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The Anthrax Attacks Were NOT the Work of a “Lone Nut”

Comment: the FBI has disproved its own theory about the 2001 anthrax attacks.

“The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved” by Edward Jay Epstein; The Wall Street Journal; 1/25/2010; p. A19.

The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. The cause of death was an overdose of the painkiller Tylenol. No autopsy was performed, and there was no suicide note.

Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, and the person who mailed deadly anthrax spores to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These attacks killed five people, closed down a Senate office building, caused a national panic, and nearly paralyzed the postal system.

The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes. Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer—or even a witness to the mailings. With the help of a task force of scientists, it found a flask of anthrax that closely matched—through its genetic markers—the anthrax used in the attack.

This flask had been in the custody of Ivins, who had published no fewer than 44 scientific papers over three decades as a microbiologist and who was working on developing vaccines against anthrax. As custodian, he provided samples of it to other scientists at Fort Detrick, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and other facilities involved in anthrax research.

According to the FBI’s reckoning, over 100 scientists had been given access to it. Any of these scientists (or their co-workers) could have stolen a minute quantity of this anthrax and, by mixing it into a media of water and nutrients, used it to grow enough spores to launch the anthrax attacks.
Consequently, Ivins, who was assisting the FBI with its investigation, as well as all the scientists who had access to the anthrax, became suspects in the investigation. They were intensely questioned, given polygraph examinations, and played off against one another in variations of the prisoner’s dilemma game. Their labs, computers, phones, homes and personal effects were scrutinized for possible clues.

As the so-called Amerithrax investigation proceeded, the FBI ran into frustrating dead ends, such as its relentless five-year pursuit of Steven Hatfill, which ended with an apology in 2007 and Mr. Hatfill receiving a $5.8 million settlement from the U.S. government as compensation. Another scientist, Perry Mikesell, became so stressed by the FBI’s games that he began to drink heavily and died of a heart attack in October 2002.

Eventually, the FBI zeroed in on Ivins. Not only did he have access to the anthrax, but FBI agents suspected he had subtly misled them into their Hatfill fiasco. A search of his email turned up pornography and bizarre emails which, though unrelated to anthrax, suggested that he was a deeply disturbed individual.

The FBI turned the pressure up on him, isolating him at work and forcing him to spend what little money he had on lawyers to defend himself. He became increasingly stressed. His therapist reported that Ivins seemed obsessed with the notion of revenge and even homicide. Then came his suicide (which, as Eric Nadler and Bob Coen show in their documentary “The Anthrax War,” was one of four suicides among American and British biowarfare researchers in past years). Since Ivins’s odd behavior closely fit the FBI’s profile of the mad scientist it had been hunting, his suicide provided an opportunity to close the case. So it held a congressional briefing in which it all but pronounced Ivins the anthrax killer.

But there was still a vexing problem—silicon.

Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax. Through an elaborate process, anthrax spores were coated with the substance to prevent them from clinging together so as to create a lethal aerosol. But since weaponization was banned by international treaties, research anthrax no longer contains silicon, and the flask at Fort Detrick contained none.
Yet the anthrax grown from it had silicon, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol. If so, then somehow silicon was added to the anthrax. But Ivins, no matter how weird he may have been, had neither the set of skills nor the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores.

At a minimum, such a process would require highly specialized equipment that did not exist in Ivins’s lab—or, for that matter, anywhere at the Fort Detrick facility. As Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins, explained in a private briefing on Jan. 7, 2009, the lab didn’t even deal with anthrax in powdered form, adding, “I don’t think there’s anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it.” So while Ivins’s death provided a convenient fall guy, the silicon content still needed to be explained.

The FBI’s answer was that the anthrax contained only traces of silicon, and those, it theorized, could have been accidently absorbed by the spores from the water and nutrient in which they were grown. No such nutrients were ever found in Ivins’s lab, nor, for that matter, did anyone ever see Ivins attempt to produce any unauthorized anthrax (a process which would have involved him using scores of flasks.) But since no one knew what nutrients had been used to grow the attack anthrax, it was at least possible that they had traces of silicon in them that accidently contaminated the anthrax.

Natural contamination was an elegant theory that ran into problems after Congressman Jerry Nadler pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller in September 2008 to provide the House Judiciary Committee with a missing piece of data: the precise percentage of silicon contained in the anthrax used in the attacks.

