Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome back

Well, after a lengthy absence, I'm back. Our small world has changed, and I'm looking forward to adding my commentary to the general stream. An article at Wired online caught my eye today, written by Noah Schachtman. It discusses the full scope of the failed anthrax investigation carried out by the FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service. I say failed, because the investigation yielded no arrests or convictions, ruined the reputation of one innocent scientist, and seemingly harried another into the grave. I leave it to you to decide for yourself the efficacy of the investigation, but I have a couple comments. Firstly, I find it very interesting that while the FBI availed itself of assistance from USAMRIID, and Fort Detrick, the US military did not have a role in investigating the crime. The article refers repeatedly to the various scientists and researchers at USAMRIID who assisted the FBI's investigation, yet they seem to all be civilian contractors. There is no mention of any help, or investigative prowess from actual Army reseachers. The civilians have access to anthrax so they can better prepare antidotes, but this attack utilized weaponzied anthrax, and only classified military programs could have anything to do with that. Secondly, the lead FBI investigator, Edward Montooth, asserted that "you're never gonna know a single cause or motive for why it was done." That is an astonishing statement for a sworn federal officer to make. Establishing motive is the basis of criminal investigation, and the FBI has singularly failed to understand why this crime was perpetrated.

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