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Apparent Suicide In Anthrax Case

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the tylenol-and-codeine dept.

Government 339

penguin_dance passes along the news that a respected anthrax researcher, about to be indicted, has committed suicide. The FBI has been investigating the case since anthrax-contaminated letters were sent to the media and various politicians in 2001. The AP's coverage mentions that prosecutors intended to seek the death penalty. The suicide was not the one you might imagine if you've been following the story. "A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned. Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution... The extraordinary turn of events followed the government's payment in June of a settlement valued at $5.82 million to a former government scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, who was long targeted as the FBI's chief suspect despite a lack of any evidence that he had ever possessed anthrax."

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339 comments

How do you spell, TERRORIST? (0)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436443)

Huh, funny. But he was a terrorist, right?

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (4, Interesting)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436849)

Huh, funny. But he was a terrorist, right?

Maybe a relevant question is to ask his political affiliations. The contaminated mail was sent to Democrat Senators. You decide.

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437177)

Shouldn't a statement of fact be modded as informative? Who doesn't like the facts in this case?

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (0)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437183)

A letter was also sent to the New York Post, a paper with a decidely conservative slant. You decide.

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (1)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437385)

If one's goal were to help set national mood-lighting for war, the combination of liberal politicians and conservative press wouldn't be a bad choice. Hypothetically, of course.

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (4, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437235)

It was to the Senate Majority Leader and the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that happened to be Democrats. Maybe it was because of their positions of power within the Senate? Maybe he was an anarchist that saw a great opportunity to sow the seeds of confusion and fear? Maybe he was a Bildeberger neo-con front man determined to make sure that the PATRIOT act got passed to usher in a New World Order by eliminating two prominent opponents? Maybe he was just a nut case with an axe to grind that saw an opportunity to get at a couple of people that "wronged" him in the aftermath of a terrorist act?

If you look hard enough for conspiracies, you'll find them. They may not really be there, but it's pretty darn hard to prove something doesn't exist.

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437371)

If you look hard enough for conspiracies, you'll find them.

You definitely found a conspiracy, didn't you? My suggestion is that he might have been a republican and didn't like democrats, not that the republican party or anyone else had anything to do with it.

Re:How do you spell, TERRORIST? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437573)

It was to the Senate Majority Leader and the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that happened to be Democrats.

Well...no. Actually, the anthrax thing happened at a time when the Senate was controlled by the Republicans, not the Democrats, so neither the Senate Majority Leader nor the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee were Democrats.

Perhaps you meant the Senate Minority Leader and the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Motive? (5, Interesting)

jtcm (452335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436861)

There's no mention of any potential motive for a "top government scientist" to start mailing anthrax.

Why did he (allegedly) do it? Why did it occur in the month following 9/11? What was his relation to the 9/11 terrorists [wikipedia.org] ?

Bruce E. Ivins doesn't sound like a Muslim name. Did he have any friends or relatives in the Middle East? I'm disappointed that TFA doesn't address any of these questions. I wonder if they'll ever be answered.

Re:Motive? (4, Insightful)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437243)

There's no mention of any potential motive for a "top government scientist" to start mailing anthrax.

And yet all the suspects were top US government scientists.

Face it -- this terrorist attack came from a US citizen. Anthrax is hard to weaponize, and a US source was always the most likely origin.

The perpetrator probably had no relation to 9/11, or Iraq. In fact, his agenda may have been to increase domestic tensions to incite our invasion of Iraq. (Witness the spurious mention of bentonite, which was known to be an Iraqi addition to anthrax agents. It was not in the mailed anthrax, but plenty of news sources reported incorrectly that it was.) He might not have had any agenda; Ivins was obviously mentally ill.

No, sadly, I don't think these questions will ever be answered.

Re:Motive? (5, Funny)

ofcourseyouare (965770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437327)

Did he have any friends or relatives in the Middle East?
Indeed he did - from TFA:
"Ivins, the son of a Princeton-educated pharmacist, was born and raised in Lebanon"
...though if you're going to be pedantic that should be...
"Ivins, the son of a Princeton-educated pharmacist, was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio"

Re:Motive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437375)

Bush is on the way out. A lot of people are really pissed at them. Clean up time.

