Steven Hatfill

Steven Jay Hatfill (born October 24, 1953) is an American physician, virologist and biological weapons expert.

A former biodefense researcher for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Hatfill came to the public eye after being wrongfully suspected in the 2001 anthrax attacks.[1]

Hatfill became "the subject of a flood of news media coverage beginning in mid-2002, after television cameras showed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in biohazard suits searching his apartment" and then Attorney General John Ashcroft named him "person of interest" in the investigation on national television.[1] Hatfill's home was repeatedly raided by the FBI, his phone was tapped, and he was extensively surveilled for more than two years; he was also fired from his job at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).[2] "At a news conference in August 2002, Hatfill tearfully denied that he had anything to do with the anthrax letters and said irresponsible news media coverage based on government leaks had destroyed his reputation".[1] Hatfill filed a lawsuit in 2003, accusing the FBI agents and Justice Department officials who led the criminal investigation of leaking information about him to the press in violation of the federal Privacy Act.[1]

In 2008, the government settled Hatfill's lawsuit for $4.6 million.[3] The government officially exonerated Hatfill of any involvement in the anthrax attacks, and the Justice Department identified another military scientist, Bruce Edward Ivins, as the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks.[1] Jeffrey A. Taylor, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote in a letter to Hatfill's lawyer that "we have concluded, based on laboratory access records, witness accounts and other information, that Dr. Hatfill did not have access to the particular anthrax used in the attacks, and that he was not involved in the anthrax mailings."[1]

In 2004, Hatfill filed lawsuits against several periodicals and journalists who had identified him as a figure warranting further investigation in the anthrax attacks. Hatfill sued the New York Times Company and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof for defamation, defamation per se, and intentional infliction of emotional distress in connection with five of Kristof's columns in 2002. The courts dismissed this suit, finding that Hatfill was a limited purpose public figure.[4][5][6] In 2007, Hatfill settled a similar libel lawsuit against Vanity Fair and Reader's Digest for an undisclosed amount, after both magazines agreed to formally retract any implication that Hatfill was involved in the anthrax mailings.[7]

David Freed writes that Hatfill's story "provides a cautionary tale about how federal authorities, fueled by the general panic over terrorism, embraced conjecture and coincidence as evidence, and blindly pursued one suspect while the real anthrax killer roamed free for more than six years. Hatfill's experience is also the wrenching saga of how an American citizen who saw himself as a patriot came to be vilified and presumed guilty, as his country turned against him."[2]

In 2010, Hatfill was an independent researcher and an adjunct assistant professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center.[8] He has criticized the response of health authorities to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and suggested that it is possible that Ebola could be transmitted by aerosol, a position which other experts have critiqued.[9][10]

Steven Hatfill
Steven Jay Hatfill

October 24, 1953 (age 65)
EducationSouthwestern College (1975) University of Zimbabwe (1984) University of Stellenbosch (1993)

Early life and education

Hatfill was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Mattoon Senior High School, Mattoon, Illinois (1971), and Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas (1975), where he studied biology.

Hatfill was enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1977.[11] (In 1999, he would tell a journalist during an interview that he had been a "captain in the U.S. Special Forces", but in a subsequent investigation the Army stated that he had never served with the Special Forces.[12]) Following his Army discharge, Hatfill qualified and worked as a medical laboratory technician, but soon resolved to become a doctor.

Hatfill then settled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) entering the Godfrey Huggins Medical School[13] at the University of Rhodesia in Salisbury (now Harare) in 1978. (His claimed military associations during this period included assistance as a medic with the Selous Scouts and membership in the Rhodesian SAS, but according to one journalist[14] the regimental association of the latter is "adamant Hatfill never belonged to the unit".) He graduated (after failing in 1983) with a M ChB degree in 1984 and then completed a one-year internship (1984–85) at a small rural hospital in South Africa's North West Province. The South African government recruited him to be medical officer on a 14 month (1986–88) tour of duty in Antarctica with the South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE). He then completed (1988) a master's degree in microbiology at the University of Cape Town. He worked toward a second master's (1990; medical biochemistry and radiation biology) at the University of Stellenbosch, while working again as a paid med tech in the University's clinical hematology lab. A 3-year hematological pathology residency (1991–93) at Stellenbosch followed, during which time Hatfill conducted research on the treatment of leukemia with thalidomide.[14] This research, toward an anticipated PhD degree, was conducted (1992–95) under the supervision of Professor Ralph Kirby at Rhodes University.

