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Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the take-a-deep-breath dept.

Biotech 164

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Henry S. Heine, a former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the FBI has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001. Heine told a 16-member National Academy of Sciences panel reviewing the FBI's scientific work on the investigation that he believes it is impossible that the deadly spores could have been produced undetected in Ivins's laboratory, as the FBI asserts. Heine told the panel that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab, an effort that would not have escaped colleagues' notice. Lab technicians who worked closely with Ivins have told Heine they saw no such work. Heine adds that, in addition, the biological containment measures where Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. 'You'd have had dead animals or dead people.' Asked why he is speaking out now, almost two years after Ivins's suicide, Heine says that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory. Although Heine does not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins's flask, Heine says samples from the flask were widely shared. 'Whoever did this is still running around out there. I truly believe that.'"

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Anthrax... (2, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957066)

...is generally not that deadly. My uncle used to deal with cattle with black leg all the time. This story is ONCE AGAIN blown out of proportion--thanks, FBI.

Re:Anthrax... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957110)

Agreed.. I read the wikipedia about anthrax [google.com] and it appears that almost no one has even HEARD of it.

Re:Anthrax... (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957132)

...is generally not that deadly. My uncle used to deal with cattle with black leg all the time. This story is ONCE AGAIN blown out of proportion--thanks, FBI.

Depends. I'm not a microbiologist but you know there are different strains (89 I think [wikipedia.org] ) of anthrax and it is delivered many different ways. I believe the concern here is spore anthrax or aerosol anthrax which is probably a bit more problematic than black leg. If you think it isn't deadly, there are about a hundred graves in Russia you could visit for an interview [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Anthrax... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957624)

The Anthrax found in the letters was allowed to float around in the air in crowded places, too. How many people died?

This guy is giving second-hand and speculative "evidence", and it's not holding up to scrutiny.

Re:Anthrax... (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958282)

I'm pretty sure "this guy" is more qualified than you to make the call.

Re:Anthrax... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957762)

you know there are different strains (89 I think) of anthrax

Nonsense. There is only one Anthrax [allmusic.com]

If you think it isn't deadly, there are about a hundred graves in Russia you could visit for an interview.

Hey, it's not a good concert unless there are a few fatalities.

Re:Anthrax... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957178)

I'm gonna stick MY 'black leg' into your tight, white ass you cracka bitch.

Re:Anthrax... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957462)

That's not funny, my brother died that way.

Re:Anthrax... (3, Informative)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957190)

That stuff your uncle used to deal with wasn't a weaponized aerosol either. I'm sure the people that died from the anthrax attack would take issue with your statement about it being blown out of proportion.

Re:Anthrax... (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957310)

Sure they would. But the other 299,999,950 of us need to decide if such attacks warrant as much attention as, say, car accidents.

Re:Anthrax... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957454)

Because the FBI investigates car accidents?

Re:Anthrax... (1, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957338)

Yeah, all 5 of them out of a country of 330,000,000.

An Anthrax Epidemic?

Killed in car accidents 42,116*
Killed by the common flu 20,000*
Killed by murders 15,517*
Killed in airline crashes
(of 477m passenger trips) 120 (1)
Killed by lightning strikes 90*
Killed by Anthrax 5

(1) Annual average over 19 year period.
*Average annual totals in United States.

While their deaths were tragic, putting it in perspective puts death by Anthrax WAY down the list of things to really worry about. Somewhere way down after the 58 / year by lightning, 57 by tornadoes, 48 by hurricanes, etc.

Re:Anthrax... (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957612)

Who in the hell said it was an epidemic? It was a targeted attack, and people died at the places it was sent.

Who said you should spend your time worrying about it?

Re:Anthrax... (4, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957666)

The "blown out of proportion" aspect of the story was the "threat of terrorism". The anthrax attacks hit the Capitol at the same time legislators were being pressured to pass the PATRIOT Act. The anthrax attacks delivered the unspoken message to our representatives that "nobody is safe from terrorists".