Re:Motive? (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437395)

I remember reading some analytical piece back in Fall 01 speculating about the motive. It was saying that the source was most likely from the defense industry, and so whoever sent it may have been trying to show how vulnerable we are to chemical attacks. It may have been a desperate attempt to get the kind of chemical/biological defense measures in place the sender was trying to implement in other ways.

Riiight. (2, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436447)

"Suicide", eh?

Re:Riiight. (2, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436531)

"Suicide", eh?

Yep, shot himself in the back of the head.

(No, I have not read TFA.)

Re:Riiight. (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436677)

Beat himself to death, with the blunt end of an axe?

Re:Riiight. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436691)

"Suicide", eh?

Yep, shot himself in the back of the head.

(No, I have not read TFA.)

New rule: anyone who admits to not reading the article gets modded -1 Troll regardless of the post. Smugness must be punished.

In this case the person of interest died due to a drug overdose of Tylenol and codeine, not by gunshot.

Re:Riiight. (3, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436975)

Newer rule: Anyone posting suggestions for changes to slashdot's moderation system must not post as AC.

Re:Riiight. (3, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437597)

You must be new here.

1. The guy was joking
2. Most slashdot summaries are all one needs to comment
3. Many links in slashdot summaries lead to stupid blogs, or sites with fifteen one paragraph ad laden pages. Often the summary is superior to the article.
4. Many links in slashdot summaries don't say anything more than the summary does
5. Who the fuck gives an anonymous coward the right to make up rules as to how the rest of us should moderate? If you were a /. admin then you would have identified yourself and put the comment in the FAQ where it belomgs, not in a comment.
6. Moderation is NOT for punishment; it is to weed out weak comments and promote good ones. When I make a weak comment (can't be on-topic and insightful or funny all the time) I appreciate a downmodding.
7. Whoever moderated the above AC as "informative" (probably his own sock puppet) better hope I don't get them metamoderating. It was offtic, flamebait (the wikipedia definition of troll), and posted by an AC to boot.

"No karma bonus" checked, but feel free to mod down further if you wish, as it is no more on-topic than the parent post.

Re:Riiight. (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436751)

You forgot the from 15ft away part ;).

Re:Riiight. (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436801)

Stabbed himself repeatedly. Again and again. About the head, neck, and shoulders. In the back, in the front, in the sides. It was an ugly scene.

Re:Riiight. (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436933)

Stabbed himself repeatedly. Again and again. About the head, neck, and shoulders. In the back, in the front, in the sides. It was an ugly scene.

*BOOM* The novelty of your joke just blew my mind. (Btw you forgot the part where he cuts himself into pieces and places his bits into several different closed trash bags)

Re:Riiight. (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437425)

He couldn't. He had a sharp instrument in each hand.

Re:Riiight. (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436703)

It was either that, or he was shot trying to escape.

The report took a while to make sure.

Re:Riiight. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436857)

"Yes, suicide"

"He was stabbed 16 times"

"He was very determined"

"IN THE BACK!"

"He was also double-jointed"

Hey. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437057)

Let's not get everybody all riled up because of yet another government cover-up.

I mean, you really want to start asking questions about JFK?!?

Nothing to see here, move along (0, Redundant)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436473)

This isn't the least bit suspicious.

Re:Nothing to see here, move along (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437225)

This isn't the least bit suspicious.

It's not as though anyone is ever going to do anything about this are they? How suspicious does it need to be?

I guess in 30 or 40 years (assuming there's any remnant of free media then) someone will make a movie about it, opening up all the questions again.

By then it will be too late though. What can we do to protect our freedom now?

The Death Penalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436481)

Usually prosecutors decide that long after someone has originally been charged. The important thing is to get someone who is an apparent murderer off the streets and then determine whether the death penalty is valid. I have never heard of it being debated before an arrest. I think the AP's theory is probably bunk.

FIRST! (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436495)

Oh, wait. Is this 1999?

to sum it up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436525)

Oh shit

Oh, the irony (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436535)

A suicidal man getting the death penalty. If I rob a bank will they give me double the amount of the cash I steal?

When I die it will likely be a horrible death, like most people - cancer, heart disease, accident, violence, falling down in a nursing home, alzheimers, etc.

But a murderer gets euthanized, like a beloved pet is put down.

I want murderers to spend the rest of their lives horribly and end horribly, like most of us non criminals. I don't mind my tax money going to incarceration of violent people, but I do mind my government murdering in my name. We should join the civilized world and stop executing people.

