"The Oklahoma City Bombing and The Politics of Terror"
Frank Keating: Damage Control Inc.
"We are going to impose our agenda on the coverage by dealing with the issues and subjects we choose to deal with." - Richard M. Cohan, Senior Producer of CBS News
"The business of the New York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his race and his country for his daily bread." - John Swinton, CEO, New York Times, New York Press Club, April 12, 1953.
"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." - William Colby, former CIA Director
Eight months after the bombing, Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key, dissatisfied with the "official" investigation, attempted to form a state oversight committee. House Speaker Glen Johnson ridiculed Key's efforts, stating his satisfaction with the Justice Department's official fantasy tale. Anyone who subsequently attempted to challenge the government's official line was publicly discredited by Governor Keating, sneered at by Attorney General Drew Edmondson, and laughed at by the mainstream press.(834)
The local media provided a convenient platform for Governor Keating to dismiss critics of the government's handling of the case, including Edye Smith, Hoppy Heidelberg and Representative Key. In an attempt to discredit Heidelberg, Keating headed a carefully orchestrated chorus of media pundits, stating that Heidelberg was "off the reservation."
Keating also joined KWTV in attacking KFOR's coverage of the Middle Eastern connection, stating they lacked integrity.
He labeled Jim Levine, an attorney who represented several victims pro bono in an attempt to release money from the Governor and Mayor's Victims Relief Funds a "bottom-feeding" lawyer.(835)*
For his courageous efforts in uncovering the truth, Keating said Representative Key was "baying at the moon."(836)
Along with bombing victim Glenn Wilburn, Key attempted to impanel a County Grand Jury. Such a jury, operating outside the scope of the federal investigation, would not only have the power to investigate facts ignored by the federal grand jury, but have the power to level criminal obstruction of justice charges against anybody whom they believed might have impeded the investigation.
Given the allegations of wrongdoing in the federal investigation, such charges could conceivably be leveled against everybody from the ATF to the Justice Department.
In an interview in the McCurtain Gazette, Key explained, "Indisputable proof exists now that the federal grand jury was purposely shielded from witnesses who saw Timothy McVeigh with other suspects, both prior to and immediately after the bombing assault . They may have a good motive for this, but thus far it escapes me--and, I might add, several members of the federal grand jury who witnessed this farce."
Keating's response, quoted in the Daily Oklahoman was: "I don't think a legislative committee would contribute one whit of intelligence to this process."(837)
The Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, the state's two largest dailies, which should have led the pack in ferreting out the truth of this terrible tragedy, instead led the local media chorus with editorials such as this one in the Daily Oklahoman, entitled, "Drop It, Mr. Key."
The Daily Oklahoman has opposed Key's mission from the beginning. State Rep. Charles Key's quest to prove that a government conspiracy played some role in the Murrah Building bombing is a weird and misguided exercise. Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy is correct in appealing a court ruling that allows Key a free hand to seek a county grand jury probe of his conspiracy theories. (838)
The Tulsa World chimed in with editorials such as "Making Tragedy Pay," which labeled Key as a "dedicated hustler" peddling "goofy theories" to rightwing-crank audiences." They also accused the representative of profit-making from the sale of his bombing videos, which barely paid for themselves. The fact that Key had recently lost his insurance business due to his tireless efforts investigating the bombing, and was living on his $33,000-a-year salary to support a wife and three children in a small, ramshackle house, was not mentioned by the yellow journalists of the Tulsa World.
The "truth seekers" of the local media weren't finished either. They eagerly focused on the efforts of Drew Edmondson, who accused Key of proposing a "wasteful witch hunt" and of engaging in "the worst kind of paranoid conspiracy pandering." (See Appendix)
One article reported how Edmondson had convinced the State District Attorney's Council to oppose Key's investigative funding bill.
"This is unprecedented, as far as I know, for the Attorney General to go to such lengths with the District Attorneys Council and to use such intemperate language," the soft-spoken Key told The New American.
In fact, local radio polls revealed that an overwhelming majority of Oklahomans supported Key's efforts. While the Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman went to extremes to label Key as a "conspiracy nut," they never bothered mentioning that little fact.(839)*
Naturally, the CIA-connected Washington Post would have their say, comparing the "myth" of John Doe 2 to the Loch Ness Monster.