Re:Anthrax... (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958612)

The anthrax attacks hit the Capitol at the same time legislators were being pressured to pass the PATRIOT Act. The anthrax attacks delivered the unspoken message to our representatives that "nobody is safe from terrorists".

I'm not saying that Vice President Cheney was involved in any way, but you've got to admit that his agenda, formed long before September of 2001, got a big boost from the attacks.

Obviously though, he's far too nice of a guy to ever do anything underhanded.

Re:Anthrax... (3, Informative)

thms (1339227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957380)

That stuff your uncle used to deal with wasn't a weaponized aerosol either.

Even a very dedicated and professional group couldn't properly weaponize anthrax: The Japanese Aum sect, which later opted for sarin gas to attack the Tokio Subway, tried that twice and didn't kill anyone with it.

Re:Anthrax... (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957218)

...is generally not that deadly. My uncle used to deal with cattle with black leg all the time. This story is ONCE AGAIN blown out of proportion--thanks, FBI.

This isn't wild anthrax that cows get from the prairie, this is anthrax that was designed to facilitate infection by the easiest means possible (breathing). I'm not a scientists, but this strain came directly from an Army research facility designed to research and produce biological weapons. I'm pretty sure it isn't the same as naturally occurring anthrax.

On top of that according to Wikipedia the FBI closed the case on the 2001 Anthrax Scares back in February http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks#2010 [wikipedia.org] . So whatever this guy says isn't going to change what the investigators found.

Re:Anthrax... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957888)

Why do I lately see so many comments moderated off-topic that are not off-topic? The standards for moderating seem to be getting worse by the day. Or is this retribution or a new form of censorship?

Re:Anthrax... (0, Offtopic)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958060)

I agree. Douchebag moderation certainly appears* to be on the rise.

--
* yes, plural of anecdote is not data, blah, blah
 

Perhaps the birth of a new slashdot meme ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958316)

Douchebag moderation says it very nicely.

Silence != Truth (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957104)

Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory.

I'm sure he told the Army & FBI about this. Sounds like anthrax killed a scapegoat named Bruce E. Ivins to me.

Re:Silence != Truth (4, Interesting)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957364)

This story never made sense.

The way I see it there are three possibilities. When the anthrax events were taking place, you'll recall that this was high-grade weaponized anthrax containing silica, that indicates a high level of technical competence. So that leads to the first possibility, a sufficiently competent person can, on their own, weaponize anthrax from a culture. This, to me, is the most frightening, but also the least likely possibility. If one person could do it, someone else would have. I don't doubt that there are sufficiently motivated and financed terror groups who would have repeated the procedure if this were possible. This stuff was supposedly (although there are contradictory statements) better than the soviet weaponized anthrax.

The second possibility is that Ivins had nothing to do with this, except possibly supplying the culture to a third party - a third party who stopped the attacks for some unknown reason.

The third - and this is where I put on my tinfoil hat - is that the US maintains stores of weapons grade anthrax in contradiction to our biological warfare treaty obligations that someone, probably Ivins, pilfered.

Re:Silence != Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958036)

Of course we store weapons grade Anthrax - who said we didn't? Our obligations are a lot less than you think - most major powers have stockpiles of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons - the difference is in numbers and how much they store, and our obligation is not to USE them. The fact that US national policy is to respond to biological or chemical attacks with nuclear retaliation doesn't prevent us from storing stockpiles.

Furthermore, even weapons-grade anthrax is an overstated threat. I'd be much more concerned about more virulent agents or chemical warfare agents. Anthrax, if treated, is not nearly as deadly as you might think. If you don't get it treads - then yeah, you're pretty much screwed. We can also vaccinate against most strains of it since it's a bacterial agent and not a virus, which makes it also much less frightening (at least in my view) even though that vaccination has risks (if there was a widespread outbreak - you can bet the vaccination would make rounds as it was produced more, not to say we'd have it right away though...).