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436561)

Civilized people deserve civilized treatment. I guess that just about wraps it up.

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436915)

> Civilized people deserve civilized treatment. I guess that just about wraps it up.

Depends on whether by civilized you mean `non-murderers` or `human beings`. Are you suggesting that Australian Aborigines, Native Americans or the mentally handicapped don't deserve civilized treatment?

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437515)

Are you suggesting that Australian Aborigines, Native Americans and none of the mentally handicapped are civilized?

Re:Oh, the irony (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436985)

Civilized people deserve civilized treatment. I guess that just about wraps it up.

I think you mean "Civilized people give civilized treatment". Otherwise, what marks them as civilized? Anyone can treat their own well - it's also treating those who are different that makes us a civilization and not a tribe.

Re:Oh, the irony (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436769)

I want murderers to spend the rest of their lives horribly and end horribly

You conveniently ignore the fact that the law-enforcement system wrongly incarcerates many people, murderers included. We'll ignore your distopian ideal until they fix that glaring issue.

Given the overall tone of your post, may I suggest making some changes in your life to introduce a bit more positive attitude?

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436907)

You conveniently ignore the fact that the law-enforcement system wrongly incarcerates many people, murderers included. We'll ignore your distopian ideal until they fix that glaring issue.

I'm guessing you conveniently ignored the rest of your parent's post, the part about how the death penalty is no good? If you are concerned about those wrongly convicted, wouldn't it be worse to slay them then to have them alive?

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437101)

Wait... So you mean that it is better to kill innocent people then just locking them up for 15-20 years? Wow, at least you can repay someone for 20 years wasted, but its not like we have resurrection spells in the real world...

Re:Oh, the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437001)

You should make up your mind. Is the death penalty an easier way out than spending the rest of their lives in jail? Or is it the civilized thing to hope they "spend the rest of their lives horribly and end horribly" while they rot in jail?

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437215)

But a murderer gets euthanized, like a beloved pet is put down.

I've long been an advocate of bringing back crucifixion.

I want murderers to spend the rest of their lives horribly and end horribly.

Me too!

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

Auntie Virus (772950) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437631)

I've long been an advocate of bringing back crucifixion

Right. Line on the left, one cross each....

Re:Oh, the irony (0, Offtopic)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437255)

Did you hear about the guy who stabbed a 22yo kid 40 times, cut his head off and showed it with pride to the other, horrified bus passengers? [cnn.com] If it did happen in the US in a state that permits it, the guy would receive a simple injection and we'd be at peace. But since it happened in Manitoba, Canada, our laws will incarcerate this guy for a "life sentence", which means 25 years in prison with a possibility to be freed after 10 years upon good behavior.

I'd rather the option of the lethal injection in cases where it cannot be denied that someone commited murder. Life in prison is way too civilized in North America to make them really pay for their crime, adding the fact that they will make new "friends" who will help them with their future crimes... Another solution would be to send them to North Korean prisons, or Malaysian prisons.

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437629)

There is middle ground, the law could be changed to allow "life, with no possibility of release".

Prisons are complicated things to come to an agreement on; incarceration should theoretically benefit society more than it costs society (I see this as being required by 'sanity'), but measuring the costs and benefits is very difficult. A prison also needs to balance the goals of punishment and rehabilitation (if the legal system includes the notion of sentences with limited terms, helping the prisoners fit into society upon release is simply a practical matter), which is difficult when many people sit wholly on one side of the fence or the other.

Re:Oh, the irony (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437377)

But a murderer gets euthanized, like a beloved pet is put down.

I want murderers to spend the rest of their lives horribly and end horribly, like most of us non criminals.

You sir, have a very odd view of life and death.

Life is the most terrible punishment imaginable, and a drugged up death is the only merciful release?

Lay off the emo son, lay off the emo.

Re:Oh, the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437695)

Right on, brother. We've lost the will in this country to deter criminal scum. You can go out and beat an old lady to death and just spend a decade or so in prison. Some trucker guy stabbed a girl to death and buried her, then spent only like 12 years. I could go buy sufficient drugs or evade my taxes and go to prison for longer.

Brutal scum need to die brutal deaths. If the penalty for raping and murdering someone is having your skin flayed off, being covered with sugar, and being eaten to death by ants how many people will maybe thing extra, extra hard before doing such crimes? I'm not saying it'll end crime, but it'll sure cut the rates.