The answer came seven months later on April 17, 2009. According to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the powder in the Leahy letter was silicon. “This is a shockingly high proportion,” explained Stuart Jacobson, an expert in small particle chemistry. “It is a number one would expect from the deliberate weaponization of anthrax, but not from any conceivable accidental contamination.”

Nevertheless, in an attempt to back up its theory, the FBI contracted scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California to conduct experiments in which anthrax is accidently absorbed from a media heavily laced with silicon. When the results were revealed to the National Academy Of Science in September 2009, they effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water.

The Livermore scientists had tried 56 times to replicate the high silicon content without any success. Even though they added increasingly high amounts of silicon to the media, they never even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of magnitude lower, with some as low as .001%.

What these tests inadvertently demonstrated is that the anthrax spores could not have been accidently contaminated by the nutrients in the media. “If there is that much silicon, it had to have been added,” Jeffrey Adamovicz, who supervised Ivins’s work at Fort Detrick, wrote to me last month. He added that the silicon in the attack anthrax could have been added via a large fermentor—which Battelle and other labs use” but “we did not use a fermentor to grow anthrax at USAMRIID . . . [and] We did not have the capability to add silicon compounds to anthrax spores.”

***

If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it. Even before these startling results, Sen. Leahy had told Director Mueller, “I do not believe in any way, shape, or manner that [Ivins] is the only person involved in this attack on Congress.”

When I asked a FBI spokesman this month about the Livermore findings, he said the FBI was not commenting on any specifics of the case, other than those discussed in the 2008 briefing (which was about a year before Livermore disclosed its results). He stated: “The Justice Department and the FBI continue working to conclude the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks. We anticipate closing the case in the near future.”

So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open—and, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.

Discussion

5 comments for “The Anthrax Attacks Were NOT the Work of a “Lone Nut””

  1. Among the letters sent in the 2001 Anthrax Attacks was a letter sent to CHILE and mailed from FLORIDA but postmarked ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.

    This letter containing anthrax was mailed to Dr. Antonio Banfi, a pediatrician in Santiago, Chile. Although the return address was Orlando, Florida, the postmark was Zurich, Switzerland. The letter was sent via DHL, which used a Swiss bulk mail shipper in New York and a Swiss postmark. Unlike the anthrax letters with U.S. addressees, the letter to Chile was mailed in a business envelope and had a type-written return address, a business in Florida. Dr. Banfi received the letter, but found it suspicious and gave it to the Chilean authorities. No one is known to have been infected with anthrax from it. The letter baffled American and Chilean officials because, they say, “as they dig deeper, nothing quite adds up.”

    New York Times, November 29, 2001, “A NATION CHALLENGED: OVERSEAS PUZZLE; U.S. Confirms Anthrax in Chilean Letter”

    Posted by WRKG | February 20, 2010, 7:28 pm
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/19/us-anthrax-vaccine-children-idUSBRE92I03220130319

    Test of anthrax vaccine in children gets tentative OK

    By Sharon Begley

    NEW YORK | Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:01am EDT

    (Reuters) – A presidential ethics panel has opened the door to testing an anthrax vaccine on children as young as infants, bringing an angry response from critics who say the children would be guinea pigs in a study that would never help them and might harm them.

    The report, however, released on Tuesday by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, said researchers would have to overcome numerous hurdles before launching an anthrax-vaccine trial in children. It now goes to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who will decide whether to take the steps the commission recommended.

    The one anthrax vaccine approved in the United States, called BioThrax, is made by Emergent BioSolutions Inc of Rockville, Maryland. The company reported $215.9 million in sales of BioThrax, its only licensed product, in 2012.

    The ethics commission took up the issue after a biodefense panel recommended in 2011 that the anthrax vaccine be tested in children. That endorsement, by the National Biodefense Science Board, came with the caveat that such a study also get the go-ahead from a bioethics panel.

    It did, albeit conditionally.

    “We have to get this precisely right,” panel Chair Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said at a news conference. “Many significant steps would have to be taken” before a pediatric anthrax vaccine trial could be considered, she said. But she added that it is important “to develop the knowledge needed to save children’s lives” in the event of an anthrax attack.

