Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ivins Case

Senator Patrick Leahy expressed doubt about the FBI's case against now-dead suspect Dr. Bruce Ivins in hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

That isn't really very newsworthy - lots of people doubt that the FBI's version is the full story.

The interesting part is that there will be independent review of the DNA analysis that lead to the alleged "fingerprinting" of the anthrax spores used in the attack, definitively linking them to anthrax samples at Ft. Detrick. I've thought since I first read about it that the DNA analysis was less certain than it had been portrayed, and it will be interesting to see what the National Academy of Sciences has to say about it.

It's still hard to imagine that Ivins would have killed himself if he were innocent, which at the very least suggests he was involved. But I tend to agree with the various commentators who suggest there's more to this story that we haven't heard yet.


Eric said...

Thank you for keeping an eye on this. I've been trying to, but I have yet to find the time to completely go through the released documents.

Not that I'm sure they're going to matter much: e.g. a search warrant affidavit is going to tell you little that the press conference didn't (the affidavit is essentially a circular document since it's a presentation of the state's case as justification to search--if they didn't think he was guilty, they wouldn't be searching, and because of the search, they think he's guilty). Meanwhile, the critical matter is really the DNA "fingerprint," which I lack the education, experience or credentials to properly evaluate.

So, again--thank you. I look forward to any other observations you have on the case.

CW said...

I don't think we'll ever get any "ultimate truth" or resolution in this case. I've seen this a bunch of times before: whenever there's a big, dramatic case, the FBI wants to wrap it up and bury it as fast as possible, whether or not they get to the facts. The Oklahoma City bombing is a great example.

I am not expert enough to credibly evaluate the DNA analysis either - which is why I'm interested in hearing from supposedly impartial independent investigators on whether the DNA "fingerprint" is as conclusive as the FBI says it is.