On Anthrax, Bentonite, and Conspiracies

Your homework for today: read Glenn Greenwald’s item on the reporting that was done back in 2001 on the anthrax letters that had everyone freaked out for a time: Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News. (Those who want to play along without doing all that reading can skate by with Kevin Drum’s Cliff Notes summary: Bentonite. But you better hope the teacher doesn’t call on you.)

One thing that bugs me about all the reporting over the last few days is the readiness of the media to accept that Bruce Ivins’ death was a suicide. There sure have been a lot of suicides over the last few years of people about to come to trial for what potentially could be blockbuster charges with major repercussions in Washington. And I realize that it’s Hollywood, but I can’t help thinking of that scene from Michael Clayton where the two operatives kill Tom Wilkinson’s character and make it look like a drug overdose.

I know that most conspiracy theories are ridiculously wrong. But not all of them. I think anyone who’s honest about the limits of human wisdom would admit that there must be a smallish subset of widely-held conspiracy theories that are essentially correct. (Just as there are almost certainly a fair number of criminal conspiracies that have never been suspected, even by the tinfoil-hat crowd.) But which ones are correct? I don’t know. And neither does anyone (well, almost anyone) else.

That’s one reason why I’m fairly tolerant toward the 9/11 truthers I come across. I think they’re almost certainly in the “ridiculously wrong” crowd. But I respect their willingness to endure the ridicule they get in pursuit of the truth. I don’t believe 9/11 was an inside job; I think the evidence on that is pretty clear. I think it’s unlikely that Flight 93 was actually shot down, as opposed to crashing when the passengers rushed the cockpit, but I’m less confident of that.

The real world is a fairly complex place, and it doesn’t always slice up as neatly as we’d like it to. For example, I’m pretty sure O.J. killed Nicole and Ronald Goldman — but I also think it’s a better-than-even chance that Mark Fuhrman jumped the fence at the compound to plant the bloody glove. If believing in O.J.’s guilt makes you reflexively dismiss anyone who says Fuhrman might have planted evidence, I think you’re not being honest about how the world works.

If there’s one thing that the history of scientific discovery teaches, it’s that if your epistemology and methods are good enough to allow you to discover a hitherto unsuspected truth, in many (most?) cases that truth will turn out to be something that appears fairly outlandish from the perspective of someone who hasn’t run your experiments or examined your data. People put too much faith in Occam’s Razor. If the available evidence is insufficient to illuminate the true state of affairs, Occam’s Razor doesn’t elevate the quality of your data. It may make you a smidgeon less likely to be wrong. But it’s no substitute for actually knowing enough to be right.

Bruce Ivins almost certainly knew some really important things about the identity and motivations of the 2001 anthrax attacker(s) (even if it was only that he wasn’t one of them), but sadly, that knowledge died with him. Meanwhile, the folks at ABC News who reported that “four well-placed and separate sources” told them that tests had found traces of bentonite in the 2001 anthrax letters – a fact we now know to be false – also possess really important information that bears on how the government responded to those attacks. It would be really nice if they’d share that information with the rest of us.

Update: It’s a few days later, and there has (obviously) been a bit of news since then, with the FBI laying out something approximating a prosecution’s opening statement against Ivins yesterday (though in the absence of an actual criminal process, or a defense, I’m not especially comfortable basing any conclusions on it). Glenn Greenwald has continued to post items about the story, and this morning I got an email from someone named Simon Owens who runs a site named Bloggasm (ew; sounds kind of messy) where he’s posted an item that includes details from interviews he did with Greenwald and others about ABC’s original bentonite story. He (Owens) is looking for some links, so here you go: Should ABC News reveal its anonymous sources?

119 Responses to “On Anthrax, Bentonite, and Conspiracies”

  1. Sven Says:

    Ivers death is a bit too neat and tidy to me. I think it was pretty obvious all along that it came from someone working for our government, mailing it to Democrat Congressmen. Yet Republicans like John McCain used it as part of their fear mongering, suggesting it even came from Iraq! Here’s John McCain from his appearance on David Letterman, October 18, 2001:

    LETTERMAN: How are things going in Afghanistan now?

    MCCAIN: I think we’re doing fine …. I think we’ll do fine. The second phase — if I could just make one, very quickly — the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.

    LETTERMAN: Oh is that right?

    MCCAIN: If that should be the case, that’s when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.


  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Here’s a guy also a little freaked out over how the news is “morphing” on this issue.


    What I’ve seen in the past is that original reports (often the most detailed) are deemed invalid, explained as a mixup due to the chaos of the moment and just reports that haven’t been sorted out yet prpoerly (rather than perhaps a truth that is being buried down the rabbit hole.) Eventually the “real” narrative gets burned into all the “official” news stories.

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    Amazing how this has sat under the radar for 7 years, and more amazing the lack of attention these outrageous crimes have received. More Here on the recent claims that Ivines has been homocidal for a long time (and he was working um, where? with access to what??? wtf???), and some good comments: www . 911blogger.com/node/16922

  4. shcb Says:

    Does anyone on the planet hate George Bush more than Glen Greenwald? You guys all seem reasonably intelligent, why do you consider this guy even remotely credible? His central theme seems to be that 911 + anthrax attack = Iraq, when it is 30 years of Arab attacks + 911= Iraq.

    Now I know I’m not going to win this debate because we have crossed into conspiracy land here, and you can’t win a debate with a conspiracy nut. If you make a valid point they will simply turn your rational evidence into part of the conspiracy. If I were to, for instance, point out that Greenwald conveniently left out the part about Ivins holding the patents to the Anthrax vaccine the conspiracy nut will say that is because those patents were forgeries, the Bush administration had those patents inserted into files to make it look like Ivins had a motive, making the crime even more sinister. If you ask him how he knows this he will say that someone on 911blogger knew someone who had a roommate who’s sister worked in the patent office and she overheard a conversation in the women’s bathroom where two highly placed officials were talking about Revlon cosmetics… and we all know what that means. Everyone knows Dick Cheney has 27 shares of Revlon stock. Of course the woman was fired, not because she was caught napping in the women’s room but because “she knew things that could bring down an administration” the plot thickens.

    So we have gone from Greenwald’s idiotic logic and conspicuous omission to the vice president’s office. When this administration was the one that not only was saying at the time that there was no bentonite but continued to pursue this guy until they had the goods on him. Pathetic.

    I also find it a little funny that this whole thing revolves around traces of bentonite, I probably moved 20 tons of the crap with my little Kabota when I built my barn, the stuff isn’t exactly rare.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb is sure long on opinion & short on brains.

    How much does, err did, Ivans stand to gain by being a party to the vaccine patents? Answer: not much, as a government employee it’d amount to maybe an extra month or two of pay per year – not enough to convince such an esteemed scientist to attempt murders, unless like shcb you buy into that kind of conspiracy crap.

    Did anyone investigate who told officials to take the other vaccine, Cipro, on Sept 12??? Is shcb asking if anyone profited obscenely from promoting Cipro? Didn’t think so. Who would know where that leads, I got no idea.

    Sadly, shcb stating that “this whole thing revolves around traces of bentonite” shows that his reading comprehension level sits at about a grade 5 level. There was never any bentonite in the mailed Anthrax. I was hoping for some intelligent comments, like we get occasionally, but he’s just wasting everyone’s time including his own, but he seems to need to find a way to ridicule and dismiss some very serious attempted murders that seem to point right back to his pro-war rethuglican friends.

    In any event, as those who can read all know, the Anthrax strain (not the non-existent bentonite) was tracked back to “U.S. Government’s biological weapons research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, where [Ivans] was one of the most elite government anthrax scientists on the research team at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID).”

    SHCB does raise a good point in that White House “sources” were trying to state that there was no bentonite in the samples. Yet that only raises two larger questions (1) WHO ARE THE “four well-placed and separate sources” that “told ABC News that initial tests on the anthrax by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland, have detected trace amounts of the chemical additives bentonite” and (2) Obviously these “four well placed sources” were able to over-ride the White-House press secretary (I’m assuming it was the press secretary?) and sort of, you know, propagate the propaganda to get the FALSE message out tying Anthrax to Iraq when in fact the Anthrax was home grown at a US Bio-weapons facility.

    Now that sounds a lot like the Rove / Cheney / Bush / Libby imbroglio.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    (a la Wilson Yellowcake forgeries.)

    We need to know who those 4 well placed Liars are, their lies are what this whole thing revolves around.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    Good rundown on media coverage of the Ivans accusations / apparent suicide at bradblog: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6242

    Odd that there has been no MSM reporting that the people who received the AmericanAnthrax letters were all high ranking Liberals viewed by republicans as standing in the way of the post 911 Patriot Act and similar agendas. Can’t see that it means anything, it is just extremely odd not to report that fact in your culture.