    Balancing the need to protect children against the need to know, for instance, the safe dose of the vaccine, made this “one of the most difficult ethical reviews a bioethics board has ever conducted,” Gutmann said.

    Activists said the board was wrong not to oppose unequivocally testing the anthrax vaccine in children.

    Vera Sharav, founder of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, predicted that such a study would cause “moral harm for us as a nation and suffering for the children. They should have said, ‘thou shalt not.'”

    ‘DARK ZEPHYR’

    The idea of testing an anthrax vaccine in children arose when a 2011 war game, called Dark Zephyr, presented to policy makers a scenario in which terrorists released anthrax on a city modeled on San Francisco. Doctors did not know what dose of the vaccine to give children. That presented a dilemma: should children be vaccinated anyway, or should the government test the vaccine on them first to establish a safe dose?

    Information about safety has come from giving the vaccine to some 2.9 million adults, mostly members of the armed forces who were thought to be at risk of exposure to biological weapons in Iraq. Information about efficacy has come from animal studies, as it is unethical to expose someone to anthrax intentionally to see if the vaccine works, and from measurements of the anthrax-fighting antibodies a vaccinated person produces.

    Federal regulations set a high bar for research on kids. If the chance of their benefiting is minuscule or nil, and the potential risk even minimal, children are usually off-limits.

    The presidential bioethics panel conceded that “there is no prospect of direct benefit to children” who participate in an anthrax-vaccine study, Gutmann said. According to the biodefense board, children in such a study would face more than minimal risk (defined as a risk no greater than that in daily life or at a check-up), mostly because the side effects of the vaccine in children are unknown.

    Because the vaccine poses more than minimal risk to children, any proposal for testing it in them would have to clear several hurdles, the commission said. One pre-requisite for such a study is rigorously testing the vaccine in the youngest adults, starting at age 18.

    “You’d work your way down from 18-year-olds,” said Dr. John Parker, a retired army major general and chairman of the biodefense board. “If it were safe you’d go to 17-year-olds, then 16-year olds.” After each round showing minimal harm, “you’d ask permission to move on to younger children.”

    The youngest age for testing is not clear, said Parker, “but the immune system of very young children is different from older people’s.” Results in 16-year-olds or even 5-year-olds might not reveal whether the vaccine is safe in babies, who would therefore have to be studied, too.

    HATCHING SPORES

    To critics, the combination of no benefit and some risk to children means a pediatric anthrax-vaccine study should be prohibited.

    “We have to wonder if, after all the data collected by the U.S. Army on the side-effects experienced by soldiers, we would want to subject children to skin ulcers symptoms of the disease,” said Jeanne Guillemin, a senior fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program and author of a 2011 book about anthrax attacks, titled “American Anthrax.”

    In the largest study of the anthrax vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2008 that in 1,563 adults who received the vaccine, there were 229 “serious adverse events” such as cardiovascular disease, intracranial aneurysm and seizure, though only nine were blamed on the vaccine. Much more common were milder reactions such as soreness near the injection site, itching, fever and malaise.

    Opponents of testing the anthrax vaccine in children argue that antibiotics would be sufficient to protect kids in an anthrax attack.

    Antibiotics worked following attacks in 2001 that were traced to an Army scientist who committed suicide in 2008 as investigators closed in. The five people who died after inhaling anthrax spores sent through the mail did not receive antibiotics before developing symptoms. Everyone who was exposed and received antibiotics in time survived, noted MIT’s Guillemin.

    Proponents of testing the anthrax vaccine in children argue that antibiotics are not enough.

    “The point of vaccinating is that anthrax spores can hatch at different times and stay dormant for days to months,” said Dr. Daniel Fagbuyi of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and a member of the biodefense board.

    Vaccination, he said, would prevent disease long after victims’ 60-day course of antibiotics is finished.

    Under a 2005 law, children in an anthrax-vaccine study would be prohibited from seeking damages through the legal system. The presidential commission, said Gutmann, “strongly recommended that a plan be in place to compensate any children” who are harmed.