Lead prosecutor Joseph Hartzler added his voice to the ensemble, calling the leads "whacky theories."(840)
Key's grand jury petition was quashed on November 6th, 1995 by District Judge Daniel Owens on the grounds that it would be "re-inventing the wheel."(841)
Key appealed. As his attorney, Mark Sanford stated, "Legally [Owens] didn't have the right to quash the petition. But because he's a judge he has the power, whether it's legal or not."(842)
Beverly Palmer from Bob Macy's office argued at the appeals hearing in defense of Owens, claiming that the petition was "insufficient on its face," and the request was duplicitous of the federal grand jury's efforts.
Yet, as Appeals Judge Ronald Stubblefield pointed out, nowhere did Judge Owens state why the petition was insufficient. In fact Stubblefield was highly skeptical that Owens had any facts to advise him properly in his decision. "I question whether Judge Owens has the discretion" said Stubblefield. "He's just operating on what he knows about the bombing. Do you think it's right to make a judgment based on what he reads in the newspaper?"(843)
The same could be said about DA Bob Macy. At the time I interviewed him, he was collecting information on the case by reading Morris Dees' Gathering Storm, and The Turner Diaries. This was a year and-a-half after the bombing--a bombing that occurred right outside his window. He didn't know about John Doe 2. He had no idea about the Middle Eastern connection. He had done absolutely no investigation.
"I have not seen these things you are talking about right now," Macy told me. "When I see the evidence I haven't been presented with the evidence." Macy subsequently claimed he wanted me to work with his so-called "task force" that was "investigating" the bombing, then never called me back.
His attitude was adequately reflected by his Assistant DA, Beverly Palmer. Visibly nervous, Palmer grasped at straws during the appeals hearing, arguing that the grand jury shouldn't be convened because of the need for "judicial economy," and that it contravened "public policy concerns."
"What policy concerns?" Judge Daniel Boudreau asked.(844)
In spite of the efforts of a group of good ole' boy politicians to sabotage justice, Judge Stubblefield remained firm: "The people have the right to circulate a petition if the people find that things aren't going the way they ought to be," he said. "Is it not the right, by the sanctified right of the grand jury in Oklahoma, to inquire whether a crime is committed? Don't they have the right to investigate people who they think are involved? This is a highly protected right."
The Appeals Court upheld Key's right to petition for a County Grand Jury by a unanimous vote.
Just two months before the hearing Macy claimed to this author that he intended to prosecute McVeigh and Nichols in a state trial on 161 counts of First Degree Murder. "I don't like taking a second seat to the [federal] prosecution," Macy stated. "The bombing killed 10 of my friends."
In a May 24, 1995 letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the original drafters of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, Macy wrote:
First, immediately following the trial or trials in Federal Court, I shall, working in conjunction with the United Sates Department of Justice and the federal law-enforcement agencies investigating the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, prosecute the cowards responsible for murdering innocent people in the area surrounding the Federal Building.
The State of Oklahoma has an overwhelming, compelling interest to seek and obtain the maximum penalty allowable by law for the senseless and cowardly killings. Not only is it in the interest of the State, it is my sworn duty to seek those sanctions, and I intend to fully carry out my responsibilities.
Every day of delay represents a victory for these cowardly cold-blooded killers and another day of defeat and suffering for the victims and all other Americans who cry out for justice.(845)
Macy also impressed upon the author his interest in getting at the truth: "I'm prepared to do what ever it takes to get to the truth," Macy exclaimed. "My sole intent is in learning the truth!"
Yet when asked if he intended to conduct an investigation independent of the Feds', he said, "Well I don't want to be a party to anything that will interfere with the Feds' prosecution. I Don't want to open up a new can of worms." (846)
After Macy lost the appeals hearing, he met with Wilburn and Key, explaining that he actually wished to cooperate with their investigation. Three days later, the two men discovered that Macy had decided to contest the Appeals Court's decision.
When a furious Key confronted Macy, all that the courageous, truth-seeking DA told him was, "They won't let me." When Key demanded to know who "they" were, Macy just lowered his eyes to the floor and repeated, "They won't let me."(847)
Key later learned from a source at ABC News that Macy had received a conference call from Janet Reno's deputy Jamie Gorlick, and the government's lead prosecutor, Joseph Hartzler, along with Governor Keating, Oklahoma City Fire Chief Gary Marrs, and Judge Daniel Owens.
When the grand jury was finally impaneled, federal prosecutors quickly attempted to block the testimony of federal employees.
