Saturday, September 17, 2005

ANTHRAX ATTAXS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in America who remembers that the anthrax killer is still loose and still able to kill at will. Lo and behold, the story revives from its early grave. From the NYT:
Four years after an unknown bioterrorist dropped letters containing a couple of teaspoons of powder in a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., what began as the largest criminal investigation in American history appears to be stalled, say scientists and former law enforcement officials who have spoken with investigators.

The failure to solve the case that the authorities call "Amerithrax" is a grave disappointment for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service, the investigative arm of the Postal Service. The letters were the first major bioterrorist attack in American history and killed five people, sickened 17 others, temporarily crippled mail service and forced the evacuation of federal buildings, including Senate offices and the Supreme Court.
Amerithrax. I remember when I learned about the webpage they started, looking for "clues." Naturally, I visited them and reamed them out. "What sort of lunatic would name a FBI website 'Amerithrax' ? It sounds like a patriotic singing group or a rail system or an anti tax group."

Of course, they didn't answer me back then and won't talk to me now.

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Here is their flipping banner off their web page. Could anyone imagine this is a place where one assembles information about a serial killer who had access to top secret military labs? Eh? Wot? No?

No.

Here are two of the letters posted at the merry Ameritrax site:
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Looks like the anthrax killer had a confederate who was around age 10. Or maybe Jenna wrote them while drunk? Can't really say who wrote them. All we know is, the person had top secret clearances, knew all about the details of anthrax handling because he didn't die and most importantly, he killed or intimidated people Bush wanted taken care of, namely, he acted like a Bush hit man.

Since this puts Bush into the circle of suspects, one would imagine the FBI would have grilled Bush and given him various voice/lie detector tests...hahahaha! I suggested this. As we all know, Sherlock Holmes wouldn't pass by a suspect merely because that person was "respectable" and god help us.

Bush and all his family, note the latest arrest of a Bush!--are anything but respectable. Bush is a multi-arrested career criminal who didn't hesitate to conspire with judges and the military and foreign entities. The very first victim of the Bush vengence machine was the photo editor in Florida who allowed the publication of the first Jenna drunk photos. This happened the same week Bush and his killer hausfrau, Laura, were launching an attack on us American mothers, scolding us about our children and telling us, noses in air, how to raise good children, using their drunken, fake ID flashing, sexually wild Dionysian duo, their twins.

This screwed up all the speeches and appearances and photo ops.

Bush took care to let the world know, in a rather off-hand and odd way, that he was protected from anthrax and instantly, the attacks began. Another reason to question him for many hours and go over data most carefully. It was an odd statement, "The President has been innoculated against anthrax just in case there is an attack this month" was pretty bizarre and we all marveled at it, at the time.

The "have a merry anthrax" site doesn't talk about the fatal last days of the "investigation"---when they confirmed the anthrax came from a top military facility. The other spook agencies asked the FBI to cool their heels, they obeyed because Bush wanted them to stand down, a la 9/11 and Katrina, to do nothing, say nothing, leak no information, ask no questions, absolve everyone and blame everybody.

So they did.

The website hasn't been updated in years. They have a $2,000,000 bounty for nailing the person who used this so astutely post 9/11 to line up everyone to vote for the Patriot Act without reading it (the Senate being closed down, for example). It killed a gentleman the Bushes wanted to punish. It silenced the press and distracted everyone. And then, when the bloodhounds got too close to homebase, they threw some white powder on the ground, covering up the scent.

The fact that no one seems to give a hoot about this matter is most...hahahahaha. Note how Bush talks about this! Not. Does the press? Well, something is afoot since the NYT brought it up once again! Heh. Nothing like seeing a bunch of dead Americans to get the sleepers at the media to shake awake for a milisecond!

From CNN, 2002
ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CNN) -- One expert predicts it will take a combination of "new science" and "good old-fashioned detective work" to find out who's responsible for the anthrax attacks that claimed five lives in the United States in the weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

In a paper published this week in the journal Science, researchers at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Maryland, detail their contribution to the "new science" aspect of the investigation, a genetic comparison of anthrax samples.

Scientists there compared the anthrax that killed newspaper photo editor Bob Stevens in Florida with other samples of what's known as the "Ames strain" of bacillus anthracis, or anthrax. The Ames strain was originally isolated from a dead cow in Texas in 1981. This strain has since been sent to dozens, perhaps hundreds of research and defense facilities in the United States and Europe for study.

The anthrax strain that killed a Florida photo editor in 2001 is yielding clues that may help investigators. CNN's Ann Kellan reports (May 9)

"In different labs over 21 years, they have developed mutations in their DNA sequence," says Claire Fraser, President of TIGR.

"And these are the regions we are focusing on, regions that are different, because that gives us the information we need to try to distinguish one from another," she says.