Hatfill submitted his PhD thesis for examination to Rhodes in January 1995, but it was failed in November and no degree was ever granted.[14] Hatfill later claimed a Ph.D. degree in "molecular cell biology" from Rhodes, as well as completion of a post-doctoral fellowship (1994–95) at the University of Oxford in England and three master's degrees (in microbial genetics, medical biochemistry, and experimental pathology). Some of these credentials have been questioned. During a later investigation, officials at Rhodes insisted that he had never been awarded a Ph.D. from their institution.[15] (In 2007, Hatfill's lawyer Tom Connolly[16] – in his lawsuit against former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the FBI – admitted that his client had "Puffed on his resume. Absolutely. Forged a diploma. Yes, that's true."[17])

Back in the U.S., another of Hatfill's post-doctoral appointments commenced at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1995. He subsequently worked (1997–99) as a civilian researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the U.S. Department of Defense's medical research institute for biological warfare (BW) defense at Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD. There he studied, under a National Research Council fellowship, new drug treatments for the Ebola virus and became a specialist in virology and BW defense.

Anthrax attacks

In January 1999 Hatfill transferred to a "consulting job" at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which has a "sprawling campus" in nearby McLean, Virginia. The corporation did work for a multitude of federal agencies. Many projects were classified.

By this time there had been a number of hoax anthrax mailings in the United States. Hatfill and his collaborator, SAIC vice president Joseph Soukup, commissioned William C. Patrick, retired head of the old US bioweapons program (who had also been a mentor of Hatfill) to write a report on the possibilities of terrorist anthrax mailing attacks. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (director of the Federation of American Scientists' biochem weapons working group in 2002) said that the report was commissioned "under a CIA contract to SAIC". However, SAIC said Hatfill and Soukup commissioned it internally – there was no outside client.

The resulting report, dated February 1999, was subsequently seen by some as a "blueprint" for the 2001 anthrax attacks. Amongst other things, it suggested the maximum amount of anthrax powder – 2.5 grams – that could be put in an envelope without making a suspicious bulge. The quantity in the envelope sent to Senator Patrick Leahy in October 2001 was .871 grams.[18] After the attacks, the report drew the attention of the media and others, and led to their investigation of Patrick and Hatfill.[19]

Assertions by Rosenberg

In October 2001, as soon as it became known that the Ames strain of anthrax had been used in the attacks, Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg and others began suggesting that the attack might be the work of a "rogue CIA agent", and they provided the name of the "most likely" person to the FBI. On November 21, 2001, Rosenberg made similar statements to the Biological and Toxic Weapons convention in Geneva.[20] In December 2001, she published "A Compilation of Evidence and Comments on the Source of the Mailed Anthrax" via the web site of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) suggesting the attacks were "perpetrated with the unwitting assistance of a sophisticated government program".[21]

Rosenberg discussed the case with reporters from the New York Times.[22] On January 4, 2002, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times published a column titled "Profile of a Killer"[23] stating "I think I know who sent out the anthrax last fall." For months, Rosenberg gave speeches and stated her beliefs to many reporters from around the world. She posted "Analysis of the Anthrax Attacks" to the FAS web site on January 17, 2002. On February 5, 2002 she published an article called "Is the FBI Dragging Its Feet?"[24] At the time, the FBI denied reports that investigators had identified a chief suspect, saying "There is no prime suspect in this case at this time."[25] The Washington Post reported that "FBI officials over the last week have flatly discounted Dr. Rosenberg's claims."[26]

On June 13, 2002, Rosenberg posted "The Anthrax Case: What the FBI Knows" to the FAS site. On June 18, 2002, Rosenberg presented her theories to senate staffers working for Senators Daschle and Leahy.[27] One week later, on June 25, the FBI publicly searched Hatfill's apartment, turning him into a household name. "The FBI also pointed out that Hatfill had agreed to the search and is not considered a suspect."[28] Both The American Prospect and reported that "Hatfill is not a suspect in the anthrax case, the FBI says."[29] On August 3, 2002, Rosenberg told the media that the FBI asked her if "a team of government scientists could be trying to frame Steven J. Hatfill."[30]

