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Anthrax Suspect's Funeral; Counselor Speaks

POSTED: 10:37 AM ET, 08/11/2008 by Derek Kravitz

At a Frederick, Md., funeral service for Bruce E. Ivins, the Army scientist identified as the culprit behind the worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history, relatives and friends appeared to reflect on the best qualities of the man, even as new details emerged about his dark, troubled life.

A look at the latest installment of coverage surrounding the 2001 anthrax attacks and Ivins from the past weekend:

-- (UPDATE 2:30 p.m. Monday: In an affidavit filed a few weeks ago to search Ivins's lab, office space and lockers, references are made to his statements at a group therapy session in July:

"He stated that he was a suspect in the anthrax investigation and that he was angry at the investigators, the government, and the system in general," the affidavit says. "He said he was not going to face the death penalty, but instead had a plan to kill co-workers and other individuals who had wronged him.")


Jean C. Duley, Ivins's counselor, sat down with The Post's Anne Hull to discuss the wrenching decision to override patient confidentiality and report Ivins to law enforcement following a threat he made against his co-workers, a move that brought her into a sprawling FBI investigation cloaked in secrecy and surveillance.

On July 10, Ivins had announced in a group therapy session the evening before that he was a suspect in the 2001 anthrax investigation and had a plan to kill his co-workers.

-- The packed Frederick sanctuary where Ivins had played keyboards and piano for decades was filled with laughter Saturday as friends and relatives recalled stories of Ivins losing backyard soccer games to his children, juggling and singing, and playing practical jokes on his co-workers, The Post's Aaron C. Davis reports.

But Ivins's pastor and brother also seemed to acknowledge the overwhelming tide of revelations that had emerged about Ivins in the past week.

-- The FBI's path to Ivins was long and tortuous, reports The New York Times' William J. Broad and Scott Shane. Before the investigators settled on Ivins, they had focused on fellow Army researcher Steven J. Hatfill for several years.

Along the way, scores of others -- terrorists, foreigners, academic researchers, biowarfare specialists and an elite group of Army scientists working behind high fences and barbed wire -- drew the interest of the investigators. For some of them the cost was high: lost jobs, canceled visas, broken marriages, frayed friendships, The Times reports.

-- Some of Ivins's colleagues remain unconvinced by the federal government's evidence against the anthrax vaccine researcher.

Officials have said the turmoil over the use of an anthrax vaccine that had been linked to illnesses during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 was a key part of the reason they believe that Ivins sent out anthrax-laced letters in the fall of 2001 -- as such an attack would, in a single stroke, have eliminated the skepticism and second guessing about the need for an anthrax vaccine, The New York Times' Eric Lipton reports.

Ivins and other researchers had been working on a more advanced alternative vaccine -- considered safer and more effective -- so there was no reason for such a rash act, his former colleagues told The Times.

By Derek Kravitz |  August 11, 2008; 10:37 AM ET
Previous: Update: McCain Returns $50,000 in Contributions | Next: Fallout From the Edwards Affair


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I'm laying out the defense of Bruce Ivins at I hope you will read it.

Posted by: Leigh Ann | August 11, 2008 2:31 PM

You left out what illnesses were attributed to the vaccine duirng the first gulf war. Gulf War Syndrome is the illness and there are hundreds of thousands of veterans afflicted. The White House knew of the connection. This is the biggest story of all in this and the media is missing this.
This may even lead you to be curious about other vaccines or needle sticks given to military pesonnel. You might even want to look into why so many veterans have Hep C. Maybe even look into the murders at Ft Bragg a few years back.
As a veterans who did service overseas duirng Viet Nam, I can tell you we were told we were receiveing over 60 different vaccinations. Many of these were with the guns that were responsible, most likely, for Hep C. There are only about 10 vaccinations on my military shot records.

Posted by: Van | August 11, 2008 2:54 PM

"worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history"? WTF???
Has the W/P completely forgotten about 9/11?

-Paging Dr. Phil Zack, please pick up the red phone...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 3:27 PM

Please, fact check. Oklahoma City would probably like to disagree with the statement that the anthrax letters were the worst act of domestic terror. Or the most horrifying.

