July 27
   6       9         52       1840     11307         July 27
   7       8         60       1581     12888         July 28
   8       8         68       1667     14555         July 30
   9       8         76       1576     16131         July 30
  10       7         83       1427     17558         July 31
  11       7         90       1371     18929         Aug. 1
  12       8         98       1591     20520         Aug. 3
  13       9        107       1871     22391         Aug. 3
  14       9        116       1786     24177         Aug. 6
  15       9        125       1951     26128         Aug. 7
  16       9        134       1850     27978         Aug. 7
  17       8        142       1708     29686         Aug. 8
  18       7        149       1498     31184         Aug. 8
  19       8        157       1687     32871         Aug. 10
  20      10        167       2095     34966         Aug. 11
  21       6        173       1304     36270         Aug. 12

I may totally rewrite the last chapter before I even start thinking about beginning the second draft.  The crime is solved in chapter 20.  Chapter 21 is just about what happens to the main characters after the crime is solved.  They don't ride off into the sunset.  Nor does the book end with a kiss.  It ends with the main characters trying to put their personal lives back on track after they've done their good deed for the day.

However,
I feel I need more character development in the rest of the book in order to make the last chapter satisfying to the reader.   So, rewriting that last chapter will be like writing the answer to a question before I really know what the question is.  But, once I've got a good ending, it usually becomes relatively easy to go back to change events and steer discussions and personal interactions toward the ending I've already written.

My three main characters might be called "geeks."  But, they're not like the "geeks" in the TV series "The Big Bang Theory."  The female "geek" is more like Temperance Brennan (as played by Emily Deschanel) in the TV series "Bones."
  Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthrophologist.  My female lead is a physicist.  My female lead's father is a "geek" somewhat like Albert Einstein.  And, the male lead (Kyle Rawlins) is a "geek" very similar to Clark Kent, except Kyle uses brain not brawn as his "super power."  Plus, a secret invention created by the other two members of the "geek" team gives all three of them an ability to turn into super-detectives. 

I've got a quote from the book
"Geek Wisdom" that I keep wanting to use in a comment on his web site.  I might as well use it here and now to show that Galileo Galilei was a "geek" who was more interested in what the facts meant than in what powerful and important people believed:

Never mind that there are geometric shapes in mineral crystals, fractals in vegetables, chaotic equations in weather patterns. We get all that. Galileo was onto something even deeper: the idea that nature itself could be read and encapsulated as a book or any other comprehensible source of information, rather than simply elided as beyond human understanding. This, of course, is what got him into trouble with the Catholic Church, which positioned itself as the defending champion in the age-old contest of the spirit versus reason—or, more precisely, politics versus facts. There is that indefinable something in the geek nature that rejects such distinctions as a false dichotomy, insisting that reason informs the spirit and politics should be rooted in facts. Sadly, society just isn’t that rational, as Galileo discovered after his prosecution and lifelong house arrest by the Inquisition. Yet it was Galileo’s geekish insistence that he was right, and his willingness to die to prove his rightness—and, mind you, the fact that he was right, which matters—that helped make the world a safer place for proper geekery. For this, as much as for his scientific accomplishments, he should be celebrated.

"Geeks" can be annoying and difficult to deal with.  I gave up on watching "Bones" after the third or during the fourth season, largely because Temperence Brennan never seemed to be able to learn anything about how non-geeks view the world.  I tried watching "The Big Bang Theory" when the first episode aired in 2007, but I just couldn't get into it.  I generally don't like "laugh track" comedy shows, particularly if all the characters seem to do is shoot one-liner jokes at one another.  "The Big Bang Theory" falls somewhat into that category.

But, it's also the #1 comedy series on TV.  And, one of the ebooks I recently borrowed from my local library is "The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke."   Here's some info about that book:

This book mines the deep thinking of some of history's most potent philosophical minds to explore your most pressing questions about The Big Bang Theory and its nerdy genius characters. You might find other philosophy books on science and cosmology, but only this one refers to Darth Vader Force-chokes, cloning Leonard Nimoy, and oompa-loompa-like engineers. Fo-shizzle.

  • Gives you irresistibly geek-worthy insights on your favorite Big Bang Theory characters, story lines, and ideas
  • Examines important themes involving ethics and virtue, science, semiotics, religion, and the human condition
  • Brings the thinking of some of the world's greatest philosophers to bear on The Big Bang Theory, from Aristotle and Plato to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Simone de Beauvoir, and more

The book is actually kind of interesting.  In some ways, it seems to be much more about psychology than philosophy.   I've been reading it during breakfast and lunch (except for last Thursday and Friday, when I decided to read another "
Stephanie Plum" thriller.  I turned off my computer and read for hours at a time, including while on the exercycle at the gym.  "Three to Get Deadly," by Janet Evanovich, was a very enjoyable read).

To complicate (or maybe simplify) matters, last weekend Best Buy had Season 1 of "The Big Bang Theory" in DVD format on sale.  I couldn't resist.   So, I bought the set for $16.99 (that's $1 per episode!).   So far, I've watched 5 episodes:

The Pilot episode
The Big Bran Hypothesis
The Fuzzy Boots Corollary
The Luminous Fish Effect
The Hamburger Postulate
 
The series is actually "growing" on me.  I'm starting to enjoy watching it.  (But, not enough to buy additional seasons.  And I don't do any "binge watching," which I'm tempted to comment further about, since it seems to be a relatively new 'phenomenon" in which some of my relatives appear to indulge.)

So, summing up the past week: I finished the first draft of my second sci-fi novel, but I may need to rewrite the last chapter before starting the second draft.  I'll probably need to do a lot of thinking about character development (and make a lot of notes about ideas) before I actually start working on the second draft.  And, I may read another Stephanie Plum novel (and/or a Jack Reacher novel) before starting on the second draft.  One way to learn how to create more interesting characters is to study how the pros do it.

So much to do, so little time to do it all.  But, it's all stuff I thoroughly enjoy.  Plus, I don't have any deadlines, and I don't have anyone demanding that I finish any of it. 

Updates & Changes: Sunday, August 10, 2014, thru Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 14, 2014 - There must have been over 60 junk email messages in my inbox this morning.  I can put 2 and 2 together and figure that it's retribution for blocking those Chinese spammer sites (see my Aug. 5 comment), but the two happenings probably have no connection to one another.  

The same can be said for the anthrax hoax letters they've been getting in Durban, South Africa.   According to one news source:

Fifteen people, including five police officers, were treated in hospital on Wednesday for possible anthrax contamination after coming into contact with an envelope containing suspicious white powder.

and

In 2001 former mayor Obed Mlaba called in the National Intelligence Agency to investigate anthrax scares that brought to a virtual standstill the Durban office of the provincial Department of Education, Durban central post office and the Umbilo post office. Forty-two people were examined and seven quarantined after they handled envelopes containing white powder, feared to be anthrax.

There are several different ways to put 2 and 2 together to connect those hoaxes with the anthrax attacks of 2001, but I don't see any solid reason to believe any of the possible connections.  I'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists.

