Mike the Mad Biologist

More Incompetency in the Ivins Case

Keep in mind, this probably means there is a murderous terrorist running loose out there:

Now, however, Justice Department lawyers have acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins’ lab — the so-called hot suite — didn’t contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.

The government said it continued to believe that Ivins was “more likely than not” the killer. But the filing in a Florida court didn’t explain where or how Ivins could have made the powder, saying only that his secure lab “did not have the specialized equipment . . . that would be required to prepare the dried spore preparations that were used in the letters.”

The government’s statements deepen the questions about the case against Ivins, who killed himself before he was charged with a crime. Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores, and the FBI’s eight-year, $100 million investigation never provided direct evidence that he mailed the letters or identified another location where he might have secretly dried the anthrax into an easily inhaled powder.

Earlier this year, a report by the National Academy of Sciences questioned the genetic analysis that had linked a flask of anthrax stored in Ivins’ office to the anthrax in the letters.

The court papers were uncovered by a reporter for the PBS program “Frontline,” which is working on a documentary on the case with McClatchy and ProPublica, an investigative newsroom.

If Ivins had been accused of rape, not terrorism, he would probably have been exonerated. But apparently, accusations of terrorism are held to different (il)legal standards.

Just saying.

Comments

  1. #1 Ross
    July 19, 2011

    Wait, is that a problem with the standards of evidence in terror cases, or with the standards in *rape* cases? Because “It should be as easy to get exhonorated on terrorism charges as it is on rape charges” is a sentence packed to the brim with wrong.

  2. #2 SocraticGadfly
    July 20, 2011

    Mike, do you believe it was a rogue American? That’s my take. The sophistication level is beyond al Qaeda, surely. It’s highly unlikely it’s some Russian, or Chinese.

    That said …. without naming names, for legal and other reasons … any suspicions as to whom said rogue American might be?

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