  8. shcb Says:

    My reading skills are just fine thank you, but please keep underestimating me, makes my job easier. It was in the tens of thousands of dollars as I read somewhere, small potatoes for such a crime I agree. But why doesn’t Greenwald mention it? My guess is because even that fact would lead his readers away from his assertions that the White House is to blame. As I recall he only mentions that the administration was the one that said there was no bentonite in the samples in passing, in a quote from someone else. It’s the old cover thy journalistic ass, like the headlines saying one thing, and the facts saying something else as the story is continued on page 13. If someone criticizes him for not mentioning that fact he can say “it’s there”, if someone criticizes him for mentioning that fact he can say “someone else said that”

  9. Steve Says:

    This is a real life cloak and daggers mystery here. I too thought that the suicide might not be the real deal. If I thought the administration was involved, then the real truth would eventually come out (because high level decisions like that involve too many people for it to remain a secret forever: see torture, WMD lies, Plame, etc…).

    However, it looks like this might have been a very small time conspiracy, so the probability of stuff remaining secret is much higher.

    I’m every interested to see if we can get more information here. It seems most likely that there are multiple unrelated threads that came together over the anthrax attacks.

  10. Steve Says:


    Greenwald mentions the patents to the vaccines.

    Additionally, I find Greenwald to be one of the most credible bloggers around. He is continuously fair minded. You may disagree with his conclusions, but that’s a different matter from credibility.

  11. Steve Says:

    One more comment on this story. I had to turn away from Greenwald’s latest post because it was just too heavy for a Monday morning.

    I thought, “oh, lies.com will give me something fun to toss around”, and yet here I am, back in the anthrax story.

  12. shcb Says:

    Well, maybe my reading skills aren’t as good as I thought, I even searched for “patents” and “patent” and read it twice, well skimmed it twice. Perhaps he used a different word, no matter.

    I agree, I think this is a cool story, why would you do something like this for $10,000? So there must be more to it, was there someone who was willing to pay more? If so why? Was he pissed that he would only get $10,000? (that number is just an example, don’t jump on me that it is really $12,368 Enky). Did he really kill himself? This is shades of Vince Foster and that junk yard owner that found the $25,000 check to Guarantee Trust with Clinton’s signature.

    It seems like every time I read Greenwald I find glaring omissions, at the least. Now I know he is an opinion writer and so you have to give him more leeway, but I find his style to be about equal to Ann Coulter. Maybe we just filter out the noise of the people we are more ideologically akin to.

  13. Sven Says:

    Mr. Iven’s wrote some letters to the editor of his local paper:


    This one I’ve pasted below seemed most interesting to me. Suicide went against Ivins religious beliefs:

    Moral views not a new trend
    Originally published March 05, 1998

    Among the front-page articles in The News-Post of Feb. 27 was a rather ominous one entitled “Panel OKs funding for assisted suicide.”

    The news report dealt with a decision by the Oregon Health Services Commission that assisted suicide should be funded by state taxpayers. Commission chairman Alan Bates excoriated those whose beliefs led them to oppose the commission’s decision, and asserted that “religious opponents have no right to impose their moral views on others.”

    From that statement it is clear that Dr. Bates’ knowledge of medicine is substantially greater than his familiarity with American history.

    Even before America was a nation, there was strong opposition to slavery from the religious group known as the Quakers, or the “Society of Friends.” They were steadfast in their belief that slavery was a sin, and this belief led them to be actively involved in the Abolitionist Movement and the “Underground Railroad” in this country.

    We should all be thankful that these religious opponents were quite willing to “impose their moral views on others.”

    In more recent times we need look no further than those ministers, rabbis and priests whose beliefs brought them to the forefront in the battle against forced, racial segregation in America. Despite real threats to life and limb, they persisted in their efforts to “impose their moral views on others.”

    Today we frequently admonish people who oppose abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide or capital punishment to keep their religious, moral, and philosophical beliefs to themselves.

    Before dispensing such admonishments in the future, perhaps we should gratefully consider some of our country’s most courageous, historical figures who refused to do so.

  14. shcb Says:

    Well, my mother was a devout Catholic and opposed suicide, even studied it extensively because she knew she was susceptible. But when the depression got too deep she did it anyway.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    Let me guess: she killed herself shortly after you started talking. Am I right?

    Sorry shcb, that sucks.

  16. shcb Says:

    No, I was in my forties but my opinionated nature probably didn’t help :)

  17. shcb Says:

    Honestly, it leaves a hole in your heart that maybe there was something you could have said that would have been right or not have said something that was wrong wrong, but in her case there was just something wrong in her body chemistry. She fought them for two decades but the demons won.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    That’s sad.

    You can just ignore this please if it is too preachy, as obviously I know nothing of her troubles, but here are a few thoughts.

    Fighting can result in great losses. Demons grow more powerful when they are fought with. Sometimes submitting to demons reveals their true impotence: that their main strength and advantage is derived from their opponents’ fears of them. Once their opponent stops the exhausting lashing out and quiets their energy draining emotions of fear, bitterness and resentment then an inner peace and awareness grows that is stronger and more powerful than any demon. It is that inner peace that is the key to happiness, and the awareness that makes the demons go elsewhere. (Victory over demons does not bring a lasting happiness.) A wise man a long time ago put it more succinctly, “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

  19. knarlyknight Says:

    Anthrax Update

    Ivins was a registered Democrat, according to the Fredrick County, MD Board of Elections. He had been registered there since 1982.

    Targets of the multiple post-9/11 terror attacks on American soil were primarily powerful men, perceived as “liberals” by the Republican rightwing. Two senior Democratic U.S. senators, Tom Daschle of SD and Patrick Leahy of VT, were the only known governmental targets in the deadly letter campaign, which also included perceived “liberal” media figurehead Tom Brokaw. The MSM coverage — almost uniformly — failed to note the obvious correlations in the attacks.

    Today the New York Times noted, as [brad blog] similarly did yesterday, that the FBI’s case against Ivins appears to be almost entirely circumstantial, at least based on the information so far available…

    The government’s case seems to hinge largely on testimony of a social worker (Jean Duley) who has a criminal history, indicated in handwritten court documents that she was Ivan’s “theripist” (what kind of a therapist can’t spell it?) and, besides being in grave dereliction of duty for not reporting this earlier if her claims are true, she faces significant questions about the veracity of her testimony.

    Colleagues of Ivins and other experts felt Ivins couldn’t have carried out the attacks “he had no access to dry, powdered anthrax”, of the type used in the attacks, at the Army lab in MD where he worked.

    Senator Leahy on Vermont Daily Briefing late in 2007:

    Leahy: What I want to know — I have a theory. But what I want to know is why me, why Tom Daschle, why Tom Brokaw?

    VDB: Right. That all fits into the profile of a kind of hard-core and obviously insane ideologue on the far Right, somebody who would fixate on especially Tom Daschle, who at that point was the target of daily, vitriolic attacks on Right-wing talk radio.

    Leahy: [Slowly, with a little shake of the head] I don’t think it’s somebody insane. I’d accept everything else you said. But I don’t think it’s somebody insane. And I think there are people within our government — certainly from the source of it — who know where it came from. [Taps the table to let that settle in] And these people may not have had anything to do with it, but they certainly know where it came from.

    So Leahy thinks there are co-conspirators within the government.

    All above excerpts came from bradblog. See original article for substantiating links and more : http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6245

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    The bradblog article also has some interesting comments about Ivan’s letters to the editor. Seems like overall they suggest Ivans was not the nut job that recent reports (and the FBI) are suggesting. Wonder what you think of bradblog’s comments on that? ( I found that part hard to follow and did not have time to sort that aspect out properly. )

  21. knarlyknight Says:

    This is a good re-focusing: www . georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/08/government-framed-arabs-for-anthrax.html

    Whether or not Bruce Ivins had a role in the anthrax attacks, trying to now blame him alone for the attacks is ignoring the elephant in the room: the anthrax attack was a classic false flag attack blamed on Arabs. For example:
    (SNIPPED: six supporting statements, all documented.)
    Therefore, whether Ivins or another scientist working for the U.S. government carried out the anthrax attacks is actually not the primary question. The main question is who within the U.S. government framed Arabs for the attacks, and whether the attacks were motivated primarily as a justification for war against Middle Eastern oil countries or to intimidate the U.S. Congress and the American people into accepting [draconian legislation of atriot Act and an empowered unitary executive.]

    The fact that the government is now trying to blame it all on American does not change the fact that it was – for 7 years – blamed on Arabs. The government is trying to neatly tie up the whole mess and bury the story…
    SNIPPED: concluding comments

  22. shcb Says:

    Thanks for that Knarly, sorry to have brought it up though, not a fun topic. Back to the subject at hand.