Meanwhile, I've been discussing some medical news from Great Britain.  It doesn't have anything to do with anthrax, but I found it interesting none-the-less.  Most people seem to accept that John Travolta did the right thing in the 1994 movie "Pulp Fiction," when he gave Uma Thurman a shot of adrenalin (a.k.a. epinephrine) directly into her heart after her heart stopped beating.  However, it now looks like that particular medical procedure might do more harm than good.  Yesterday's news reports said they were going to do a study in the UK to see whether "doing nothing" is better than giving the victim a shot of adrenalin.   The discussion I had was about the idea of giving adrenaline versus doing "nothing."  No one is going to choose getting adrenaline versus the doctors doing "nothing."

However, according to a news source I found this morning:

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is one of a number of ambulance trusts taking part in a new health trial, which will see paramedics giving cardiac arrest patients a placebo containing salt water instead of the standard injection of adrenalin, before carrying out CPR.

Ah!  The original news stories just didn't explain things well.  Giving the victim a shot of adrenaline is just one step in the first responder procedure for treating heart attack victims.  According to another source:    

There will be advertising campaigns telling patients how to opt out if they wish.

Around 50,000 people in Britain suffer a cardiac arrest outside hospital every year and only around six per cent survive.

Adrenaline injections have been given as part of CPR since the 1960s, but recently doubts have been raised over their effectiveness.

and

“We know that a number of survivors of cardiac arrest suffer from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. Developments in brain imaging are now suggesting that the use of adrenaline, whilst helping to restart the heart, may cause more harm than good, as it is known to cause brain damage in a number of cases."

He [Trust medical director, Dr Andy Carson] said CPR and defibrillation would still be used as normal in the treatment of cardiac arrest and patients with other conditions requiring adrenaline, such as anaphylaxis, would continue to receive the adrenaline that they need.

He added: "Equally, this study won’t alter the care of patients with heart attacks, as adrenaline is not used in their treatment.

It's another example of the need to wait for a day or so for more news, instead of trying to figure out what the first reports are actually saying.  No one is going to "opt out" of getting adrenaline if the alternative is for the doctors or medics to do "nothing."  But, if giving a shot of adrenaline is just the standard first step in caring for a heart attack victim, and if it appears that that "first step" might do more harm than good, then omitting that "first step" makes a certain amount of sense.  

However, now it seems unclear what you are "opting out" of when you "opt out" of the test.  Does it mean the first reponders will give you adrenaline?  Or does it mean you  "opt out" of getting the shot, regardless of whether it is adrenaline or the placebo?  I guess I'll have to read more news reports to see if those questions are answered.

August 12, 2014 - Last night and this morning, "DXer" posted two more messages using the same argument that Truthers have been voicing for years: The FBI was wrong in relying on evidence they found!  They should depend up evidence that they did not find and can't even be certain really exists!  That's what we Anthrax Truthers do!

Of course, DXer and the other Truthers didn't phrase it exactly that way.   They said:

Another issue is the FBI’s method for collecting anthrax samples from U.S. and foreign labs to narrow the suspect list. Because the samples were subpoenaed and couldn’t be seized for multiple reasons, critics have said their submission amounted to an honor system in which the killer would have no incentive to participate.

and

What if the anthrax terrorist(s) got rid of their left-over anthrax the same day they got through mailing it? 

After the crime had been committed, would the anthrax terrorist(s) keep some weaponized anthrax hanging around just in case the FBI might want to test it?

The evidence the FBI found points to Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins as being the anthrax killer.  Yes, it is possible that imaginary evidence they did not find might point to Lord Voldemort as being the anthrax killer.  But it's really up to each Anthrax Truther to personally try to make a solid evidentiary case against their favorite villain.  When Anthrax Truthers expect the FBI to make their case for them, that is definitely one fantasy too many.    

August 11, 2014 (B) - This afternoon, DXer posted another message to Lew Weinstein's blog that seems to be another argument that the
FBI’s genetic analysis of the possible sources for the Ames was "hopelessly flawed from the start."  He quoted an article by Scott Shane in the February 22, 2002 issue of the Baltimore Sun.  The article says,

Staff at Fort Detrick, records at Dugway draw new interest
25 sites have had spores

and

But even as investigators pursued possible links between military research and the anthrax-laced letters, they were learning of more laboratories that have had the Ames strain of anthrax used in the attacks. At last count, 25 such labs were identified, including facilities in at least five foreign countries - and investigators think there are more, said sources familiar with the work.

What the post shows is that DXer isn't really interested in finding out whether any of these claims are true.  He's only interested in showing that people had opinions and beliefs that there were more than just three laboratories outside of the United States and fifteen inside the U.S. that had the Ames strain in 2001.  And assuming those beliefs and claims are true, that means the FBI didn't find them all.  Therefore, it's possible that al Qaeda somehow obtained a sample of Ames anthrax from somewhere and used it in the attacks.  He has no evidence and no facts to support such a belief.  He just has claims, beliefs and opinions.   But,  that's more than enough for him to continue arguing against the facts and evidence forever and ever.

August 11, 2104 (A) - Since I'm trying to write a novel while at the same time arguing about the anthrax attacks, I may sometimes avoid doing research on tedious anthrax questions posed by the Anthrax Truther "DXer."  I did that yesterday when I simply wrote that a 2002 article by Italian scientists mentioned the anthrax attacks.  I simply implied that the Italian study began after the anthrax attacks, so there was no reason to believe that Italian scientists had a sample of the Ames strain prior to the anthrax attacks. 

This morning I awoke wondering if the article actually stated where the Italian scientists got their sample of Ames anthrax.  Reading it, I see it says on page 5 that they used

the Florida isolate (the Ames-derived strain of the letter-based attack in Florida in 2001; GenBank accession number AE011190).

The Florida isolate?  Following the link, I found that they used Bacillus anthracis Ames A2012, and according to the National Institute of Health:

This strain was isolated from one of the patients in the bioterror attacks in Florida in 2001. 

Ah!  Okay.   It was Ames anthrax, but their sample wasn't obtained from USAMRIID or Porton Down.  It was obtained from Bacillus anthracis bacteria taken from the body of Bob Stevens, the first identified victim of the anthrax attacks of 2001.   That should make it clear to everyone that the Italian scientists did not have Ames prior to the attacks.  They indirectly obtained their sample from a victim of the attacks.

Meanwhile, DXer now seems to be trying to argue that USAMRIID was supplying Ames to anyone who asked for it.  And he uses as his source a November 25, 2001 article from The Washington Post which says:

Martin Hugh-Jones, an anthrax expert at Louisiana State University who maintains a global database of anthrax outbreaks for the World Health Organization, concurred that it was relatively simple in the past to obtain anthrax cultures from USAMRIID.

“They kept the stuff there, and if you needed a culture, you called up Art” — Col. Arthur Friedlander, USAMRIID’s senior military research scientist, Hugh-Jones said.

In court, that's called 'hearsay."  It's what Martin Hugh-Jones believed and the way he interpreted things.  He implies that anyone could get a supply of Ames if they wanted it.  But, Professor Martin Hugh-Jones had no personal knowledge of how many labs actually contacted Colonel Friedlander to obtain a sample.  That was left to the FBI to figure out.  It turned out to be 15 labs in the U.S. and 3 outside of the U.S.