    (Reporting by Sharon Begley; Editing by Jilian Mincer and Dan Grebler)

    Posted by Vanfield | March 19, 2013, 3:27 pm
  3. Hope this fits this category and that it didn’t go too long; originally posted on my blog

    Does Biological Lab Threaten Sochi Olympics? January 5, 2014

    As Russia readies for the roll-out of the Winter Olympics in early February 2014 the focus shifts to acts of terrorism that stand to threaten the event. Two recent suicide bombings have killed 30 people, both bearing the trademark of Jihadists from the outlying regions that were former Soviet client-states. An editorial in “Russia Today” outlines the destabilization effort that has its origins in the middle east and prompting by western intelligence agencies

    “Although terrorists from the Caucasus are having a major impact on the ground in Syria, perhaps the greater threat is their ability to freely travel back to their places of origin. Keeping in mind that Syria is only about 800 miles from the Russian Caucasus, the danger is self-evident: battle-hardened fighters returning from the war in Syria bring with them their newly acquired expertise as killers, only to turn their attention back to their perceived great enemy: Russia.
    Of course, the question of proximity to Syria is important for another, perhaps more frightening reason – the closest major Russian city is Sochi, site of the Olympics next month. Naturally, many have speculated that the Olympics were a motivating factor for carrying out the attacks in Volgograd, that they were intended to send a message to both Moscow and the world on the eve of the games.

    While the extent to which Sochi was a motivating factor is up for debate, what is undeniable is that Russia occupies a precarious space in global politics, one that often leads to conflicts, both overt and covert, with other nations and global powers. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel, all part of the greater US-NATO sphere of influence, have a vested interest in ensuring that Russia does not cement its dominance of energy supplies to Europe in the coming decades.

    Any conflict between Russia and these countries, as we see currently playing out in Syria, should be understood as merely one aspect of a larger geopolitical and strategic conflict between Russia and the West (US-NATO-GCC-Israel primarily). As the Russian Caucasus has become a critical part of Russian energy delivery infrastructure, it has taken on an added importance. The South Stream Pipeline, along with a number of other projects, has positioned Russia as a principal energy source for Europe, thereby weakening the position of Western energy interests who would love to monopolize the flow of oil to Europe. As long as Saudi Arabia and other US clients continue to be a primary source of energy, their interest will always be the destabilization of Russia.”
    ***
    “Terrorists such as Umarov are best understood by their connection to the various organs of Western intelligence.
    -”One such entity that bears scrutiny is the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC), previously known as the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. As reported by Right Web at the Institute for Policy Studies: “The ACPC was founded in 1999 by Freedom House, a neoconservative organization that has worked closely with the U.S. government, receiving funds from the National Endowment for Democracy and other US democratization initiatives.” This intimate relationship between the ACPC and the US State Department indicates not merely a confluence of interests, but rather a direct relationship wherein the former is an organ of the latter.

    The paternalistic role of the US intelligence establishment in the ACPC is made all the more evident when one examines some of the more well-known members of the ACPC, including former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Pentagon advisor Richard Perle and other top neocons such as William Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Kenneth Adelman and Robert Kagan. What becomes apparent in even a cursory analysis of these figures is that, despite the preponderance of neoconservatives, the top members of the ACPC are pulled from both the liberal and conservative establishments. Therefore, one can see how the ACPC represents a bipartisan consensus within the US ruling class – a consensus of aggression against Russia.

    The ACPC has taken the lead in championing the cause of separatism and terrorism directed toward Russia, both tacitly and overtly. After having championed the cause of former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov in his quest for asylum in the United States – subsequently granted along with a generous taxpayer-funded stipend – ACPC member Zbigniew Brzezinski went so far as to write the foreward to Akhmadov’s book “The Chechen Struggle.” The alliance between political figures such as Akhmadov and terrorist leaders in the region demonstrates conclusively the partnership between the various terror networks and the ruling class in the West.”
    ————————
    There are several issues related to these statements that bear close study; The first is the fact that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased brother of the pair accused of the Boston Marathon bombings also attended a seminar in (former Soviet) Georgia sponsored by “The Jamestown Foundation”, widely percieved as a front for U.S. intelligence. From “Izvestia“:

    Tamer­lane Tsar­naeva recruited via the Geor­gian Foundation
    (Excerpt)

    One of the orga­niz­ers of the ter­ror­ist attack in Boston, stud­ied at the work­shop held in con­junc­tion with the Geor­gian spe­cial ser­vices Americans