Key also accused [Chief Assistant DA Pat] Morgan and others in Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy's office of influencing and intimidating witnesses. "I am very upset about it," Key said. "Everyone should be outraged because of this."(848)
Interestingly, during a debate with Representative Key, Keating stated, "Nobody could get away with a cover-up; it would not be tolerated by civilized Oklahoma City. Nobody's afraid of the truth."(849)
KFOR's Jayna Davis shed some light on the "truth-seeking" efforts of Bob Macy and the good ole' boy network of politicos from which he descends. Two years earlier, after an 8-year-old boy was raped, both Davis and the Public Defender demanded to know why Macy hadn't done anything. When Macy thought the camera was off, he whipped around and sternly admonished the reporter: "Lady, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but this isn't how we do business in Oklahoma!"(850)
Representative Key eventually took the case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In his opposing brief, Macy again argued that it would be "a waste of the taxpayers' time and money to convene an Oklahoma County Grand Jury when one was already in session or when a Federal Grand Jury had already heard all available evidence."
The Supreme Court did not agree with Macy. They unanimously upheld Key's right to impanel the grand jury, which was seated in June of '97, and is hearing evidence as of this writing.
Naturally, the Ministers of Truth at The Daily Oklahoman wasted little time, pumping out more bland editorial drivel to muddy the waters. The following piece, entitled "Conspiracy Theories," focuses on the fact that the County Grand Jury is only exacerbating the "agony" of some victims, who are apparently more concerned with some fairy tale notion of "closure" then in learning the truth:
Whatever the cause, the delay adds to the agony of those bombing victims who believe the investigation is a waste of time.
The Oklahoman shares that belief, but we are optimistic the probe may satisfy many who are suspicious about events before the bombing. Yet, we wonder if the more conspiratorial-minded will ever be satisfied.
Conflicting conspiracy theories and an olio of circumstantial evidence abound here. Jurors in Denver sorted through testimony and found McVeigh guilty. Frustrating as it may be to some, there is little more to this crime than meets the eye. The rest is the stuff of fiction.(851)
By the Daily Oklahoman's account, the numerous credible witnesses who saw Timothy McVeigh with other suspects on the morning of the crime adds up to little more than "circumstantial evidence," while what prosecutors presented at trial--McVeigh's phone calls to chemical companies, his political views, and the completely irrelevant emotional tales from bombing victims--are not.(852)*
Given the local media's connections to the political good 'ole boy network via the Washington-connected Frank Keating, their position is hardly surprising. Famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein put some perspective on the matter when he revealed in a 1977 Rolling Stone article that over 400 U.S. journalists were employed by the CIA.
These ranged from freelancers who were paid for regular debriefings, to actual CIA officers who worked under deep cover. Nearly every major U.S. news organization has had spooks on the payroll, usually with the cooperation of top management.
The three most valuable assets the CIA could count on were William Paley's CBS, Arthur Sulzberger's New York Times and Henry Luce's Time/Life empire. All three bent over backwards promoting the picture of Oswald as a lone nut in the JFK assassination.(853)
The political good 'ole boy network wasn't finished trying to stop the courageous efforts of Representative Key. On May 7, 1997, Edmondson subpoenaed Key before a multi-county grand jury, alleging that he violated procedures in raising money for the bombing investigation. The Daily Oklahoman proudly proclaimed how it had played a critical role in bringing about the investigation of Key:
The Attorney General's action is a result of an inquiry by The Oklahoman about Key's seven-page solicitation letter on the Internet. The letter asks for money to "secure copies of the voluminous (federal) government documents and to pay independent investigators" and other expenses for the county grand jury investigation....
Bill Graves, an attorney who represented Key at the grand jury inquest, stated: "The law is pretty clear that you are not required to register before you hit the ten thousand dollar threshold, and Charles [Key] had not hit that limit so was not required to register. Edmondson knows that. They're just trying to slow Charles down or stop him through harassment."(854)
"This is all about stopping us and making us shut up, said Key. "If I would just quit the grand jury deal, this would all go away."(855)
Says V.Z Lawton, a HUD worker who survived the bombing, "You don't have to be that bright or look that hard to see the fraud and hypocrisy in these charges. For over a year and a half, they've been doing everything imaginable and employing the most absurd arguments to prevent Charles from impaneling a grand jury to investigate one of the worst crimes in our country's history. Now, after he's overcome all of their legal challenges in the courts and is close to getting a county grand jury investigation going, they drag him before a multi-county grand jury for what amounts to jaywalking, while the bombing and other genuine, serious crimes go uninvestigated."(856)
Lawton also brought to the attention of bombing investigators a February 5th, fax transmission to federal employees on the official letterhead of Attorney General Drew Edmondson. The letter sought signatures from survivors to go with letters that were to be sent to various news organizations. The cover sheet said it came from Richard M. Wintory, Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Criminal Division.