August 10, 2014 (B) - Hmm.  DXer on Lew Weinstein's blog evidently read my (A) comment for this morning, since he just posted a quote from an article by Peter J. Brown in the February 25, 2010 issue of The Asia Times that says:

The FBI says that only a small number of labs had Ames anthrax, including only three foreign labs. Yet a quick Pub Med search of papers published between 1999 and 2004 revealed Ames anthrax was studied in at least Italy, France, the UK, Israel and South Korea as well as in the US. By failing to identify all labs with access to Ames, the FBI managed to exclude potential domestic and foreign perpetrators;

The first question that comes to mind is:  Between 1999 and 2004?  I wouldn't be surprised if everybody and his brother was trying to study the Ames strain after it made the news in late 2001.  But, where are these articles and what are their actual dates?  Just show me ONE published prior to 2002 that involves work done with Ames in Italy, France, Israel or South Korea.

The L.A. Times article seems to be dedicated to reporting on what people believe, what they claim, and the screwball theories they might have that contradict the FBI findings.

I just did a PubMed search for Ames+anthrax mentioned in articles published from Jan. 1, 1999 through Dec. 31, 2003, and found 15 articles.  9 of the 15 are dated in 2003 and most mention the anthrax attacks of 2001 in their abstracts.  One from 2002 was written by USAMRIID personnel.   Another from 2002 mentions the attacks and appears to have been written by scientists at the CDCA third article from 2002 was written by scientists in Rome, Italy, and also mentions the anthrax attacks.   An article from 2001 was written by USAMRIID personnel.  An article from 1999 seems to be written by British scientists.  And the 15th article was written by USAMRIID personnel.

I'm not saying that there were no Italian, French, Israeli or South Korean articles mentioning Ames prior to 2002.  I'm just saying I'm not going to believe it just because some reporter with an agenda says so in The Asia Times.  Plus, I did a "quick Pub Med search" and found absoutely NO evidence to support the article's claim. 

In another post by DXer, he appears to argue that Ames went by other names.  But, the "evidence" he provides is a claim that Louisiana State University sent USAMRIID a sample sometime around 1994-1997 that they called "A0462," but which turned out to be Ames.  But, even if true, it couldn't have been from flask RMR-1029, so it wouldn't be a DNA match to the attack spores.

DXer's third and fourth posts are too convoluted and muddled to attempt to decipher.

All four posts appear to be attempts by DXer to justify his beliefs.  None holds water.


August 10, 2014 (A) - Last week, there were no new posts to my interactive blog by the Anthrax Truther who believes the anthrax letters and numerous hoax anthrax letters were all sent by a "criminal mastermind" who only he seems to be concerned about.  It must have been a big shock to learn that his "criminal mastermind" wasn't behind some of the hoax anthrax letter cases the Truther blamed him for.  Those hoax anthrax letters were actually mailed by a mentally ill loner who was not part of any criminal conspiracy.

Also last week, although the Anthrax Truther who calls himself "DXer" has indicated he wants to tone down his criticism of the FBI (see my Aug. 4, 2014 comment), he did post this comment to Lew Weinstein's blog on Friday:

DIA knew that Russia had virulent Ames. So why didn’t the FBI? The FBI’s genetic analysis was hopelessly flawed from the start because it assumed that samples would be provided voluntarily and samples could not be obtained from some foreign countries..

"DXer" constantly uses the term "virulent Ames" as if it has some significance.   A check via Google indicates "DXer" may have used that term 1,920 times on Lew Weinstein's blog.   What his use of that term seems to illustrate is a total lack of understanding of evidence.  If some unidentified lab had a sample of "virulent Ames" that the FBI was unaware of, what would that be "evidence" of?  What would it prove? 

Identifying every lab which might possess "virulent Ames" wasn't critical to anything in the Amerithrax investigation.  It was assumed that some labs might have obtained a sample of the Ames strain prior to 2001 and used up their entire sample.  Missing one or two labs wouldn't necessarily change anything.  The collecting of Ames samples wasn't done to verify everyone who ever had "virulent Ames" and who didn't.  The collecting of samples was done to find out who had the Ames strain with the four morphological variants.  Of 1,070 samples collected, only eight samples contained the four "morphs."  The other 1,062 samples were probably all "virulent Ames," but, even so, they were not evidence of anything.

Porton Down in England created a non-virulent form of the strain, but those samples had nothing to do with anything in the Amerithrax case.

What is DXer's basis for arguing that "samples could not be obtained from some foreign countries"?  Everyone knows the Amerithrax investigators obtained Ames samples from three foreign countries - Canada, England and Sweden.  Which foreign countries refused to participate? 

If you receive a subpoena to provide samples and information, is that really the same as providing the samples "voluntarily"?  Does DXer have any evidence that some country ignored the subpoena and refused to supply samples?  

DXer doesn't explain his reasoning, of course.  As always, he appears totally incapable of explaining anything.  

He says that Russia had "virulent Ames," but he hasn't stated how, when or where they got it.  In one of his posts on Lew's site, DXer says,

Russia surreptitiously obtained virulent Ames from USAMRIID, according to [Ken] Alibek and [Sergei] Popov and Popov personally used it.

and

Dr. [Randall] Murch tells me he is not impressed with what I report on my correspondence with Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat. Does he at least credit what Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov both told me and said publicly about their work with virulent Ames in Russia?

If Russia really had a sample of the Ames strain, did they use up the sample long before 2001?  Or do they still have it?  And, since flask RMR-1029 was created in 1997, and both Ken Alibek and Sergei Popov moved to the USA in 1992, how is it even possible for them to have worked with a sample of Ames that originated with flask RMR-1029?   DXer evidently doesn't concern himself with evidentiary matters that disagree with his beliefs and arguments.
 
Searching for Ken+Alibek+Ames+Strain+Russia, I found an August 30, 2002 "news release" from Dr. Leonard Horowitz's Tetrahedron.org web site with this headline:

Investigators Conclude Russian Defector is Lead Suspect in Anthrax Mailings Case

One of the "investigators" mentioned in that headline was Dr. Horowitz, and their suspect was Ken Alibek.   There were no investigators from the FBI or any other official government investigative agency involved.  In other words, it's just the opinion of yet another bunch of Anthrax Truthers.

Another article I found is dated October 18, 2001, and had this headline:

Russian military suspected as source of anthrax

It's just another article in a hopeless hodge-podge of suspicions, beliefs, theories and just plain made-up crap from other Anthrax Truthers.  DXer just continues to add to the steaming pile.   

Although sorting through the nonsense can sometimes be interesting, it's becoming more and more difficult to find anything of even minor interest to write about.  Showing over and over and over and over that Anthrax Truthers are just endlessly spouting nonsense has long ago become more tedious than interesting.


Yesterday, I received an email from Amazon.com that I found far more interesting than any recent anthrax argument or discussion.  But, it was also way waaaayyyy off topic.

It was a copy of an open letter to the public that can be found on-line HERE.  It makes rather interesting reading.  It's also "the other side of the story" from the one I've been seeing on The Colbert Report from time to time.  Prior to yesterday, I never had the time (or sufficient curiosity) to research "the other side of the story."

Basically, it's about how much e-books should cost.  Amazon uses the "invention" of paperbacks as an example of how book publishers react to new ideas and to change:
Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

Evidently, the reason you see paperbacks being sold in grocery and drug stores today is because book stores refused to sell paperbacks when they first came out in the 1940's. 