Person of interest

In August 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft labeled Hatfill a "person of interest" in a press conference, although no charges were brought against him. Hatfill, a virologist, vehemently denied he had anything to do with the anthrax (bacteria) mailings and sued the FBI, the Justice Department, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and others for violating his constitutional rights and for violating the Privacy Act. On June 27, 2008, the Department of Justice announced it would settle Hatfill's case for $5.8 million.[31]

Hatfill later went to work at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. In September 2001 SAIC was commissioned by the Pentagon to create a replica of a mobile WMD "laboratory", alleged to have been used by Saddam Hussein, who was President of Iraq at the time. The Pentagon claimed the trailer was to be used as a training aid for teams seeking weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.[32]

His lawyer, Victor M. Glasberg, stated: "Steve's life has been devastated by a drumbeat of innuendo, implication and speculation. We have a frightening public attack on an individual who, guilty or not, should not be exposed to this type of public opprobrium based on speculation."[33]

In an embarrassing incident, FBI agents trailing Hatfill in a motor vehicle ran over his foot when he attempted to approach them in May 2003. Police responding to the incident did not cite the driver, but issued Hatfill a citation for "walking to create a hazard".[34] He and his attorneys fought the ticket, but a hearing officer upheld the ticket and ordered Hatfill to pay the requisite $5 fine.[35]

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III changed leadership of the investigation in late 2006, and at that time another suspect, USAMRIID bacteriologist Bruce Ivins, became the main focus of the investigation.[36] Considerable questions have been raised, however, about the credibility of the case against Ivins as well.[37]

60 Minutes interview

Hatfill's lawyer, Tom Connolly, was featured in a CBS News 60 Minutes interview about the anthrax incidents on March 11, 2007.[17] In the interview Connolly revealed that Hatfill forged a Ph.D. degree certificate: "It is true. It is true that he has puffed on his resume. Absolutely. Forged a diploma. Yes, that's true." He went on to state, "Listen, if puffing on your resume made you the anthrax killer, then half this town should be suspect."

The New York Times stated in their paper that Hatfill had obtained an anti-anthrax medicine (ciprofloxacin) immediately prior to the anthrax mailings. Connolly explained, "Before the attacks he had surgery. So yes, he's on Cipro. But the fuller truth is in fact he was on Cipro because a doctor gave it to him after sinus surgery." Hatfill had previously said the antibiotic was for a lingering sinus infection.[38] The omission in the Times' article, of the reason why he had been taking Cipro, is one reason Hatfill sued the newspaper. The newspaper won a summary judgment ruling in early 2007, squelching the libel suit that had been filed by Steven Hatfill against it and columnist Nicholas Kristof.[39]


Hatfill v. John Ashcroft, et al.

On August 26, 2003, Hatfill filed a lawsuit[40] against the Attorney General of the United States John Ashcroft, the United States Department of Justice, DOJ employees Timothy Beres and Daryl Darnell, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Van Harp and an unknown number of FBI agents.[41]

On March 30, 2007, US District Judge Reggie Walton issued an order warning Hatfill that he could lose his civil lawsuit over the leaks if he did not compel journalists to name their sources. He gave Hatfill until April 16 to decide whether to press the journalists to give up their sources.[42]

On April 16, Hatfill gave notice that he would "proceed with discovery to attempt to obtain the identity of the alleged source or sources at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who allegedly provided information to news reporters concerning the criminal investigation of Dr. Hatfill."

On April 27, 2007, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, federal prosecutors wrote that Steven Hatfill had overstepped court orders allowing him to compel testimony from reporters whom he had already questioned and had instead "served a new round of subpoenas" on organizations "that he failed to question during the discovery period."[43]

During the first round of depositions, Hatfill subpoenaed six reporters: Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek, Brian Ross of ABC, Allan Lengel of The Washington Post, Jim Stewart of CBS, and Toni Locy of USA Today.

Hatfill now has subpoenaed eight news organizations, including three that he didn't name before: The New York Times (Nicolas Kristof, David Johnson, William Broad, Kate Zernike, Judith Miller, Scott Shane, and Frank D. Roylance), The Baltimore Sun (Gretchen Parker and Curt Anderson), and the Associated Press. Subpoenas for Washington Post writers Marilyn W. Thompson, David Snyder, Guy Gugliotta, Tom Jackman, Dan Eggen and Carol D. Loenning, and for Mark Miller of Newsweek, are now included.