    You’re in full conspiracy mode now, kind of your happy place. But if we, as JBC suggests, use Occam’s Razor, the most likely culprit after 911 would have been an Islamic terrorist group, followed by some other organized group, maybe domestic terrorists. It probably wasn’t a single individual since Anthrax requires an extensive lab to produce, that’s an assumption on my part, I don’t know what it take to produce anthrax. (unless you can steal it from a lab)

    So they did what any good investigator would do and blame the prime suspect to the degree the evidence warranted. But they kept investigating so they weren’t entirely confident. I read a headline but not the story that new DNA technology strengthened their case against Ivins. I assume it was this skin cell technology. So the case against Ivins for all these years may have been circumstantial until recently. When they approached him with this information, he knew he was caught. Just my theory.

  23. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, you entirely missed jbc’s point about Occam’s Razar as it applies here. Gr. 5 reading comprehension level, or Gr. 4?

    The public is assured, nay admonished is more like it, that bio-weapons materials are entirely secure and that failsafe monitoring prevents theft of any amounts of bio-weapons. So that is the situation, if you believe the military.

    By “blame the suspect to the degree the evidence warranted” I assume you are referring to their prime suspect for 6 and a half years, Mr. Hatfill? Hatfill got rich with a payoff last year in the millions of dollars from the FBI, (ostensibly ?) for violation of his civil rights. That is just one more stinking item in this case, and in criminal matters the more a case stinks the less Occam’s razar applies.

    As for the DNA linking back to the research lab, we knew that for a long time. The new evidence led back to Ivans specific research group, not to Ivans. Just more circumstantial evidence. The scientist releasing that news also stated: “Still, the scientist said, some researchers will probably note the DNA does not alone give the government a smoking gun or other surefire case-closer.”

    Let’s here what Mr. Spertzel, head of the biological-weapons section of Unscom from 1994-99, & member of the Iraq Survey Group, has to say in the Washington Post today:

    Over the past week the media was gripped by the news that the FBI was about to charge Bruce Ivins, a leading anthrax expert, as the man responsible for the anthrax letter attacks in September/October 2001.

    But despite the seemingly powerful narrative that Ivins committed suicide because investigators were closing in, this is still far from a shut case. The FBI needs to explain why it zeroed in on Ivins, how he could have made the anthrax mailed to lawmakers and the media, and how he (or anyone else) could have pulled off the attacks, acting alone.

    I believe this is another mistake in the investigation.

    Let’s start with the anthrax in the letters to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The spores could not have been produced at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where Ivins worked, without many other people being aware of it. Furthermore, the equipment to make such a product does not exist at the institute.

    More in the Washington Post article: “Bruce Ivins Wasn’t the Anthrax Culprit” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121789293570011775.html

    This case stinks to high heaven, the facts suggest that anyone who is not calling this a bona fide criminal conspiracy is not being honest.

  24. shcb Says:

    It may well be a conspiracy, probably is in fact, a conspiracy of 2, 3, maybe 5. That is probably the reason the FBI isn’t telling us much yet, they are still investigating. Just because they were about to arrest this guy doesn’t mean there aren’t others, and it doesn’t mean this was the only arrest they had planned. He also may have been murdered by one of his co-conspirators. But that is a long way from a huge government cover up.

  25. Steve Says:

    Gah, agreeing with shcb too much recently. I think the numbers are likely in that range too. If it was a huge government thing, the likelihood goes way up for some kind of leak to have happened.

    As it stands now, the only “leaks” we’re getting is the shoddy evidence the FBI is using to try and convict Ivins in the media.

    I wonder if Brian Ross at ABC will burn his sources for the bentonite (as he should)?

  26. shcb Says:

    For one thing this story was dead, if this were a big government conspiracy why would Justice keep pursuing the case. After the heat was off wouldn’t it make sense to just let the case die? I also wonder if it seems like the FBI is leaking stuff to convict this guy because the media is simply filling in too many blanks with conjecture. Blanks left in the story because the FBI simply can’t divulge that information without jeopardizing future cases. The FBI isn’t in a hurry to solve this case, but the media always wants a story, if it is taking too long, well we’ll just patch a few holes with BS and get it on the air, we have 24hours a day to fill.

    Don’t worry about agreeing with me on this, this is turning into more of a who done it than a policy issue we would normally disagree about on philosophical grounds. We’ll still have plenty to disagree about in the future.

  27. knarlyknight Says:

    I think we’re all pretty much in agreement, for now I’d be happy to just find out who those “4 well placed sources” were who could get ABC news to over-ride the Whitehouse (press secretary?) statement that it was not “Iraqi anthrax” and get ABC to report that it was an Iraqi strain and then keep reporting that for a long time.

    While we’re at it, I’m curious what the other people in Jean Duley’s group session have to say about the alleged death threats he uttered to her while in the group therapy sessions.

    As for 3 or 4 or 5 conspirators, that’s a bit on the low side. Depends how you define the conspiracy. If we are talking about stealing the Anthrax, it would take at least that many, since the security and monitoring at the lab would involve most if not all of the research team working in the lab. Then you have the logistical problem that the Anthrax needed to be re-formulated something that apparently takes specialized equipment that is not available at the site where the Anthrax strain originated from. So you have the theives, plus whoever is involved at the other facility to transform it into the other, powdered, form. Weapons grade Anthrax is not something to mess with in your home basement laboratory, so it being made at a clandestine site is far fetched with the current suspects. I’d trust the FBI to be able to locate any sites that the suspects had access to, which suggests other parties were probably involved.

    Also, ABC News says that 4 well placed people lied to them about the origins of the Anthrax. Perhaps the thieves at the research centre are who they are talking about. That’s not so likely because if it were the researchers/thieves who lied to ABC news then ABC would have had to inform the FBI that the lies came from the researchers. So the Liars to ABC are likely to be another component. Four or more theives PLUS 4 well placed persons Lying to ABC News.

    Then, there is the conspiracy, be it FBI, Justice Dept. or otherwise, to put the pressure on suspects (Ivans via Duley etc.) Normal operating procedure. Unfortunately, it appears reasonably likely they had the wrong suspect (again; i.e. the Mr. Hatfill mistake all over again with Ivans.)

    Now put all these parties toegether for 7 years, shake well, add a whole lot of political motive to implicate Iraq in terrorist activities, and it would be delusional to think that at the end of the day the whole conspiracy only involved 3 people.

    Senator Patrick Leahy seems to think that there are “people” in government who know a lot more about this than they are letting on, and I’d give his word some credit as he’s a little (!) closer to the situation than either shcb or myself.

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    And there is this aspect to the Anthrax attacks that started in October 2001:

    “the complete silence of the MSM on bringing up the fact that we still have no answers from [the White House] as to why their staff was put on [the powerful anti-biotic] Cipro on 9/11…

    FBI & BUSH ADMINISTRATION SUED OVER ANTHRAX DOCUMENTS – Judicial Watch Wants to Know Why White House Went on Cipro Beginning September 11th: What Was Known and When?

    That suit was in 2002, any answer yet? Didn’t think so.

  29. leftbehind Says:

    Knarly – I just read what you wrote to SHCB regarding his mother’s suicide. That was uncalled for, and there is no reason anyone over the age of, I don’t know, twelve, would actually post such a comment. I knew you were a conspiracy nut and a jackass, but that’s low, even by your standards. If Smartdog is so smart, he’s too smart for shit like that.

    Once again JBC, moral warrior and ethical yardstick for the ‘net says nothing.

  30. knarlyknight Says:


  31. leftbehind Says:

    …Is flaming jet fuel actually hot enough to melt away basic human decency? Definitely, when the fire is further fueled by self righteousnessness and stoked with the right-on identity politics we all enjoy. Get out your decoder rings and keep checking those Starbucks cups, kiddies…the cover-up continues…

  32. knarlyknight Says:


    So you read leftbehind’s comment now. Do you agree with him that it was uncalled for, “low” and without reason for anyone over the age of twelve to post? Or did you appreciate the smidgeon of black humour? I await your answer, if you choose to do so.

  33. leftbehind Says:

    A smidgeon of black humor regarding someone’s mother’s suicide. That’s brilliant.

  34. leftbehind Says:

    You and I should go on a playdate down to the nursing home and butter the steps. Black humor…

  35. knarlyknight Says:


  36. leftbehind Says:

    Even if SHCB is willing to be your whipping boy for this sort of thing, you still had no business saying what you said, and a bigger man would apologise for it.

    Shouldn’t you be doing something important, like underlining every fourth word in “The DeVinci Code” trying to figure out who sunk the Titanic?

  37. leftbehind Says:


  38. leftbehind Says:

    I’ll give you a leg up: it was the Jesuits. They probably blew up the World Trade Center, too.

