Is the FBI dragging
June 25, 2002 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Is the FBI dragging it's feet in the anthrax investigation? It appears they have reason to do so. Dr. Barbara Rosenberg presents a compelling argument that the likely homegrown terrorist is known but revealing his identity could be embarrassing to the government.
posted by nofundy (26 comments total)
Prediction for this thread: much attacking of the messenger, very little discussion of the message.
posted by ook at 6:44 AM on June 25, 2002

I think it might be Pat Buchanan.
posted by TuffAustin at 6:54 AM on June 25, 2002

Fragmentation of investigative activities and undue control of investigators by a less-informed hierarchy seem to be the hallmarks of the anthrax investigation.

Uh, these seem to be the hallmark of almost every investigation.
posted by mecran01 at 6:57 AM on June 25, 2002

The likely anthrax mailer might be embarassing to the government? So what? bin Laden is embarassing to Muslims. Doesn't change the fact that something has to be done.
posted by laz-e-boy at 7:00 AM on June 25, 2002

Bah, Dr. Rosenberg is a pedophilic seal-slaughterer with a long-standing grudge against the FBI, DOD, CIA, and USAMRIID.
posted by delapohl at 7:05 AM on June 25, 2002

Three words for why the FBI doesn't just rush out and arrest the person who seems to be the best suspect: Wen Ho Lee. After all that (deserved) criticism, does it really surprise anyone that the FBI is a little gun shy?
posted by pardonyou? at 7:09 AM on June 25, 2002

And, now that I think about it, two more words: Richard Jewell.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:15 AM on June 25, 2002

Delapohl, I missed the bit about pedophilia in her bios:
"Barbara Hatch Rosenberg is Chair of the Federation of American Scientists Working Group On Biological Weapons. She is a professor at SUNY-Purchase."


"Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, was a founder of the FAS Chemical and Biological Weapons Program in 1989 and is its current Director. She chairs the FAS Working Group on Biological Weapons Verification, a group of volunteer experts who have monitored and contributed over 40 working papers and reports on technical issues to the negotiations now in progress to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention with a legally-binding Protocol. The Working Group, one of the few NGO’s anywhere that specializes in biological weapons issues, also provides technical information to the US and other governments, works with the World Health Organization on BW-related issues, and works with US bio-industry on Protocol issues relevant to industry. In 1998, Dr. Rosenberg served on an advisory panel to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Health on biological weapons issues. In 1993, she served as an advisor to the OTA study of Weapons of Mass Destruction in 1993..." (more)
posted by daver at 7:36 AM on June 25, 2002

Bah, delapohl is a right-wing card-carrying member of PETA with a long-standing grudge against Rosenberg.
posted by straight at 7:40 AM on June 25, 2002

daver, delapohl was being sarcastic. I believe in response to ook's post. Although I'm curious why you (correctly) pointed out that there's no history of pedophelia, but didn't mention seal slaughtering?
posted by pardonyou? at 7:42 AM on June 25, 2002

Delapohl, I missed the bit about pedophilia

Oh! It's right in front of you. Everyone knows that "Working Group on Biological Weapons" is street talk for pedophilia. In fact, it looks like she's been part of a number of "working groups", if you get my meaning.
posted by warhol at 7:46 AM on June 25, 2002

Delapohl, I missed the bit about pedophilia

Oh! It's right in front of you. Everyone knows that "Working Group on Biological Weapons" is street talk for pedophilia. In fact, it looks like she's been part of a number of "working groups", if you get my meaning.
posted by warhol at 7:48 AM on June 25, 2002

I love this part: "The FBI has stated more than once that it insists upon 100% proof before making an arrest in this case-a very stringent requirement."

Let me get this straight. The government now has the right to label an American an "enemy combatant" and remove all of his or her Constitutional rights without supplying a shred of evidence, but it won't arrest a suspect with "experience with anthrax, up-to-date anthrax vaccination, forensic training, and access to USAMRIID and its biological agents through 2001" who's likely to have killed 5 people? A suspect whose job included devising bioterror scenarios and who is "known to have acted out at least one" bioterror hoax?

Holy fuck.

Wen Ho Lee.

Yeah, that explains why the FBI (according to Rosenberg) waited from September until March to collect samples from U.S. laboratories possessing the Ames strain, and why those samples still haven't been analysed.

Did you actually read the link? It's pretty damn convincing that the FBI knows exactly who sent those anthrax letters. From #16: "The Suspect is part of a clique that includes high-level former USAMRIID scientists and high-level former FBI officials."