The letter, entitled, "A Plea to the Media from Oklahoma City: Don't O.J. Us!!!" purports to be a spontaneous response from victims asking the media not to "manipulate" and "exploit" them "for no purpose other than to enhance their ratings on the air and in publications."(857)
This obvious propaganda counteroffensive was in response to ABC 20/20's January, 1996 show about prior knowledge. It referred to the "so-called report" by ABC as "tabloid journalism" filled with "unsubstantiated and baseless claims that have been repeatedly debunked."
"We are appalled at the lack of interest in the truth and the underhanded method utilized by 20/20" stated the letter, which claimed that ABC had wrongfully implied that certain victims agreed with the "paranoid delusion" of the "ridiculous theory of government conspiracy in this crime." It added that "reporters are sometime tempted to forget the truth." Ultimately, it stated, "It is PEOPLE that matter in this life, either money nor possession nor a Pulitzer Prize."(858)
This classic PSYOP piece launched by Edmondson (which he angrily denied in a letter to the author) was signed, "Many Survivors and Family Members, Oklahoma City Bombing."
Lawton and HUD employee Jane Graham were two survivors who angrily denounced the letter for the sham that it was. "Since the communication was loaded with lies and half truths, I certainly could not sign it," said Lawton, "and I felt like a state Attorney General could better spend his time supporting an effort to find the truth rather than this transparent effort at helping to hide it."
"I am angry," stated Graham in a typed response to the letter, "that the Attorney General's office would play on the emotions of this office at HUD under the guise of keeping us posted on how they are proceeding and planning the case, causing further emotional turmoil in this office between employees."(859)
During a June 13, 1997 television interview, Edmondson was asked why those witnesses who saw McVeigh with other suspects were never called to testify at McVeigh's trial. Edmondson replied that prosecutors usually don't present witnesses whose testimony isn't "credible" or conflicts with other witnesses.
Rodney Johnson, who saw McVeigh with another man in front of the Murrah Building moments before it exploded, called Edmondson's statement "misguided."
"I took those comments to be rather personal," said Johnson.(860)
Edmondson's blatant attempt at coercing the victims to pander to the official government line is similar to a letter from a group of victims suggesting passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill. The recipients were urged to call Edmondson if they were interested in participating.
Of course, while Edmondson accused ABC 20/20 of "manipulating" and "exploiting" the bombing victims, it is obvious that Edmondson himself hasn't done anything to manipulate or exploit anyone.(861)
Interestingly, several months after the scandalous smear campaign against Representative Key, Governor Keating was accused by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission of 32 violations of using state-owned vehicles for political fund-raising, including the state's $2.9 million airplane. Conveniently forgetting his own shameful and dishonest smear attacks against Representative Key, Keating sanctimoniously whined about how the allegations were "irresponsible, silly and completely unjustified." No doubt the Ethics Commission was "off the reservation," and "baying at the moon."
In spite of his unsuccessful attempts to smear honest men like Representative Key, Keating and his crooked political cronies wasted no time in discrediting Edye Smith, calling her allegations "hysterical." Smith was the mother of two young boys who perished in the bombing--Chase and Colton. Smith immediately gained the attention of concerned citizens all across America. Hundreds of thousands of letters and checks began pouring in, and relief agencies used Chase's photo on a poster memorializing the disaster.
On May 23, the day the Federal Building was demolished, Edye Smith, in a live interview on CNN, stated, "There's a lot of questions that have been left un-answered. We're being told to keep our mouths shut, not to talk about it, don't ask those questions..."(862)
CNN's Gary Truchmann asked Smith to describe the nature of the questions: "We, along with hundreds of thousands of other people want to know, where was the ATF the morning of April 19th? All of their employees survived. They were supposed to be the target of this explosion and where were they ? Did they have a warning sign? I mean, did they think it might be a bad day to go in the office?(863)
"They had an option to not go to work that day," Smith continued, "and my kids didn't get that option, nobody else in the building got that option. And we're just asking questions, we're not making accusations. We just want to know why and they're telling us, 'Keep your mouth shut, don't talk about it.'"(864)
Truchmann quickly ended the interview.