Identifying the mutations unique to each lab could eventually lead investigators to the source of the anthrax strain that killed Stevens.

"The critical thing about bacillus anthracis is that it has shown very little genetic variability," says Ronald Atlas, president-elect of the American Society for Microbiology.

"That really has been a problem in trying to fingerprint the organism," he says.

TIGR identified 60 markers, or unique genetic differences between the anthrax that killed Stevens and several other Ames samples. Of those 60, Fraser says 11 could help researchers discriminate between the Florida sample and the others. It's at least something to go on, considering that about 5 million pieces of DNA code are being compared.

Finding sources

"The fact we now have a number of sites in the genome to look at helps us eliminate some labs, and concentrate on others," says Atlas.

But even as the science may eventually pinpoint the lab from which the Florida sample or the other deadly anthrax came, it will take law enforcement skills to determine who took the bacteria -- which could have been stolen at any time over the past two decades.

While the TIGR findings may be an early step in finding a biological terrorist, the analysis technique may pay off with less sensational medical detective work.

"It's not just anthrax strains that this is going to help with, but all infectious diseases, in finding their sources," says Atlas, who also heads the Center for Deterrence of Biowarfare and Bioterrorism at the University of Louisville.

"This allows us to compare genomes from a strain that causes disease with any number of other strains, and based on that sort of analysis, begin to differentiate. So it's a very powerful tool for comparison of whole genomes," he says.
When this story hit the net, we all cheered and laughed. About time, we said. Then the lab was ID'ed and that is when Hatfill's name popped up and we researched him, learning he was from South Africa, etc. Funny, how we let foreigners run around in top secret labs! Must be habits picked up after WWII when we took Nazis under our wing.

Dr. Hatfill isn't the anthrax killer. He is the fox thrown to the hunters to lead then into the bog and it worked. Hatfill had zero reason to kill the photoeditor in Florida. Zero. And to pick him first? Insanity, from Hatfill's position!

As Sherlock Holmes said over and over, the person who does the crime has to have some motivation, some reason, some meaning to the crime. You don't just go after anyone.
Two years ago, Dr. Hatfill sued the bureau and the Justice Department, saying leaks to the news media about him and the public description of him by Attorney General John Ashcroft as a "person of interest" in the case had destroyed his reputation.

He also has a suit pending against The New York Times and a columnist for the paper, Nicholas D. Kristof, saying Mr. Kristof defamed him.
He can't sue me. I stated after just two days of research, "He isn't the man." I even called the FBI and told them this and told them who to interrogate: KARL ROVE.

Well, he should be interrogated over many subjects, right? Fat chance that.
The anthrax was the Ames strain, most commonly used in American biodefense research. Though agents have pursued leads overseas, the F.B.I. has focused on the possibility of a domestic criminal.

In addition to Dr. Hatfill, agents searched the homes in November 2001 of two Pakistani-born public health officials in Chester, Pa., and in August 2004 of a doctor in Wellsville, N.Y. Like Dr. Hatfill, the physician, Dr. Kenneth M. Berry, lost his job after the search and is fighting to have the bureau publicly clear him, said a friend, the Rev. K. Richard Helms.

"He's struggling," Mr. Helms said. "He needs to get this clearance from the F.B.I. to get work. Otherwise who's going to hire him?"

This year, in a sign that the investigators were still trying to identify a suspect, they contacted a former American intelligence officer who in 2002 provided a tip about a potential suspect. The officer, who insisted on anonymity because he did not want to attract attention, said he was summoned in February to an office of the investigators near Frederick, where he took a four-hour lie detector test. He was told that he had passed but has heard nothing more, he said.
Ah, dear old anonymous! So many of your family in this country, doth reside!
Just laboratory work is unlikely to solve the case, scientists in the fast-developing field of bioforensics said.

"The science can only take them so far," Richard O. Spertzel, a former United Nations bioweapons inspector, said. "It can help to narrow the field. But it won't identify the lab, let alone the individual perpetrator."

Biodefense experts say solving the case, even belatedly, is critical.

"If we can't catch this guy, I'm afraid it's going to encourage others to try an attack," said David W. Siegrist, who studies bioterrorist threats at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies outside Washington.

Claire M. Fraser, president of the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md., which has helped he F.B.I., said she was frustrated that the attacker was at large.

"If we solve this case, even if it takes five or six years, it might provide some degree of deterrence," Dr. Fraser said. "What everyone's afraid of is another incident before this one is solved."
Yeah. Like, as if you need to know exactly which government lab was used. The anthrax attacks were launched when America was freaking out over an attack that our rulers pretended, took them by surprize...which was all an obvious lie since not one of them appeared even slightly surprized...

And so on. I suppose, when enough bodies are left to rot all over the place, people just might wonder if there is a connection between letting a family of criminals run America is a smart idea.

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