Monday, August 4, 2008

Grand Jury Investigating the Anthrax Attacks? Who's the Prosecutor?

Everyone who followed closely the trickle of information coming out of the grand jury investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame and blown cover of Brewster, Jennings & Associates knew who was in charge of that investigation long before Scooter Libby was ever indicted. Hell, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was so famous that the anticipation of who would be indicted and when created a new term in the lexicon of the blogosphere: Fitzmas. What came as a surprise to me in the wake of the "suicide" of anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins as he was supposedly about to be indicted for the attacks that killed five people in the months after 9/11 is that there was a grand jury investigating the matter at all.

Anthrax Indictment May Have Been Weeks Away
by Dina Temple-Raston

Government investigators tell NPR that they were still several major legal steps away from indicting army researcher Dr. Bruce Ivins for the 2001 anthrax attacks when he killed himself this past week.

While they had written up the case and told officials at the Department of Justice they were prepared to go forward, the department had not yet approved the case. What is more, the evidence against Ivins had not yet been presented in its entirety to a grand jury and jurors had not yet been asked to vote on an indictment. That process could have taken weeks.


So who is in charge of investigating this? And who was cross-examining this person?

August 03, 2008
Jean C. Duley... tell us again...

Okay, well the more research I do into the now infamous Ms. Jean C. Duley - the "therapist" who filed a restraining order against the alleged anthrax attacks suspect Bruce E. Ivins - the more her story sounds like a whole load of crap.

Let's rehash Ms. Duley's role in the whole saga.
According to The Smoking Gun, documents they obtained and posted show that Ms. Duley filed a restraining order request against Bruce Ivins on July 24th. In that complaint, she wrote the following (the errors are hers):
client has a history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats, actions, plans, threats & actions toward theripist. Dr. David Irwin his psychiatrist called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions will testify with other details FBI involved, currently under investigation & will be charged with 5 capital murders. I have been subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury August 1, 2008 in Washington, D.C.


Okay, I give up. Why did this woman have to spend all her money on attorneys? She clearly filed the restraining order herself. So how is it that she incurred any attorney fees? Unless, of course, her boyfriend means that she incurred attorney fees for her DUI jury trial in 06 and ongoing fees relating to her probation? Why did Ms. Duley lose her job? Is it because as a "therapist" working with drug addiction cases, she was found driving under the influence?

I don't know what to make out of all of this. Is this woman jumping on the bandwagon hoping to pen a book deal or something? Is she simply lying? Is she telling the truth about Ivins? Is she as nutty as she claims him to be? I don't know. What I think, however, is that if this witness was dragged into a court in which I was the defense attorney, her credibility would quickly be shot down. Somehow, I think, we will soon see a Fox Noise exclusive interview with this woman and her boyfriend who will "reveal" what it is that they know. At this point, I am not buying this story and I am not sure why the media has jumped on her claims as though they were gospel.

OK, so we have a prosecutor who subpoenaes this piece of work. Now that the patient of this "theripist" is dead, what will become of the grand jury? Will we ever find out who testified and what they said unless indictments are issued? And why isn't the prosecutor treating Brian Ross of ABC News the same way Patrick Fitzgerald treated Judy Miller for refusing to reveal her sources?

During the last week of October, 2001, ABC News, led by Brian Ross, continuously trumpeted the claim as their top news story that government tests conducted on the anthrax -- tests conducted at Ft. Detrick -- revealed that the anthrax sent to Daschele contained the chemical additive known as bentonite. ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since -- as ABC variously claimed -- bentonite "is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program" and "only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons."

ABC News' claim -- which they said came at first from "three well-placed but separate sources," followed by "four well-placed and separate sources" -- was completely false from the beginning. There never was any bentonite detected in the anthrax (a fact ABC News acknowledged for the first time in 2007 only as a result of my badgering them about this issue). It's critical to note that it isn't the case that preliminary tests really did detect bentonite and then subsequent tests found there was none. No tests ever found or even suggested the presence bentonite. The claim was just concocted from the start. It just never happened.


Remember there was a SCOTUS precedent set in 1972:

Finally, if the confidential information relates to criminal activity, the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1972 (in Branzburg vs. Hayes) that should a grand jury investigating the crime need the information, the journalist must turn it over — despite the freedom of the press guaranteed under the 1st Amendment.

No reporter can enter into an agreement that violates that law. Rather, an agreement of confidentiality is subject to it. The so-called news person's privilege, just like the attorney-client privilege or a president's executive privilege, is a qualified privilege. When a judge holds a reporter in contempt for violating the law, that judge is merely upholding the law of the land.,0,6080347.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

So who is upholding the law of the land now?!

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