Kathy Wilburn was the Grandmother of Chase and Colton. Wilburn was among the first to arrive at the scene of the bombing, and she and Smith, who both worked at the nearby I.R.S. office, had witnessed the carnage first-hand. Now, as she watched the building come down, an eerie silence filled her soul. Later that afternoon, Kathy Wilburn walked into the empty room where the little boys had lived, picked up their stuffed animals, and began to cry.
Wilburn's husband Glenn had been a vocal opponent of the government's investigation, and their explanation of the bombing did not sit well with him. The Grandfather felt the loss of the two boys keenly. Wilburn had taken it on his own to investigate the bombing, and the facts he was coming up with did not make him happy.
On the afternoon the building was demolished, Wilburn received a call from U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan. Ryan wanted to meet with him and speak with the family.
"They wanted to set our minds at ease our minds that there wasn't anything sinister going on," said Wilburn.
Two days later Smith and Wilburn were visited by an entourage of federal agents including Ryan, ATF Agents Chris Cuyler and Luke Franey, an IRS Criminal investigator, and a member of Louis Jolyon West's victim's assistance team.
"They all came in and sat down and said 'We want to answer your questions and make you feel good.' I said 'fine.' Then I looked them right in the eye and said, 'You guys had no indication that April 19th could be a dangerous day down there?' They both answered, 'no sir.'"
"Well, two hours later I tuned on the TV, and CNN is interviewing ATF Director John Magaw. The interview starts out, "Mr. Magaw, based on the significance of April 19th, did you take any precautions?'"
"Clearly there was an interest all over the country to do that," replied Magaw. "And I was very concerned about that. We did some things here in headquarters and in all of our field offices throughout the country to try to be more observant. "
"Well, if there was ever a point that I was hooked into this thing, and there was nothing that was gonna' stop me," recalls Wilburn, "that was it because by God, somebody lied that morning."
Ryan's conciliatory meeting with the family did not last long. The federal prosecutor became nervous after Wilburn casually mentioned that he had talked to a family lawyer. Ryan quickly got up and left.
While Edye Smith was quoted as saying that she was "satisfied" the agents had explained their whereabouts, she later told me, "I believe they sat their and lied to us."
Unmarked cars soon began showing up at Glenn Wilburn's house. When Wilburn went out to confront them, they sped off.(865)
Two months later, Edye Smith and Kathy Wilburn had their Workers' Compensation checks cut off. Out of 462 federal employees affected by the blast, they were the only two employees who were mysteriously "denied."
Moreover, out of thousands of checks sent to Smith through the Red Cross, none were ever received. All the letters had been opened, the checks missing, including some sent via the Governor's and Mayor's office. "All the mail that the Red Cross delivered to my house, probably thousands of pieces of mail, every single piece was opened before I got it. And it all had my name on it," said Smith.
"We started noticing that the mail that came to the house had money in it," said Kathy Wilburn, "but the majority of the mail that came to us through the Red Cross it was all opened and there was never a thin dime in any of it."
When Smith called the Red Cross to complain, she was told that her mail wasn't being opened, and that no money was being taken. When Wilburn confronted the head of the local Red Cross, she was told that their letters were being opened to check for "hate mail." Wilburn told her that the explanation was "ridiculous."
"A mother sent me a little card that her little boy drew." said Smith, "She said 'my little boy saved this three dollars and wanted you to have it.' And the three dollars was gone."(866)
Keating's answer to the missing funds? Interning college students were responsible for the thefts. Perhaps former G-Man Keating was training the young lads for upcoming counter-intelligence operations. Such would not be unusual tactics for a man who worked as an FBI agent during COINTELPRO (the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program of the late-60s to mid 70s), where he personally infiltrated anti-government activists like the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, and the SDS (Students For A Democratic Society), and stated he sees little difference between them and the militias.(867)(868)
Keating also served as Assistant Attorney General under Edwin Meese. Meese was Attorney General during the 1985 fire-bombing of MOVE headquarters. MOVE was a group of black housing activists living in a squatted building in Philadelphia. The satchel charge, dropped from a helicopter by Philadelphia's finest (with a little help from the FBI), resulted in the deaths of over 11 people, including five children, and destroyed numerous square blocks of the city.
Instead of launching a proper investigation into the matter, Meese's response was "consider it an eviction notice."
