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FBI's "Smoking Gun" Against Ivins Evaporates [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-14-08 08:43 AM
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FBI's "Smoking Gun" Against Ivins Evaporates
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Edited on Thu Aug-14-08 09:42 AM by kpete
FBI's "Smoking Gun" Against Ivins Evaporates
The Anthrax Case Sux
By: emptywheel Thursday August 14, 2008 5:44 am

Notice this time they're not going to tell us what time Ivins went back to the lab, perhaps because they want their theory to hold up through the weekend. If it was late at night, it would introduce the same problems of timing, as presumably Ivins was back at the office at 7:30 AM the next morning, as per usual. And there's one more critical detail: Ivins did not enter Suite B3 when he returned to the office that night. As the original search warrant attachment laid out,

The investigation examined Dr. Ivins's laboratory activity immediately before and after the window of opportunity for the mailing of the Post and Brokaw letters to New York which began at 5:00 p.m. Monday, September 17,200 1 and ended at noon on Tuesday, September 18, 2001. Beginning on Friday, September 14, Dr. Ivins worked the following three consecutive evening shifts prior to the mailings with time spent in Suite B3:

Friday, September 14, 8:54 p.m. to 12:22 a.m., 2 hours 15 minutes

Saturday, September 15, 8:05 p.m. to 11:59 p.m., 2 hours 15 minutes

Sunday, September 16, 6:38 p.m. to 9:52 p.m., 2 hours 15 minutes

After September 16, Dr. Ivins did not enter Suite B3 in the evening again until September 25.

As I understand it, the attachment considers anything after 4:45 to be evening work, and we know that Ivins was in an appointment at that point, so his brief return to the office must have been an evening visit. This does not, by itself, doom their new theory. After all, Ivins was caught that December cleaning his office space, not B3, so it's possible he just stored the anthrax outside of B3 after he cultured it, if in fact he did culture it. But that would raise the question of why the anthrax didn't show up in sampling of his office, and how and where it was stored during the day of September 17 when Ivins was not in his office.


I'm most amused by the way they find evidence, claim it's significant, then discard it entirely once their theory falls apart. Just last week, the fact that Ivins had taken leave for the entire day before the anthrax was mailed was another smoking gun, proof that he had done the deed. But now that we DFHs have proved he couldn't have been mailing the anthrax at that time, then that piece of evidence is discarded entirely. It seems they don't want to entertain the possibility he was doing something else--perhaps meeting with someone, but not driving to Princeton. Similarly, lie detector tests were critical, until they discovered their main culprit passed his.

In other words, they're still making it up as they go along, and they still don't have a solid case that Ivins was the sole culprit.

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