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Old 27 June 2008, 23:25
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Ex-Army Anthrax scientist awarded $5.8 million

Glad this poor schmuck got "cleared". Sadly we'll probably never know what really happened due to the Feds' ineptitude.

In Feb/Mar 2001 I did a short UXO job at Ft. Detrick, where this guy worked and where the Anthrax is stored and studied. I was to remove 3" of soil off the skeet range (lead issues). Right next to us was IT Corp doing an amazing job where they were freezing the ground about six feet deep and removing chunks of it that had anthrax and other bios buried. About twice a day a helicopter would fly over dragging this huge thing below it on a cable....it looked like a rocket or missile, but was apparently collecting air samples over our sites.

Another interesting bit of worthless history out of that project is that all the skeet range equipment was to be taken to Camp David and installed for W. Maybe someone is on SOCNET who can confirm if it ever made it up there. It was all brand new and right after being installed at Detrick the Army shut down the skeet range due to lead (and I suspect the interesting stuff buried a few hundred meters away).

I'll post a few pics of it when I find and scan them.

Anyway, glad this guy got the chance to stick it to the man after he was "Jewelled".


http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080628/D91IPT580.html

Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit

Jun 27, 10:11 PM (ET)

By MATT APUZZO


WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Army scientist who was named as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks will receive $5.8 million to settle his lawsuit against the Justice Department. Steven Hatfill claimed the Justice Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.

Settlement documents were filed in federal court Friday. Both sides have agreed to the deal, according to the documents, and as soon as they are signed, the case will be dismissed.

The deal requires the Justice Department to pay $2.825 million up front and buy Hatfill a $3 million annuity that will pay him $150,000 each year for 20 years.

"Our government failed us, not only by failing to catch the anthrax mailers but by seeking to conceal that failure," Hatfill's lawyers said in a statement. "Our government did this by leaking gossip, speculation, and misinformation to a handful of credulous reporters."

The statement also blamed journalists for not questioning the motives of the government's statements or its tactics.

"As an innocent man, and as our fellow citizen, Steven Hatfill deserved far better," they said.

The Justice Department said the settlement was in the best interest of the nation.

"The United States does not admit to any violation of the Privacy Act and continues to deny all liability in connection with Dr. Hatfill's claims," Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said in response to the settlement.

Five people were killed and 17 sickened by anthrax that was mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After the attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft called Hatfill "a person of interest" in the investigation and stories by various reporters followed. Hatfill had worked at the Army's infectious diseases laboratory from 1997 to 1999. The anthrax attacks remain unsolved.

The settlement likely also means that former USA Today reporter Toni Locy will no longer face up to $5,000-a-day in fines in the case. A federal judge ordered her to identify the officials who discussed Hatfill. When she said she couldn't remember, the judge ordered her to identify all her sources on the anthrax case.

She challenged that order, but a federal appeals court has yet to rule in the case. Because Hatfill's lawsuit is being settled, Locy's case will probably be dismissed as moot, though that will be up to the appeals court. Hatfill's lawyers told the court Friday that they no longer need her testimony.

"I hope this means that this ordeal is over and that I can get on with my life," Locy said. "I am pleased that Dr. Hatfill's lawyers are now saying they no longer need my testimony, but I don't know if my appeal is moot or if the contempt order against me will be lifted because I don't have anything at this point from the Court of Appeals or Judge Walton that says I'm in the clear."

Attorneys for Locy said she had no money to pay the fines imposed by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. Locy, a former reporter with The Associated Press and other news organizations, now teaches journalism at West Virginia University.
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Old 28 June 2008, 08:12
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On another note, Richard Jewell passed away recently. I believe he finally became a sheriff's deputy before dying...
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Old 28 June 2008, 08:20
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Originally Posted by Tracy
On another note, Richard Jewell....
Another classic example of the dangers of our 15 min attention span society. It even permeates our supposedly most qualified investigators and organizations -- with the result of ridiculing someone completely innocent and maybe losing valuable opportunities to find the right guy....
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Old 28 June 2008, 13:17
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Another classic example of the dangers of our 15 min attention span society. It even permeates our supposedly most qualified investigators and organizations -- with the result of ridiculing someone completely innocent and maybe losing valuable opportunities to find the right guy....
Sad to see. On occasion I drive past one of the postal centers where one of the anthrax letters passed through on its way to killing a an elderly woman who had no reason to be a target. It is a shame that someone has, at least to this point, literally gotten away with murder...
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Old 29 June 2008, 11:37
Blackjack7 Blackjack7 is offline
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You would think they would have learned their lesson in the Jewell media circus, but they all want to be the first to get their face on television and be the "analyst" or the "expert" that solved the crime. Even the media had to pay out big bucks along with the feds to compensate Jewell and they still didn't learn.
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Old 29 June 2008, 16:19
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Originally Posted by Blackjack7 View Post
You would think they would have learned their lesson in the Jewell media circus, but they all want to be the first to get their face on television and be the "analyst" or the "expert" that solved the crime. Even the media had to pay out big bucks along with the feds to compensate Jewell and they still didn't learn.
That sum is laughably small in terms of being any kind of punishment not to do it again don't you think? It would barely even pay for a real nice apartment or house many places in the US. But since it's Tax dollars I'm not complaining.
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Old 1 July 2008, 11:36
Inspector Cluseo Inspector Cluseo is offline
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Dead at age 44, no one can convince me that his diabetes/health problems were not directly linked to the pressure imposed by our Govt and the media. This whole fiasco always left me sick to my stomach every time I heard about it.....the machine failed badly. Good on him for achieving his dream of becoming a LEO before his death.


"After memories of the case subsided, Mr. Jewell took jobs with several small Georgia law enforcement agencies, most recently as a Meriwether County sheriff’s deputy in 2005. Col. Chuck Smith, the chief deputy, called Mr. Jewell “very, very conscientious” and said he also served as a training officer and firearms instructor.
Mr. Jewell is survived by his wife and by his mother, Barbara."
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Old 23 July 2008, 13:56
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The good thing is that with our system is that cases like this can sometimes be corrected. In many other countries, it would never happen.
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