Now, granted - our justice system is fallible and I'd only want these punishments for people guilty beyond _any_ doubt, not just reasonable. E.g. multiple eyewitness, ridiculous amounts of physical evidence, etc..

Strange case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy? (3, Insightful)

bsharma (577257) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436553)

"...injury is deliberately and gradually inflicted upon a person usually for gaining attention or some other benefit." He might have wanted his research to be better recognized and useful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome_by_proxy [wikipedia.org]

Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (5, Interesting)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436557)

I've grown increasingly cynical about government in recent years. I wonder, did the feds see that this guy knocked himself off and think, "Hey, here's a perfect target we can accuse and use to divert attention from the Hatfill mess and the fact that we haven't found anybody in 6 years."? Not saying that happened, but it's telling that it was the first thing that went through my mind when I heard this.

Re:Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (1)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437019)

While I agree a lot of deaths are a bit too convenient, I have a feeling this wasn't one. Reason being, it's a lot less effective to point at a dead guy and say 'We think he did it.'

For someone to be an effective patsy, a strawman enemy to make you look like the hero, you need them to be alive, really. A dead enemy isn't a very effective manipulative tool; or at least, not as effective as a living one.

Re:Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437203)

A dead enemy isn't a very effective manipulative tool;

They don't need an enemy, they just need a distraction. Enemies (better still, the shadowy faraway kind who wear scary headgear) can be manufactured at will.

Re:Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437209)

Explain Oswald.

Re:Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437365)

...A dead enemy isn't a very effective manipulative tool; or at least, not as effective as a living one.

Read up on how the Allies in WW2 used a dead body to mislead the Nazis into the invasion location. That dead body helped us win a war.

Re:Prepare a press leak, Smitty, we have a patsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437635)

I wasn't aware that the case was closed and he was found guilty. Can you cite your source? If you can't that means you made a big leap and are putting words in the mouths of people who haven't taken an offical possition on this either way. Maybe it's best that you let the evidence unfold in the nature that it is suppose to instead of pointing your fingers at an entire legal system and screaming 'Patsy' at the top of your lungs.

Kind of ironic that you're accusing the would-be accusers before they even had an offical statement on the case.

A little too easy... (4, Insightful)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436587)

Shouldn't they confirm through investigative work that he did in fact commit these crimes rather than just assume since they were about to file charges & that he "committed suicide" that he did it? IT seems like poor reasoning on anyone's part to just assume this is the logical conclusion just because he offed himself before shit hit the fan. What if the suicide was for some completely different reason? Lots of people commit suicide for reasons other than legal troubles.

Re:A little too easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436663)

Shouldn't you know better and take the blurbs with a grain of salt? No one said the case was closed yet. I'd think the people who have led the investigation weren't signing off on their duties as the body bag was getting zipped up.

Your problem is that you're mistaking the words of the media and, worse, slashdot posters as to be the official and final truth. Come on now, you're better than that. 99% of what you see on slashdot can be easily ignored and nothing of value will be lost.

Re:A little too easy... (5, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436779)

What? You mean it might be possible that a depressed individual, accused of a crime, might commit suicide because of the pressure of the situation, and not guilt over getting caught? What!?

The FBI has obviously repeatedly targeted people without sufficient evidence in this case. Obviously the guys life would be ruined, guilt or innocence be damned.

Re:A little too easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437519)

How about proving it was suicide?

Then proving the other charges...

Re:A little too easy... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436787)

Well, the article does say that their last suspect had just gotten 5 mil for being falsely charged, when there was no evidence he ever had any anthrax.

So... yes, they should do some investigative work. It's been almost 7 years, you would think they could have found some time to actually work rather than just say "Hey, you're a microbiologist, you probably did it."

Hopefully I won't get charged, I did have a microbiology class at some point, and since they apperantly don't use evidence, that puts me on a list probably.

Re:A little too easy... (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437109)


Hopefully I won't get charged, I did have a microbiology class at some point, and since they apperantly don't use evidence, that puts me on a list probably.

I'm a big fan of the band Anthrax... hopefully myself & other fans won't be considered "persons of interest".

Re:A little too easy... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437373)

What if the suicide was for some completely different reason?

Or maybe whomever mailed the anthrax ( obviously not too concerned with other people's lives )offed him to take pressure off of them?