And, today there are some major publishers who refuse to let their hardcover books be sold as e-books at lower prices.
Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

While I don't see it mentioned anywhere, there is also the major issue of WHEN a different version of a book is released.  For example, they generally do not release the paperback edition of a book until a year or so after the hardback edition came out.   Good hardcover sales generate high demand for the paperback version.   Do they - or should they delay e-book sales until hardback sales have peaked out?  I dunno.

It's probably a lot more complex issue than it appears.  It isn't just about how cheap it is to "manufacture" an e-book, it's also about publicity.  If you don't make the public aware of your book through advertising and other types of promotion, no one will know about it, and it won't make any difference what format it is in.  If no one knows about it, people won't ask for it.  Libraries won't order it.  There is such a thing as "word of mouth," but even "word of mouth" really works best when a massive (and expensive) advertising campaign first gets everyone talking about the book.

And, if you are a first time author and not already a famous published author with a huge fan base waiting to buy your next book, publicity is everything.

I don't really have any strong opinions one way or the other on the prices of e-books.  But, it will be something I'll probably have to think a lot more about someday. 

I've been working on my new sci-fi novel all week.  It's coming along fairly well, except for the fact that the first draft will probably end up being slightly less than 40,000 words.  I don't think there'll be any problem with getting it to well over 40,000 words in the second draft.  But, reaching my goal of 60,000 words could be difficult.

According to Wikipedia and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America:

Classification Word count
Novel over 40,000 words
Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story under 7,500 words

Here are the statistics so far for my second sci-fi novel:

Chapter  Pages  Pgs total   words    wds total    Start Date
   1       8         8       1738       1738        June 15
   2      10        18       2060       3798        June 17
   3       7        25       1571       5369        June 17
   4      10        35       2348       7717        June 18
   5       8        43       1750       9467        July 27
   6       9        52       1840      11307        July 27
   7       8        60       1581      12888        July 28
   8       8        68       1667      14555        July 30
   9       8        76       1576      16131        July 30
  10       7        83       1427      17558        July 31
  11       7        90       1371      18929        Aug. 1
  12       8        98       1591      20520        Aug. 3
  13       9       107       1871      22391        Aug. 3
  14       9       116       1786      24177        Aug. 6
  15       8       124       1806      25983        Aug. 7
  16       9       133       1841      27824        Aug. 7
  17       7       140       1645      29469        Aug. 8
  18       6       146       1112      30581        Aug. 8

The first draft will probably have 21 or 22 chapters when done.

Then I'll start on a third book in the series.  Once I've started on the third book, I'll try again to find an agent to help me get a publisher for the series.

That's the plan anyway. 

All prior Thoughts and Comments are also available.
Click HERE for year 2014 - Part 3.
Click HERE for year 2014 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2014 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2013 - Part 3.
Click HERE for year 2013 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2013 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2012 - Part 3.
Click HERE for year 2012 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2012 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2011 - Part 3.
Click HERE for year 2011 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2011 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2010 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2010 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2009 - Part 2.
Click HERE for year 2009 - Part 1.
Click HERE for year 2008.

Click HERE for year 2007.
Click HERE for year 2006.
Click HERE for year 2005.
Click HERE for year 2004.
Click HERE for years 2001, 2002 and 2003.


References:

The FBI's summary report of the Amerithrax case
The revised version of the FBI' summary report of the Amerithrax case
Search warrants and attachments to the Summary report from the DOJ's web site
The 2,720 pages of supplementary files for the Amerithrax case in the FBI's "vault"
Dr. Bruce Ivins' emails while at Ft. Detrick from USAMRIID's web site
NAS "Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI's Investigation of the Anthrax Attacks of 2001"
HistoryCommons.org - Timeline of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks

Edited version of the Hatfill v Ashcroft et al lawsuit Court Docket
Edited version of the Hatfill v Foster/Vanity Fair/Readers Digest Court Docket
Edited version of the Hatfill v The New York Times Court Docket
Edited version of the Maureen Stevens vs The United States lawsuit Court Docket (with full depositions)
Edited version of the Maureen Stevens vs Battelle Memorial, et al lawsuit Court Docket
UCLA's "Disease Detectives" site about the anthrax outbreak of 2001
Frederick Police Department's report on Ivins' Suicide
Report of the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel

Click HERE to view references from 2005 through 2008.
Click HERE to view pre-2005 references.

NOTE: The (X) following references below includes a link to my copy of the articles, which may or may not be visible on-line.

2009

The New York Times - Jan. 3, 2009 - "Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect’s Troubled Life - (X)
Scientific American - Jan. 5, 2009 - "A steady stream of clues pointed to Ivins during FBI anthrax investigation" (X)
CNN - Jan. 6, 2009 - "'Let me sleep,' anthrax suspect wrote before suicide" (X)
Associated Press - Jan. 6, 2009 - "Records reveal anguish of anthrax suspect's wife" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Jan. 23, 2009 - "
Army releases some Ivins e-mails" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 4, 2009 - "Science Found Wanting in Nation's Crime Labs" (X)
Science Magazine - Feb. 7, 2009 - "
U.S. Army Lab Freezes Research on Dangerous Pathogens" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 9, 2009 - "Army Suspends Germ Research at Maryland Lab" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Biodefense lab starts inventory of deadly samples" (X)
WTOP.com - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Lawer: Evidence against Bruce Ivins 'Undercut'" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Most Research Suspended at Fort Detrick" (X)
Scientific American - Feb. 10, 2009 - "Army anthrax lab suspends research to invertory its germs" (X)
Nature - Feb. 25, 2009 - "Anthrax investigation still yielding findings" (X)
New Scientist - Feb. 27, 2009 - "Revealed: Scientific evidence for the 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
Rush Holt - Mar. 3, 2009 - "Holt Introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation" (X)
MyCentralJersey.com - Mar. 3, 2009 - "Holt seeks congressional anthrax commission" (X)
FBI Press Release - Mar. 6, 2009 - "FBI responds to Science issues in Anthrax case" (X)
FoxNews.com - Mar. 7, 2009 - "FBI's Evidence in Anthrax Case Leaves Puzzling Scientific Questions" (X)