The Justice Department responded to Hatfill's subpoenas, saying that they went too far. "The court should reject this attempt to expand discovery," prosecutors wrote.[44] In a status conference on Friday 11 January 2008, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the attorneys for the government and for Hatfill to seek mediation over the next two months. According to the Scheduling Order, the parties will be in mediation from January 14 until May 14, 2008. The prospects of a mediated settlement notwithstanding, Walton said he expected that a trial on the lawsuit could begin in December. Afterward, Hatfill's attorney Mark A. Grannis said: "The court has set a schedule for bringing this case to trial this year, and we're very pleased at the prospect that Dr. Hatfill will finally have his day in court."[45]

On March 7, 2008, Toni Locy of USA Today was ordered to personally pay contempt of court fines of up to $5,000 a day which begin the following Tuesday, until she identifies her sources.[46]

On June 27, 2008 Hatfill was exonerated by the government and a settlement was announced in which the Justice Department has agreed to pay $4.6 million (consisting of $2.825 million in cash and an annuity paying $150,000 a year for 20 years)[47] to settle the lawsuit in which Hatfill claimed the Justice Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.[48][49]

Hatfill v. The New York Times

In July 2004, Hatfill filed a lawsuit against The New York Times Company and Nicholas D. Kristof.

In a sealed motion[50] on December 29, 2006, The New York Times argued that the classification restrictions imposed on the case were tantamount to an assertion of the state secrets privilege. Times attorneys cited the case law on state secrets to support their argument that the case should be dismissed. The "state secrets" doctrine, they said, "precludes a case from proceeding to trial when national security precludes a party from obtaining evidence that is... necessary to support a valid defense. Dismissal is warranted in this case because the Times has been denied access to such evidence, specifically documents and testimony concerning the work done by plaintiff [Hatfill] on classified government projects relating to bioweapons, including anthrax."

A redacted copy[50] of the December 29, 2006 New York Times Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant's Motion for an Order Dismissing the Complaint Under the "State Secrets" Doctrine was obtained by Secrecy News.[51]

Attorneys for Hatfill filed a sealed response on January 12, 2007 in opposition to the motion for dismissal on state secrets grounds. A redacted copy[52] of their opposition has been made available by Secrecy News.[53]

On January 12, 2007, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Hatfill against The New York Times.[54]

On January 30, 2007, Judge Hilton's order dismissing the Hatfill v. The New York Times was made public, along with a Memorandum Opinion explaining his ruling. Kenneth A. Richieri, Vice President and General Counsel of The New York Times described what he called a "very satisfying win" at the beginning of 2007 in the Eastern District of Virginia. The newspaper won a summary judgment ruling squelching a libel suit that had been filed by anthrax poisoning "person of interest" Steven Hatfill against it and columnist Nicholas Kristof.[39]

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the trial court, ruling that a jury should decide that issue. In March 2008, the Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari in the case, effectively leaving the appeals court decision in place.

The case was dismissed in a Summary Judgment on January 12, 2007. The appeals were heard on March 21, 2008, and the dismissal was upheld by the appeals court on July 14, 2008. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and was rejected by the Supreme Court on Dec. 15, 2008.[55] The basis for the dismissal was that Dr. Hatfill was a "public figure", and he had not proved malice on the part of The New York Times.

Hatfill v. Foster

Donald Foster, an expert in forensic linguistics, advised the FBI during the investigation of the anthrax attacks. He later wrote an article for Vanity Fair about his investigation of Hatfill. In the October 2003 article Foster described how he had tried to match up Hatfill's travels with the postmarks on the anthrax letters, and analyzed old interviews and an unpublished novel by Hatfill about a bioterror attack on the United States. Foster wrote that "When I lined up Hatfill's known movements with the postmark locations of reported biothreats, those hoax anthrax attacks appeared to trail him like a vapor cloud".[56]

Hatfill subsequently sued Donald Foster, Condé Nast Publications, Vassar College, and The Reader's Digest Association. The suit sought $10 million in damages, claiming defamation.[57] The Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the article in December 2003.

The lawyers delayed bringing the Hatfill v. Foster lawsuit to court because "the parties are close to finalizing the settlement".

