Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bruce Ivins' Equivocal Denials

"Because I, I don’t like to hurt people, accidentally, in, in any way."---Dr. Bruce Ivins (FBI tape)

Dr. Bruce Ivins probably did not intend for the anthrax to get loose in the postal system and accidentally kill random targets, because the creases in the letters suggest that he folded the letters around the anthrax in a pharmaceutical fold. I doubt that a terrorist organization would have warned its victims.

The surviving letters reveal that Dr. Ivins told some of his his intended victims to take penicillin, or he identified the powder in the envelope as anthrax; never-the-less, Dr. Ivins killed five innocent people.

The FBI appears to have tapes of Dr. Ivins making suspiciously equivocal denials about being the anthrax mailer to an unidentified witness and expressing "responsibility" for leaving the anthrax unlocked.

The FBI has published a transcript of this tape (see "June 2008 equivocal denials" on pages 70-71):

June 2008 equivocal denials
On June 5, 2008, Dr. Ivins had a conversation with a witness, during which he made a series of statements about the anthrax mailings that could best be characterized as "non-denial denials":

Witness: "I’m trying to be supportive and understanding. But I guess a part of what you had said before to me in response to that was that, you know, there kind of seems to be another person at times. And if you don’t remember doing that, I mean [pause], don’t get mad [laugh], are you absolutely . . .?

Bruce: "You were going to say how do I know that I didn’t have anything to do with...."

Witness: "Yeah."

Bruce: "I will tell that, I will tell you that it’s, I can’t pull that up. And a lot of times with e-mails, I don’t know that I sent an e-mail until I see it in the sent box. And it worries me when I wake up in the morning and I’ve got all my clothes and my shoes on, and my car keys are right beside there....And I don’t have it in my, in my, I, I can tell you I don’t have it in my heart to kill anybody."

* * *
Bruce: "And I, and I do not have any recollection of ever have doing anything like that. As a matter of fact, I don’t have no clue how to, how to make a bio-weapon and I don’t want to know."
* * *
Bruce: "The only reason I remember some of this stuff, it’s because there’s like a clue the next day. Like there’s an e-mail or, or, you know, when you’re, when you’re in bed and you’re like, you’re like this, you know, that’s, that’s not real fun. It’s like ‘oh shit, did I drive somewhere last night?’"
Witness: "Right, yeah, yeah, that must be awfully scary."
Bruce: "It really certainly is. Uh, because I can tell you, I am not a killer at heart."
The witness suggested that maybe Dr. Ivins should get hypnotized to help him remember, to which he replied that he would be terrified.
Bruce: "What happens if I find something that, that is like buried deep, deep, deep, and you know, like from, from my past or I when I was a kid or stuff like that you know?"
* * *
Bruce: "Oh, but I mean, you know, that would just, that would just like, like, like make me want to jump off a bridge. You know, that would be..."
Witness: "What’s that? If you found out that...."
Bruce: "If I found out I was involved in some way, and, and..."
Witness: "And you don’t consciously know?"
Bruce: "Have any, any clue. [pause] [groan] ‘Cause like, I’m, I’m not uh, a uh, I don’t think of myself as a vicious, a, a nasty evil person."
Witness: "Oh no, no, me either, but I mean, unless there is a whole other side..."
Bruce: "Yeah."
Witness: "...that is buried down in there ..."
Bruce: "Yeah."
Witness: "...for whatever reason."
Bruce: "Because I, I don’t like to hurt people, accidentally, in, in any way. And [several scientists at USAMRIID] wouldn’t do that. And I, in my right mind wouldn’t do it [laughs]....But it’s still, but I still feel responsibility because it [RMR-1029] wasn’t locked up at the time...."


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