    Читайте далее: http://izvestia.ru/news/549252#ixzz2S9OVZeQ2

    At the dis­posal of “Izves­tia” has doc­u­ments Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Depart­ment Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs of Geor­gia, con­firm­ing that the Geor­gian orga­ni­za­tion “Fund of Cau­ca­sus”, which coop­er­ates with the U.S. non-profit orga­ni­za­tion “Jamestown” (the board of direc­tors of NGOs pre­vi­ously entered one of the ide­ol­o­gists of U.S. for­eign pol­icy, Zbig­niew Brzezin­ski), was engaged in recruit­ing res­i­dents North Cau­ca­sus to work in the inter­ests of the United States and Georgia.
    Accord­ing to the reports of Colonel Chief Direc­torate Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Depart­ment Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs of Geor­gia Gre­gory Chan­turia to the Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs Irakli Garib­ashvili, “Cau­casian fund” in coop­er­a­tion with the Foun­da­tion “Jamestown” in the sum­mer of 2012 con­ducted work­shops and sem­i­nars for young peo­ple of the Cau­ca­sus, includ­ing its Russ­ian part. Some of them attended Tsar­naev Tamer­lane, who was in Rus­sia from Jan­u­ary to July 2012.
    “Cau­casian fund” writes Tchan­turia was estab­lished Novem­ber 7, 2008, just after the Georgian-Ossetian con­flict, “to con­trol the processes tak­ing place in the North Cau­ca­sus region.” Accord­ingly, the Depart­ment of the Inte­rior Min­istry coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence case was brought intel­li­gence oper­a­tions called “DTV”. Main pur­pose is to recruit young peo­ple and intel­lec­tu­als of the North Cau­ca­sus to enhance insta­bil­ity and extrem­ism in the south­ern regions of Russia.
    ———–

    Here is a rundown on The Jamestown Foundation”:

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/04/26/the-ties-that-bind-washington-to-chechen-terrorists.html

    “The Jamestown Foun­da­tion is a long-standing front oper­a­tion for the CIA, it being founded, in part, by CIA direc­tor William Casey in 1984. The orga­ni­za­tion was used as an employer for high-ranking Soviet bloc defec­tors, includ­ing the Soviet Under­sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Roman­ian intel­li­gence offi­cial Ion Pacepa. The Russ­ian domes­tic Fed­eral Secu­rity Bureau and the SVR for­eign intel­li­gence agency have long sus­pected Jamestown of help­ing to foment rebel­lions in Chech­nya, Ingushetia, and other north Cau­ca­sus republics. The March 21 Tbil­isi con­fer­ence on the north Cau­ca­sus a few days before the Moscow train bomb­ings has obvi­ously added to the sus­pi­cions of the FSB and SVR.

    Jamestown’s board includes such Cold War era indi­vid­u­als as Mar­cia Car­lucci; wife of Frank Car­lucci, the for­mer CIA offi­cer, Sec­re­tary of Defense, and Chair­man of The Car­lyle Group [Frank Car­lucci was also one of those who requested the U.S. gov­ern­ment to allow for­mer Chechen Repub­lic ‘For­eign Min­is­ter’ Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Rus­sians of ter­ror­ist ties, to be granted polit­i­cal asy­lum in the U.S. after a veto from the Home­land Secu­rity and Jus­tice Depart­ments], anti-Communist book and mag­a­zine pub­lisher Alfred Reg­n­ery; and Cas­par Weinberger’s Deputy Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense for Pub­lic Affairs Kath­leen Troia «KT» McFar­land. Also on the board is for­mer Okla­homa GOP Gov­er­nor Frank Keat­ing, the gov­er­nor at the time of the 1995 Mur­rah Fed­eral Build­ing bomb­ing.”
    ——————–
    Clearly, Russia’s terrorist problem is also a problem for the U.S. as “blowback” from western meddling returned stateside with the Boston bombings.

