20 July 2011

I Said that the Ivins AnthraxEvidence was Tenuous………

Lawyers at the Department of Justice have concluded that, notwithstanding the FBI's claims to the contrary, there is absolutely no evidence that accused anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins had any access to equipment that would have had to be used to weapoonize the disease:
The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago.


Now, however, Justice Department lawyers have acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins' lab — the so-called hot suite — didn't contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.

The government said it continued to believe that Ivins was "more likely than not" the killer. But the filing in a Florida court didn't explain where or how Ivins could have made the powder, saying only that his secure lab "did not have the specialized equipment . . . that would be required to prepare the dried spore preparations that were used in the letters."

The government's statements deepen the questions about the case against Ivins, who killed himself before he was charged with a crime. Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores, and the FBI's eight-year, $100 million investigation never provided direct evidence that he mailed the letters or identified another location where he might have secretly dried the anthrax into an easily inhaled powder.

Earlier this year, a report by the National Academy of Sciences questioned the genetic analysis that had linked a flask of anthrax stored in Ivins' office to the anthrax in the letters.
I've always felt that the FBI was more interested in finding some guy than they were interested in finding the guy, and from that perspective.

In fact I think that Ivins' suicide was an implicit goal of their tactics, which appears to have been a desired outcome for the FBI (they went out of their way to, for example, alienate and terrify his therapist), because dead men don't defend themselves.

It makes it easier to close the case.

Background here.


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