  39. leftbehind Says:

    Damn Jesuits…

  40. shcb Says:

    Yes it was absolutely uncalled for, and don’t think I didn’t see red when I read it. But I backspaced a few dozen times and wrote what I wrote. I kind of let it all percolate for a few minutes wondering why I didn’t lash out like I normally would have and then I wrote my second comment. I don’t think you are a bad guy, but as I said in my second comment sometimes I said things to my mom I wish I could have taken back. Sometimes we say things because we are uncomfortable with a situation, really don’t know how to handle it, and say something, anything, and it is usually wrong. So I just gave you the benefit of the doubt figuring it was just a little karma coming back to bite me for bringing it up in the first place and for all the things I said and did wrong when my mom needed me most. You know, she was in a mental hospital for a year at one time and I never went to see her because I didn’t know what to say… you can never fully pay for a crime like that.

  41. shcb Says:

    let’s just move on guys

  42. knarlyknight Says:


    Thanks for the fast answer and your above and beyond explanation. Obviously I completely mistook a lot when you mentioned it. I thought that if a subject is out there it is fair game. Obviously (as leftbehind pointed out), and even more obviously in my own hindsight, I was wrong about that. Some things are just wrong, period. I crossed that line, even pausing to consider whether or not I should, and made the wrong choice. Sorry shcb, truly.

    Moving on…a different situation, but just to share: my own parents died 5 years ago (mom) and dad 6 years ago, at home, from cancer. We were close; & my dad just missed seeing his granddaughter by a few weeks.

  43. knarlyknight Says:


    Thanks for the admonishment. I owe you one. ;-)

  44. shcb Says:

    Sorry to hear that, loosing a loved one is hard, my mom did get to hold her grandchild when she was feeling well, I’m glad to have that memory. Her death in a lot of ways was like a cancer patient, it was long and difficult for the loved ones, we were almost relieved that her pain was gone in the end.

    We’re good my friend.

  45. leftbehind Says:

    No need to thank me, Knarly – this moment of catharsis is thanks enough. It’s times like this that show me my mission is not in vain, after all.

  46. jbc Says:

    leftbehind — I did happen to see knarlyknight’s comment about shcb’s mother’s suicide, and was kind of appalled by it (which is saying something; it takes a lot for a lies.com comment to appall me these days). I spent a couple of minutes wondering if this was a case that justified comment deletion. My personal rule on that is, I will delete something if I think it really has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever, and it really offends the hell out of me, or just on balance strikes me as a comment I don’t want to be associated with even to the minimal degree that I let it exist on a server I control.

    I ended up leaving it alone based on a few factors:

    1) His last line (“Sorry shcb, that sucks”) made me think I might be misinterpreting the comment’s tone. I dip in and out of the comment threads here; I mostly ignore them, and it was only chance that I happened to notice that comment. When coming in in the middle of a conversation, it’s possible to misread something through a failure to appreciate the context. I’m not saying I can imagine a context that would render the first part of that comment appropriate, but I didn’t feel like going back and re-reading everything knarlyknight and shcb have said to each other over the last few years to try to get a better handle on the subtext.

    2) shcb is a big boy. Having lost my own mother not that long ago, I can imagine some of the pain he might have felt in connection with her death. I don’t suppose having some random commenter on a web discussion thread making an insensitive comment in an attempt at humor is likely to rank very high in his list of personally painful experiences. I don’t think he (shcb) needs me to protect him from stuff like that.

    3) knarlyknight is not some drive-by commenter posting pornographic personal ads regarding his foot fetishes (which is the kind of thing I actually _have_ deleted from the comments, sometimes). He’s commenting on the site all the time, and has been for a while. If I were to delete this comment he would probably notice. He could just repost it, and without changing my approach to comment review, I might very well not even notice that he’d done so. Or he could view it as my noticing him, and spin it out into a whole new category of metachatter about his oppression at the hands of The Man, or somesuch, leading to me needing to defend my action and engage further in a conversation about editorial policies that I don’t really have the time or inclination to get involved in.

    So I come back to my original question: Is there any redeeming value in that comment at all? At the end, I decided that there might be, if only in the sense that it makes clear the kind of person knarlyknight is (i.e., the kind of person who would post a comment like that). He took the time to post it. He presumably wanted it out there. It’s his deal, his relationship with the site’s readers, his choice.

    For myself, I thought it was an extremely lame thing to say. I just decided, at the end of my thought process (which I’ve pretty much recapitulated here, as near as I can remember it), that I wasn’t going to delete it. Maybe that was a mistake. In thinking it over again now, I’m still not sure. But it sounds like everyone’s ready to move on, anyway.

  47. shcb Says:

    Thanks JBC. And let’s not forget I started it. There have been many instances over the last year or so when comments have been made about insanity and such and I thought about bringing up my mother and her lifelong battles but didn’t because I knew there was a chance for something like this or worse would happen. I should have probably kept it to myself. Once I posted it I couldn’t take it back any more than Knarly.

    But you know what, we were all adult enough to get through it ok. We all fight like cats and dogs but tomorrow we’ll all have to talk to each other or go get a new hobby. And really, I never thought Knarly meant anything malicious, I just don’t think he’s that type of person.

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    We are all in agreement that it was a lousy thing to write.

    JBC telling his rationale for not deleting my comment is helpful as we go forward, he nails the issue down. My thoughts on that follow.

    Re: jbc’s #1, yes, I meant the “Sorry shcb, that sucks” both for my comment (less so) and for the whole situation in which I did sympathize deeply with him (more so.)

    Re: jbc’s #2, yes, shcb has demonstrated over and over again on this site that his emotional shield is rock solid and I had no idea that anything “knarlyknight” could say would hurt (and my intention was not to hurt.)

    Re: jbc’s #3, if jbc wants to delete comments that is his right, he sets the rules and controls this site; however I am here, and most of the rest of us are too precisely because of the freedom of speech that jbc supports and his transparent policy about such edits.

    Re: jbc’s commentary about “is there any redeeming value in that comment at all?”, I have three things to add.

    1. The comment was of an imagined, ridiculous, scenario about a toddler’s first words. Anyone with a kid knows that toddler’s can not be held responsible for what they say.

    2. “knarly” was my play on the word “gnarly”, originally meant to remind myself that I am here on Lies not to be nice. Nice like I try so hard to be in the real world (perhaps to my own detriment and not always successfully.) The “knarly” postings are to stretch the boundary of what I normally feel comfortable putting out there, so that in the real world I might not be quite as timid or at least have a sense of what to expect if I act more like knarlyknight does here. Hence if “knarly” comes across as boorish on Lies, so be it.

    3 – has anyone else ever said anything rude, callous, or utterly insensitive and wished they could take it back? The more one focuses on the comment and anayizes it, the more horrendous the faux pas appears. JBC saying that the comment “makes it clear the kind of person knarlynight is” is inaccurate. Change the word “person” to “persona” and it would be accurate.

  49. shcb Says:

    So let’s change the subject, not sure if you have heard of the “freedom cage” oh, this convention is going to get ugly.


  50. knarlyknight Says:

    Maybe the Dem’s deserve an ugly convention? (Almost as much as the Rethugs…)

    How could it get Ugly? I mean, just look at this beautiful promotional poster: http://www.rense.com/1.imagesH/obmachrist.jpg What could get ugly about that?

    I’d like to keep this Anthrax thread about Anthrax, I request that we change the subject back to that. (Anthrax is such a cheery theme for our psyche’s) .

  51. NorthernLite Says:

    Sorry, but I just want to post something for Left Behind. Not sure if your handle derived from the Left Behind books, but you might get a kick out of this story if it did.

    Is Obama the anit-christ?


  52. shcb Says:

    hmmm. nothing about Edwards yet?

  53. knarlyknight Says:

    The story is a little boring, Edwards may or may not be toast now. Who cares (other than those who want to make political points), I mean it’s not as if he supported torture or anything.

    “Acknowledging a sex scandal he had dismissed as “tabloid trash” only last month, Edwards said he had told his wife and family long ago, but “I had hoped that it would never become public.””

  54. shcb Says:

    Huh? But John McCain having an affair (something that turned out to be completely untrue) was of huge import. Edwards has been moving this woman around the country from one million dollar estate to another, his campaign manager who may have be the father, or he may just be willing to take the fall for Edwards, is similarly being housed in one of these gated communities. Edwards is in a hotel room with this woman until 3 am a few weeks ago. It seems the mistress is in it for the long haul waiting for the Mrs. to die, and this bores you?


    Here is a funnier one…


  55. NorthernLite Says:

    Yep, Fox News is also doing it’s part to try to make Obama’s presidential run into some sort of joke.

    I guess we’ll see who’s laughing in November.