Re:A little too easy... (1)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437405)

I'd bet because those involved have been doing this a while and are tired and getting lazy. They want to do something else.

All a mistake really... (4, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436601)

He just accidentally mixed up his crack and his research material.

Suicide is an option! (2, Insightful)

IronChef (164482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436609)

Maybe this guy is innocent and when he saw the hell that Hatfill went through, he decided he'd rather check out instead.

Just kidding! ... but not really.

Re:Suicide is an option! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436871)

Is this some right-wing conspiracy theory talking point now? Hell, Ive never even heard of hatfill until today. I bet you believe in UFOs, Yeti, and faith healing.

Is this News For Geeks? (0, Troll)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436639)

I fail to see how this is relevant to the general slashdot content. I see how it would generate clicks and maybe that's the idea. Which leads me to request a more disciplined alternative to slashdot.

Re:Is this News For Geeks? (3, Interesting)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436949)

I fail to see how this is relevant to the general slashdot content

You may not have noticed the icons at the top of the story, but this was classified under "Government", "Biotech", and "Science". I think rightly in all 3 cases.

You could perhaps make a case for the argument that the "Government" stuff should not be on slashdot, but the other two categories certianly belong here.

I'd argue you the first one too though. Politics is most assuredly "stuff that matters". And if you don't think political people are "nerds", you clearly have never heard Markos (of DailyKos) speak.

Re:Is this News For Geeks? (3, Interesting)

ShibaInu (694434) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437033)

Let's see - this is about a mysterious case involving weaponized anthrax that had to be developed by someone with pretty specific technical knowledge. Futhermore, it involves the FBI, DOD biological weapons labs, conspiracy theories, etc. Seems to me to be pretty geeky.

Don't like it - don't read it.

Re:Is this News For Geeks? (2, Insightful)

NorQue (1000887) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437453)

Says here "news for nerds, stuff that matters". And this is definitely stuff that matters, IMHO.

I haven't found it yet (1)

cluge (114877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436643)

As I sit here with my tin foil hat on - looking for the conspiracy theory that can explain this. So far the usual suspects don't have anything good. I'm quite sure some ex high level government intelligence agent that wants to do good is here on Slashdot. PLEASE - give us your best conspiracy theory and if you don't have one make one up! This story is RIPE for a good conspiracy theory and I bored.

- cluge

Conspiracy Theory: Allways kill the assisin (5, Insightful)

chaffed (672859) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436667)

What's the best way to maintain plausible deniability [wikipedia.org] ? Kill the person who actually committed the crime. Your patsy does the dirty work, then you dispose of them.

Re:Conspiracy Theory: Allways kill the assisin (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436765)

Kill the person who actually committed the crime. Your patsy does the dirty work, then you dispose of them.

"I kill the bus driver."

Re:Conspiracy Theory: Allways kill the assisin (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437213)

"Bus driver? What bus driver?"

Re:Conspiracy Theory: Allways kill the assisin (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437353)

It worked for Oswald only this time it was made to be a Suicide so we don't need a sick assassin to kill the assassin.

Re:Conspiracy Theory: Allways kill the assisin (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437621)

But why use this guy? we was a very valuable researcher.
Why wouldn't they have killed that guy that was making it in his garage and claim he did it?
Would have been clean, quickly closed the case, and almost nobody would have bother to question it.

innocent til shown guilty (4, Insightful)

wherrera (235520) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436669)

Unfortunately unless he wrote a confession note it's possible that he was simply depressed and the news of being prosecuted as his co-worker was acted as a last impetus to suicide. TIme will tell I suppose.

Huh, and I always thought it was Dr. Philip Zack (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436675)

He also worked at Detrick for a while, but got canned after being busted for harassing a co-worker who was from Egypt. Considering he still had access to the bio labs after he stopped working there, he sure had the means and motive to smuggle out some anthrax for later use.

Guess I was wrong.

Welcome, Comrades! (0)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436745)

Welcome, Comrades!

Welcome to the glorious Union of Soviet Capitalist Republics!

In Soviet Russia, ??? suicides you!

Re:Welcome, Comrades! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436981)

Welcome, Comrades! In Soviet Russia, ??? suicides you!

In Soviet Slashdot, your jokes don't finish you.

Terrorism (3, Insightful)

mattpm (1135875) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436789)

But Dubya told me the terrorists were in Iraq!?!

