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2008-06-28 Home Front: Politix
DOJ to Settle With Scientist Scrutinized in Anthrax Attacks
The DOJ has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with former Army scientist Steven Hatfill, whom the government called a “person of interest” in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In 2002, the FBI and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft described Hatfill, a former Army scientist, as a “person of interest” in the investigation into the post 9/11 anthrax attacks, which killed five people, sickened 17, and to this day remain unresolved. Hatfill sued the government for violating his privacy by leaking information to the press. In a statement Friday, his lawyers said: “As an innocent man, and as our fellow citizen, Steven Hatfill deserved far better.”

Could this be good news for Toni Locy? Back in March, Judge Reggie Walton, a D.C. district court judge, held Locy, 48, a former USA Today reporter, in contempt in this case for refusing to name her sources for a story she wrote about Hatfill’s possible role in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Walton issued a contempt order fining Locy $500 a day for seven days, $1,000 a day for the following seven days, and $5,000 a day for the seven days after that if she continued to refuse to cooperate. He also barred USA Today, or any other individual or news organization, from helping Locy — now a West Virginia University journalism prof — pay the fines. Last we heard, just hours before the fines were going to begin accruing, the D.C. Court of Appeals rang the bell, ordering that Locy didn’t have to pay the fines while her lawyers fought Walton’s contempt ruling.

According to the AP, on Friday Locy said: “I hope this means that this ordeal is over and that I can get on with my life.” She 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.”
Posted by Steve White 2008-06-28 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6486 views ]  Top

#1 I don't believe in tactical smear as a law enforcement tactic, but if there was sound foundation, naming a suspect can draw in evidence from the general public. Remember: there is both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.

Suspects are often named by media. If someone is photograped leaving an FBI building, then journalists have a right to ask why, and if they don't get answers they can speculate. Someone could bring up the Olympic hero who was labeled "The Bubba Bomber." Defamation was obvious in that case, and he was compensated. I heard he became a cop, but died in middle age. He deserved every penny he got.
Posted by McZoid 2008-06-28 01:00||   2008-06-28 01:00|| Front Page Top

#2 From Wiki -

Richard Jewell v. Cox Enterprises (d.b.a. Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Jewell also sued the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, which stated Jewell was "an individual with a bizarre employment history and aberrant personality". It also said Jewell "fit the profile of a lone bomber." According to Jewell, the paper's headline, which read FBI suspects 'hero' guard may have planted bomb, "pretty much started the whirlwind".[8]

The Atlanta Journal went as far as to compare Richard Jewell's case to that of serial killer Wayne Williams.[9]

The newspaper was the only defendant that did not settle with Jewell. As of April 2005, the lawsuit remained pending, after having been considered at one time by the Supreme Court of Georgia, and had become an important part of case law regarding whether journalists could be forced to reveal their sources. It was set for trial in January 2008 at the time of Jewell's death, and his attorney said he expected to continue it on behalf of Jewell's estate.[3]
Posted by Procopius2k 2008-06-28 09:30||   2008-06-28 09:30|| Front Page Top

#3 Hatfill appeared to have been a convenient scapegoat for FBI bungling
Posted by Frank G">Frank G  2008-06-28 10:17||   2008-06-28 10:17|| Front Page Top

#4 Yep the Fumbling Bunch of Idiots struck an Innocent American Citizen once again. believe me it's a long list..
Posted by RD">RD  2008-06-28 12:34||   2008-06-28 12:34|| Front Page Top

#5 D.C. Court of Appeals rang the bell, ordering that Locy didn’t have to pay the fines while her lawyers fought Walton’s contempt ruling.

Not at all surprising for the District, considering Hatfill's background, alleged foreign military and or national service, etc. Hope he buys a palatial home in Bishopscourt and continues his research and work. Fine job once again Bureau.
Posted by Besoeker 2008-06-28 12:55||   2008-06-28 12:55|| Front Page Top

#6 I seriously don't know, but having read rather extensively about the pro's and cons of the case against Dr. Hatfill, there were just to many "coincidences" for him not to be a "person of interest" in this investigation.
Posted by Col B. Guano (ret.) 2008-06-28 17:49||   2008-06-28 17:49|| Front Page Top

#7 That was my impression too, Col. FWIW
Posted by lotp 2008-06-28 17:59||   2008-06-28 17:59|| Front Page Top

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