    Now we have also seen reports that the U.S. proxy in the middle east – Saudi Arabia had issued “not-so-veiled threats against Russia and the Sochi Olympics, From “The Telegraph” in London:
    (excerpts)

    “Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides.
    Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” he said at the four-hour meeting with Mr Putin. They met at Mr Putin’s dacha outside Moscow three weeks ago.”
    ***
    “The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis.
    As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.
    Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”
    —————-
    One of those “pressure tools to be switched on and off was obviously Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

    While the terrorist bombings pose a serious threat to the Sochi olympics, the establishment of a biological lab in Georgia under the thumb of the U.S. military has raised many more concerns. From “eurasia review”:

    Georgia Conducts Dangerous Experiments With Viruses

    (Excerpt)
    May 6, 2013

    By Boris Murashkin

    The people of Georgia are in danger. This sensational statement was made by the Georgian President’s former American advisor, journalist Jeffrey Silverman. According to him, a laboratory on the outskirts of Tbilisi is developing health hazardous viruses that are being tested on local residents.
    The laboratory is named after American senator Richard Lugar. This is not a mere coincidence. The laboratory was opened with the assistance of the American government. According to official information, specialists at the laboratory study the genetics of bacteria and viruses. However, former advisor to the President Jeffrey Silverman believes that the laboratory is engaged in developing viruses rather than studying them.
    Reportedly, in 2001-2003, Silverman helped Mikhail Saakashvili to carry out his presidential campaign. But later their paths diverged. The latest statement by Silverman that residents of Georgia have become a target of dangerous experiments is one of the most discussed topics in Georgia now. According to Silverman, experiments with viruses have led to the spread of such dangerous illnesses as pig flu and measles.
    ———–
    NTI.org adds this:

    Russia Threatens Georgian Trade Over U.S. Biolab
    22, 2013

    “Russia’s top public health official on Saturday said his country could limit trade relations with neighboring Georgia for hosting a U.S. biological research site wielding “powerful offensive potential,” Interfax reported.

    “Russia deems it to be a direct violation of BWC (Biological Weapons Convention),” Gennady Onishchenko told the news agency. He was referring to the Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research, according to Civil Georgia.
    “With the enlargement of contacts and supplies of wine products, vegetables, and other agricultural products to Russia, our alarm at the presence of a powerful U.S. Navy biological laboratory in Georgia not controlled by Georgian authorities will be increasing,” Interfax quoted him as saying. “Food products are the most efficient way for hazardous substances to enter a human organism, which could be used deliberately with the purposes of causing damage to health.”
    Onishchenko previously accused Georgia of unleashing a bout of African swine fever on Russia in an agricultural assault.
    A top Georgian medical official on Saturday called the concerns about the laboratory “a complete absurdity,” Interfax reported separately.”
    ——————–

    Georgia is shaping up to be a key player in the proxy war between Russia and the west, dating back to the 2008 invasion of South Ossetia, a “breakaway” Russian republic – and the subsequent defeat of Georgia by Russia in that western-backed provocation. This article in “The Georgian Times” outlines further intrigue:

    (Excerpts)

    Politics
    American Journalist Jeffrey Silverman’s Interview Prompts US Embassy Response
    2013.04.22 02:52
    A “dump” of controversial information last week by an American journalist has touched upon a number of highly sensitive topics in Georgia. It created a flurry of media activity that subsequently went viral on social networking sites, prompting a response from the US Embassy in Tbilisi.

    The information, which includes allegations of US military contractors involvement in the Georgian-Russian war, the death of the country’s former Prime Minister and a recently established 150 USD million biological reference laboratory near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, was both supported and discounted by local officials and influential elements in the country.

    On April 16, Jeffrey Silverman, a long term resident of Georgia, 20 years plus, and former US Army Scout, who had provided advisory services to incumbent Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili prior to coming to power with the 2003 Rose Revolution, was interviewed by the local newspaper Kvela Siakhle (All the News) and followed up with interviews with all main TV stations (with the noted exception of Rustavi2).

    In his interviews, Silverman claims that shortly after the suspicious death of Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania in 2005, a intimate contact of an agent of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who had been assigned to Georgia and provided him the name of the person who had destroyed evidence that would have showed that Zhvania did not die from a faulty Iranian gas heater, but was murdered.

    Silverman claimed that FBI agent Brian Parrmann, directed by the then leadership of the United States, had destroyed the forensic evidence because the real cause of the murder would have damaged the image of Saakashvili and negatively impacted US foreign policy in Georgia and the wider region.