  56. shcb Says:


    You realize they aren’t making a joke of Obama, they are making a joke of you. All those political neophytes that see him as something of fix it guy, when all he is is another liberal junior senator from Chicago. Bush and McCain want to increase troop size in Iraq by 20 or 30 thousand to win and JBC starts comparing the war to the one we lost. Obama wants to increase the number troops by 100,000 and it’s the greatest idea since sliced bread. Bush and McCain want to drill for more oil to reduce the price, evil Halliburton, Cheney sucks, wildlife refuge, oil bad, wind good. Obama wants to raise the price of oil by raising the taxes on that oil, giving a pittance of the money back to the people (bait and switch) and he is the greatest thing since the upside down mayonnaise container.

    Did you see who introduced the video? Susan is more liberal than all of you, well, at least Matt. She’s been in politics all her life, she has Obama’s number. And that’s fine, he is the Democrat candidate, you have to vote for him. In fact if you travel to Chicago they will probably let you vote under the name of a dead guy, show your Canadian passport and you’re good to go, they may let you vote a couple times

  57. knarlyknight Says:


    The Edward’s story is boring because Edwards is not the nominee and his chance of becoming the VP was about 1% prior to the story breaking. In contrast, McCain is the presumtive nominee and that makes his immoral choices more interesting. The voters deal with Edwards / McGoo in November as they see fit.

    The Dem convention circus is not getting Ugly, it is getting funny. I didn’t realize City officials were calling “the designated free speech zone” as the Cage too!

    Sue Cobb of the Mayor’s Office said, “The Cage will be open 24 hours a day and if they do not infringe on the ability of others to exercise their right to freedom of expression, the groups are welcome.”

    So the protestors will be using the freedom cage after all, as safe housing. ??? That’s irony as thick as thunder. http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7153343&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

    The Gospel about Obama was well done. I especially liked the reference to England as the “ancient homelands of the hooligans”.

  58. knarlyknight Says:

    ANTHRAX update, CIA Official on tape:
    “Top CIA official confesses order to forge Iraq-9/11 letter came on White House stationery” http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/Tape_Top_CIA_officer_confesses_order_0808.html So, does a taped conversation from a top CIA source trump a White House press denial? Someone is lying again (still); we’ve seen that hundreds of times over the past 8 years.

  59. shcb Says:

    The word “anthrax” can’t be found in that article

  60. shcb Says:

    The convention is funny now but it has all the potential of getting ugly. The problem is the city is waffling too much (damn Democrats). In a situation like this you have to set down rules of engagement and be prepared to enforce those rules. The protestors and the ACLU requested the “battle plan” the police intended on using , on this count the mayor held firm and said no way, we’re not going to give you our plans. He also held firm in rejecting the ridiculous offer of the anarchists that if the city gave the 50 million the feds are giving Denver for security to charity and they would leave us alone. Anarchists by definition have no credibility when it comes to negotiating with governments. On most other counts Mayer Hick has failed miserably as a leader. The cage (silly idea to begin with) was going to be cleared out by 3:00pm, now according to your block quote it well be open all day and night. The Tent (Kent) State University group was going to take over City Park, the mayor said they had to be out of there by 11:00 with no clear plan on how to move say 20,000 people if they didn’t want to move, his plan was to turn on the sprinklers, jokingly. Now they are going to give them a small park near the convention. The protestors don’t like it because it is small and has a lot of playground equipment in it, not the photo op setting of city park, but the protestors don’t seem to have a clear line of what they would do if the police moved in either, so… the leaders of the group are grudgingly agreeing at this point but who knows, the group could splinter and some of the more radical folks end up in City Park. So Hick are you willing to arrest 5000? Where are you going to put them? How much force are you willing to use? My guess is the answer is no, nowhere, and none.

    This whole thing is turning in to trying to appease folks that don’t want to be appeased. He should have put up his cage down at the Coliseum stock yards about a month ago with tents, took the organizers of the protests on a tour and said “this will be your home during the convention if your particular group steps one inch over the line. Then made a set of reasonable, clear rules. Suggestions welcome, but what I say goes. But John isn’t that sort of guy, he’s a nice fellow, successful bar and restaurant owner, extremely popular. But this is a situation that requires leadership and he ain’t the guy.

  61. knarlyknight Says:

    “a situation that requires leadership and he ain’t the guy.” sums up nicely all that you said above, which sounds like a good assessment to me. Previous para ends “no, nowhere and none” but I’d hazard to guess it could have been “no, nowhere and”… not enough to be effective but just enough to create a chaos.

    Big ugly anarchistics demonstrations around the Dem convention will play well into the public consciousness of democrats being weak on the law and order and security front.

    Would you agree that chaos in Denver will hurt the Dems to the benefit of Republicans much less than chaos in St. Paul(?) (around the republican convention) would hurt Republicans to the benefit of the Dems?

    Re: Suskind and anthrax, I thought that was the topic of his recent press releases, didn’t realize it was related to the wider aspect of linking Saddam to 911 (& other terrorist plots) rather than just to Anthrax.

    The interesting part is that Richter appears to say one thing to Suskind on tape, then another to his CIA bosses and White House press secretary. Reading the specifics of what the WH release said and matching it with Richter’s statement to Suskind, we see both versions could be true:

    1. He did not see who the memo came from, only that it was on White House stationary.
    2. He was not “ordered” to provide the forged link between Saddam and terrorists, he was only told the situation and given marching orders to go deal with it.
    3. He did not know whether or not George Tenant was given orders to make that link, only surmised that from the fact that Geaorge T was giving him the “go deal with it” assignment.

    It’s classic vague instructions, like in movies when a mafia captain tells his soldier to go deal with a rival gang invading their turf the mafia soldier knows he is not expected to go lodge a complaint with the municipal police against the other gang. i.e. there is no evidence the captain ordered the hit just like there is no evidence (?) linking higher ups in the CIA / Whitehouse to the order to forge a link between Iraq and terrorists (except for that memo on whitehouse stationary…?)

  62. knarlyknight Says:

    According to the FBI, Ivins made the killer anthrax in his lab at Fort Detrick all by himself in something like 12 hours (pages 8-9). [link provided in source]

    Is that plausible?

    Well, one of the handful of people who actually can produce the kind of high-tech weaponized anthrax used in the attacks said:

    “In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I’m one of them,” said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. “And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.”

    In addition, scientists at Ft. Detrick say that no one there had the equipment or knowledge to make weaponized anthrax of the type used in the letters (more on this in a later esasy).

    If it would take one of the handful of people who have the know-how and a good lab with staff a year, and if no one at Ivins’ lab knew how to do it, how could Ivins have made it all by himself in 12 hours without the proper equipment?

    100% credit goes to jimd3100 for this essay. I just edited what he wrote in a comment to another blog. Nice work, jimd3100!

    from: http://www.911blogger.com/node/17063

  63. shcb Says:

    I don’t know if riots or disturbances really hurt the parties as much as they hurt the reputation of the host city. If 500 people are arrested and a million dollars of property is damaged at either convention do you think that will be enough for someone to change his vote? Who knows, people vote for candidates because they like the way they comb their hair and the last campaign sign they saw on the way to the polls. I suppose it may make a difference but I don’t think it does.

    People still talk about Chicago and Seattle being places where anarchists trashed the place but don’t remember what was discussed at the event.

    On your 911 blogger stuff, I wouldn’t believe anything they say. Check out that link they refer to and page 8 and 9 whatever that is. You will probably find the FBI never said anything remotely like that Ivins made the anthrax in 12 hours. And of course once you take that out of the equation the rest of the theory falls apart. Now you will have to do more research than just read those two entries because they probably don’t go to native documents, they will just be to another blog, but eventually you may find a document number or a date or name of the native document. That’s what jumps out at me in that blockquote anyway.

  64. knarlyknight Says:

    We seem to be getting better at discussing without getting into pissing matches; temporarily at least. Thanks for the suggestions and restraint (at what you perceive as my naivity about the 911 site.)

    Re: what changes people’s vote, you can look at individual decisions and analyse a million people and determine that no one would ever vote against someone just because they part their hair on the right; yet the candidate changes his part from the left side to the right side and suddenly his support drops 1% (illustrative example), i.e. 10,000 people out of the million changed their vote for a reason they themselves do not even recognize. It’s not always readily apparent, and does not seem logical, but that’s why there is a discipline called Social Sciences.

    Back to finishing the staining of my deck before it rains (more of a gambler than I used to be.) Cheers.

  65. TeacherVet Says:

    “The Edward’s story is boring because Edwards is not the nominee and his chance of becoming the VP was about 1% prior to the story breaking.”

    So, coverage of Ted Haggard or Larry Craig was extensive because they were on the ticket… uh, which ticket? Or, was the coverage 24-hours a day every day because they were disingenuous hypocrits? Of course, Little John said nothing that reflected hypocrisy…

    It really makes me laugh when I hear folks on the “left side” complain that the MSM is slanted to the right.

