In trying to make the case that military scientist Bruce Ivins was a lunatic who sent anthrax through the mail and killed five people, federal agents disclosed a batch of emails Ivins wrote before and after the attack letters were sent.
The feds presumably plucked them from thousands of emails Ivins sent over the past several years. They paint a picture of a disturbed and well-medicated individual. They're laid out in a 25-page affidavit that federal agents drew up last fall when asking for search warrants.
The affidavit, unsealed and disclosed publicly yesterday
, spotlights one email from just a few days after the first anthrax letter was sent. The affidavit draws a parallel with the phrasing in one of the unsigned anthrax letters, which read: "We have this anthrax...Death to America...Death to Israel," according to the court document.
Sept. 26, 2001, [Ivins wrote] "Of the people in my "group" everyone but me is in the depression/sadness/flight mode for stress. I'm really the only scary one in the group. Others are talking about how sad they are or scared they are, but my reaction to the WTC/Pentagon events is far different. Of course, I don't talk about how I really feel with them - it would just make them worse. Seeing how differently I reacted than they did to the recent events makes me really think about myself a lot. I just heard tonight that Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas. You [REDACTED].
In that same September 26, 2001 email, Dr. Ivins states "Osama Bin Laden has just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans" -- language similar to the text of the anthrax letters postmarked two weeks later warning "DEATH TO AMERICA," "DEATH TO ISRAEL."
The affidavit does not provide the full context of Ivins' Bin Laden remark here. And, as Glenn Greenwald at Salon noted
, alarmist reports about Bin Laden and Islamic radicalism were common in the daily press at that time.
The affidavit does not disclose any of the emails' recipients.
Other emails featured in the affidavit include:
"June 27, 2000, "Even with the Celexa and the counseling, the depression episodes still come and go. That's unpleasant enough. What is REALLY scary is the paranoia...Remember when I told you about the "metallic" taste in my mouth that I got periodically? It's when I get these "paranoid" episodes. Of course I regret them thoroughly when they are over, but when I'm going through them, it's as if I'm on a passenger on a ride...Ominously, a lot of the feelings of isolation - and desolation - that I went through before college are returning. I don't want to relive those years again...I've been seeing the counselor once a week."
Read more for additional emails.