    The American journalist also claimed that there is a biological weapons laboratory in Tbilisi which houses deadly bio agents that can be weaponized (anthrax, measles, and black plague and H1N1 bacteria). Similar information has also been alleged by a Norwegian journalist who was attacked during a site visit, as reported in the Georgian Times several years ago.

    As Silverman describes in his recent interviews, the “bio weapons laboratory” was constructed in 2007 by US construction engineering company Bechtel National. Anna Zhvania, the former head of the Georgian Foreign Intelligence Service, was the appointed laboratory director. He claims that the laboratory is scheduled to produce biological weapon components, which are prohibited in the United States.

    “If there is an emergency at the laboratory, Georgia will be wiped off the face of the earth,” Silverman said, adding that there are plans to produce Anthrax, measles, black plague and H1N1. “It is possible that these viruses are being artificially spread, and in fact measles is a serious problem in this country today.”

    Silverman asserted that a counterpart laboratory has also been operating in Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city of Kobuleti under the auspices of the UK’s Ministry of Defence that deals with plant diseases, and that there is also a smaller satellite biological laboratory in Kutaisi.

    Perhaps most timely, following the Georgian government’s recent announcement to conduct a thorough local investigation into the causes of the Georgian-Russian war in 2008, Silverman told that during August 2008 he was behind the Russian lines in South Ossetia, the breakaway region that the five-day war was fought over. There he observed events as part of a fact-finding report that he sent to Matthew Bryza, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state at the time, who Silverman asserts was well aware of the timing of the war before actual hostilities broke out.

    Silverman states he himself knew that the war would break out two months beforehand, having learned this from representatives of Cubic and Archangel, two private American companies established by former servicemen and retired military officers and that David Kezerashvili, Georgia’s Minister of Defence at the time of the war, had hired these companies to assist in military planning and training. This “intelligence leak” was also reported by the current editor-in-chief of the Georgian Times in a US newspaper shortly before the actual war broke out and the date of war was shared with the Georgian Human Rights Centre.

    “A group of snipers trained by Archangel was operating in Tskhinvali, even shooting civilians prior to the actual start of the war. Honestly, this was not a war but a Great Game; the military command and control structure had been intentionally disabled, for example, the electronic warfare unit of the MoD. Georgia could have won this war, but chose not to, and this was intentional – as part of game theory to test Russian resolve and technology,” Silverman explained to GT in elaborating his comments during the interviews with local media.”
    ———————-

    “Tengri News” reports of a similar lab in Kazakhstan:

    US Defense Department might be constructing dual-capable laboratory in Kazakhstan
    Thursday, 26.12.2013, 14:03

    US Defense Department is constructing a dual-capable biological laboratory to complement a network of similar facilities constructed along the Russia’s border, which might pose a threat to safety o Russia and Central Asia states, fondsk.ru reports, citing Dmitry Popov, head of the Ural Think-tank of the Russia’s Institute for Strategic Research.

    The laboratory is being constructed on the basis of the Almaty-based antibubonic facility built back in Soviet times. The stated purpose of the new facility is to “ensure security of select agents left behind in Kazakhstan as part of the Soviet military biological program and find ways to counteract them”.

    According to the analyst, the facility might be used by the Pentagon for biological developments for military purposes. Mr. Popov said that the cost of construction ($108 million) “significantly exceeds costs of constructing any similar facilities [should they serve stated purposes] and is a sign to the facility hosting dual-capable equipment”. The program is being supervised by US Senator Richard Lugar closely linked with the US military world, which is also suspicious, according to Mr. Popov.

    Russian experts believe that constructing laboratories close to Russia’s borders enables the USA to carry out military biological tests outside their own territory not to be afraid of the public sentiments inside the USA; such steps enable the USA to circumvent international treaties banning biological weapons and to create pathogenic microorganism aimed at specific genotypes within certain areas, carry out prohibited tests of biological agents, monitoring their virulence, lethality and other properties.

    According to Mr. Popov, in the last decades the USA has built a whole network of dual-capable laboratories in Europe, Africa, South East Asia. In the post Soviet states similar facilities are already accommodated in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

    The expert believes the facility in Kazakhstan is to join the so-called bioPRO system. “Should the concerns over the Almaty facility be substantiated, the threat will be aggravated through free exchange of goods between Kazakhstan and Russia within the Customs Union and through labor migration from Central Asia”, he said
    According to the author, an easy way to dissolve the fears is to ensure transparency of the process at all the stages, including construction and further research.