  66. knarlyknight Says:

    I forget what Ted Haggart’s “crime” was, but Larry’s was newsworthy on a whole different scale, that being the criminal conduct of lewdness in public. Your right, his hypocrisy didn’t help much either.

    Go ahead, make a big deal out of pretty boy Edwards extra-marital affair. It was a dissapointing action on his part, quite hypocritical and sad really given his matrimonial context. It is another sin in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the more Righteous than Thou crowd. Yet, it still on a different scale of poor behaviour than, say, flirting (i.e. sexual harrassment & whatnot) with underage male interns – now I forget also which fuddly old Republican was doing that… but I’m sure TeacherVet will know all about that. Probably has an alibi all ready for the thug too.

  67. knarlyknight Says:


    Checked out the 911blogger reference (it is to a search warrant of Ivin’s property); the 12 hour time reference is in relation to Ivin’s overtime in the lab during August and September 2001. The warrant is chock full of detailed allegations not covered in media reports. You might like this item found therein from an email Bruce Ivins is alleged to have sent an acquaintance, it quite nicely paints the picture of a mad scientist:

    I’m a little dream-self, short and stout.
    I’m the other half of Bruce – when he lets me out.
    When I get all steamed up, I don’t pout.
    I push Bruce aside, them I’m Free to run about!
    Hickory dickory Doc – Doc Bruce ran up the clock.
    But something then happened in very strange rhythm.
    His other self went and exchanged places with him.
    So now, please guess who
    Is conversing with you.
    Hickory dickory Doc!
    Bruce and this other guy, sitting by some trees,
    Exchanging personalities.
    It’s like having two in one.
    Actually it’s rather fin!”

  68. shcb Says:

    he doesn’t sound quite sane does he. You have my attention now, I’ll read it if I have some time.

  69. shcb Says:

    I don’t have time to read it now, and you don’t have to respond, but it seems odd to me that a top scientist would be putting in “overtime” one would assume he is salary, maybe they were referring to time in the lab from card access, that type of thing. But even that would seem to be sporadic, ten hours in the lab one week, 40 the next, 50 in the office this week, out of town several days next. Also if one were planning something like this it would seem you would make the poison legitimately, do a test on it, forge that it failed the test and keep it even though you said it went to the incinerator. That type of thing. That would seem easier to conceal than staying late at night making a new batch from scratch. It would seem all the ingredients would be accounted for and would have to match with the amount of product produced. If you produced it legitimately all the amounts would match. So you sent powdered sugar to the incinerator, it’s Anthrax, no one is going to sniff it to see if it’s real. Wouldn’t you think?

  70. knarlyknight Says:

    Should have also mentioned he wrote the poem the week following 911, so his psycho instability would fit in nicely with the mailings.

    “Would you think?” Yes, I agree (and admit you are a better conspiracy theorist than I.) I just skimmed the hours in the lab part of the info. in the warrant enough to see that it was time logged by passcard in August and September; his defense attorney would counter that it was completely legitimate given the pressures of his assignments at that time. The FBI claim he was not able to give a legitimate account for his extra hours in the lab in the evenings, work requirements did not support the extra time. His explanation was simply that things were not going well at home so the lab was his refuge.

    The rest of the email exchanges where he describes that his feelings about the 911 attacks are so different from his co-workers who are merely saddened by the attacks; and that they do not understand his thoughts about the 911 attacks, well, that is enough to make me think that Ivins is one of the people responsible (assuming the email exchanges aren’t forgeries.)

    It is weird however that the FBI was not able to get more conclusive evidence, that might suggest the crime is spread out amoungst numerous conspirators.

    The Anthrax laced letters (i.e. content of the notes) look to me like an amateur attempt to frame islamic radicals, hence fit Bruce Ivins or likeminded nuts.

    Then there is the other conspiracy, the one where the attacks were leveraged in an attempt to create a false link to Saddam. I.E. ABC News four “well placed sources”. That is another topic. The one we should be exploring here.

  71. shcb Says:

    I would think that in the “perfect crime” there simply isn’t evidence. Maybe the FBI did their job well but there simply wasn’t much evidence. One of the problem I have here is just a complete ignorance of what it takes to make Anthrax. Is it refined from tons of raw material, of just a few grams? How much is wasted in the production? What quality is it, that sort of thing.

    What if he was sending those emails so if he was caught he could cop an insanity plea?

    I think the whole ABC thing was probably just sloppy journalism. Were there really four sources or one source and four reporters? Was the source Ivins? If it was he was probably doing it to enhance his crime. If the poison came from Iraq and we were going to Iraq wouldn’t every soldier, reporter, contractor etc need it? Is this where his co-conspirators come in? Did they have stock in companies that would produce the antidote? That would be a way for Ivins to make more than a few thousand dollars. Wouldn’t they need to have millions to invest to make many millions (rich guys, mafia?)

    Interesting subject

  72. knarlyknight Says:

    I’m no expert, as my comments will show, but this is what I know: To make anthrax the person has to have at least one anthrax spore (can be found underground at certain farms) and then grow it on some sort of culture medium, nothing terribly elaborate, basic microbiology / lab work.

    The trick is not dying while handling it and having a self contained lab space so that there is 100% assurance it won’t accidentally spread by contact or simply float away into a public place on a breeze. The other trick is getting it to be of a quality & quantity that makes it a reliable weapon. A few anthrax spores at the bottom of an envelope might float out and kill, but would be more than likely to just stay there and get thrown out with the trash and never hurt anyone. A few thousand or millions set in amoungst dispersal agents that are easily inhaled deeply (i.e. less than a gram) is highly likely to be lethal to the intended victim and others nearby.

    In culturing it there may be mutations making it less, or more, virulent, but usually what is used to start the culture is what you end up with, just more of it. I wouldn’t expect there to be much waste in production, and disposal would likely be a matter of proper incineration.

    I thought ABC news made it pretty clear that there were 4 independent well placed sources and I argued before that if those sources were researchers from the Deitrick Lab then the FBI would have been all over that and ABC concealing that fact from the FBI during their investigation would be a felony.

    Co-conspirators with big bucks and major stock in anthrax vaccine companies linking up with Ivins to create and then spread news about a bogus Saddam – Anthrax link is getting pretty far into tinfoil hat land.

    Keep in mind the first anthrax mailings were sent a day or two after September 11, 2001 and the second (and last) mailings were sent in early October 2001; so that is well before the lead up to the 2003 Iraqi war, unless you are referring to Richard Clark’s account of Cheney’s demands on the afternoon (or thereabouts) of 2001/9/11 that a link be made between the airliner attacks and Iraq.

  73. shcb Says:

    So if your right about the process of making Anthrax, about the only thing that could be tracked would be the culture, and that is probably nothing fancy. So that would make it seem easier to produce it legitimately and then steal it. You would just have to figure a way to get it off the books and out of the building, but you wouldn’t have to worry about the paper trail at the front of the process. For what that is worth. You are probably right that the mafia connection is out there. Maybe money wasn’t the motivation.

    I don’t know if concealing sources from the FBI would be a crime. And perhaps the FBI already knew about these sources. This was a circumstantial case, the burden of proof is quite different between the FBI and the press’. If Bob says Tom murdered his wife, that is enough to write a story, but police would like to at least have a body.

    Your last paragraph, I really didn’t mean anything specific. I think Iraq was the most obvious place for us to attack even if we had done nothing official to move in that direction. And remember if Ivins was doing this for money he would have only needed to make the sale, he wouldn’t have cared if the product was ever used. The military would want to stock up on this antidote in case we went to the mid east wherever that might be if we thought the threat was there.

    If he were doing it for revenge or to try and force Democrats to vote for authorization to go to war then the story ends with stealing the anthrax and mailing it.

    But whatever the case, I don’t think the administration had any motivation to be involved at that time. Republicans still controlled congress, and the American people were firmly in favor of defeating this enemy. If this had happened a few years later the case against the administration would be greater.

  74. enkidu Says:

    back from vacation and glad I skipped the posting as it seems to have turned ugly there for a bit…

    This convenient ‘suicide’ reeks of cover up. Just look at the dates and you have to think this wasn’t just some rogue operator who happened to have his weaponized anthrax ready to mail to all those D pols… right after 9/11. It was a coordinated concerted effort to make up (ie fabricate) a case for war. Just like the fake intel letter the CIA cooked up at the insistence of the veeps office.

    But leave it to lefty and tv to bring in the whole Larry Craig/Foley/Edwards thing. Do you really want to ‘discuss’ the whole infidelity thing? Cuz the R candidate cheated on his first wife to marry into second wife’s money. And then had an unhealthy taste for a pretty young blond ‘lobbyist’. At least Edwards wasn’t caught in some bathroom stall or IMing underage male pages.

