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Amerithrax Hoax

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As cited in Part I, the New York Times account of the FBI’s supposed proof of where the anthrax had been grown depends upon an analysis of the “chemical signature” of the water in Frederick, Maryland, which is said to match that of the water used to grow the mailed anthrax. It should come as no surprise that, from a scientific point of view, this is simply absurd.             

One need not be an expert to understand that all laboratories involved in the (controlled) growth of any kind of biological product use distilled water and certainly not the local tap water. (USAMRIID’s laboratories are no exception.) The obvious purpose of distilling/purifying the water is to remove all of the chemicals and minerals in the tap water, many of which would unpredictably affect the growth of the desired biological product. Bottom line: There would be no chemical signature at all in the water used to grow the mailed anthrax, regardless of where it was grown.

Part IV: The Purpose and Tragedy of the Hoax            

The DOJ-FBI must recognize the risk posed by exposure of this hoax. What compels the DOJ-FBI to resort to this hoax? The answer is clear. The DOJ-FBI is, at this point, desperate to dispel what the New York Times article itself refers to as the “widespread” belief that “the anthrax might have come from military and intelligence research programs in Utah or Ohio.”             

What underlies this widespread belief? There is a massive amount of evidence (which now includes the Frederick water hoax). Some of the evidence is as follows:           

At the Amerithrax Investigation Press Conference on August 6, 2008, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor summarized the chief piece of evidence against Bruce Ivins as follows: “First, we were able to identify in early 2005 the genetically-unique parent material of the anthrax spores used in the mailings. As the court documents allege, the parent material of the anthrax spores used in the attacks was a single flask of spores, known as ‘RMR-1029,’ that was created and solely maintained by Dr. Ivins at USAMRIID. This means that the spores used in the attacks were taken from that specific flask, regrown, purified, dried and loaded into the letters. No one received material from that flask without going through Dr. Ivins. We thoroughly investigated every other person who could have had access to the flask and we were able to rule out all but Dr. Ivins.”            

The DOJ and the FBI, with cooperation from our media “of record,” have done their best to obscure the glaring problem with this chief piece of evidence: According to the logs dutifully maintained by Dr. Ivins, which are now in the custody of the DOJ-FBI, RMR-1029 spores were repeatedly sent before the mailing of the anthrax letters to the military and intelligence research programs in Utah and Ohio.  And it has been established, ironically enough, first in a lengthy Sept. 4, 2001 article in the New York Times, that these military and intelligence programs were engaged in the up-until-then secret weaponization of anthrax. (Senator Patrick Leahy, himself the target of an anthrax letter, referred to this Sept. 4, 2001 article during the above-mentioned Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.)            

Practically all of the former and current scientists at USAMRIID who have expressed themselves on the subject are of the opinion that Ivins had neither the expertise nor the equipment to process anthrax spores in the way the anthrax sent to the Senators was processed. In contrast, no one doubts that the military and intelligence research programs in Utah and Ohio had and have both the expertise and equipment to accomplish such processing.             

The truth is that the anthrax weaponization projects being conducted in Ohio and Utah are the only possible source of the anthrax letters, given both the genetic make-up of the mailed anthrax and the way that the mailed anthrax was processed into a weapon.            

Actually, this truth was evident soon after the event of the anthrax letters. Scott Shane, himself, then with the Baltimore Sun, wrote a December 12, 2001 article subtitled  “Bioterror: Organisms made at a military laboratory in Utah are genetically identical to those mailed to members of Congress,” which contained the following:

“For nearly a decade, U.S. Army scientists at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah have made small quantities of weapons-grade anthrax that is virtually identical to the powdery spores used in the mail attacks that have killed five people, government sources say....            

“Anthrax is also grown at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick ... [b]ut that medical program uses a wet aerosol fog of anthrax rather than the dry powder used in the attacks....            

“Dugway's production of weapons-grade anthrax, which has never before been publicly revealed, is apparently the first by the U.S. government since President Richard M. Nixon ordered the U.S. offensive biowarfare program closed in 1969. Scientists familiar with the anthrax program at Dugway described it to The Sun on the condition that they not be named. . . . (Emphasis added)           

“Scientists estimate that the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle originally contained about 2 grams of anthrax, about one-sixteenth of an ounce, or the weight of a dime. But its extraordinary concentration - in the range of 1 trillion spores per gram - meant that the letter could have contained 200 million times the average dose necessary to kill a person. Dugway's weapons-grade anthrax has been milled to achieve a similar concentration, according to one person familiar with the program. The concentration exceeds that of weapons anthrax produced by the old U.S. offensive program or the Soviet biowarfare program, according to Dr. Richard O. Spertzel, who worked at Detrick for 18 years and later served as a United Nations bioweapons inspector in Iraq. . . .           

“[M]any bioterrorism experts argue that the quality of the mailed anthrax is such that it could have been produced only in a weapons program or using information from such a program. . . .”            

Four days later, on December 16, 2001, the Washington Post published the following:

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