Also - I assume you meant a third party that performed the attacks. I find this most likely - using spores shared for research into vaccinations or other things you could produce more. I actually read about this in (of all places) middle school - apparently culturing Anthrax is not that complicated of a procedure compared to other biological and chemical agents.

Re:Silence != Truth (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958398)

Article One of the Biological Weapons Convention, to which we are a party, is, "Never under any circumstances to acquire or retain biological weapons."

never question authority (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958184)

It was done by rogue elements inside the government who wanted that patriot act passed, plus as a warning to journalists/newsies to never investigate beyond what the government official fairy tale story is on important events, such as 9-11. The mainstream press has just ceased doing any investigative reporting where it could contradict what the official party line is. And you don't need tinfoil, false flag events, using agent provocateurs, etc are SOP with government(s) going way way back, from small town police forces all the way to the top of the military industrial complex. Look at Viet Nam, a huge war promoted in part on a huge lie, the "gulf of tonkin" attack. War is big business, the security police state is big business, and then you have to look at "who profits" the most politically from having US boots on the ground all over the middle east (hint: proxy fighting forces for a regime that is untouchable politically inside the US)

Re:Silence != Truth (3, Interesting)

jdev (227251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958200)

you'll recall that this was high-grade weaponized anthrax containing silica, that indicates a high level of technical competence

There was a lot of press initially about the anthrax being high end weapons grade with silica. The truth is, the initial reports of silica are very dubious. That highlights one of the issues in a case like this - you don't even know what basic facts to believe. Almost all of the evidence against Ivins is circumstantial and claims by the government haven't always held up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks#Silicon_content_too_high [wikipedia.org]

Re:Silence != Truth (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958658)

The third - and this is where I put on my tinfoil hat - is that the US maintains stores of weapons grade anthrax in contradiction to our biological warfare treaty obligations that someone, probably Ivins, pilfered.

That actually seems to be the most likely. A ban means you do it only in secret and keep it small, not that you actually stop doing it.

Re:Silence != Truth (4, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957822)

It really makes me wonder if overzealous nuts in the Bush regime could have caused anthrax to be let lose to justify our military actions. I have no trust at all after things like WaterGate and the arms for drugs crap that went on under republican administrations.

Re:Silence != Truth (1, Informative)

chmod755 (819701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958524)

I'm sure you probably meant big "R" Republicans, right? I just think it's funny that you'd choose to highlight instances that occurred under the watch of Republican presidents and none under Democrats, as though all Democrat presidents were boy scouts and all Republican presidents were akin to Hitler's child-abusing step-brother (citation needed). The only thing "insightful" about your post is how blatantly obvious your political bias extends.

suicide? (3, Interesting)

genican1 (1150855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957108)

Nobody OD's on Tylenol in order to commit suicide. It's too ugly and painful. There are much quicker ways.

tylenol + codeine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957202)

Nobody OD's on Tylenol in order to commit suicide. It's too ugly and painful. There are much quicker ways.

It was Tylenol with codeine, a prescription drug. Codeine is an opiate.

Re:tylenol + codeine (2)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957270)

Not a particularly poweful opiate. Not enough to cause death in the doses found in Tylenol with codeine. The APAP is what got him.

Re:tylenol + codeine (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957540)

Tylenol + Codeine only has about 30 mg of codeine. A minimum lethal dose of codeine is at about 800 mg. That means he would have had to swallow almost 30 pills to die. As the GP said, that's a ridiculous way to suicide.

Re:tylenol + codeine (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957738)

Again, he wouldn't have to swallow that many, and likely didn't. The APAP in amounts found in Tylenol products is far more lethal than the codeine. Still absolutely ridiculous, seeing as how we're not talking about some crazy man who set his ass on fire, but rather a man who purportedly wanted an easy way to end it all because of harassment by law enforcement, and again, as a biologist, would know exactly what an APAP suicide would entail.