On February 27, 2007, The New York Sun reported that he settled without a trial.[58]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Eric Lichtblau, Scientist Officially Exonerated in Anthrax Attacks, New York Times, August 8, 2008.
  2. ^ a b David Freed, The Wrong Man, The Atlantic, May 2010.
  3. ^ Shane, Scott; Eric Lichtblau (June 28, 2008). "Scientist Is Paid Millions by U.S. in Anthrax Suit". New York Times. The Justice Department announced Friday that it would pay $4.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Steven J. Hatfill, a former Army biodefense researcher intensively investigated as a 'person of interest' in the deadly anthrax letters of 2001. The settlement, consisting of $2.825 million in cash and an annuity paying Dr. Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years, brings to an end a five-year legal battle that had recently threatened a reporter with large fines for declining to name sources she said she did not recall.
  4. ^ Jerry Markon, Former Army Scientist Sues New York Times, Columnist, Washington Post, July 14, 2004.
  5. ^ Timothy J. Connor, Fourth Circuit Throws Out Hatfill Libel Claim Against The New York Times, Holland & Knight, September/October 2008.
  6. ^ Bill Mears, High court tosses scientist's libel suit against New York Times, CNN, December 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Gerstein, Josh (February 27, 2007). "Hatfill Settles $10M Libel Lawsuit". New York Sun.
  8. ^ Cameron Bird, Steven Hatfill's Strange Trip From Accused Terrorist to Medical Adventurer, Newsweek, June 18, 2014.
  9. ^ James Hamblin, 21 Days: An expert in biological warfare warns against complacency in public measures against Ebola, The Atlantic, October 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Stephen Goldstein, Assessing the Science of Ebola Transmission: The research on how the virus spreads is not as ambiguous as some have made it seem, The Atlantic, October 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Cooper, Simon "The Lesson of Steve Hatfill", Seed magazine, May/June 2003.
  12. ^ Preston, Richard (2002), The Demon in the Freezer, New York: Random House, pp. 206–07.
  13. ^ "Zimbabwe Medical Graduates Worldwide". Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2007.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  14. ^ a b c Cooper (2003), Op. cit.
  15. ^ Preston, Op. cit., pp. 207–08.
  16. ^ G. Connolly
  17. ^ a b Tables Turned In Anthrax Probe
  18. ^ Broad, William J.; Johnston, David (May 7, 2002). "Anthrax Sent Through Mail Gained Potency by the Letter". The New York Times.
  19. ^ William J Broad, "Terror Anthrax Linked to Type Made by U.S.", New York Times, 3 Dec. 2001; Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (director of the Federation of American Scientists' biochem weapons working group), "Analysis of the Anthrax Attacks" (copy); Guy Gugliotta and Dan Eggen, "Biological Warfare Experts Questioned in Anthrax Probe", Washington Post, June 28, 2002 (UCLA copy); Brian Ross, "Blueprint for Anthrax Attack", ABC News online, 27 June 2002; Marilyn W Thompson, "The Pursuit of Steven Hatfill", Washington Post, 14 Sept. 2003, p. W06.)
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Broad, William J. (December 14, 2001). "F.B.I. Queries Expert Who Sees Federal Lab Tie in Anthrax Cases". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (January 4, 2002). "Profile of a Killer". The New York Times.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Miller, Judith; Broad, William J. (February 26, 2002). "U.S. Says Short List of 'Suspects' Is Being Checked in Anthrax Case". The New York Times.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-09-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Dave Altimari; Jack Dolan & David Lightman (6-28-2). "The Case Of Dr. Hatfill – FBI Anthrax Mail Suspect Or Pawn". Hartford Courant. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Shane, Scott; Lichtblau, Eric (June 28, 2008). "U.S. to Settle Lawsuit of Man Investigated in Anthrax Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  32. ^ "After the War: Biological Warfare; Subject of Anthrax Inquiry Tied to Anti-Germ Training". New York Times. July 2, 2003.
  33. ^ Ex-Army Scientist Denies Role in Anthrax Attacks
  34. ^ Hatfill ticketed in altercation with FBI agent
  35. ^ Scientist Loses Latest Round
  36. ^ Willman, David (2008-08-01). "Apparent suicide in anthrax case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  37. ^ "Some Doubt FBI Line That Scientist Sent Anthrax Letters". The Huffington Post. February 25, 2010. Archived from the original on January 25, 2011.
  38. ^ The Pursuit of Steven Hatfill
  39. ^ a b Newspaper of Record Involved in Extraordinary Cases
  40. ^ Anthrax 'person of interest' sues Ashcroft, FBI
  41. ^ "Steven J. Hatfill, M.D. v. Attorney General John Ashcroft" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  42. ^ Judge Urges Hatfill To Compel Outing of Sources
  43. ^ DOJ's Motion
  44. ^ The Media's Strange Ally
  45. ^ Willman, David (12 January 2008). "U.S. attorney's office accused of anthrax case leaks". LA Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  46. ^ Johnson, Kevin (7 March 2008). "Reporter held in contempt for anthrax case". USA Today. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  47. ^ Shane, Scott; Lichtblau, Eric (June 28, 2008). "Scientist Is Paid Millions by U.S. in Anthrax Suit". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  48. ^ url =,0,4041368.story
  49. ^ Anthrax Scientist Reported to Kill Self; Associated Press; 2008-08-01; accessed 2008-08-01
  50. ^ a b
  51. ^ The State Secrets Doctrine and the Hatfill Case.
  52. ^ Hatfill v. New York Times: Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Dismiss on State Secrets Grounds.
  53. ^ More on State Secrets and the Hatfill Case Archived 2007-02-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  54. ^ Federal judge dismisses anthrax defamation suit against New York Times.
  55. ^ "Hatfill Rejected by Top U.S. Court on New York Times Libel Suit". Bloomberg. December 15, 2008.
  56. ^ "The Message in the Anthrax"
  57. ^ Hatfill strikes back in anthrax case on MSNBC
  58. ^ Hatfill Settles $10M Libel Lawsuit