Meese would later be implicated in the October Surprise scandal, which propelled Ronald Reagan into the White House via a secret deal to release the hostages in Iran after the defeat of Jimmy Carter. As his reward, Meese was appointed Attorney General, where he would go on to commit then cover up other crimes, the two most notorious being Iran-Contra and the Inslaw affair.
But Keating's involvement with the scions of truth and justice doesn't end there. Keating served in the Bush administration as Assistant Treasury Secretary during the Iran-Contra investigations. Gene Wheaton, a former Tulsa police officer and Army CID investigator who worked for the Christic Institute, observes that it was George Bush who personally selected Keating as Assistant Treasury Secretary in 1985, where he supervised INTERPOL, the Customs Service, The Secret Service, and the ATF.(869)
As Wheaton writes:
The word in Tulsa is that Bush is his "political godfather;" that Keating got his job in the Treasury Department through Bush's good offices and that Bush "loves Keating." The connection appears to be an old-boy connection through the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.(870)
"In his position, Keating could control both the investigative and prosecutorial side of any scandal that came his way," adds Portland Free Press publisher Ace Hayes. "1985-88 had guns, drugs, and illegal money moving all over the globe. Was the ATF, who couldn't find it's ass with both hands, as really as incompetent as it appeared, or was Frank Keating there to make sure they did not?"(871)
In fact, it was while Keating was serving as Assistant Treasury Secretary that IRS investigator Bill Duncan--who was investigating Iran-Contra drug-running activities at Mena--was instructed to perjure himself. As Duncan stated in a deposition before a joint Congressional/Arkansas Attorney General investigative committee:
Duncan: In late December of 1987, I was contacted by [the] Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime who told me that they were looking into the reason why no one was indicted in connection with the Mena investigations. The Internal Revenue Service assigned to me disclosure litigation attorneys, which gave me instructions which would have caused me to withhold information from Congress during my testimony and to also perjure myself.
Committee: And how did you respond to the Treasury Department?
Duncan: Well, I exhibited to them that I was going to tell the truth in my testimony. And the perjury, subornation of perjury resulted in an--resulted because of an allegation that I had received, that Attorney General Edwin Meese received a several hundred thousand dollar bribe from Barry Seal directly. And they told me to tell the Subcommittee on Crime that I had no information about that.(872)
Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welch, who provided the information to Duncan, was subsequently poisoned. Two months later, Keating was appointed as Associate Attorney General.(873)
It seems that Frank Keating has served as a point-man, weaving a twisted trail through some of America's most notorious crimes, including Iran-Contra, BCCI, Iraqgate, the S&L crisis, and Oklahoma City.
Keating has always been at the nexus bridging the agendas of good ole' boys like George Bush, with their elitist agendas, and the subsequent covert-operations sub-cultures which they spawned. In an article in the Portland Free Press entitled "Another Bush Boy," Wheaton writes:
The covert-operations "lunatic fringe" in Washington, which took over key operations at the national security level, [and] still controls them today, was Bush's 1981 agenda, and Keating is the next generation to carry it on.(874)*
It was only three months after Keating's inauguration as Governor that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building occurred. Given his background and grooming, Keating was in a perfect position to direct "damage control." As Wheaton notes:
Keating is an a perfect position to control the direction and scope of any state investigation which might not correspond to the official federal inquiry.
It appeares Keating did just that. As Governor, Keating was in a position to halt the hurried demolition of the Murrah building, ordered by federal authorities under the guise of "safety." Bob Ricks, the FBI PR flack who spoon-fed a daily dose of lies to the press during the Waco siege, was appointed Oklahoma Director of Public Safety by Keating after the demolition. Keating and Ricks were good friends from college.
The demolition was ordered under the pseudo-psychological premise of providing "closure" to the festering wound hanging over the city. The demolition also effectively prevented any independent forensic investigation of the bomb site.(875)
Said a victim whose spouse was killed in the explosion, "I was upset right from the start when there was the big rush to destroy the crime scene, to take the building down. A lot of important evidence was destroyed that could have helped solve this."(876)
The feds' decision to destroy crucial forensic evidence has an eerie parallel to the demolition of Mt. Carmel. The destruction of the Branch Davidian church prevented independent examiners from determining that the ATF had fired into the roofs of the building during the early part of the raid, and that FBI snipers had deliberately shot people trying to escape.