Re:tylenol + codeine (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957982)

I agree with you. My post was purely to deal with the anonymous above who was trying to claim that it could have been the codeine to do it. I'm just pointing out how ridiculous that claim would be as tylenol+codeine has such a small dosage amount versus what is a lethal adult dose.

Re:tylenol + codeine (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958014)

Yeah I got that, I was really just expanding on what you had posted.

Re:suicide? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957324)

People kill themselves in a manner of horrific ways.
Years ago there was a guy who filled his toilet with gasoline, drop his pants, sat on it and then lit it on fire.

Suicide by fire is pretty painful...for a little while.

Well, ok it was an attempt suicide as the guy did live, but my point is valid.

People use chemicals that are very nasty, drown, and a variety of other ways that make people go "why the fuck would you do it that way?"

Even slitting you wrist is more painful then jumping off a bridge... assuming high enough bridge.

Re:suicide? (2, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957342)

The point here being that as a biologist he would have a clue what kind of pain he was really in for in an APAP-induced liver failure death.

Re:suicide? (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957386)

Right. Nobody at all. Tell that to the girl I briefly dated about 20 years ago, when I was a kid. Can you please also tell it to the ER doctors that pumped her stomach and filled it with charcoal once I discovered what she had done?
Thanks so much.

Re:suicide? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957452)

That girl wasn't a trained biologist and had no idea what she was in for with APAP induced liver failure. Nobody who knows what APAP will do to you would choose to go that way, unless they really wanted a slow, painful death.

Re:suicide? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957670)

The codeine would mask the pain and induce death itself. A "trained biologist" would know that.

Re:suicide? (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957760)

It truly wouldn't "mask the pain." Codeine is a joke.

Re:suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957782)

The codeine wears off faster than it takes for APAP induced liver failure to produce death. A "trained biologist" would know that.

Re:suicide? (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957826)

Do you have any idea how little codeine is in those pills? Even downing more than enough for the APA to kill you wouldn't result in significant pain reduction. It wouldn't do squat to alleviate the pain of liver failure.

As logion said, codeine is a joke. Tylenol with codeine is what they hand out when people think they need something stronger than tylenol, but they don't. If they actually need something stronger than tylenol, they will get something with oxycodone in it.

Re:suicide? (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957848)

Hydrocodone or propoxyphene are usually prescribed before oxycodone.

Re:suicide? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957942)

I was going to put hydrocodone in, but that's just codeine and oxycodone mixed, and I didn't want to confuse the issue. People here in the US know oxycodone from a certain radio personality who was heavily addicted to the stuff, so, it was better for the sake of example, I think.

Re:suicide? (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957994)

I guess I can understand that. Best to keep it simple, what with dealing with someone who thinks that the codeine in T3 would mask the pain from an APAP overdose.

Re:suicide? (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958000)

Tylenol+codeine has about 30 mg in it. That's a joke dosage.

Re:suicide? (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958106)

Death by liver failure induced by paracetamol takes far longer than the time codeine stays in the system, and to die of codeine you need, as mentioned, a lot of pills.

Re:suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958552)

And nobody would toss out an acronym like APAP, knowing full well the reader wouldn't know what it meant, unless they were trying to sound important.

Re:suicide? (0, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958756)

Okay, skipper, thanks for the heads up. Opinion noted, for what that's worth. It's printed on every god damned container of the stuff: APAP 500mg/codeine 5mg. Nobody reads their pill bottles? Nobody can tell from context what I'm talking about? Slashdot was suddenly infested with morons? Sorry you feel intellectually threatened by me, but maybe, just maybe, that's your fucking problem, not mine.

Re:suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958032)

Right. Nobody at all. Tell that to the girl I briefly dated about 20 years ago, when I was a kid. Can you please also tell it to the ER doctors that pumped her stomach and filled it with charcoal once I discovered what she had done?
Thanks so much.

Steady there, drama-queen. Perhaps you could try to sound like less of a fag when you post anecdotes no one really cares about?

it was your fault (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958212)

Perhaps if you weren't such a jerk in the relationship, she wouldn't have chosen to end her life instead of just breaking up with you.