Further reading


1953 (MCMLIII)

was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1953rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 953rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 53rd year of the 20th century, and the 4th year of the 1950s decade.

2001 anthrax attacks

The 2001 anthrax attacks, also known as Amerithrax from its FBI case name, occurred within the United States over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001, one week after the September 11 attacks. Letters were mailed containing anthrax spores to several news media offices and to Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, killing 5 people and infecting 17 others. A copycat hoax letter containing harmless white powder was opened by reporter Judith Miller in The New York Times newsroom. According to the FBI, the ensuing investigation became "one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement".A major focus in the early years of the investigation was a bioweapons expert named Steven Hatfill who was eventually exonerated. Another suspect was Bruce Edwards Ivins who became a focus of investigation around April 4, 2005. Ivins was a scientist who worked at the government's biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. On April 11, 2007, Ivins was put under periodic surveillance and an FBI document stated that "Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks." On July 29, 2008, Ivins committed suicide with an overdose of acetaminophen.Federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the sole culprit of the crime on August 6, 2008, based on DNA evidence leading to an anthrax vial in his lab. Two days later, Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr. called for hearings into the Department of Justice and FBI's handling of the investigation. On February 19, 2010, the FBI formally closed its investigation.In 2008, the FBI requested a review of the scientific methods used in their investigation from the National Academy of Sciences, which released their findings in the 2011 report Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI's Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters. The report cast doubt on the government's conclusion that Ivins was the perpetrator, finding that the type of anthrax used in the letters was correctly identified as the Ames strain of the bacterium, but that there was insufficient scientific evidence for the FBI's assertion that it originated from Ivins's laboratory. The FBI responded by pointing out that the review panel asserted that it would not be possible to reach a definite conclusion based on science alone, and said that a combination of factors led the FBI to conclude that Ivins had been the perpetrator. Some information is still sealed concerning the case and Ivins's mental problems. The government settled lawsuits that were filed by the widow of the first anthrax victim Bob Stevens for $2.5 million with no admission of liability. The settlement was reached solely for the purpose of "avoiding the expenses and risks of further litigations", according to a statement in the agreement.