    Not to worry, as McBush’s base will cover his 6 and blather on and on about how damaging Edwards infidelity is to Obama.

  75. shcb Says:

    I don’t think so, at least I haven’t heard anyone link this to Obama in any way.

  76. knarlyknight Says:

    Re: Edwards the Scumbag

    I take it back, as this article is interesting (from our slightly right of Centre national Newpaper, which to you American rednecks translates into “far left liberal territory):


  77. shcb Says:

    that was good, I would like to see on of these jilted wives stand by her man with that look they all have, one of admiration with just a hint of sadness until the cameras and his excuses are rolling real good and then just knee the son of a bitch in the groin, smile to the camera and walk off stage.

  78. knarlyknight Says:

    or bury a hatchet between his eyes. No jury would convict.

  79. shcb Says:

    seeing the look on the Washington Press’ face as he fell backward with blood trickling down his nose, the hatchet handle vibrating in the air would be priceless. that felt good, been one of those days

  80. knarlyknight Says:

    Anthrax: excellent and thorough critique of FBI evidence: http://www.911blogger.com/node/17081


    Ivins, the FBI avers, was the “custodian” of the particular anthrax strain contained in the letters, and this conclusively proves his guilt. However, since this strain was developed in 1997, more than 100 people have at some point shared this “custodianship” with the accused. It is therefore not true that, as FBI officials put it, Ivins was the “one individual who controlled it.”

    Also a lot of eye openers here: http://www.leighannlittle.com/

  81. enkidu Says:

    Forgive me for pointing this out, but was anyone else disgusted by the violent imagery of wwnj’s post? Nothing like burying an axe in someone’s face to help ya feel good, eh wrong wing nut job?

    So would you bury a hatchet in McDouchebag’s face since he screwed around on his first wife? Or if we can get a confirmation he banged that lobbyist hotty he was shilling for?

    The deep seated urge to violence and killing so stereotypical of wwnjs is very worrisome to sane peoples everywhere. (see wwnj’s desire to nuke 10 million A-rabs sos they surrender, etc etc etc)

  82. knarlyknight Says:

    I see your point but let’s get real, it was a coyote/roadrunner or itchy& scratchy pause. Sorry to spoil the fun, but I’d be more inclined to dump on Gary Brecher in a latter post for his shameless glorification of the horrific.

    I think what you are reaching for is a higher level of consciousness where people realize that violence is bad and is not entertainment. We have a long way to go to get there; some of us much further than others. On that note I highly, highly recommend the best seller: Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.

    I’d be interested to know if anyone here is/has read it yet, I’m nearing the end of it.

  83. shcb Says:

    I’m so far detached from gaming anymore forgive me if I have the name wrong, but weren’t you all getting excited and staying up all night playing Halo? (the last time I did that was Doom, dating myself there). I believe that is a war game of some sort isn’t it? One of the things that separate the sane from the insane is the ability to differentiate reality from fantasy.

  84. enkidu Says:

    Ah, but Halo is a fantasy game in which you play the alien-ass-kicking savior of mankind. Whereas you are fantasizing about killing people you don’t like with a hatchet. Or smashing them in the face with a broken wine glass (presumably killing them in the process).

    Big difference.

    Or do you want to wax poetical about your nuclear genocide fantasies again?

  85. shcb Says:

    But I’m just fantasizing about the wine glass and hatchet, in reality I wouldn’t have done more than blacken her eye, maybe a bloody nose, god that would have been fun :-) just to see the stunned look on her pompus, bloody face.

  86. enkidu Says:

    you are seriously sick

  87. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – please seek help.

  88. knarlyknight Says:

    Dr Irvins-Anthrax-and why I don’t believe the FBI

    Powerful case for the defence here: http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=8590

  89. shcb Says:

    And who would I seek help from? A liberal psychologist that would tell me to sing happy songs and all will be well? Would that be the social worker that never spanked her son and had to move out of town after he killed 12 classmates and a teacher?

    If it weren’t for people like me, people like Knarly would spend their lives in terror of people like Enky. I’m not sure if you guys are mature enough for this but I think it’s time for the wolves, sheep and sheepdogs lecture.


  90. enkidu Says:

    skimmed that link, what a bunch of drivel.

    Funny, before they even came to the whole “who is packin heat in church” bs, I thought about a recent news story regarding a wwnj – a very typical, very angry, violent wwnj – who marched into a liberal church and started murdering people. Funny that no one sang happy songs to make the pyscho stop shooting, nor did they all whip out their gats and start shootin. No, brave men and women – liberal, peaceful, tolerant human beings rose – and without weapons of their own, stopped this typical wwnj psycho from his boomstick bloodbath. The people you foolishly describe as sheep are the real heros, not psycho babble bullshit from unhinged right wing douchebags.

    Seriously, your bloody fantasies are disturbing: you must fancy yourself quite the sheepdog. What was your unit again? Oh, right. You are too fat, stupid and childish to actually volunteer for anything other than slinging bs wwnj talking points.

    So, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

  91. knarlyknight Says:


    A quick scan indicates the phrases: “wine glass smash into her face… blacken her eye, … bloody nose, god that would have been fun” do not appear in that article.

    I’ll look later to see how it supports your statements about (supposed) “sheepdogs” assaulting the (supposed) “sheep”.

  92. knarlyknight Says:


  93. shcb Says:

    There is an old joke “what is the definition of a conservative?” “A liberal that just got mugged” people will usually defend themselves if they have to. What we are talking about here is people who will defend themselves as a last resort but won’t allow themselves or others to take proactive steps to prevent that last resort scenario from happening i.e. why were the liberals in the church unarmed? Because they were repulsed by the thought of having a gun in a church. The bad guy knew this and knew he had a soft target. Kudos for the folks taking it upon themselves to react with violence, I hope they thoroughly neutralized him. That is what the author is talking about when he says the sheep don’t trust or like the sheepdog because he looks like the wolf.

    I have a friend that gives self protection gun courses, he said most of the folks he is teaching since the church shooting here in Colorado are parishioners, most without the consent of their churches.

  94. shcb Says:

    how do you know the shooter was conservative?

  95. enkidu Says:

    how do you know the shooter was conservative?
    ummm because it is a fact? he left a four page anti-liberal rant in his pickup truck… his house was full of right wing propaganda (books by coulter, savage and other douchebags), weapons and I would imagine a confederate flag or two.

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Knoxville’s police chief says the man accused of a shooting that killed two people at a Tennessee church targeted the congregation because of its liberal social stance.

    Chief Sterling Owen IV said Monday that police found a letter in Jim D. Adkisson’s car. Owen said Adkisson was apparently frustrated over being out of work and had a “stated hatred of the liberal movement.” The church is known for advocating women’s and gay rights and founding an American Civil Liberties Union chapter.

    Police say Adkisson targeted the church because of its liberal leanings, citing a letter they found in his small SUV in the church parking lot and a statement he allegedly gave after the shooting.

    So you are being a good sheepdog by fantasizing about putting a hatchet into the face of someone you don’t like? Or how about beating a woman with a smashed wine glass? (prolly more like a broken bottle of bud lite) You have often brayed about killing millions of A-rabs, nuclear genocide or just lots n lots of regular old (hatchet style?) killings.

    breaking news today:
    someone walked into the Dem HQ in Arkansas and shot the Dem party chairman. The suspect was pursued for 20 miles until he crashed his pickup truck. I wonder what his voter registration might be?

    pickup truck √
    shoots folk he don like √
    wwnj ? (ok I am guessing here, but it fits a pattern)

  96. shcb Says:

    ok, just asking, I didn’t know if you were just making an assumtion or not. There is no pattern to crazy people killing other folks, liberals just have to borrow the gun.

  97. knarlyknight Says:

    Are liberals not allowed to carry guns in America?

  98. shcb Says:

    The second amendment gives everyone the right to own a gun within reason. Liberals typically don’t own guns as a matter of personal choice, something we value in America.

  99. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb, so some liberals just might be carrying a high powered magnum in their cocktail purse? ;-)

    Anthrax. I think I need to review this from the beginning.

    Bruce Ivins was the prime suspect (du jour.) He was an expert bio-chemist. We are told he killed himself with an overdose of acetominophen (Tylenal), a most pecular choice. Death by that method takes a couple of days to be fatal and in the meantime induces very uncomfortable symtoms as the death occrs slowly from key organ failures (i.e. the liver.)

    Thanks to shcb, we now know that liberals in the US are allowed to obtain hand guns. So my question is how does it make sense that Ivins chose a slow painful death over a simple head shot?

    Did he leave a suicide note? I haven’t heard mention of one.

    Next question, is it possible to consume a fatal dose of acetominophen without realizing it, say if it was mixed into a milkshake or “healthy” fruit and protein smoothie?