Posted by: Andrew | August 11, 2008 4:06 PM

"the worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history . . ."

Are you insane?

Posted by: Lauren | August 11, 2008 4:52 PM

I mean, 9/11 wasn't "domestic," but Oklahoma City was.

Posted by: Lauren | August 11, 2008 4:53 PM

Wow! "the worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history . . ."

great article.

Posted by: Alex | August 11, 2008 4:58 PM

I think you can argue that 9/11 was a domestic terrorist attack - the perpetrators were legal residents, the attack took place on American soil/against domestic targets using resources in America. True, financed and organized from abroad...but in any event, the anthrax killings cannot be said to be 'the worst domestic terrrorism attack'...arguably the DC sniper attacks were worse with at least 10 fatalities...anthrax -- 5 ... or marginally worse than the unabomber with 16 bombings, 3 fatalities...

Posted by: Raj | August 11, 2008 5:14 PM

why is it that the us government has the unique ability to turn its loyalist employees into its worst enemies?

Posted by: frank capablanca | August 11, 2008 5:18 PM

I will have to agree with previous statements. It only requires average intelligence for one to recall Oklahoma City. Obviously, the posts interns are not required to display even average intelligence. A real let down. No surprise from someone who was probably 6 or 7 at the time.

Posted by: Michael | August 11, 2008 5:21 PM


Posted by: monactroccn | August 11, 2008 5:27 PM

I'm a veteran and served in the late 70s. I was the hospital corpsman responsible for checking off names of personnel as they lined up for their many vaccines with the 'gun'.

Why do you think I discreetly crossed off my own name, and never got the vaccines? I had seen too many getting sick from them.

Posted by: Marie | August 11, 2008 5:29 PM

"the worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history"?

Are you kidding? You've forgotten about McVeigh already?

Posted by: Huh? | August 11, 2008 5:37 PM

anyone who just read this story, just wasted 5 minutes of their life. what a joke this story is. this is a slap in the face to the familys of sept 11 and oklahoma city. also to the vets the hundreds of thousands of vets that still suffer after being injected with a rushed to order vacceine that did more harm than good. mainstream media outlets like this make me sick.

Posted by: HAH | August 11, 2008 5:42 PM

I see no investigation on this page, isn't this outright lying? I know the Washington Post is not really a newspaper, more like the CIA house paper, but really this is like a smack in the face trying to call this smattering of hyperlinks an investigation. Is anyone at the Post required to understand english or have the mental facilities of an average high school student, because this article lacks both prerequisites, even the National Inquirer can put together a better "investigation" than this, you should be ashamed and someone at the Post should be fired for this trivial bit of pap.

Posted by: tired_of_lies | August 11, 2008 5:51 PM

Interesting to see that "officials" now have a spin on "why" Ivins would do this.

Greenwald has a great breakdown on how the anthrax attacks were used to get us into Iraq.

At least discuss the "other" possible explanations...include ABC incompetence or a conspiracy to link terrorism to Iraq.

Posted by: skeptical | August 11, 2008 6:03 PM


Posted by: basouracrelb | August 11, 2008 6:03 PM

Anonymous....9/11 was a "foreign" terrorist attack rather than a "domestic".

Posted by: Anonymous2 | August 11, 2008 6:16 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 6:48 PM

This post-mortum smear campaign against Ivins is so obvious. Someone should check to see if that counseler received any gifts from the govt...maybe they cleared her tax records or paid off her kid's student loans or something. Nevermind, I'll go along with everyone else. Yup! Looks like we've got ourselves ANOTHER lone nut!

Posted by: Hmm | August 11, 2008 7:00 PM


Posted by: alcnaacelva | August 11, 2008 7:18 PM

Obviously, Washington post should bot be a source for intelligent conversation.

Posted by: bscott | August 11, 2008 7:21 PM

"Jean C. Duley, Ivins's counselor, sat down with The Post's Anne Hull to discuss the wrenching decision to override patient confidentiality and report Ivins to law enforcement following a threat he made against his co-workers, a move that brought her into a sprawling FBI investigation cloaked in secrecy and surveillance."