Bruce Edwards Ivins

Bruce Edwards Ivins (; April 22, 1946 – July 29, 2008) was an American microbiologist, vaccinologist, senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, and the key suspected perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.On July 29, 2008, he died of an overdose of Tylenol with codeine in an apparent suicide after learning that criminal charges were likely to be filed against him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an alleged criminal connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks. No formal charges were ever actually filed against him for the crime, and no direct evidence of his involvement has been uncovered.At a news conference at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 6, 2008, FBI and DOJ officials formally announced that the Government had concluded that Ivins was likely solely responsible for "the deaths of five persons, and the injury of dozens of others, resulting from the mailings of several anonymous letters to members of Congress and members of the media in September and October 2001, which letters contained Bacillus anthracis, commonly referred to as anthrax." On February 19, 2010, the FBI released a 92-page summary of evidence against Ivins and announced that it had concluded its investigation. The FBI conclusions have been contested by many, including senior microbiologists, the widow of one of the victims, and several prominent American politicians. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who was among the targets in the attack, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), former Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) all argued that Ivins was not solely responsible for the attacks.

The FBI subsequently requested a panel from the National Academy of Sciences to review its scientific work on the case. On May 15, 2011, the panel released its findings, which "conclude[d] that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins." The committee stated that its primary finding was that "it is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone."

Cold case

A cold case is a crime or an accident that has not yet been fully solved and is not the subject of a recent criminal investigation, but for which new information could emerge from new witness testimony, re-examined archives, new or retained material evidence, as well as fresh activities of the suspect. New technical methods developed after the case can be used on the surviving evidence to analyze the causes, often with conclusive results.

David Freed (author)

David Freed (born December 4, 1954 in Albany, Georgia) is an American author, educator, journalist and screenwriter. Freed has written on criminal justice issues for The Los Angeles Times.

Freed shared the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting with fellow writers at the newspaper for reportage on the Rodney King riots in 1992.Freed wrote a humorous collection of job application letters and rejections in 1997 called "Dear Ernest and Julio: The Ordinary Guy's Search for the Extraordinary Job." Freed is also the author of six novels in the Cordell Logan series.

David Kay

David A. Kay (born c. 1940) is a weapons expert, political commentator, and senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He is best known for his time as United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector following the first Gulf War and for leading of the Iraq Survey Group's search for weapons of mass destruction following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Upon presentation of the Group's finding that there had been significant errors in pre-war intelligence concerning Iraq's weapons programs, Kay resigned. The ensuing controversy served as impetus for the formation of the Iraq Intelligence Commission.

Donald Wayne Foster

Donald Wayne Foster (born 1950) is a professor of English at Vassar College in New York. He is known for his work dealing with various issues of Shakespearean authorship through textual analysis. He has also applied these techniques in attempting to uncover mysterious authors of some high-profile contemporary texts. As several of these were in the context of criminal investigations, Foster was sometimes labeled a "forensic linguist". He has been inactive in this arena, however, since Condé Nast settled a defamation lawsuit brought against one of his publications for an undisclosed sum in 2007.

Fort Detrick

Fort Detrick is a United States Army Medical Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland. Historically, Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969. Since the discontinuation of that program, it has hosted most elements of the United States biological defense program.

As of the early 2010s, Fort Detrick's 1,200-acre (490 ha) campus supports a multi-governmental community that conducts biomedical research and development, medical materiel management, global medical communications and the study of foreign plant pathogens. It is home to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), with its bio-defense agency, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). It also hosts the National Cancer Institute-Frederick (NCI-Frederick) and is home to the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research (NICBR) and National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC).

Fort Detrick is the largest employer in Frederick County, Maryland.

Glenn Eschtruth

Glen R. Eschtruth, M.D. (died 1977) was a Methodist medical missionary who operated a mission hospital in Kapanga, Zaire (now Congo-Kinshasa) from 1960 with his wife, Lena Eschtruth. Their daughter, Caroline Rush Eschtruth, was briefly married (1976–78) to American physician and researcher Steven Hatfill.

In early 1977 Soviet- and Cuban-directed mercenaries invaded Zaire from Angola in the Shaba I invasion. With a number of other missionaries and aid workers in the Kapanga region, Glen and Lena were placed under house arrest by the invaders. When Zairian forces, with Western assistance, successfully repelled the invasion, Glen, on or about 15 April 1977, was seized by the mercenaries as they evacuated Kapanga, and his body was found in a shallow grave not far from Kapanga. Eschtruth was the only foreign national to be killed in the course of the invasion.

List of University of Zimbabwe people

This list of University of Zimbabwe people includes notable alumni, professors, and administrators associated with the University of Zimbabwe, formerly the University of Rhodesia.

Mattoon, Illinois

Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census. The city is home to a Burger King that is not related to the worldwide Burger King chain.

