A federal judge has blocked, at least for now, a Justice Department attempt to back away from court admissions that appeared to undercut previous FBI assertions that an Army researcher was responsible for 2001 anthrax attacks. In an order issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley of West Palm Beach, Fla., said the government must […]
Rushing into court to undo a major gaffe, Justice Department lawyers defending a civil suit Tuesday retracted statements that seemed to undercut the FBI’s finding that a former Army microbiologist mailed the anthrax-filled letters that killed five people in 2001. Although the seven-page correction, filed in federal court in Florida, addresses conflicts between lawyers in […]
Ever since the FBI claimed (for a second time) that it had discovered in 2008 the identity of the anthrax attacker — the recently-deceased-by-suicide Army researcher Bruce Ivins — it was glaringly obvious, as I documented many times, that the case against him was exceedingly weak, unpersuasive and full of gaping logical, scientific, and evidentiary holes. […]
It is hard to overstate the political significance of the anthrax attacks. The event played at least as much of a role as the 9/11 attacks in elevating the Terrorism fear levels which, through today, sustain endless wars, massive defense and homeland security budgets, and relentless civil liberties erosions. In essence, it was anthrax that convinced large numbers of Americans that Terrorism was something that could show up without warning at their doorstep — though something as innocuous as their mailbox — in the form of James-Bond-like attacks featuring invisible, lethal powder.
An editorial from The Washington Post:
Congress should convene a nonpartisan commission staffed with individuals experienced in law enforcement to probe all of the evidence in the case, including that which the FBI claims shows Mr. Ivins had the opportunity and the wherewithal to carry out the 2001 attack. The inquiry should explore why and how the Justice Department eliminated other scientists who had access to RMR-1029 as suspects, and it should examine the security protocols at repositories for biological weapons. The exploration also should focus on the country’s preparedness to deal with such an attack in the future.