Associated Press - Mar. 7, 2009 - "Ruling lets anthrax suit go forward" (X)
Los Angeles Times - Mar. 8, 2009 - "Anthrax hoaxes pile up, as does their cost" (X)
USA Today - Mar. 10, 2009 - "15,300 government workers have access to agents of bioterror" (X)
The Times of Trenton (Opinion by Rush Holt) - Mar. 12, 2009 - "Preventing Bioterrorism" (X)
New Scientist - Mar. 13, 2009 - "Columbus innocent over anthrax in the Americas" (X)
USA Today - Mar. 14, 2009 - "Tracing anthrax's American roots" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 24, 2009 - "Letters mimicking anthrax scare sent to Congress" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 31, 2009 - "Judge dismisses lawsuit over anthrax letter" (X)
The Scotsman - Apr. 4, 2009 - "Dorothy H. Crawford: World waits for ground-breaking anthrax evidence" (X)
Seed Magazine - Apr. 14, 2009 - "The Anthrax Agenda" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Apr. 15, 2009 -
"Judge urges settlement in 'National Enquirer' anthrax case" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Columnist/Opinion) - Apr. 22, 2009 - "Cold Comfort" (X)
The Washington Post - Apr. 22, 2009 - "Deadly Pathogens May Have Gone Missing at Fort Detrick" (X)
Sciencemag.org - May 6, 2009 - "FBI Anthrax Investigation Under Scientific Review" (X)
The New York Times - May 7, 2009 - "F.B.I. to Pay for Anthrax Inquiry Review" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (editorial) - May 14, 2009 - "End Of Story?" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (commentary by Barry Kissin) - May 24, 2009 - "The Lynching Of Bruce Ivins" (X)
Associated Press - May 28, 2009 - "Prosecutor in anthrax, Blackwater cases resigns" (X)
Frederick News-Post - June 17, 2009 - "USAMRIID finds more than 9,200 unrecorded disease samples" (X)
Associated Press - June 17, 2009 - "9,200 Uncounted Vials Found At Army Biodefense Lab" (X)
The Washington Post - June 18, 2009 - "Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More Pathogens" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 2, 2009 - "Committee to review FBI anthrax investigation" (X)
Microbe - July 2009 - "Questions Linger over Science behind Anthrax Letters" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "
Anthrax case: Amerithrax debate lives online" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "Anthrax case: Seeking an Ending" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 26, 2009 - "
Anthrax case: Studies scrutinize lab security, shy away from federal investigation" (X)
Associated Press - July 26, 2009 - "US on verge of closing anthrax probe after 8 years" (X)
The Washington Times - July 30, 2009 - "Lessons learned from the anthrax letters" (X)
Associated Press - July 30, 2009 - "Review begins of FBI science in anthrax case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 31, 2009 - "Group begins scientific review of FBI's anthrax investigation" (X)
Frederick News-Post (editorial) - July 31, 2009 - "Dubious study" (X)
Nature - July 31, 2009 - "Anthrax investigation probe undeway" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Aug. 1, 2009 - "Experts urge panel to deepen forensic understanding" (X)
The Washington Post - Aug. 1, 2009 - "Lawmaker 'Skeptical' of Anthrax Results" (X)
USA Today - Aug. 3, 2009 - "Anthrax case not closed: Panel reviews Bruce Ivins, mail probe" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Aug. 12, 2009 - "A Shocking Mockery" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Aug. 13, 2009 - "Fort Detrick passes national accreditation" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Sept. 25, 2009 - "Panel continues study of anthrax mailings" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Sept. 26, 2009 - "Expert: Anthrax spore coatings not unique" (X)
USA Today - Oct. 5, 2009 - "Behind the scenes, system sniffs for biological attacks" (X)
BBC - Dec. 17, 2009 - "Anthrax found in dead heroin user from Glasgow" (X)
The Wall Street Journal - Dec. 19, 2009 - "A Conspiracy-Theory Theory" (X)
Newsweek - Dec. 21, 2009 - "Red Mind, Blue Mind" (X)
Digital Journal - Dec. 27, 2009 - "NH Woman Critically Ill With Anthrax" (X)
The Associated Press - Dec. 27, 2009 - "Drums a possible source of anthrax in N.H. woman" (X)
Medical News Today - Dec. 29, 2009 - "Anthrax Found in Drums Linked to Infected Woman" (X)
Associated Press - Dec. 30, 2009 - "Anthrax case: Drum suspicions are detailed" (X)

2010
Washington Examiner (Opinion) - Jan. 1, 2010 - "Who was behind the September 2001 anthrax attacks?" (X)
The Associated Press - Jan. 11, 2010 - "Fed panel wants more scrutiny of biolab workers" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Opinion) - Jan. 24, 2010 - "The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved" (X)
The Washington Examiner (Opinion) - Jan. 29, 2010 - "Anthrax attacks still unexplained" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Letter to Editor) - Jan. 31, 2010 - "Anthrax Case: FBI Used Good Science" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 19, 2010 - "
Ivins' attorney: Anthrax case to be closed today" (X)
The Associated Press - Feb. 19, 2010 - "AP Source: FBI formally closes anthrax case" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 19, 2010 - "F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Letter Case" (X)
Reuters - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Anthrax investigators looked at 1,000 suspects" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 19, 2010 - "'Ġodel, Escher, Bach' author downplays FBI anthrax case link" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Q&A: Anthrax and Ivins Case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 19, 2010 - "Anthax investigation closed" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. closes case on anthrax letters" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "FBI investigation of 2001 anthrax attacks concluded; U.S. releases details" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. closes 2001 anthrax case" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 20, 2010 - "Anthrax myth persists despite evidence" (X)
The New York Times (opinion from Nov. 10, 2001) - Feb. 20, 2010 - "On the trail of the anthrax killers" (X)
The Wall Street Journal - Feb. 20, 2010 - "U.S. Closes Case in Anthrax Attacks" (X)
AntiPolygraph.org - Feb. 20, 2010 - "DOJ Rationalizes Away Polygraph's Failure to Catch Alleged Anthrax Killer" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 20, 2010 - "Government  closes 'Amerithrax' case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 23, 2010 - "FBI report fails to end questions about Ivins' guilt" (X)
The Daily Princetonian - Feb. 24, 2010 - "FBI closes anthrax letter investigation" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 24, 2010 (opinion) - "Haste Leaves Anthrax Case Unconcluded" (X)
Asia Times - Feb. 25, 2010 - "Doubts cloud closing of anthrax case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 26, 2010 -
"Bill for more investigation of '01 anthrax case passes House."  (X)
The Times of Trenton - Feb. 26, 2010 - "Holt: Last word not in on anthrax case" (X)
The New York Times (editorial) - Feb. 28, 2010 - "The F.B.I.'s Anthrax Case" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Feb, 28, 2010 - "FBI reports chronicle Ivins investigation" (X)
TheSmokingGun.com - Mar. 1, 2010 - "The Strange World of Dr. Anthrax" (X)
FoxNews.com - Mar. 1, 2010 - "Anthrax Letter Scientist 'Obsessed' with Bondage, Sorority"  (X)
The Trentonian - Mar. 1, 2010 - "The Smoking Gun reports: Anthrax mastermind was cross-dresser" (X)
The Register (UK) - Mar. 2, 2010 - "The anthrax scare: Case and flask closed" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Mar. 4, 2010 - "Police: Ivins not linked to other unsolved cases" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Mar. 4, 2010 - "Holt seeks investigation into FBI's case against Ivins" (X)
Anderson Cooper 360 - Mar. 5, 2010 - "Inside the mind of the suspected anthrax killer" (X)
Courier News (opinion) - Mar. 7, 2010 - "Bioterror preparedness needs a boost from congress" (X)
AOLnews.com - Mar. 10, 2010 - "Lawer Doubts Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
CNN (opinion) - Mar. 12, 2010 - "Can the House trust the Senate?" (X)
Bloomberg - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Obama Veto Is Threatened On 2010 Intelligence Budget Measure" (X)
Bloomberg - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Obama Veto Is Threatened On 2010 Intelligence Budget Bill (Update 1)" (X)
RawStory.com - Mar. 15, 2010 - "Protecting agencies from oversight, Obama threatens to veto intelligence funding" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Mar. 20, 2010 - "Adminstration rejects call to further probe Amerithrax" (X)
Pittsburgh Review-Journal (Opinion) - Mar. 21, 2010 - "Anthrax questions" (X)
Accuracy In Media - Mar. 24, 2010 - "Obama Obstructs Oversight of FBI in Anthrax Case" (X)
The Huffington Post - Apr. 14, 2010 - "Crying Wolf: The Terrorist Crop-Duster" (X)
The Atlantic - Apr. 16, 2010 - "The Wrong Man" (X)
MSNBC - Apr. 16, 2010 - "Exonerated anthrax suspect: FBI harassed me" (X)
Foreign Policy - Apr. 19, 2010 - "The Elite Med Squad That Saved You from Anthrax" (X)
Salon.com (Glenn Greenwald) - Apr. 21, 2010 - "Unlearned lessons from the Steven Hatfill case" (X)
UPI (Opinion) - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Outside View: Anthrax Letters: Was Bruce Ivins Hounded to Death?"  (X)
The New York Times - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Colleague Disputes Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
Science Magazine - Apr. 22, 2010 - "Ex-USAMRIID Scientist Defends Bruce Ivins Using Back-of-the-Envelope Math" (X)
ProPublica.org - Apr. 23, 2010 - "Colleague Says Anthrax  Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case" (X)
PhysicsToday.org - Apr. 27, 2010 - "Co-worker says Ivins didn't make anthrax letter spores" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - May 1, 2010 - "Anthrax attacks, cont'd" (X)
The Racine Journal-Times - June 11, 2010 - "The Armchair analyst: Ed Lake has spent nine years tracking the anthrax investigation" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (blog) - Sept. 16, 2010 - "GAO to Take Look at FBI Anthrax Probe" (X)
The New York Times - Sept. 16, 2010 - "New Review in Anthrax Inquiry" (X)
The Times of Trenton - Sept. 16, 2010 - "Holt: FBI anthrax investigation is itself subject of probe" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Sept. 17, 2010 - "GAO to review FBI's Ivins investigation" (X)
The Washington Post - Oct. 4, 2010 - "William C. Patrick III, 84, dies (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 10, 2010 - "William C. Patrick III, Expert on Germ Warfare, Dies at 84" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion by Barry Kissin) - Oct. 16, 2010 - "In the shadow of 9/11" (X)
The Frederick News-Post -Nov. 30, 2010 - "Amerithrax experts debate FBI findings, insist Ivins was innocent" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Dec. 5, 2010 - "Researcher tells how anthrax may have been made" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 5, 2010 - "Ivins' lawyer, colleague share details FBI left out" (X)
Homeland Security Today - Dec. 9, 2010 - "Science Report on FBI Anthrax Probe Delayed Again" (X)
The New York Times - Dec. 9, 2010 - "F.B.I. Asks Panel to Delay Report on Anthrax Inquiry" (X)
The Miami Herald - Dec. 9, 2010 - "FBI seeks delay in outside review of anthrax probe" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 10, 2010 - "Amerithrax review delayed after FBI releases more docs" (X)
Science Magazine - Dec. 10, 2010 - "New FBI Material Delays Academy Report on Anthrax Attacks" (X)
The Frederick News-Post - Dec. 11, 2010 - "National Academy of Science review panel surprised by FBI's last-minute document release" (X)