You should expect that kind of smart-ass, insensitive remark when you go dumping a guilt-trip response to someone else's comment.

Re:suicide? (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958636)

You see, noone who really wants to die OD's on tylenol because it's a horrible way to die (though something like taking some monk's hood is probably even worse). You don't try to off yourself with tylenol unless either you want to *punish* yourself, you don't know any better, or you are doing it to get attention (which since it takes a while gives them plenty of time to "save" you).

Re:suicide? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957602)

Never happens?

I know someone personally who did it. Really nice girl. Pretty, too. Took a bunch of Tylenol and killed her liver dead.

Modded informative? Mods on crack.

--
BMO

Re:suicide? (1)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957664)

That's simply not true. I'll reference you this article [cjem-online.ca] which says that between 1997 and 2002, there were around 2700 patients in Canada admitted to the ER for acetaminophen overdose and 69% of them overdosed intentionally. That's about 370 people a year intentionally overdosing themselves with acetaminophen a year. In the US, 26,000 people [bloomberg.com] overdosed on the drug over around 10 years. If the rate of intentional overdose is similar in the US and Canada, that's about 1800 people intentionally overdosing on the drug each year in the US. I personally know at least one person who attempted (and failed) to overdose on the drug. Dying of liver failure is a pretty nasty way to go compared to firearms, but anyone who has worked in any urban ER knows that intentional overdose is pretty common.

Re:suicide? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957806)

Like some previous comments indicate, a biologist would know that a Tylenol OD would be a painful way to go, unlike the 2700 Canadians in your article.

Your notion that liver failure is nasty relative to firearms illustrates the point those posters are trying to make well. I was an 0311/8541 in the USMC during a particularly active time in USMC history, so I'm familiar with the variety of damage dealt by firearms. If I were to decide to off myself, I wouldn't do it with a firearm, for sure.

Re:suicide? (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957876)

You wouldn't use the surest and quickest method because of its damaging effects?

Re:suicide? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958704)

It isn't the 'surest method' and very often isn't quick relative to others and in those instances is most definitely not painless. What I refer to is the length of time people often remain conscious after an eventually fatal wound delivered by a firearm. Even with multiple hits.

Re:suicide? (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957860)

We're not talking about a 16 year old emo girl here.

Re:suicide? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958270)

What about Benadryl? Also ugly and painful. One of my best friends in HS killed himself on that stuff after doing something really stupid (kissing the newlywed wife of another friend). Vomitting, convulsions, and other nastiness, eventually leading to his heart stopping. I don't doubt that there are certain questions surrounding the circumstances of this man's death, but ugly and painful suicides happen quite often.

Or maybe its maybelline (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957122)

cover up?

No kidding. (4, Interesting)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957126)

And no one who was paying attention to the original details of the story are surprised.

Re:No kidding. (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957368)

And for those who haven't been paying attention, check out Glenn Greenwald's [salon.com] writings on the subject. Something is rotten in the state of America.

Re:No kidding. (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957788)

Glenn Also pointed to this [businessweek.com] story about how Obama would veto a budget bill if it included money to reinvestigate the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Transparency, this is not.

Can you say inside job? (4, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957182)

So a strain of Anthrax, developed by the US Military, get's mailed to a Democratic senator, and a high profile journalist, about a month after 9/11. After years of "investigating" they blame a dead guy who can't defend himself.

This is a case that will never be solved because whoever it was in the government that did it, has covered their tracks.

Re:Can you say inside job? (2, Interesting)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957340)

They blamed the dead guy before he killed himself.

Re:Can you say inside job? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958010)

They blamed the dead guy before they made it look like he killed himself.

providing historical accuracy (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958028)


Just to clarify,

They blamed the dead guy before "he" killed "himself."

Seth

Re:Can you say inside job? (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958278)

They blamed the dead guy before he killed himself.