    I thought Ivins was in a hospital at the time of his suicide. If so, there would have been ample opportunities for tampering with his food. (Let’s ignore motive for now.)

    Finally, why was no autopsy performed to determine if there were other suspicious anomolies to his death besides the poor choice of death chemical?

  100. enkidu Says:

    update: Dem chairman Bill Gwatney died of his wounds

    perp: dead after crashing his truck and shooting at police (good riddance)

    media: will dutifully ignore any connection to 24/7 hate mongering by wwnjs

    media: will continue to ignore increasing number of death threats to Obama

    note to anyone to the left of wwnj: dare to disagree with wwnjs and they will actively fantasize about killing you with a hatchet, broken bottle or boomstick

    unfortunately, their violent fantasies too often become the horrible reality
    hey I wonder what political party Bruce Ivins belonged to?


  101. enkidu Says:

    knarls – re: ivins
    no autopsy (convenient!)
    but a possible explanation: he was hitting the bottle as the investigators closed in, I also read somewhere that he was taking acetaminophen with codeine. alcohol x codeine = death

    but we’ll never know for certain, as the lack of a autopsy means we just need to trust our bush justice system… yeah…

    After listening to the GG article (I have the text spoken to me by my mac while I work) I am even more convinced this wasn’t just some solo bad guy (the linking of the anthrax attacks to both islamonutjobs and Iraq are just too convenient).

  102. shcb Says:


    I wouldn’t put too much stock into any of those rumors yet, if there were no autopsy done how do they know what he died of? I think it was the Huffington post piece I read that said the autopsy hadn’t been released yet. That is probably were the rumors came from. Don’t bother sending a bunch of links to other blogs, I saw them. I’m pretty sure an autopsy is required in all criminal cases. He was a chemist and an expert on poisons, I would think he knew how to do it right. Overdose by aspirin probably isn’t true either. This case is probably still ongoing, when it’s finished we’ll get a full report.

    Inky, I read he was a Democrat and very pro life (I think) anyway the Dems he sent the Anthrax to were on the opposite side of the abortion issue. I got that from a blog though, so take it through that filter.

  103. enkidu Says:

    a rightwing blog no doubt? riiiight

    Ivins a Dem? riiiight

    you freaks will stoop to any depth, play any dirty trick to stay in power

    have your read your Obama smear book yet? I am enjoying The Audacity of Hope and disappointed with Benizar Bhuto’s book so far.

  104. shcb Says:

    I don’t know, I just read the google description. I don’t read smear books… too many productive things to do in life like sit on the deck with a good dog at your side, a beer in your hand, watching a thunderstorm in the distance.

  105. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s actually what I do a lot of, too, shcb.

    Add in a nice big spliff and we’re good.

  106. shcb Says:

    what is a spliff?

  107. shcb Says:

    ok, google cleared that up for me, never heard it called that before. Not me, I tried pot twice in the 70’s and couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for two days

  108. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s okay, I think it’s mostly a liberal thing. ;)

  109. NorthernLite Says:

    I like my spliffs like this:


  110. shcb Says:

    yeah, Rosen always says that in the 60’s the conservative kids went to football games to drink beer and meet chicks, the liberal kids went to protests to smoke dope and meet chicks.

  111. shcb Says:

    although when I was growing up in Kansas, the cowboys were some of the biggest dopers around. the rodeo kids, not the real cowboys. And no one will ever confuse a cowboy for a liberal, rodeo or real.

  112. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Why is everything in boldface all of a sudden?

  113. knarlyknight Says:

    From Wiki –

    Ivins was found unconscious at home in the early morning of July 27 and died at Frederick Memorial Hospital on July 29, 2008 from an overdose of acetominophen with codeine,[47][4] an apparent suicide. No autopsy was ordered following his death.[48] Immediately after news of his death, the FBI refused to comment on the situation.[4]

    What kind of a biochemist woiuld kill themself with Acetominophen and codeine????

    on August 6, 2008, FBI and DOJ officials formally announced that the Government had concluded that Ivins was likely to have been solely responsible for “the deaths of five persons, and the injury of dozens of others, resulting from the mailings of several anonymous letters to members of Congress and members of the media in September and October, 2001,

    He did it all by himself? Hmmm. It took 19 arabs and a man in an Afghan cave to hijack them airplanes, and one biochemist to make an anthrax compaound the FBI couldn’t replicate in years, and get the nation whipped further into a panic about baad Arab invading the homeland. The power of nightmares.

  114. knarlyknight Says:

    My last point wasn’t very clear. Never mind.

    I thought this thread is about Ivins / ABC News 4 sources etc.

    I raise autopsy, and it’s like no one knows the issue. Answer: they took a blood sample, found OD of Acetominophen (& codeine) , and the investigation into cause of death stopped right there. OD on this drug is slow and painful – it took Ivins at least 2 days to die – why woud Ivins choose slow and painful? You can rule out mistake, it would be hard to ingest an OD amount by mistake, especially for a biochemist! Why wouldn’t Ivins take sleeping pills or rat poison?

    Doesn’t anyone else find the quick “suicide” finding and sole guilty “verdict” weird?

    JAYSON – the fonts look okay to me, maybe it’s something you are smoking.

  115. knarlyknight Says:

    From that other site, & worth posting here:

    Conclusive evidence of means, motive and opportunity are missing
    Case Analysis in a Nutshell

    1. Ivins cannot be placed at the Princeton mailbox at either of the two times he would have to have been there.

    2. There are additional hoax letters that have not been discussed by FBI in the information released Wednesday; may we assume Ivins could not be placed at those mailbox locations during the requisite windows of opportunity?

    3. No official evidence has come forward indicating the nature of the Daschle/Leahy spore preparation, nor whether Ivins possessed the knowledge regarding its production, or access to the necessary equipment.

    4. No convincing motive has been presented, although a variety of implausible motives have been suggested.

    5. Although many other people with a strong motive can be identified, there is no evidence they were investigated by FBI and exculpated.

    6. “The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.” However, details about the microbial forensic analysis have not been released, and may not be available for months or years pending publication. Scientists doubt that any forensic analysis can do more than identify the precise strain of anthrax.

    7. The pre-franked envelopes could not be identified as coming from Ivins’ post office, as initially claimed, but were instead sold in multiple post offices, none of which was definitely in Frederick.

    8. Ivins was not the “sole custodian” of the RMR-1029 strain; over 100 people had access to it and they may have shared it with others. How was Ivins selected as a suspect and the others exonerated?

    9. Handwriting analysis has not linked him to the crime.

    10. He could not be linked to the Quantico letter that fingered Dr. Assaad. He could not be linked to any efforts to finger Dr. Hatfill.

    11. No physical evidence links him to the crime: this includes the tape on the letters, fibers, human DNA, spores in his car, home or personal effects, evidence of any kind he travelled to the areas where the letters were mailed, including purchasing enough gasoline for a 7 hour trip to Princeton, twice.

    12. He passed two polygraph examinations at Fort Detrick.

    13. Since the FBI has been unable to build a convincing case against any one individual in the 7 years since the letters were sent, why didn’t it focus on identifying a conspiracy of individuals who together may have been able to perform the complex actions required to send the anthrax letters and hoax letters?

    Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 9:45 AM


    Open Questions on a Closed Case

    by Gerry Andrews

    ON Wednesday, the United States Justice Department revealed its evidence that Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, on his own, committed the worst act of bioterrorism in the country’s history. This 18-year veteran scientist of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., is accused of killing five people and sickening 17 others in the fall of 2001. Dr. Ivins died on July 29 of an apparent suicide without a chance to give his side of the story.

    After reading the affidavits and listening to the Justice Department briefing, I was both disheartened and perplexed by the lack of physical evidence supporting a conviction.

    Dr. Ivins was a friend and colleague of mine for nearly 16 years. We worked together at Fort Detrick. He was a senior scientist, and I was, first, a bench scientist and, from 1999 to 2003, the chief of the bacteriology division.

    READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/opinion/10andrews.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin Too Nice.

    Gerry Andrews is an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Wyoming.

  116. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I don’t smoke.

  117. knarlyknight Says:

    Then it must be your computer.

  118. enkidu Says:

    no bold here – mb its an older or off brand browser?
    might interpret the html code differently

    knarls – a bunch of codeine and alcohol can definitely kill you
    or that giant spliff that girl was enjoying (nice pic NL!)

    This whole ‘suicide’ reeks of a cover up – too neat, too tidy
    too many open questions that point to something other than a single rogue wwnj scientist helping gwb get his war on

    no autopsy? huge red flag

  119. knarlyknight Says:

    Of course it can kill you, and it is probably what killed Ivins. My point is why choose to die that way? It takes give or take 2 days and you feel sick as shit the whole time. Where’s the evidence that he took it intentionally, or how do they know no-one else poisoned him with it?

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