The destruction of the Murrah Building is also akin to the Secret Service's hasty (or carefully planned) decision to illegally remove President Kennedy's body from Parkland Memorial Hospital. Once under control of military officials, including Generals who were undoubtedly involved in the assassination plot, Kennedy's autopsy could proceed under carefully controlled parameters. While observing the autopsy, these military officials prevented a thorough examination of the body, which would have revealed the presence of multiple entry wounds. Back in Dallas, Secret Service agents carefully washed Kennedy's limousine to remove all traces of bullet fragments, and had Governor Connolly's clothes, bullet holes and all, cleaned and pressed.
Said Jannie Coverdale, who lost her grandsons Aaron and Elijah in the bombing, "Everyone I talk to has the same questions: What happened? What is going on? We don't want this to be another John F. Kennedy deal, where 32 years later the real story is still unknown."
The Federal Bureau of Intimidation
"There is no place on earth where you will be safe from the most powerful forces of justice." - FBI director Louis Freeh.
In a motion filed by Stephen Jones, affidavits show that numerous witnesses were instructed by the FBI to "keep quiet" so the facts of the case "wouldn't get distorted." This aura of secrecy quickly turned into obstruction of justice, as FBI agents routinely instructed witnesses not to talk to defense team investigators or journalists.
When defense investigator Marty Reed attempted to interview Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Charlie Hanger (the patrolman who had arrested McVeigh), he was told by OHP chief legal counsel John Lindsey, "The FBI has requested that no one interview Trooper Charlie Hanger."
Mitchell Whitmire, who knew McVeigh when they were both in the Army, was contacted by defense investigator Neil Hartley. Whitmire told Hartley he was instructed by the FBI not to talk to anyone about the case unless he obtained permission from the FBI.(877)
When this author tried to interview two members of the Sheriff's Bomb Squad, they became visibly nervous. They claimed no other bombs were pulled out of the building, clearly contradicting news accounts showing additional bombs that were taken away and detonated.
As discussed previously, FBI agents put up a protective perimeter around Eldon Elliott, preventing him from talking to journalists and defense investigators.
KFOR-TV, who took the lead in investigating the case, found it almost impossible to interview witnesses. "We get there and all of a sudden they've been told to shut up," said Melissa Klinzing, KFOR's former News Director.(878)
A Tulsa fire captain told investigator Craig Roberts he saw machinegun-toting black-clad agents with no markings removing boxes of files from the Post Office ten days after the bombing. When he was subsequently interviewed by this author, he denied seeing anything.
Ann Domin, who originally told a Tulsa police officer she had seen two Middle Eastern males loitering near the front of the Murrah Building just before the blast, later denied saying that.(879)
According to a conversation Jon Rappaport had with Daily Oklahoman reporter Ann Defrange, witness Peter Schaffer told Defrange he had seen the Murrah Building collapse in on itself, suggesting that cutting charges were used. When Rappaport questioned Schaffer, he denied seeing the building falling down at all. When Rappaport got back to Defrange, she remained adamant about what Schaffer told her. "She didn't budge at all," said Rappaport.(880)
"The FBI must have gotten to him," said Heidelberg. "You know, the FBI has been able to get witnesses to shut up about important things they know. We've talked to some of these people. In certain instances the witnesses believe that concealing evidence is the right thing to do. They really believe it. The FBI has sold them a bill of goods about national security or something like that. In other cases the FBI has used straight-out intimidation on witnesses. They size up people. On one witness they'll use something like national security. On another, they'll go for intimidation."(881)
Heidelberg's own brush with the government didn't end with his dismissal from the grand jury. Several minutes after agreeing to do an interview with Jayna Davis, he received a call from U.S. Attorney Joseph Hartzler telling him that a reporter was on her way and that he was not to talk to her, or he would be arrested. Obviously, Heidelberg's phone was tapped.(882)
"They tried everything to shut me up," said Heidelberg. "They have said they were going to throw me in jail. When that didn't work, they got down on their hands and knees and begged. I mean they have tried everything to keep me from talking to the press about this."
On July 19, FBI agents Jon Hersley and William Teater appeared at Heidelberg's home, just hours after Judge Russell called him and discovered that he had taken his grand jury notes home. Apparently Teater wasn't too pleased with Heidelberg's casual attitude. At one point, he pulled back his jacket, revealing his gun, which he had conspicuously stuck in his waist belt.
