Congressman and Scientist: FBI Theory that Mail-Sorting Machines Crushed Anthrax to a Fine Powder "Patently Ridiculous"... Anthrax was Weaponized → Washingtons Blog
Congressman and Scientist: FBI Theory that Mail-Sorting Machines Crushed Anthrax to a Fine Powder "Patently Ridiculous"... Anthrax was Weaponized - Washingtons Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

Congressman and Scientist: FBI Theory that Mail-Sorting Machines Crushed Anthrax to a Fine Powder "Patently Ridiculous"... Anthrax was Weaponized


The anthrax in the letters to Leahy and Daschle was ground into an extremely fine powder. As USA Today noted:

The finely prepared Daschle-letter spores ... were ground so fine that they apparently drifted across offices and contaminated other letters in the mail.
As the Washington Post noted, the anthrax was:
1.5 to 3 microns in size and processed to a grade of 1 trillion spores per gram -- 50 times finer than anything produced by the now-defunct U.S. bioweapons program and 10 times finer than the finest known grade of Soviet anthrax spores.
In addition, the anthrax sent to Daschle and Leahy was so advanced that no one at Fort Detrick had ever seen anything like it before. As described in a 2001 CBS article:
"When technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost. "
(Grinding the anthrax into a fine powder makes it disperse more widely, and ensures that it will get straight into victim's lungs, so as to be lethal).

So how does the FBI explain how a lone vaccine scientist, Bruce Ivins, could have produced something that most of the top anthrax bioweapons experts with their own labs couldn't produce?

An accident.

Specifically, the official FBI explanation for how the anthrax was milled so finely is that:
"Post Office sorting machines crushed the dried anthrax in mailing envelopes, making them very powdery."
Uh-huh.

Maryland Congressman and PhD physiologist Roscoe Bartlett hit the nail on the head:
The FBI's theory that the anthrax was crushed to a fine powder by U.S. Postal Service mail-sorting machines is "patently ridiculous."

He says he's convinced the anthrax was deliberately "weaponized," and that Ivins lacked the equipment to make it.

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