This story needs much bigger play.
posted by mediareport at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2002

I'm holding out for the link to the mysterious deaths of microbiologists.
posted by troybob at 7:57 AM on June 25, 2002

mediareport, yes I actually read the link. I also have learned that there's more than one side to every story. And in any case, I'm not necessarily defending the FBI's hesitancy, or saying that there aren't some unusual facts -- I have no knowledge either way. My point was just that the FBI has been raked over the coals for the last five years for sloppy investigating, and that it doesn't surprise me one whit that they are waiting until they know with virtual certainty that they have the right guy before making an arrest.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:02 AM on June 25, 2002

There's no evidence for your explanation, pardonyou?, but there's plenty for Rosenberg's. From her must-read report to the Federation of American Scientists (linked in this January thread):

"...the perpetrator has left multiple, blatant clues, seemingly on purpose...The postal addresses and dates of these letters map out an itinerary of the perpetrator(s) and indicate certain connections, which taken together must single out the perpetrator from the other likely suspects."

Rosenberg also criticized what she called "ludicrous" elements of the FBI investigation taken after it knew the perpretator was an American: "Blanketing Central New Jersey with fliers showing handwriting that was obviously disguised can’t possibly evoke useful information, nor can letters to 32,000 American microbiologists, 31,800 of whom live in a different world from the perpetrator. This is no way to instill public confidence in the competence of the FBI."

Her analysis of the suspect is interesting, too:

"...he is driven to demonstrate, in a spectacular way, his capabilities and the government’s inability to respond. He is cocksure that he can get away with it. Does he know something that he believes to be sufficiently damaging to the United States to make him untouchable by the FBI?"

I seriously doubt that Wen Ho Lee has anything to do with why this person hasn't been arrested.
posted by mediareport at 8:22 AM on June 25, 2002

This story needs much bigger play.

I couldn't agree more mediareport. The only major media attention has been in Britian, as usual. Why is this many may ask? Here's one possible explanation that I tend to agree with:

"Immediately following Sept. 11, many so-called news organizations functioned as little more than cheerleaders for the administration, complete with computer-generated flags undulating electronically alongside the usual corporate logo. It was as if the traditional mandate of a free press, to report the news without fear or favor, was obsolete. Now, the function of a free press was to big up an administration and un-intelligence community caught asleep at the wheel. Chalk up another victory for the terrorists."
posted by nofundy at 8:35 AM on June 25, 2002

Is "big up" a verb now?
posted by cowboy at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2002

[Everyone knows that "Working Group on Biological Weapons" is street talk for pedophilia. ]

Thank You so much for that. I've got a lemon misto dripping out my nostrils... But thanks nevertheless.
posted by revbrian at 8:55 AM on June 25, 2002

oh leave them alone. they're just rock stars. no need to investigate anthrax.

wait... what?
posted by jcterminal at 8:56 AM on June 25, 2002

Any guesses on the terrorist's name?

Last name = Coulter? First names = Ann Thrax?
TuffAustin had a really good guess!
posted by nofundy at 9:51 AM on June 25, 2002

This terrorist has already won.
posted by Dirjy at 10:06 AM on June 25, 2002

We should invade the FBI and convert them to Christianity
posted by matteo at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2002

What about this, thought it interesting all the animals that die unnoticed( I had no clue), and each state has it own statistic, I imagine. So with these #'s and times that by other states, where is PETA?, maybe it involves the two. FBI & PETA is A-FBI-PET

There was mention the strains of anthrax all came from Texas,too so why no arrests is right. It not like we have no clue.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2002

One of the downsides to the Patriot Act is that it does not distinguish between political vandalism such as destroying equipment at a construction site, and political mass murder such as flying a fully-occupied airplane into a target. As a result, the Patriot Act gave federal law enforcement exactly what it wanted, the ability to treat "eco-terrorists" (who take steps to try to prevent loss of life as a result of their vandalism) as equal to suicide bombers. As a result, PETA is already a targeted organization.

Now then, granted I have no great love for ELF and ALF after they set refrigerator trucks at a neighborhood business on fire. But seriously equating monkeywrenching to mass murder demonstrates a profound lack of perspective. And it certainly would not suprise me that the current government is more interested in investigating environmentalists than right-wing domestic terrorists.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:56 AM on June 25, 2002

Dr Steven Hatfill?
posted by liam at 2:33 PM on July 1, 2002

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