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Archive for Thursday, August 7, 2008

Government lays out case that scientist was anthrax killer

August 7, 2008

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— The murder weapon was a flask.

Army scientist Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer whose mailings took five lives and rattled the nation in 2001, prosecutors asserted Wednesday, alleging he had in his lab a container of the lethal, highly purified spores involved and access to the distinctive envelopes used to mail them.

Making its points against Ivins, a brilliant yet deeply troubled man who committed suicide last week, the government released a stack of documents to support a damning though circumstantial case in the worst bioterror episode in U.S. history. The court documents were a combination of hard DNA evidence, suspicious behavior and, sometimes, outright speculation.

Ivins' attorney said the government was "taking a weird guy and convicting him of mass murder" without real evidence. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa called for a congressional investigation.

Ivins had submitted false anthrax samples to the FBI to throw investigators off his trail and was unable to provide "an adequate explanation for his late laboratory work hours" around the time of the attacks, according to the government documents.

Investigators also said he sought to frame unnamed co-workers and had immunized himself against anthrax and yellow fever in early September 2001, several weeks before the first anthrax-laced envelope was received in the mail.

Ivins killed himself last week as investigators closed in, and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor said at a Justice Department news conference, "We regret that we will not have the opportunity to present evidence to the jury."

The scientist's attorney, Paul F. Kemp, heatedly dismissed that comment.

"They didn't talk about one thing that they got as result of all those searches," he said.

Taylor, however, insisted the evidence would have been enough to convict.

The prosecutor's news conference capped a fast-paced series of events in which the government partially lifted its veil of secrecy in the investigation of the poisonings that followed closely after the airliner terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Ivins was described in the documents as the sole custodian of highly purified anthrax spores with "certain genetic mutations identical" to the poison used in the attacks. When pressed, Taylor acknowledged "a large number of individuals, over 100," had access to the substance.

Investigators also said they had traced back to his lab the type of envelopes used to send the deadly powder.

As for motive, investigators seemed to offer two possible reasons for the attacks: that the brilliant scientist wanted to bolster support for a vaccine he helped create and that the anti-abortion Catholic targeted two pro-choice Catholic lawmakers.

Noting that Ivins would have been entitled to a presumption of innocence, Taylor nevertheless said prosecutors were confident "we could prove his guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt."

Comments

Roadkill_Rob 6 years, 4 months ago

Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. I thought all terrorists were muslim? How could a christian be responsible for this?

Mkh 6 years, 4 months ago

screed...you are suggesting "thinking"....don't make me laugh.The Pentegon did blame the anthrax attack on Iraq initially. It of course didn't stick and was never backed up with any evidence. Though the media glamerized the lie far more than the retraction. It's called propaganda screed, and your mind has obviously been victimized by it all your life.btw, don't you think it's ironic how self proclaimed "conservatives" like yourself are always defending the deeds of big government? Think about that.Think about how you blindly hold allegence to an Administration that expanded the size and power of the federal government more than anyone since FDR and meanwhile call yourself a "conservative". By supporting W and those who control him you only support the Globalist ideals set forth by the ruling class of private banking families and their oligarchy of power.....you support Obama's bosses too....you are the same...think on that.

Mkh 6 years, 4 months ago

right on cue there madmike...yet another confused "conservative" who trusts every word of his big government masters.Speaking of conspiracy theorists, did you actually watch the FBI's press conference yesterday? The suggestive motive given for Ivins' guilt was that he was a mad scientist convinced this was the only way to save his government funding for his precious anthrax! LOL, thanks madmike for pointing out that there is a ridiculous conspiracy theory at work here....and as usual it's the Government giving us the theory.

jaythomp11 6 years, 4 months ago

madmike, i think you've been watching too many sci-fi movies....maybe you should do some reading instead

Mkh 6 years, 4 months ago

This case is highliy suspicous to say the least. The FBI's conduct thus far has been shameful and above the law...right on par for the course. This guy is obviously being used as the fall guy to conceal the real criminals. After all when you're dead it's hard to mount a defense argument.By the way, I thought the government already told us the anthrax attacks came from Iraq?Someone forgot to check their stories...oops!

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