Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Do we believe them this time?

The FBI has now positively, for sure, no chance in heck they're wrong identified the right man behind the anthrax attacks in 2001. Again. No, trust them. They've definitely got the right guy this time. Maybe.

Conveniently, the man currently in the crosshairs, Bruce Ivins, is now deceased by suicide, some say caused by the Bureau's unrelenting pressure on him and his family, so he won't be able to successfully refute the accusations against him, like others wrongly accused by the Feds have in recent years. But with investigative "techniques" like the ones below being used, how could the FBI possibly be wrong?

"In the current case, Ivins complained privately that FBI agents had offered his son, Andy, $2.5 million, plus 'the sports car of his choice' late last year if he would turn over evidence implicating his father in the anthrax attacks, according to a former U.S. scientist who described himself as a friend of Ivins.
Ivins also said the FBI confronted Ivins' daughter, Amanda, with photographs of victims of the anthrax attacks and told her, 'This is what your father did,' according to the scientist, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because their conversation was confidential."

Bribing and harassing one's children to produce evidence that they may or may not possess smacks of desperation, not good police work.

"Dr. W. Russell Byrne, a friend and former supervisor of Ivins at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., said he had heard from other Ivins associates that investigators were going after Ivins' daughter. But Byrne said those conversations were always short because people were afraid to talk.
'The FBI had asked everybody to sign these nondisclosure things,' Byrne said. 'They didn't want to run afoul of the FBI.'"
(Emphasis mine)

A great scheme, if you can get away with it: Pretty much do whatever you please, then intimidate the interviewees into signing away their right to report any over-the-top tactics to authorities or the media.

The FBI could very well have finally stumbled onto the right perpetrator in the case. Pardon me for not blindly believing them. Let's see the evidence, fellows. Stop hiding behind the "it's under investigation" excuse and put out the cards, instead of making Judge Royce Lamberth order the release of the documents piecemeal. How about, for example, the answers to some of the following?

"It is unclear how the FBI eliminated as suspects others in the lab who had access to the anthrax. It's not clear what, if any, evidence bolsters the theory that the attacks may have been a twisted effort to test a cure for the toxin. Investigators also can't place Ivins in Princeton, N.J., when the letters were mailed from a mailbox there."

Bizarrely, the FBI also seems to think that Ivins had some sort of fetish about a sorority, and that the entire case somehow swings on this nugget of gossip:

"In perhaps the strangest explanation to emerge in the case so far, authorities said Ivins had been obsessed with the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma for more than 30 years."

What exactly this has to do with anthrax poisoning, they don't say. Apparently it's a vital link, but we're not allowed to know why. I suppose we'll have to wait for Judge Lamberth to order more records released in order to find out what co-eds have to do with the whole mess.

"Investigators can't place Ivins in Princeton but say the evidence will show he had disturbing attitudes toward women" (Emphasis mine)

This sounds more and more like an E: True Hollywood Story episode than a professional criminal investigation. Who cares what he thought about women? Did he or didn't he mail the anthrax?

Just for the record, here's a partial list of people wrongly slimed by the FBI in recent years:

Richard Jewell (A true hero whose life was unfortunately shortened in large part due to his harassment by the Bureau)
Steven Hatfill (Cost to the taxpayer - 6 million dollars)
Wen Ho Lee
Brandon Mayfield (Cost to the taxpayer - 2 million dollars)

Is Ivins on this list as well, or is he really the anthrax poisoner? One thing's for sure - the FBI has a long way to go before they convince people such as myself that they've actually solved the case this time.

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