Bruce E. Ivins, the chief suspect in the 2001 anthrax mailings, committed suicide before the FBI could present its case in court. Years later, some suspicions remain over results of the inquiry.
By David Willman, Washington Bureau
October 16, 2011
WASHINGTON — FBI Agent Edward Montooth began worrying the moment he got the call early on the morning of July 27, 2008: The chief suspect in the deadly anthrax letter attacks of 2001 had just been rushed to a hospital.
The leader of the FBI investigation knew that if Army microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins died, the opportunity to present the case against him in a courtroom would be lost. Conspiracy theories and speculation, he feared, could well overshadow the evidence.
"They better save [him]," Montooth snapped to a colleague as he hung up the phone.
In previous weeks, Ivins had been warned by his lawyer that he faced an indictment, and the possibility of the death penalty, in connection with the attacks, which killed five people, injured or hospitalized 17 others and helped spur significant changes in national security policies. Ivins died two days after he arrived at the hospital, minutes from his home, in Frederick, Md.
More than three years after Ivins' suicide, Montooth has retired from the FBI, but his earlier concern — that the lack of a trial could fuel suspicions about the government's case — remains valid. Over the last week alone, media reports have questioned anew the evidence against Ivins, while suggesting that the anthrax attacks may have been committed by unidentified wrongdoers.
One account came from three scientists — long critical of the FBI — whose questions were the subject of a story in the New York Times. Another came from the nonprofit group ProPublica, the PBS documentary unit Frontline and McClatchy Newspapers. The coverage highlighted the lingering antagonism toward the FBI among some of Ivins' colleagues at the Army's biowarfare research center at Ft. Detrick, Md.
March 3, 2009
Dear Senator Leahy,
We felt compelled to write to you regarding your recent call for the formation of a “Truth Commission”. According to your press comments, this Commission is supposed to look at the following:
- the politicization of prosecution in the Justice Department
- the wiretapping of U.S. citizens
- the flawed intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq
- the use of torture at Guantanamo and so-called black sites abroad
These are serious allegations of criminal activity by certain members of the Bush Administration. While we applaud your initiative in looking into these matters, we feel this approach is wrong.
As the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you already have the responsibility and legal authority to investigate matters relating to federal criminal law without having to form a special commission. You are also bound by your oath of office to support and uphold the Constitution by ensuring that those who govern also abide by the rule of law.
Furthermore, a “Truth Commission” will not fix the real problems that our country faces, nor will it guarantee that we will get to the truth.
I don't know whether or not I agree with a "Truth & Reconciliation Commission." I don't like Nancy Pelosi, but I agree with her when she says that if there are "criminal ramifications," people should be charged, and should not be given immunity. Jonathan Turley said that it is a "shameful" way to avoid prosecuting war crimes.
Senator Leahy's "Truth Commission" seems to focus primarily on torture, but there is a possibility that more may be looked into. The basic premise seems to be though, that if it is a crime to be investigated, it will be a crime that took place Post-9/11.
Please check http://www.911blogger.com/node/17419#comment-196200 for original posting by USAPatriot with active links.
NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” for Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Office Building.
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Salon Magazine's Glenn Greenwald interviewed FBI critic Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) on August 20.
"GG: Speaking of that, on August 7th, just a couple weeks ago, you wrote a letter to Attorney General Mukasey, and FBI Director Mueller, in which you stated:
This has been a long investigation, full of missteps and mistakes. There's been too much secrecy up to this point, and it deserves a full and thorough vetting. There are clearly a lot of unanswered questions, and it's time to start a dialog so we get answers.
This is the outline for a speech i recently delivered in my Communications class- 13 people including the teacher, no one had ever heard of her, 3 seemed uninterested/annoyed, the rest were interested, some deeply, some seemed a bit shaken up, at least 3 (including the teacher) took note of her website "justacitizen.org" when i mentioned that at the end. I'll be adapting this as a longer article with sources linked, but this outline format worked well for the speech- i practiced it about 5 times and basically just delivered the outline- 7"30'
Daschle on Amerithrax: "Alot of questions that are yet to be answered." FBI was initially "100%" to "find those responsible."
Former Senator Tom Daschle was at the LA library on 3/26 to talk about his new book on healthcare. WeAreChangeLA was on hand to ask him about the health of the American body politic in relationship to the still 'unsolved' anthraxing of the two opposition leaders Leahy and Daschle -some leaked into Senator Feingold's office as well. While not directly addressing my question about the responsibility of Congress in calling out possible treason, Senator Daschle dropped a few hints in his response.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont)
By Jon Gold
"The two questions that the congress will not ask, because republicans wont allow it, is why did 9/11 happen on George Bush's watch when he had clear warnings that it was going to happen? Why did they allow it to happen? And secondly, when they had Osama Bin Laden cornered why didnt they get him? Had there been an independent congress, one that could ask questions these questions would have been asked years ago."
That was said on 9/29/2006 by Senator Patrick Leahy on the Amy Goodman show.