They had blamed several guys already, this one, was the one who got depressed and killed himself. Of course, that depends on your definition of blamed. No charges has been filed. People had just been investigated and labeled "person of interest".

Re:Can you say inside job? (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957348)

So a strain of Anthrax, developed by the US Military,

No.
A strain of Anthrax with similar genetic code as one being developed by the military.

The security around the anthrax at that time wasn't what anyone would call 'high'.

Re:Can you say inside job? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957356)

More likely they just wanted a solution since solving high profile cases tends to result in promotions and job offers while failing to solve said cases results in public scorn. History is filled with police that advancd their careers via finding a patsy to pin a high profile crime on.

Re:Can you say inside job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957672)

please name and cite 3.

Re:Can you say inside job? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957910)

please name and cite 3.

Have at it, [google.com] fuckface.

Not convinced by this testimony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957200)

Seems all a bunch of negatives. He concedes a genetic link that sources this stuff to the lab, but can't believe this could have gone unnoticed. And he uses the supposedly poor containment at the lab as another negative example, claiming that the other labs, animals and technicians should have become infected if the work was done there. But otherwise things were so tight that someone else would have noticed the production of all this anthrax.

Re:Not convinced by this testimony (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957378)

The 'noticed' part refers to the amount of time and resources nesseary to product the ammount that went out. A whole year or so of overtime using specific equipment day in and day out.

Not a compelling argument. (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957530)

People are not nearly as observant as they think they are. Been proven time and time again. People always think they "know" a person or they are certain of what the saw or didn't see. Multiple psychological studies have shown that people's certainty has little to no correlation with reality.

Re:Not a compelling argument. (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957756)

The argument wasn't about whether or not he "knew" the accused. The argument is that he knows what would be involved in doing what the accused was accused of doing. He says it was impossible that the accused could have done what he did without being noticed. I imagine it would be like the equivalent of trained chemists noticing whether or not one of their colleagues was cooking up kilograms of MDMA over in the corner of the lab.

That's two... (4, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957210)

So that is two men the US Government accused of the Anthrax attacks, one of which killed himself and the second almost did. Neither with any real evidence other than vague coincidences. Just goes to show that when the pressure to solve an investigation goes to such extremes mistakes are bound to happen.

I think we should ask about the state's method. In one case they intentionally harassed a suspect by releasing his name to the media, conducting multiple searches, and following him around 24/7 and even having local law enforcement arrest him multiple times on silly charges.

In any other country that has some kind of independent police watchdog you would have consequences but in the US where law enforcement seem to be above the law and "investigate" (ha ha) themselves they just get worse and worse year after year.

Re:That's two... (2, Funny)

JamesPr (1542299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957350)

Government jobs not only have poor pay in comparison to industry, they can kill you too!

Re:That's two... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957440)

Yeah, hearing how they viciously harassed Dr. Hatfill and Dr. Ivins it seems pretty clear that their strategy wasn't to solve the crime.
If you read over the evidence their case is not particularly convincing, there really isn't any evidence that Ivins did it. He was a quirky strange guy and they used that against him until he broke. From what I've read almost no scientists in the "biodefense" community are convinced that Ivins did it, but once he'd killed himself he was the perfect scapegoat.

There is ZERO chance that it was Heine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957288)

When this first happened, I stated that this was a multi-person job and the original bugs came from the military. The military part was proven.
This was a multi-person job. In particular, the envelopes that leaked at the start of USPS would have leaked through their system. They did not. Somebody hand carried them INTO the USPS, stamped them, carried them out and then hand delivered them at the final destination. The person that did that either worked at that particular location (not likely), OR was able to move between locations. That means either a temp or a high ranking USPS person that is very likely ex-military.
Also, the idea that Ivins did the final work in a specialized underwater bio-box to work on this was stupid. Filled with air and trying to do all the work? Yeah. RIGHT.

This was a group effort. Ivins was at best a participant by supplying the original bug and the tech know-how, though that would take some proving.

