The Mirage Man

The Mirage Man

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For the first time, Pulitzer Prizea€“winning journalist David Willman tells the whole gripping story of the hunt for the anthrax killer who terrorized the country in the dark days that followed the September 11th attacks. Letters sent surreptitiously from a mailbox in New Jersey to media and political figures in New York, Florida, and Washington D.C. killed five people and infected seventeen others. For years, the case remained officially unsolveda€”and it consumed the FBI and became a rallying point for launching the Iraq War. Far from Baghdad, at Fort Detrick, Maryland, stood Bruce Ivins: an accomplished microbiologist at work on patenting a next-generation anthrax vaccine. Ivins, it turned out, also was a man the FBI consulted frequently to learn the science behind the attacks. The Mirage Man reveals how this seemingly harmless if eccentric scientist hid a sinister secret life from his closest associates and family, and how the trail of genetic and circumstantial evidence led inexorably to him. Along the way, Willman exposes the faulty investigative work that led to the public smearing of the wrong man, Steven Hatfill, a scientist specializing in biowarfare preparedness whose life was upended by media stakeouts and op-ed-page witch hunts. Engrossing and unsparing, The Mirage Man is a portrait of a deeply troubled scientist who for more than twenty years had unlimited access to the U.S. Armya€™s stocks of deadly anthrax. It is also the story of a struggle for control within the FBI investigation, the missteps of an overzealous press, and how a cadre of government officials disregarded scientific data while spinning the letter attacks into a basis for war. As The Mirage Man makes clear, America must, at last, come to terms with the lessons to be learned from what Bruce Ivins wrought. The nationa€™s security depends on it. From the Hardcover edition.... lab mishap in April Z002, Ivins said, he gave a€œlittle thoughta€ to his off-the-books bleaching of his office area in late 2001. ... He did call for updating the USAMRIII) biosafety manual and better training of personnel, along with more frequentanbsp;...

Title:The Mirage Man
Author:David Willman
Publisher:Bantam - 2011-06-07


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