I guess that makes her a hero, like that gal who got captured by the Iraqis. Hell, let's have a holiday in honor of her waiving the patient-physician privilege (never mind that she's not even licensed). We'll call it Waiver Day.

Posted by: Steve from Maryland | August 11, 2008 7:42 PM

Who Cares he's dead. Move on with Life. Is all this really over the suicide of a man who's life and professional credibility was destroyed after being relentlessly hounded by the FBI. That's nothing new, happens all the time. Get on with your cliché ass life and get over it, you live in a police state what do you expect when your guilty until accidentally proven innocent.

Posted by: KenK | August 11, 2008 7:53 PM


Posted by: eraczelt | August 11, 2008 8:22 PM

Over the past 7 years, the Post and other U.S. media have unquestioningly reported the government's assertions that the anthrax attacks were perpetrated or supported by al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein, and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have died in two wars across the globe, millions of Islamic and Arabic people suffer undue prejudice, and the country pays billions of dollars a day--all for what? We now learn that the anthrax attacks had NOTHING TO DO with Middle East terrorists, yet the military tantrum thrown by the U.S. in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks still leaves dozens of innocents dead every day.

The U.S government owes the people of the world a huge apology for the bloodshed it has unleashed across the planet, as retribution for terrorism in the U.S. And the Washington Post and U.S. media also owe the world an apology for spreading the unfounded lies of the Bush administration, and helping to sell these unnecessary wars to the American public.

The crimes of Ivins pale in comparison to the unwarranted slaughter unleashed by the U.S. on nations that had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks.

Posted by: Orwell Warned | August 11, 2008 8:32 PM


Posted by: relbocpasze | August 11, 2008 10:27 PM

168 dead in OKC.
5 dead as a result of the anthrax attacks.

Whoever wrote "the worst domestic terrorism attack in this nation's history" should be fired.

Posted by: Duh | August 11, 2008 11:22 PM

What a joke! Before them sits a story that would out the most treasonous individuals in our history and as usual the MSM gives it a pass. It is called attacking yourself and blaming someone else. Where did ABC get their information? Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenant, or King George himself? Only in their own fantasy world could such incompetence pass for journalistic integrity. This was an attack on this nation by our own government in order to insight a war with Iraq, to give this despotic regime the unquestionable authority to attack Iraq. It was immediately reported as bio-terror attack by Iraq and was never to be questioned or investigated. It was only because of the involvement of officials outside of the White House that it was discovered to have originated from the US.
All testimony given subsequently to congress and every contributing scientist who aided the investigation talked about the IMPOSSIBILITY that this was undertaken by a single individual. That in fact it would take an entire team and a well equipped facility to create such a weaponized strain. For seven years this case dragged on without an answer because to investigate it would be to expose a sickness within our government that has destroyed us. Now that they have a patsy dually framed and buried this like every other egregious act committed by these absolutely sick twisted disturbed monsters will be filed down the memory hole never to be seen again!

Journalists my ass! You people are a joke. Starting with a stolen election and leading to the destruction of everything this nation stands for. The last eight years could have never happened if the media for a moment stopped to question the insanity that has led us here.WAKE UP!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 11:41 PM

when they say this was the "worst" domestic terrorism attack, what does that mean exactly? how do you define "worst"? highest number of fatalities? not necessarily. that would be the "deadliest" domestic terrorism attack. maybe "worst" refers to length of time it dragged on without being solved, or resources spent to prevent a recurrence, or the level of fear it incited, or the degree to which it made us vulnerable, or the notion of "bioterrorism" . "worst" isn't necessarily referring to the number of dead bodies.

beware of ambiguous modifiers, like "most popular", "best", "worst," "the number one..."

Posted by: dc denizen | August 12, 2008 12:51 AM

Uh, I believe the 9/11 thing was "domestic"
in (and understand) some real news such as
and you might finally get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 1:32 AM

Hey, maybe we should include the number if
Native Americans killed off so the rest of
us could have their resources? Anyone???