Army investigation was botched (4, Interesting)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957316)

Everyone is assuming that all that weaponized anthrax came from the lab by its genetic makeup. Its possible only a sample was taken, and "mass produced" elsewhere. Yeah, it takes "special equipment", but its not like you need nuclear tools or there's only 7 machines in the world like it. Like the Kennedy assassination, and 9/11, we're never going to get the complete truth out of this.

Re:Army investigation was botched (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958180)

but its not like you need nuclear tools

Yeah man, don't be such a douche, think about the environment and use solar powered tools or something. Also get some weed and mellow out, you need it dude.

this story is made for paranoid schizophrenics (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957328)

it screams conspiracies and secret government involvement

but real life is not a hollywood movie, occam's razor is unfortunately mundane and boring. the simplest, lamest, conspiracy-free explanation is the truth

but flame on paranoid schizophrenics: this story is made for you. wig out and bug out while you can

Re:this story is made for paranoid schizophrenics (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957608)

Riight. Because only a paranoid schizophrenic would find this at all suspicious. Do you work for the FBI, or are you just naturally trusting?

so (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958320)

what did you think of last night's episode of "fringe"?

isn't it great the truth is finally coming out?

Re:this story is made for paranoid schizophrenics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957620)

The trouble with applying Occam's Razor to this case is that when you examine the facts, there is no simple, straightforward, lame explanation.

Re:this story is made for paranoid schizophrenics (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957660)

The simplest explanation is that a highly trained and successful microbiologist found the time and equipment to culture, weaponize, and distribute anthrax in his spare time while still maintaining his normal duties without arising any suspicion from his peers, and then proceeded to kill himself in just about the slowest, most inefficient, and most painful way possible.

Now I'm not saying there's no way it's true, but it smells fishy enough to warrant looking further into in my opinion.

Re:this story is made for paranoid schizophrenics (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957712)

No it screams government incompetence. Someone sent the samples. The FBI jumped to conclusions and harassed a man to death that they thought was a suspect.

It's not the first time. Remember Richard Jewell [wikipedia.org] ? After he saved countless lives by noticing a suspicious backpack and evacuating the area around it in Centennial Olympic Park, he was first hailed as a hero. The FBI investigated him for no other reason than he fit the profile of a lone bomber despite having no background with bomb making. What's worse is that he FBI leaked that he was a suspect. After a trial in the media and having all his possessions thoroughly search by the FBI, it wasn't until months later that a US Attorney (and not the FBI) declared he was no longer a suspect. Years later Eric Rudolph admitted he planted the bombs.

Alex Jones, is that you? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957330)

I didn't know Alex Jones was a slashdot member.

Glenn Greenwald (3, Informative)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957422)

They destroyed Hatfill (4, Informative)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957458)

The Atlantic magazine just published a really eye-opening article on Steven Hatfill [theatlantic.com] , the FBI's first suspect. It is very clear from the article that the FBI was hell-bent on finding a perpetrator of the crime even in the absence of any solid evidence. It's an interesting and frightening read about how the FBI could completely destroy your job, your friends, your day-to-day life, and your family if they falsely accuse you of a crime.

Everyone says their friend is innocent (2, Insightful)

clay_shooter (1680300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31957570)

How often do folks come forward to say that they can't imagine that their associate/friend/neighbor/spouse couldn't have done the crime. Sometimes they're right and their wrong.

Re:Everyone says their friend is innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31958430)

"Sometimes they're right and their wrong."

That's among the least sensible things i've ever read.

paging Dr. Phillip Zack (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31957774)

Anthrax cover-up on line one !

Thi is the second time . . . (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31958330)

The FBI already did this to another guy.

They smeared and squeezed Steven Hatfill for several years. Ashcroft accused him publicly. They shadowed him 24-7. He lost all work and most friends. He is innocent.

The only reason he didn't commit suicide from the harassment was that, "If I would've killed myself, I would've been automatically judged by the press and the FBI to be guilty."

Don't take my word for it, read it here [theatlantic.com] .
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