2011

Gazette.net - Feb. 14, 2011 - "Report on FBI's anthrax findings to be released Tuesday" (X)
The New York Times - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Review Faults F.B.I.'s Scientific Work in Anthrax Investigation" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Anthrax report cast doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Evidence linking anthrax to Bruce Ivins 'not as definitive as stated,' panel says" (X)
CNN - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Scientific review reaches no conclusion on source of anthrax" (X)
NPR - Feb. 15, 2011 - "FBI Faulted For Overstating Science In Anthrax Case" (X)
ABC News - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Panel Review Questions FBI Theory in Anthrax Attacks after 9/11" (X)
USA Today - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Panel can't rule out other sources of deadly anthrax spores" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Ivins case's inconvenient issue: his polygraph" (X)
Nature - Feb. 15, 2011 - "Science falls short in anthrax investigation" (X)
CIDRAP News - Feb. 15, 2011 - "NRC: Data insufficient for firm conclusion in anthrax case" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Report casts doubt on FBI's investigation of anthrax attacks" (X)
Salon.com (opinion) - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Serious doubt cast in FBI's anthrax case against Bruce Ivins" (X)
New Scientist - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Scientists critical of FBI's anthrax conclusions" (X)
The Washington Post - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Sen. Leahy on anthrax case: 'It's not closed.'" (X)
CIDRAP News - Feb. 16, 2011 - "Anthrax expert says NRC report supports FBI" (X)
The Washington Post (Editorial) - Feb. 17, 2011 - "Answers in 2001 anthrax attack are still elusive" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Feb. 19, 2011 - "NAS on Amerithrax" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Feb. 20, 2011 - "One year after FBI closes Ivins case, doubts still linger" (X)
Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - Feb. 21, 2011 - "Flawed Science" (X)
The Boston Globe (Editorial) - Feb. 22, 2011 - "Consider the case solved" (X)
The Brown and White - Feb. 25, 2011 - "Gast heads panel discussing anthrax letters" (X)
Stanford Medicine - Feb. 25, 2011 - "New review of anthrax case discussed by review committee vice chair" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Feb. 28, 2011 - "Trouble in the air at Ft. Detrick" (X)
The New York Times (letter to the editor from Rush Holt) - Mar. 1, 2011 - "The Anthrax Attacks" (X)
University of Maryland (press release) - Mar. 7, 2011 - "University of Maryland School of Medicine publishes scientific paper on 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
UPI - Mar. 8, 2011 - "Science behind anthrax letters revealed" (X)
News-Medical.net - Mar. 8, 2011 - "Institute for Genome Sciences plays key role in investigation of anthrax attacks" (X)
ScienceBlog.com - Mar. 8, 2011- "Now, the story can be told - how scientists helped ID 'Amerithrax'" (X)
NPR - Mar. 9, 2011 - "Lab Vs. Courtroom: Different Definitions Of Proof" (X)
LiveScience.com - Mar. 14, 2011 - "Anthrax in 2001 Letters was Traced to Maryland by Genetic Mutations" (X)
DiamondbackOnLine.com - Mar. 17, 2011 - "UMD: Anthrax Investigation" (X)
VillageSoup.com - Mar. 18, 2011 - "Q&A: Meryl Nass" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Mar. 22, 2011 - "Report  Faults Army in 2001 anthrax mailings" (X)
The New York Times - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Panel on Anthrax Inquiry Finds Case Against Ivins Persuasive" (X)
CNN - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Suspect in 2001 anthrax case had long history of mental problems" (X)
Associated Press - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Expert panel faults Army in anthrax case" (X)
The Miami Herald - Mar. 23, 2011 - "FBI's anthrax suspect is likely killer, panel concludes" (X)
MSNBC - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Medical records point to doctor in anthrax attacks, report says" (X)
ABC - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Report: 2001 Anthrax Attacks Were Preventable" (X)
The Washington Times - Mar. 23, 2011 - "Panel: Anthrax-attack suspect sent up red flags" (X)
Reuters - Mar. 24, 2011 - "U.S. Experts: Army researcher was anthrax attacker" (X)
Wired Magazine - Mar. 24, 2011 - "Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?" (X)
The Times (Trenton, NJ) - Mar. 25, 2011 - "Holt remains skepical about conclusions in anthrax investigation" (X)
Wired Magazine - Mar. 28, 2011 - "Postage Stamps Delivered Anthrax Suspect to FBI" (X)
The Gazette - Apr. 7, 2011 - "Joe Volz: Frederick massacre averted?" (X)
The Washington Post - Apr. 16, 2011 - "How anthrax sleuths cracked the case by decoding genetic 'fingerprints'" (X)
The Miami Herald - Apr. 20, 2011 - "Was FBI too quick to judge anthrax suspect the killer?" (X)
TheRealNews.com - Apr. 21, 2011 - "Did FBI Target Wrong Man as Anthrax Killer" (X)
ProPublica.com - April 23, 2011 - "Colleague Says Anthrax Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Apr. 30, 2011 - "Doubt of anthrax suspect's role resurfaces in lawsuit" (X)
BioPrepWatch.com - May 2, 2011 - "Attorneys contest Ivins' guilt" (X)
McClatchy Newspapers - May 19, 2011 - "FBI lab reports on anthrax attack suggest another miscue" (X)
TickleTheWire.com - May 26, 2011 - "Rep. Nadler Criticizes the FBI in Letter to Director Mueller Over Anthrax Probe" (X)
McClatchy Newspapers - May 26, 2011 - "Congressman presses FBI for anthrax information" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - May 29, 2011 - "The anthrax killings: A troubled mind" (X)
The Daily Beast - June 3, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacker Bruce Ivins' Obsessions" (X)
Associated Press - June 3, 2011 - "The anthrax scare and one deeply troubled man" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion by Barry Kissin) - June 4, 2011 - "Lessons from Amerithrax" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - June 6, 2011 - "A marathon, not a sprint" (X)
The Gazette - June 9, 2011 - "A treasure trove of information about Amerithrax" (X)
RealClearPolitics.com - June 9, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacks and America's Rush to Judgment" (X)
The Washington Post (Opinion) - June 10, 2011 - "Inside our own labs, the threat of another anthrax attack" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - June 12, 2011 - "Book Review: 'The Mirage Man' by David Willman" (X)
The Boston Globe (Opinion) - June 15, 2011 - "Revisiting Mueller and the anthrax case" (X)
Clinical Psychiatry News - June 21, 2011 - "Use of Psychological Profile to Infer Ivins' Guilt is Problematic" (X)
The Philadelphia Inquirer (book review) - July 17, 2011 - "Bungled pursuit of a killer" (X)
The Boston Herald - July 18, 2011 - "Justice Department lawyers contradict FBI findings in anthrax case" (X)
Salon.com - July 19, 2011 - "DOJ casts serious doubt on its own claims about the attack anthrax" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department filings poke holes in Ivins' case" (X)
The New York Times - July 19, 2011 - "U.S. Revises Its Response To Lawsuit On Anthrax" (X)
Associated Press - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department corrects court filing in anthrax suit" (X)
The Washington Post - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department corrects legal filing regarding anthrax attacks" (X)
MSNBC - July 19, 2011 -
"Government lawyers backtrack on anthrax case" (X)
Village Voice (blog) - July 19, 2011 - "Bruce Ivins Maybe Didn't Send Anthrax, Government Admits in Court Papers" (X)
The Macon Telegraph - July 19, 2011 - "Justice Department retracts court filings that undercut FBI's anthrax case" (X)
The Sacramento Bee - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Dept backtracks on anthrax claims" (X)
Wired Magazine - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Department Trips in Anthrax Case.  Again" (X)
Miami Herald - July 20, 2011 - "Justice Department waffling in anthrax case could be costly, experts say" (X)
