A New York Times article from today reveals that the case against Ivins is even weaker than previously disclosed.
Specifically, the Times stated that even after anthrax was genetically linked to Ivin's lab and he was questioned about late-night lab work, the FBI informed him he was not a suspect:
"In April 2007, after the mailed anthrax was genetically linked to Dr. Ivins’s laboratory and after he was questioned about late-night work in the laboratory before the letters were mailed, prosecutors sent Dr. Ivins a formal letter saying he was 'not a target' of the investigation."If the FBI did not consider the genetic and after-hours work evidence persuasive then, why should the evidence be considered persuasive now (other than the FBI's embarassment over the multi-million dollar judgment in favor of Steven Hatfill and the desperate desire to shift attention away from U.S. bioterror programs)?
In addition, the Times has determined that 200 or 300 hundred people had access to the killer anthrax at Fort Detrick alone:
"Laboratory records obtained by The New York Times show that the anthrax supply labeled RMR-1029, which the F.B.I. linked to the attacks, was stored in 1997 not in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, in Building 1425, but in the adjacent Building 1412. Former colleagues said that its storage in both buildings at different times from 1997 to 2001 might mean that the bureau’s estimate of 100 people with physical access to it was two or three times too low."(This is in addition to the numerous other labs which had the killer strain. See this, this and this.)
No wonder Senator Charles Grassley said:
“If the case is solved, why isn’t it solved? It’s all very suspicious, and you wonder whether or not the F.B.I. doesn’t have something to cover up and that they don’t want to come clean.”And Senator Arlen Specter said:
"My conclusion at this point is that it’s very much an open matter. There are some very serious questions that have yet to be answered and need to be made public.”