Friday, March 26, 2004

Oklahoma City bombing trial:
Over the course of many years since the Oklahoma City bombing, I have thought that the government had prior knowledge of the bombing and that maybe there were others involved other than just Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
On the prior knowledge issue, there was testimony by Carol Howe, a government informant who told the ATF that McVeigh and Nichols were planning the bombing. She was camped out with McVeigh, Nichols, and other militia members in a compound outside Elohim City, Okla.
Whether others were involved is a more speculative question. There was a German national named Andreas Strassmeier who is suspected of being involved. Strassmeier was hanging around Elohim City at the time McVeigh was planning the bombing. He later denied being involved [Strassmeier's great-grandfather was a founding member of the Nazi Party, BTW].
Then there is Jose Padilla, currently held on unknown charges relating to suspicion of planning to detonate a dirty bomb after Sept. 11. Padilla bears an uncanny resemblance to "John Doe #2," a sketch forwarded by the feds immediately after the bombing.
There were also strange things about the bombing itself. There was a retired brig. general and explosives expert who stated that a Ryder truck filled with amonium nitrate could never do the kind of damage that was done to the Murrah Federal Building, regardless of the size of the truck. There was the fact that they immediately tore down the building before investigators really had a chance to look around. It was cited as a disaster area instead of a crime scene. It was also torn down because it was a supposed health risk yet numerous buildings around the Murrah - which were also damaged - stood vacant for many years and were never torn down even though they posed the same health risks.
As we all know, McVeigh was eventually found guilty of the bombing and executed, despite the fact that he was not able to call Howe as a witness to reveal the feds had prior knowledge [She did tell her story to ABC News though, proving that the prior knowledge isn't a "conspiracy"]. Many others have backed up Howe's testimony. The good soldier that McVeigh was - he was a Gulf War vet and a decorated hero BTW - he took the answers with him to the grave. Nichols was found guilty of federal charges and is now being charge in Oklahoma state court - like the many guilty verdicts he received weren't already enough.
However, over the past few weeks, as Nichols faces his civil trial, all hell has been breaking loose although you wouldn't know it by watching the news. The stuff coming out in Nichols trial have been barely a blip on the news screen yet it should be huge.
J.D. Cash, of the McCurtain Daily Gazette, has been one of those reporters who has been telling the story behind the story and has continued to follow the story in the Nichols phase. Here are some of his latest reports: ["Withheld evidence to sink case against Nichols?"] [He wrote a book in 1996 with radio talk show host Chuck Harder called "Deathtrap: Oklahoma City," but I have never read it].
Then there is this about a convict who said McVeigh told him there were others involved: ["Nichols' defense to argue others aided Okla. plot"]. Not surprisingly, the guy is hawking a book.
Others have also written stories about the trial, mostly in the foreign press: ["Death-penalty trial for Oklahoma bomb accomplice could backfire on FBI"].
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph was another reporter who exposed a bunch of the strangeness around the bombing. However, none of it managed to get into the mainstream corporate press.
When I had a radio talk show, I talked about some of the strangeness around the Oklahoma City bombing case. I even talked about it on other shows but was pooh-poohed by most. There have been a number of conspiracy and non-conspiracy books written about the subject, although I haven't blogged about them much [Recommended: McVeigh attorney Stephen Jones' "Others Unknown," Jim Keith's "OKBomb," and David Hoffman's "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror," (who I interviewed on my former radio talk show, "Real Talk")].
But doesn't this all sound a little familiar and a little unusual?
Right now, we are hearing about the Sept. 11 commission and the testimony by state department and intelligence officials from the last two administrations. It is pretty interesting some of the things that are coming out even if you know we aren't hearing all of the story. And we may never hear the whole story or we'll have to wait until 2010 to get the full story.
In the wake of the bombing, the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress passed a bunch of sweeping new laws - The domestic anti-terrorism bill of 1996 - or the first step towards the gutting of the Bill of Rights and a precursor to the even more evasive PATRIOT Act. Strangely, or not so when you consider this was the Clinton administration, the law was written and prepared before the bombing and quickly rushed through in the wake of the Murrah bombing, not unlike the PATRIOT Act.
But how come there wasn't a Oklahoma City Bombing Commission? How come they didn't investigate the failure of the feds to stop the bombing when Howe told them it was going to happen? How come no one was reprimanded for these failures? There was a commission about the Waco disaster - although I would contend after watching many hours of the hearings that it was rigged by that idiot Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., who kept throwing cogs in the railway to justice for those people who were killed. But not for the Murrah Building. Too bad our officials don't trust us enough to tell the truth - no matter how shocking or bad it might be.