ProPublica.org - July 20, 2011 - "Government Anthrax Flip-Flop Could Boost Victim's Lawsuit" (X)
CIDRAP news - July 20, 2011 - "DOJ defense of Army lab stirs up anthrax case controversy" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (Opinion) - July 25, 2011 - "Another Ivins twist" (X)
The New York Times - July 26, 2011 - "Suspect's Manifesto Points to Planned Anthrax Use, But Also to a Lack of Expertise" (X)
ProPublica - July 26, 2011 - "Stephen Engelberg on the FBI's Anthrax Case" (X)
Global Security Newswire - July 27, 2011 - "Norway Killer Wrote of Anthrax Attacks" (X)
Kansas City Star - July 27, 2011 - "Judge says US must show 'good cause" to revise anthrax filing" (X)
The Miami Herald - July 29, 2011 - "Judge allows feds to revise filing in anthrax case" (X)
The Washington Post (review) - Aug. 11, 2011 - David Willman's 'The Mirage Man'" (X)
WMD Junction - Aug 22, 2011 - "New Questions About the FBI's Anthrax Case" (X)
NPR (Laurie Garrett interview) - Aug. 26, 2011 - "A look back at 9/11 in 'I Heard the Sirens Scream'" (X)
National Journal - Sept. 1, 2011 - "After 9/11, Anthrax Attacks Seemed Too Natural" (X)
CIDRAP news - Sept. 1, 2011 - "Public health leaders cite lessons of 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
The Kansas City Star - Sept. 2, 2011 - "Sen. Grassley asks Justice Department to explain contradictory acts on anthrax" (X)
Montgomery Life - Sept. 7, 2011 - "9/11 Ten Years Later" (X)
Ames.Patch.com - Sept. 8, 2011 - "Ten Years after 9/11: ISU Recalls Anthrax Scare" (X)
The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN) - Sept. 11, 2011 - "Pence: 'Remember the triumph of freedom'" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 11, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 1" (X)
Arizona Daily Sun - Sept. 12, 2011 - "NAU researcher thrust into the maelstrom" (X)
National Review - Sept. 14, 2011 - "Saddam: What We Now Know" (X)
The Guardian - Sept. 15, 2011 - "The anthrax scare: not a germ of truth" (X)
New Scientist - Sept. 15, 2011 - "Did research funding lead to anthrax attacks?" (X)
Asbury Park Press - Sept. 16, 2011 - "Another 10th Anniversary: Anthrax Attacks" (X)
The Wall Street Journal (Book Review) - Sept. 17, 2011 - "When Death Came Hand-Delivered" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 18, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 2" (X)
Wired Magazine - Sept. 25, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 3" (X)
USA Today - Sept. 30, 2011 - "Strides in biodefense follow 2001 anthrax scare" (X)
CNN - Oct. 1, 2011 - "Strange sorority fixation was link that led to anthrax suspect" (X)
USA Today - Oct. 2, 2011 - "Al Qaeda lab lingers in anthrax story" (X)
Wired Magazine - Oct. 2, 2011 - "Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 - Part 4" (X)
The Daily Mail (UK) - Oct. 3, 2011 - "The laboratory crush that led the FBI to the U.S. Anthrax killer" (X)
Annals of Internal Medicine - Oct. 3, 2011 - "The Anthrax Attacks 10 Years Later" (X)
The Hartford Courant - Oct. 5, 2011 - "Anthrax Attacks Still A Mystery After 10 Years" (X)
PBS (Press Release) - Oct. 5, 2011 - "Frontline Investigates the Anthrax Mailings" (X)
University of Wyoming News - Oct. 7, 2011 - "UW Professors: Accused Anthrax Killer Couldn't Have Done It" (X)
Aberdeen News - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Ten years since Daschle received anthrax-laced letter" (X)
The Times of Trenton - Oct. 9, 2011 - "A decade on, legacy of anthrax attack lingers in Mercer County and beyond" (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Scientists' Analysis Disputes F.B.I. Closing of Anthrax Case" (X)
The Baltimore Sun - Oct. 9, 2011 - "Frontline's 'Anthrax Files' takes hard look at FBI role in suicide of Ft. Detrick scientist" (X)
The Kansas City Star - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Fresh doubts raised on 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Clair Fraser-Liggett: 'This Is Not an Airtight Case By Any Means'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Edward Montooth: 'The Mandate Was to Look at the Case with Fresh Eyes'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Rachel Lieber: 'The Case Against Dr. Bruce Ivins'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Paul Keim: 'We Were Surprised It Was the Ames Strain'" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - Nancy Haigwood: “I Had a Gut Feeling It Was Bruce”  (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI’s Case Against Anthrax Suspect" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Did Bruce Ivins Hide Attack Anthrax from the FBI?" (X)
PBS Frontline - Oct. 10, 2011 - "Was FBI’s Science Good Enough to ID Anthrax Killer?" (X)
The Miami Herald - Oct. 11, 2011 - "Decade-old anthrax attacks included hit to Boca Raton offices" (X)
Science Magazine - Oct. 11, 2011 - "New Challenge to FBI's Anthrax Investigation Lends an Ear to Tin" (X)
The Macon Telegraph - Oct. 11, 2011 - "Was FBI's science good enough to ID anthrax killer?" (X)
Caspar Star-Tribune - Oct. 11, 2011 - "University of Wyoming professors seek to clear former colleague's name in anthrax controversy" (X)
The Gazette - Oct. 12, 2011 - "Questions remain 10 years after anthrax mailings" (X)
The Miami Herald - Oct. 12, 2011 - "Newly released files cloud FBI's anthrax finding" (X)
Council on Foreign Relations (opinion by Laurie Garrett) - Oct. 12, 2011 - "The Anthrax Letters" (X)
Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Oct. 13, 2011 - "The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations"
ProPublica.com - Oct. 15, 2011 - "Despite Evidence of FBI Bungling, New Probe Into Anthrax Killings Unlikely" (X)
The Los Angeles Times - Oct. 16, 2011 - "Science in anthrax letter case comes under attack" (X)
The New York Times (editorial) - Oct. 17, 2011 - "Who Mailed the Anthrax Letters?" (X)
Fox News - Oct. 18, 2011 - "Doubts Persist About Anthrax Investigation 10 Years Later" (X)
The Daily Reveille - Oct. 20, 2011 - "Professor is worldwide anthrax specialist" (X)
The Washington Post (editorial) - Oct. 21, 2011 - "New questions about FBI anthrax inquiry deserve scrutiny" (X)
The Frederick News-Post (opinion by Barry Kissin) - Oct. 22, 2011 - "Anthrax whodunit" (X)
The Vancouver Sun - Oct. 22, 2011 - "Was this man the anthrax killer?" (X)
The New York Post - Oct. 23, 2011 - "Anthrax and the FBI" (X)
The Vancouver Sun - Oct. 24, 2011 - "The Hunt for America's anthrax killer" (X)
ProPublica.com - Oct. 24, 2011 - "Secret Reports: With Security Spotty, Many Had Access to Anthrax" (X)
The New York Times - Oct. 27, 2011 - "The Anthrax Investigation: The View From the FBI" (X)
The Palm Beach Post - Oct. 28, 2011 - "Lantana anthrax widow settles $50 million lawsuit against federal government" (X)
NPR - Oct. 29, 2011 - "Scientific Case Still Open on 2001 Anthrax Case" (X)
Associated Press - Oct. 30, 2011 - "Settlement reached in anthrax death lawsuit" (X)
Reuters - Oct. 30, 2011 - "Deal reached in U.S. 2001 anthrax death suit: filing" (X)
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - Nov. 1, 2011 - "Amerithrax review: Lessons for future investigations" (X)
AAAS - Nov. 1, 2011 - "Ten Years After Deadly Anthrax Mailings, AAAS Event Explores Lingering Questions"  (X)
Patch.com - Nov. 21, 2011 - "The Day Terror Came to Oxford" (X)
Associated Press - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. to pay widow $2.5M in 2001 anthrax death" (X)
AP & Time Magazine - Nov. 29, 2011 - U.S. to pay widow $2.5M in 2001 anthrax death" (X)
CNN - Nov, 29, 2011 - "Family of 2001 anthrax victim settles with government" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. to pay Lantana widow $2.5 million for the 2001 anthrax attack that killed her husband" (X) (X)
The Washington Post - Nov. 29, 2011 - "Federal government settles suit in fatal anthrax attacks" (X)
The New York Times - Nov. 29, 2011 - "U.S. Settles Suit Over Anthrax Attacks" (X)
ProPublica.org - Nov. 29, 2011 - "Government Settles Case Brought By First Anthrax Victim For $2.5 Million" (X)
Palm Beach Post - Nov. 30, 2011 - "Anthrax victim's wife: $2.5 million settlement brings 'a little finality'" (X)

