The anthrax attacks that so spooked the country in 2001 “could have been anticipated—and prevented” had the Army paid enough attention to alleged perpetrator Bruce Ivins, a panel of behavioral analysts has concluded. In a new report obtained by the LA Times, analysts found that Ivins had an alarming history of mental instability, and that had Army officials properly investigated it, they would never have given him security clearance.
Information on Ivins’ mental problems was “readily available,” the report says; on one 1987 form, Ivins himself put question marks next to boxes for “Memory Change,” “Trouble with Decisions,” “Hallucinations,” “Improbable Beliefs,” and “Anxiety.” Of course, questions have been raised about whether Ivins was really behind the attacks, but the report concludes that his psychiatric history provides “considerable additional circumstantial evidence” that he was. Ivins “was psychologically disposed to undertake the mailings,” it says. “He had the motivation and means.”