decoding the truth / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

We're not fond of conspiracies theories (excepting those offered during episodes of the X-files) but we are fond of the truth (it's out there, SOMEWHERE. That tends to make us a bit of a skeptic.

The government continues to try the recently deceased Dr. Bruce Ivins in the court of public opinion, which anymore mostly means the red carpet or the lead-in on E!. However, since this case involves our national security interests, The FBI and the Justice Dept. are hoping that the seriousness by which they vet the evidence will produce a similar, staid reaction in the general public. Sad newsto them; our ability see anything beyond inherent satire with this administration went out the window shortly after then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, decided to cloak Lady Justice's bare breast. That was way back in 2002 about the time the FBI had their man, who now has a multi-million dollar settlement in exchange for his ruined reputation.

So yesterday, the G-men trotted out more dog, more pony, more show. It looked something like this according to Eric Lichtblau and Nicholas Wade of the NY times.
At the briefing, F.B.I. officials disclosed that they first obtained a sample of a unique strain of anthrax from Dr. Ivins in 2002, one that could have led them back to the strain used in the 2001 attacks. But the bureau destroyed the sample because Dr. Ivins did not follow protocol in the way it was submitted, making it more difficult to use in court.

It was not until 2006, after a backup copy of Dr. Ivins’s sample was found by another scientist working with the F.B.I., that the bureau’s scientists realized it was the same strain used in the anthrax mailings. That crucial finding helped confirm other evidence pointing to Dr. Ivins.

“Looking at it in hindsight,” Dr. Majidi said of the misstep in 2002, “we would do things differently today.”

There are several problems here. Not the least of which is proper chain-o-custody (COC in the biz; pronounced like it has a k). They don't have a proper COC, and using DNA evidence to label somethingto the exclusion of all others requires good COC. If the government could show that the DNA of the anthrax in Ivins' (and only Ivins') possession has the exact DNA of the letter anthrax, then they have a good case. They must show this is the same anthrax - to the exclusion of all other anthrax and that Ivins' had in his possession to the exclusion of all of other person(s). All the weird, flaky shit you've heard about Ivins (true, or not true) doesn't matter if a hundred other people could have made the stuff and mailed it.

And sad to say, it never would have been possible to prove with the evidence they have, unless they have a lot more they aren't telling us about, and why would they withold it? Especially now. The flasks you've been hearing so much about, the ones that supposedly tie Ivins to the mailings, were used to make dozens of other strains of anthrax. We have no idea how the government isolated the ones they supposedly traced back to Ivins and the mailings. Hundreds of researchers had access to this one strain. I don't really know for sure, but I'm guessing that if you're a researcher in a government lab, and you make anthrax in flasks, you don't really have a whole bunch of flasks laying around with deadly toxins in them. The more flasks you dirty, the more clean-up is involved, and with each clean-up is the risk for contamination of other areas. Thus is seems likely that the same flasks would get used repeatedly over and over. And thus any signature in any given flask would like become more and more muddled with time. I'd like to know the answers to these kinds of questions, but unfortunately, I guess I'll just have to take the government's word on this one.

Perhaps Ivins was really the kooky, depressed, ego-centric mass murderer depicted by the government. We'll never know for sure. But we do know that it's hard to trust this government after 7.75 years of Dick "the Dick" Cheney and W, his puppet boy. Somewhere, in this adminstration, there is always someone smoking a cigarette in the shadows.

The problem really is this. This administration has so worn down the trust of the people, that even the most probable scenarios don't seem plausible anymore. It'll take years for our own people to recover from the war-is-peace approach to geopolitical truth set in motion by the Bush Administration. And who knows how long for the USA to again gain the trust of the rest of the world. And if that knucklehead McGruff the Crime Dog gets elected, half the population will end up chained to beds before his first term ends. Hey, it they did it him, and he was willing to make the sacrifice for his country, then shouldn't you be?