2012

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Jan. 31, 2012 - "Letter to the Editor in response to 'The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations"
The Washington Post - Jan. 27, 2012 - "Justice Dept. takes on itself in probe of 2001 anthrax attacks" (X)
Slate Magazine - Jan. 30, 2012 - "How fake bioterrorism attacks became a real problem" (X)
Gazette.Net - Mar. 22, 2012 - "Paul Gordon: An exercise in futility"  (X)
The Cavalier Daily - Mar. 23, 2012 - "Panel reviews 2001 attacks" (X)
Frederick News-Post - Apr. 8, 2012 - "Beyond the breach: Officials take a look at security and safety a decade after anthrax scare" (X)
BusinessInsider.com - Nov. 26, 2012 - "Nick Kristof: Here Are 3 Things I've Been Very Wrong About."
Racine Journal-Times - Dec. 8, 2012 - "Local Man self-publishes book about anthrax attacks"
Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense - Dec. 17, 2012 - "Evidence for the Source of the 2001 Attack Anthrax"

2013

NewsWithViews - Apr. 20, 2013 - "The Media Wants Arabs Exonerated" (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 28, 2013 - "Questions on anthrax suspect linger"  (X)
Frederick News-Post - July 29, 2013 - "Scientists who worked with Ivins still question government's methods" (X)
The Trentonian - Oct. 20, 2013 - State Watch: "Ready for Anthrax Sequel? (X)


2014

Hartford Courant - April 14, 2014 - "Oxford Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of Anthrax Attacks" (X)
Accuracy in Media - May 21, 2014 - "Lies of the 9/11 'Truth' Movement" (X)


© 2001-2014 by Ed Lake

All Rights Reserved.