Four years after an unknown bioterrorist dropped letters containing a couple of teaspoons of powder in a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., what began as the largest criminal investigation in American history appears to be stalled, say scientists and former law enforcement officials who have spoken with investigators.
The failure to solve the case that the authorities call "Amerithrax" is a grave disappointment for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service, the investigative arm of the Postal Service. The letters were the first major bioterrorist attack in American history and killed five people, sickened 17 others, temporarily crippled mail service and forced the evacuation of federal buildings, including Senate offices and the Supreme Court.
The above is from Scott Shane's "In 4-Year Anthrax Hunt, F.B.I. Finds Itself Stymied, and Sued" which Erika notes as the spotlight story from this morning's New York Times. Erika, I've just now caught up on all the e-mails from both accounts (public and private) and now you invite the whiners to e-mail in sobbing we play favorites? (No entries last night because I focused on e-mails which piled up while I was in D.C. and unable to go through most. That's even with Jess & Ava's help. Members should use the private address when e-mailing because when time is short, that's the account I'll check.)
Erika shouldn't feel too bad because Wally & Eli both e-mail to note Douglas Jehl's article as a spotlight story and Jehl and Shane are the two that we are most accused of playing favorites with. From Jehl's "Republicans Join in Call for Release of Report on C.I.A.:"
Senior Republican members of Congress have joined Democrats in asking Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director, to declassify and make public an internal agency report that criticizes his predecessor, George J. Tenet, and others for lapses on terrorism in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The requests were sent last week by leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, said members of Congress and their aides. They add to the pressures on Mr. Goss, who has made clear that he would prefer not to make the report public, at least in part because its publication could be damaging to the agency's morale.
Mr. Goss is also still weighing difficult decisions about whether to impose any kind of disciplinary action against the dozen or so current and former intelligence officials, including Mr. Tenet, who are said to have been singled out in the report.
The report was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general, John L. Helgerson, at the request of the joint Congressional committee that completed its own review in 2002 of the Sept. 11 attacks. Mr. Goss delivered a highly classified version of the document to Capitol Hill last month, and Mr. Helgerson has briefed the Intelligence Committees on his findings, but distribution of the report has otherwise remained very limited.
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(I'm passing something toRebecca re: Buzz so she'll either grab at her site or tonight/early Sunday morning with The Third Estate Sunday Review.)
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