Mordechai Levy

Mark "Mordechai" Levy is a U.S.-based political activist and founder of the militant Jewish Defense Organization (JDO), a breakaway faction of the Jewish Defense League. David Tell of the Weekly Standard wrote that the group is "located at the farthest, shadowy margins of American public life." Levy has also organized a paramilitary training camp located in Upstate New York, named after Revisionist Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky.

Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Donabet Kristof (born April 27, 1959) is an American journalist and political commentator. A winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he is a regular CNN contributor and has written an op-ed column for The New York Times since November 2001. Kristof is a self-described progressive. According to The Washington Post, Kristof "rewrote opinion journalism" with his emphasis on human rights abuses and social injustices, such as human trafficking and the Darfur conflict. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has described Kristof as an "honorary African" for shining a spotlight on neglected conflicts.

October 24

October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 68 days remaining until the end of the year.

Reggie Walton

Reggie Barnett Walton (born February 8, 1949) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He is the former presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The Demon in the Freezer

The Demon in the Freezer is a 2002 non-fiction book (ISBN 0345466632) on the biological weapon agents smallpox and anthrax and how the American government develops defensive measures against them. It was written by journalist Richard Preston, also author of the best-selling book The Hot Zone (1994), about outbreaks of Ebola virus in Africa and Reston, Virginia and the U.S. government's response to them.

The book is primarily an account of the Smallpox Eradication Program (1967–1980), the ongoing perception by the U.S. government that smallpox is still a potential bioterrorism agent, and the controversy over whether or not the remaining samples of smallpox virus in Atlanta and Moscow (the "demon" in the freezer) should be finally destroyed. However, the writer was overtaken by events—the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax letter incidents (called "Amerithrax"), both in 2001—and so much of the book interweaves the anthrax investigation with the smallpox material in a manner some critics have said is "awkward" and somewhat "disjointed".

The New York Times controversies

The New York Times has been the subject of criticism from a variety of sources. Criticism has been aimed at the newspaper has been in response to individual controversial reporters, along with alleged political bias.The New York Times used to have a public editor who acted as an ombudsman and "investigates matters of journalistic integrity". The sixth and last NYT public editor was Liz Spayd, who contributed her last piece in June 2017.

Timeline of Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations

This article is a chronological listing of allegations of meetings between members of al-Qaeda and members of Saddam Hussein's government, as well as other information relevant to conspiracy theories involving Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

In 2003, American terrorism analyst Evan Kohlman said in an interview:

While there have been a number of promising intelligence leads hinting at possible meetings between al-Qaeda members and elements of the former Baghdad regime, nothing has been yet shown demonstrating that these potential contacts were historically any more significant than the same level of communication maintained between Osama bin Laden and ruling elements in a number of Iraq's Persian Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Qatar, and Kuwait.

In 2006, a report of postwar findings by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that:

Postwar findings have identified only one meeting between representatives of al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein's regime reported in prewar intelligence assessments. Postwar findings have identified two occasions, not reported prior to the war, in which Saddam Hussein rebuffed meeting requests from an al-Qa'ida operative. The Intelligence Community has not found any other evidence of meetings between al'Qa'ida and Iraq.

The same report also concluded that:

Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support.

The result of the publication of the Senate report was the belief that the entire connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda was an official deception based on cherry picking specific intelligence data that bolstered the case for war with Iraq regardless of its reliability. One instance of this reaction was reported in a BBC news article, which stated:

Opposition Democrats are accusing the White House of deliberate deception. They say the revelation undermines the basis on which the US went to war in Iraq.

United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID; pronounced: you-SAM-rid) is the U.S Army's main institution and facility for defensive research into countermeasures against biological warfare. It is located on Fort Detrick, Maryland and is a subordinate lab of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered on the same installation.

USAMRIID is the only U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory equipped to study highly hazardous viruses at Biosafety Level 4 within positive pressure personnel suits.

USAMRIID employs both military and civilian scientists as well as highly specialized support personnel, in all about 800 people. In the 1950s and '60s, USAMRIID and its predecessor unit pioneered unique, state-of-the-art biocontainment facilities which it continues to maintain and upgrade. Investigators at its facilities frequently collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and major biomedical and academic centers worldwide.

USAMRIID was the first bio-facility of its type to research the Ames strain of anthrax, determined through genetic analysis to be the bacterium used in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

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