Misleading the investigation? (5, Interesting)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436811)

Apparently he helped the FBI in analyzing the samples in the initial investigation. TFA says the investigation shifted focus in 2006 and

Moreover, significant progress was made in analyzing genetic properties of the anthrax powder recovered from letters addressed to two senators.

I wonder if he faked his analysis and used it to frame Hatfill (the guy the Government had announced as a person of interest, sued the NYTimes and the Justice Dept. for libel and got a big settlement from the later) Also from TFA:

Soon after the government's settlement with Hatfill was announced June 27, Ivins began showing signs of serious strain.

Maybe he knew they were closing in on him?

Re:Misleading the investigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437537)

Ahhh yes, the infamous "I wonder" speculative troll.
Yes, I wonder if dlgeek (1065796) had something to do with the Anthrax attacks.
I'm not actually outright accusing them of anything, but I'm just "wondering"

Just like a "person of interest" doesn't really mean "suspect", but it really does.

 

in this thread (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436837)

will be a lot of negative comments about the government. none of which address the crime of someone who put anthrax in the public mail, killing people. regardless of whether or not the guy who just committed suicide did those crimes. finding and prosecuting the guy who did that is job #1, right?

oh right, sorry... the government did the anthrax mailings. right after they did 9/11

(rolls eyes)

folks: healthy distrust of your government is normal and helpful to the functioning of a virbant society

however, rabid, paranoid schizophrenic musings on all evil in the world falling at the government's doorstep is not anywhere near the definition of "healthy distrust". more like pathological hobbling distrust

Re:in this thread (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437473)

Lighten up, Dude. People are taking that slant mainly because the whole affair resembles bad film noir.

Even more to ponder on this (3, Informative)

Jeff1946 (944062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436853)

Salon has a updated story today http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/01/anthrax/ [salon.com]
relating to false information provided to ABC news early on about the investigation. Really makes you wonder what was going on here.

You can't trust the media or the FBI (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437007)

The media and the FBI are a combination made in hell for law and order and justice. Just ask Hatfill and Richard Jewell [wikipedia.org] among many others. There's nothing quite like getting convicted in the court of public opinion thanks to the media for making the FBI's job easier, and there's nothing like a high profile FBI investigation to make a story for the media...

KCMO-biaatch (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437075)

Kansas City has the largest underground cities in the world (think Subtropolis, but there are several such installations through the metropolitan area). One of the underground installations is the U.S. Postal Service's largest pre-sort processing center. When the 2001 anthrax attacks occurred, Kansas City's USPS machines in the underground were contaminated with anthrax. They didn't really talk about it in the national media that I noticed, and they only discussed it for a few days in the local media.

Kansas City also has nuclear weapons manufacturies (Honeywell is proposing the construction of a new one) and missile plants in the undergrounds throughout the metro (I know of a missile plant under Independence and the nuke plant is in south KC).

Re:KCMO-biaatch (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437181)

Kansas City also has Midwest Research Institute [mriresearch.org] , across the street from Russell Stover's headquarters. MRI is capable of weaponizing anthrax. I'm not saying the anthrax came from Kansas City, but it definitely came THROUGH Kansas City. As a side note, MRI also developed the M&Ms candy coating for the military (so chocolates in MREs wouldn't melt, improving troop moral). If you live in KC and ever see MRI on fire... Get out of the city as fast as possible (and travel into the wind). MRI has possibly the largest biological weapons archive in the world. (MRI is also near Linda Hall Library, the largest private/public science and technology library in the world, a veritable Library of Alexandria. LHL has its own underground as well.)

Clueless FBI (5, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437111)

The article was, predictably, poor in science, but it sounds like the reason the FBI suspected him was that there was an anthrax contamination that he bleached but didn't report and didn't recheck to be sure nothing survived.

While that would have been a good step to take, anthrax microbes by themselves aren't harmful, in order to be a weapon it needs to be processed. Purified anthrax spores are what will send you to the hospital. I don't know how that's done, but the point is that anthrax growing on your lab bench is not the same as having plutonium all over your lab bench. Anthrax bacterial contamination in a fume hood would be an annoyance, not a serious safety issue.

Furthermore, bleach is a heavy duty sterilizing agent. You douse your bench in bleach and you really don't have to worry about residual contamination in most cases. Reswabbing is easy to do and would have been the right thing to do, but it's understandable that he didn't: it's kind of like checking for a pulse in someone you just burned at the stake.