    ——————————-

    Summing up; conventional terrorism (bombings) may occur in an effort to destabilize Russia during their showcase Winter Olympics. The Jihadi’s that are being fingered in these acts have been encouraged and possibly trained by western intelligence services. When the Saudi’s met with the Russians and produced their carrot-and-stick message about keeping their terrorists on a leash, Putin allegedly responded with threats of Russian military action. The Saudi interest in defeating Syria, and therefore weakening Iran, has fizzled with the U.S./Russian agreement on disposal of Syrian gas weapons.

    Now it seems the leash may be off the Saudi/western controlled Jihadists and the big question is if the next phase of terrorism will be the result of “germ warfare”.
    While the Georgian Bio-lab warnings are attributed to a “Jeffrey Silverman”, The Russian report on a similar lab in Kazakhstan indicates a greater sense of the threat posed by this technology.
    According to this report in “Activist Post”, Jeffrey Silverman and his associates have been beaten and in some cases tortured and threatened with mock execution for what he has reported on:

    “Silverman had flown back to Georgia and was on a working trip to Azerbaijan to submit an article in Baku when he was picked up on orders of the US Embassy, beaten badly and his passport again seized. The US Embassy then issued a document to Silverman stating that he is an alien. He was offered a trip back to the US under alien status but instead of accepting a tainted offer, Silverman jumped the border from Azerbaijan into Georgia”.

    Posted by Swamp | January 5, 2014, 7:57 pm
  4. Posted by Swamp | January 6, 2014, 9:04 am
  5. The GAO just released its assessment of the Bruce Ivins investigation:

    The New York Times
    Inquiry in Anthrax Mailings Had Gaps, Report Says

    By WILLIAM J. BROADDEC. 19, 2014

    A congressional inquiry into the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the anthrax mailings of 2001 has identified major gaps in genetic evidence that purportedly links the germs to Bruce E. Ivins, the Army microbiologist blamed for attacks that killed five people, sickened 17 others and shook the nation.

    The Government Accountability Office study, requested in 2010 and made public on Friday, echoes earlier criticism from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2011, its expert panel found that the bureau’s analysis of the genetic evidence “did not definitively demonstrate” a firm link between the mailed anthrax spores and a sample taken from Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland, and more generally was “not as conclusive” as the bureau had asserted.

    The G.A.O. had better access to F.B.I. records and deepened the genetic critique, finding that the bureau’s investigation “lacked several important characteristics” that could have strengthened its case. “A key scientific gap,” the 77-page report said, was the bureau’s failure to investigate whether samples of anthrax spores could naturally mutate enough to obscure their putative links to Dr. Ivins.

    In 2008, shortly after he killed himself, the bureau laid out a sweeping but circumstantial case against Dr. Ivins, an Army microbiologist, saying he had acted alone in conducting the nation’s first major bioterrorist attack. It called the case Amerithrax and said that unique mutations in the anthrax spores had helped put Dr. Ivins under the spotlight.

    In an interview, Timothy M. Persons, the G.A.O.’s chief scientist, credited the bureau with working hard to correct some of its science deficiencies but said its evidence fell short in the anthrax case, which was officially closed in 2010. “They needed better science and measurement in order to be more conclusive,” he said. “It sounds nitpicky, but that’s important in building up the scientific evidence for an important case.”

    The bureau said it agreed with the G.A.O.’s advice on improving its forensic science.

    The deadly wisps of anthrax, coming just after the September attacks, set off new waves of panic. Over the years, a growing number of outside experts have asked whether federal investigators got the right man and whether the F.B.I.’s long inquiry brushed aside important clues.

    To the regret of independent scientists, the report made no mention of an issue beyond genetics: whether the spores displayed signs of advanced manufacturing. They have pointed to distinctive chemicals found in the dried anthrax spores that they say contradict F.B.I. claims that the germs were unsophisticated.

    Evidence of special coatings, they say, suggests that Dr. Ivins had help in obtaining his germ weapons or was innocent.

    Martin E. Hugh-Jones, an authority on anthrax at Louisiana State University, said the report was disappointing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 20, 2014, 4:48 pm

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