Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Anthrax Killer? Richard Spertzel

Is this is the man who made the anthrax that killed five people soon after 9-11? I think so.

Of course, the FBI are protecting him by pointing the finger at others. And Spertzel himself is busy weighing in with his expert opinion to confuse the media, and using his high-level contacts to confuse investigations, just to muddy the waters.

But I think this is the guy. Richard Spertzel.

He is on the books at Benador Associates (with Amir Taheri, Charles Jacobs, Charles Krauthammer, Dennis Prager, Herbert London, James Woolsey, Laurie Mylroie, Meyrav Wurmser, Michael Ledeen, Michael Rubin, Natan Sharansky, Richard Perle and others), he's a regular on Murdoch's FOX News, he writes articles for the Murdoch WSJ. You get the picture?

Zionist. Neocon.

Of course, he was not working alone.

More articles from Spertzel here and more investigation ongoing at Glenn Greenwald's blog, where a highly informed commenter recently said:
"Spertzel is really scary and seems to just taunt the world from the neocon perspective."
Spertzel has repeatedly insisted that the anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was very highly sophisticated:
"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."
One the one hand that is a boast. On the other hand it is a threat.

Now ask yourself why the head of the FBI has been protecting this man for nearly seven years?

UPDATE: Spertzel is of course loudly telling people that he doesn't believe that Bruce Ivins was the killer. Given that the FBI has not been able to make a strong case against Ivins, and they know it, that's not really surprising. It helps give Spertzel some much-needed credibility in the public eye.

The DoJ has just released documents (PDFs here) related to the case but are not going to close the case yet "because of incomplete administrative details". Yeah, like a motive! And proof!

This is the motive currently being bandied about:
Authorities were looking at whether Ivins may have released anthrax to test a vaccine he was working on, another official said.
I don't have time to read through all the docs today, but details emerging don't indicate any bombshell of proof. It's hard to believe the FBI really thought they could charge and convict Ivins on this evidence alone.
According to one affidavit made public, Ivins submitted false anthrax samples to the FBI, was unable to give investigators "an adequate explanation for his late laboratory work hours around the time of" the attacks and sought to frame an unnamed co-worker.

He was also said to have received immunizations against anthrax and yellow fever in early September 2001, several weeks before the first anthrax-laced envelope was received in the mail.
Um, wouldn't everybody working in an anthrax lab be taking immunizations regularly? But that bit about framing an unnamed co-worker is interesting: was that Assaad, or Hatfill?

Then there's the corporate element, and an email that much is being made of:
[Ivins] was under pressure to assist a private company that had lost federal approval to produce an anthrax vaccine and sent a suspicious e-mail a few days before the anthrax attacks.

The e-mail warned that Osama bin Laden's terrorists "for sure have anthrax and sarin gas" and had "just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans." The affidavit said the language in the e-mail was similar to warnings in the anthrax letters, such as: "WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX. . . . DEATH TO AMERICA . DEATH TO ISRAEL."
Note how WaPo reproduced that text in the original CAPS, just to make sure you saw it. But what's new? It's already been established (e.g. his letter to the local paper) that Ivins was a Christian Zionist, but so was the whole Fort Detrick lab (see Camel club antics). And no doubt half the USA had similar thoughts after 9-11. I mean, Bin Laden hates Jews? Duh!

And if Ivins really believed, as many others did, that Al Quaeda might have anthrax, surely that would explain his late nights in the lab after 9-11. OTOH:
The spike in his evening hours began in mid-August, almost a month before the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators said.
That's a little harder to explain. But it's still not incriminating evidence.

And then there's this:
Moreover, the envelopes that held the letters were “federal eagle” envelopes, so-named because of the eagle perched on a bar bearing the initials “USA” in the upper right-hand corner, and bore tiny but tell-tale defects that searchers determined were bought from a post office in Maryland or Virginia, the official documents relate.

And of the 16 government, commercial and university laboratories that had virulent anthrax strains like the one used in the deadly mailings, only one was located in Maryland or Virginia — the Fort Detrick lab where Dr. Ivins worked before his July 29 suicide, the documents say.
Yeah, real tight evidence right there. Not.

One search warrant doc indicates the Feds seized a copy of "The Plague" by Albert Camus from Ivins' home. That's ironic: the "surface" story is about a doctor battling to stop a plague, but Camus wrote it as an allegory of how one decent man can stand up to the spreading influence of tyrants, especially based on his experiences in the French underground combating the Nazis.