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 1:35 AM


Posted by: libocct | August 12, 2008 2:07 AM


Posted by: libocct | August 12, 2008 2:10 AM


Posted by: libocct | August 12, 2008 2:12 AM


Posted by: patrick miller | August 12, 2008 8:26 AM


Posted by: elelleto | August 12, 2008 12:12 PM


Posted by: rolaceldomal | August 12, 2008 12:19 PM

The fact that this guy hasn't amended his article or even addressed this issue speaks volumes of his journalistic integrity. I'm sure he'll go far.

Posted by: Raj | August 12, 2008 1:59 PM

the key to the anthrax case lies with kathy nguyen in how she died, the people she knew, the places she visited. kathy: my boyfriend wont let me call a cab from his house. kathy:he's an egyptian. kathy:they treat women that way. kathy: i know a lot of egyptian men. kathy i like to smell things.

Posted by: don | August 12, 2008 2:39 PM


Posted by: delccbasdar | August 12, 2008 6:58 PM


Posted by: darvinovarca | August 12, 2008 7:02 PM


Posted by: monroltach | August 12, 2008 7:25 PM

its funny that it is going down right before our eyes, the spreading of government propaganda! this IS government propaganda that we are reading, at its finest! the cia, nsa, fbi have in the past been proven to own hundreds of newspapers around the world. that is a proven fact, at least for the cia it is. it is no doubt still the same. so i see people on here so outraged and stupefied that such information could slap us all in the face disguised as some news story, when in fact its just the covering up of what REALLY happened with the anthrax scare and what it REALLY represented. for some reason, people think there is no way in bloody hell that our government would never ever lie to us or play mind games with us. we pay taxes, right?! personally, to me, this kind of information makes me so angry because i have risen above the ignorance that the average 9-5 american has, and refuse to let such trash influence my life. news is becoming more and more unreliable...

Posted by: stupefied | August 12, 2008 8:26 PM


Posted by: eltacdarda | August 12, 2008 8:32 PM


Posted by: orbocmonm | August 12, 2008 8:44 PM

im not even going to discuss the long list of terrorist acts that were arguably worse than the anthrax scares.

what i will say is that, whether an act is considered domestic or foreign is not based on how its funded or who committed it. its the actual jurisdiction. if it happens on american soil its considered domestic, if it happens elsewhere its considered foreign.

this is not my definition, its the definition in US law. currently defined by the USA Patriot act.

9/11 is the worst domestic terrorist act.

Posted by: chad | August 12, 2008 11:33 PM


Posted by: roacdro | August 13, 2008 1:35 AM


Posted by: drondelmonca | August 13, 2008 2:28 AM


Posted by: eltdarolo | August 13, 2008 2:40 AM


Posted by: viricdell | August 13, 2008 3:10 AM

The anthrax attacks was a Mossad operation designed to get the US to attack Iraq.

Read "The Anthrax Mystery: Solved"

Posted by: Robert | August 13, 2008 9:51 PM

Please check your facts before you shape the news:
Bruce never played the piano in the sanctuary - he played in the humble little school auditorium next door - the one with the folding chairs.

Ivins's pastor and brother also seemed to acknowledge the overwhelming tide of revelations that had emerged about Ivins in the past week??!! Gosh, I was at the service and missed that! Have you ever been to a Catholic service before? They are real big on asking for forgiveness of sins - I sure didn't hear anything from either man regarding the news that had conveniently leaked the week before.

How's about trying something novel by taking a look at the other side of the case instead of the FBI's frame up:

Here is an interview with Paul Kemp dispelling the "facts" of the FBI case:

Anyone for science instead of gossip? Try following Dr. Meryl Nass who has daily updates:

The scientists who worked side by side with Bruce for years believe in his innocence but they are under a gag order. How curious that the "stalkees" are able to babble on and on as long as they are on the FBI side.

Posted by: Ellen Byrne | August 14, 2008 1:08 PM

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Posted by: amateur submitted movie | September 20, 2008 10:31 AM

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