We're of course not getting the full story, and it's more suspicious that his house was in the area the letters were coming from, but from what the article is saying, it sounds like the FBI may have harassed a man into suicide over "evidence" that would have been dismissed as unimportant if it were put into context.

Re:Clueless FBI (4, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437661)

Yes, but an "accidental" contamination is a good cover for an intentional removal of samples to weaponize elsewhere. So they find spores outside of containment in your lab? "Oh, I had an accidental release a month ago - I got it right away with bleach, so I didn't botehr reporting it. Must have missed some."

They wanted to give him the death penalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437269)

Why is the US so intent on murdering its own citizens?

Re:They wanted to give him the death penalty? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437489)

If it is true, then they didn't try and murder citizens; they simply applied fear - they scared the shit out of Americans, and when the Americans looked for the cause, they (ABC News, the government, whatever you think is the originator) pointed at Saddam Hussein.

Choice of targets and timing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24437335)

Before everyone runs off and drinks yet some more governmental press release kool aid, apply some normal flatfoot 101 to this situation, use a clean slate.

Look at who got the mailings, and when they got the mailings, and what was coincidently in the news at the same time, to establish a probable motive. Also note the "cover letters" which were meant to cast blame on "islamic terrorists", with a lot of death to the infidels and america and israel, etc nonsense written in pidgin misspelled english.

who = news media sources, and two *important* high ranking Dem senators. The first news media source, the tabloid writer in florida, who was infected and later died, is a wildcard, no ties whatsoever with the others for any apparent motive, except one. He was working on a story that dealt with a leadership position in a tangential way, something that would have embarrassed some powerful people. The other newsies were top dogs in their fields, meaning they have huge propaganda influence. Some of the letters were mailed, some hand delivered, but no one is saying by whom, this has never been publicly determined.

when and what = right before debate on the Patriot Act. How coincidental. congress gets shut down, hysteria in the news headlines, anthrax mailings happen, made to look like Abdul J. Jihad did it, patriot act passed easily, despite overwhelming and clearly just plain wrong big brother aspects to it.

So maybe he did it, maybe not, but there are some juicy bits there to think about. Maybe he was meant to be a patsy and fall guy, after first getting his cooperation by enlisiting his sense of "patriotism" and telling him "sometimes you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet" or call it "unfortunate collateral damage, but the strike had to be done". Maybe he was a manchurian brainwashed asset, maybe....but the timing and targets will remain highly suspicious, especially because of the obvious attempt at misdirection and the tremendous political and economic gains to be had by changing the direction of the US in a huge way. And there's your few trillion dollars in motive, along with control of the most powerful government on the planet, and the direction of mideast geopolitical and energy ppolicy, and increasing daily.

Next question: Who profits? Add it up.

Statute of Limitations (0)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437407)

You can bet that they decided to prosecute as a Hail Mary type of act. The statute of limitations must have been about to kick in and the only way to prevent the guy from walking away was to indict even if the evidence was next to non existent.

Re: Statute of Limitations (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437659)

I don't think there is a SoL on murder.

I find the Salon.com article much more interesting (2, Interesting)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437435)

just a repost of the link: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/01/anthrax/ [salon.com]

What's really interesting is the link between Ivins and his strong christian / anti-islamic beliefs that they outline via the letters to the editor he sent in to the Fredrick News Post. http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=78274 [fredericknewspost.com]

Never attribute to conspiracy ... (2, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24437465)

... what can most easily be explained by human greed and selfishness.

In other words, the smart money's always on the lone gunman.

This guy could have been the patsy of a vast government conspiracy to terrorize the public by release of anthrax, yes.

But how's this for an alternative? Expert in bioweapons realizes that bioweapons are a serious terrorist threat. Wants to make sure the U.S. takes the threat seriously. Oh and by the way, "taking the threat seriously" happens to provide him with some serious job security. So he slips a little anthrax out of the lab and mails it off to some high-profile folks.

As for suicide versus murder: it's kind of a pain in the butt to force someone to swallow a bottle of pills. Maybe you can do it, but there's gonna be signs of a struggle.

And it's worth noting that he became emotionally unstable and started contemplating suicide, not after the Feds started accusing him of things, but right after his colleague Hatfield was cleared. An innocent man might be a little worried by that news, but a guilty one would be terrified.

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