"They were trying to impress upon me the seriousness of they were trying to give me the message that this is big time, that this is heavy weight," said Heidelberg, "and I was supposed to be frightened Guns mean business I was supposed to behave and be a good boy and not give them any trouble. The implication was that they were gonna' shoot me, but I knew better than that," Heidelberg said.(883)*
Heidelberg doesn't feel he will serve any jail time for his actions. "They don't want me exonerated or indicted," said Heidelberg. "They want me twisting in the wind."(884)
In February of '97, ABC planned a follow-up to their 20/20 "Prior Knowledge" piece, which included an interview with ATF informant Carol Howe. Hours before the piece was to air on "World News Tonight," it was killed.
According to ABC producer Roger Charles: "They were uncomfortable with it after a series of phone calls from high-level Justice Department and ATF people, saying that well, yes, the story is right, but you're going to draw the wrong conclusions unless we can explain it." According to an interview with ABC conducted by McVeigh's defense team, the conversation went something like this:
Justice Dept: "We have to admit now Strassmeir has been investigated."
ABC: "But you have denied over and over that he was ever the subject of an investigation."
Justice Dept: "Well, we're undenying that now. He has been investigated, but we could not involve him specifically in the bombing of the building. [Regarding Howe's reports of others involved, we] "could not find anyone who bought fertilizer, could not find anyone who rented a truck, so therefore we could not charge them with anything. [Besides], we're not sure the information was credible."
ABC: "But did you or did you not send her back out?"
Justice Dept: "Yes, she was sent back out."
ABC: "Well, what in the hell does that mean?"
Justice Dept: "She did go back out, but she was unable to develop any evidence that these people had participated, [although] essentially your information is correct."
ABC then said the Justice Department press spokesman attempted to downplay the credibility of Howe by stating that the government hears these types of statements all the time from "White Supremacist compounds."
ABC: "Yeah, but there's one difference here."
Justice Dept: "What is that?"
ABC: "The God damn building blew up, that's what."(885)
Not only would Howe's testimony have had unfortunate consequences for authorities, it would not have jived with the FBI's fantasy of the "lone nut" bomber. It seemed authorities were replaying the same scenario they had played out 28 years before. In the JFK investigation, the FBI focused on the "lone nut" scenario too. Witnesses who did not support the FBI's case against Oswald as lone participant were intimidated, debunked or misquoted in reports. Most who saw shooters other than the one on the 6th floor of the Book Depository were never subpoenaed to testify.
In 1963, Julia Ann Mercer told the FBI and the Dallas Police that she saw a man carry a rifle case up to the Grassy Knoll just before the shooting. The FBI took her statement. Later, when she was interviewed by District Attorney Jim Garrison and shown the statements she had given the Bureau, she began shaking her head. "These all have been altered, she said. "They have me saying just the opposite of what I really told them."
In the Oklahoma City case, witnesses whose statements didn't fit the government's official timeline and scenario were either ignored altogether, or intimidated into changing their stories.(886)
Cheryl Wood, an employee at Love's convenience store, who saw McVeigh and John Doe 2 on April 17, told FBI agents their security camera had captured images of the two men. The FBI didn't take the tapes and didn't want to use Wood's story. "They tried to convince Wood that she was crazy--that she hadn't really seen them," said a Newsweek reporter who interviewed Wood. "They rattled her real good." When the store manager decided to take the video home himself, the FBI changed their minds, and confiscated the tape.
McVeigh and his friends also stopped at another convenience store about 45 minutes from Love's. As a Newsweek reporter who interviewed the employees told me, the FBI didn't use the statements of those witnesses either, because it didn't fit the FBI's "official" timeline.(887)
Mike Moroz, the Johnny's Tire Shop employee who gave McVeigh and John Doe 2 directions to the Murrah building on the morning of the blast, was interviewed by the FBI several times. On the last interview they told him that he had seen McVeigh drive in a different direction than he had originally stated. The FBI then claimed to the press that Moroz had made a mistake and was confused.
Danny Wilkerson, the Regency Towers employee who sold McVeigh two softdrinks and a pack of cigarettes 10 minutes before the bombing, claims FBI agents tried very hard to get him to change his story. Wilkerson saw McVeigh and another man in an older, shorter Ryder truck with a cab overhang. FBI agents showed Wilkerson a catalog of different Ryder models, trying to coerce him into stating that the truck he saw was bigger and newer than the one actually seen. Wilkerson refused to change his story.
As previously discussed, Catina Lawson knew McVeigh when he was stationed in Kansas, and saw him at parties with Andreas Strassmeir and Michael Brescia. When Lawson saw the artist's sketch of John Doe 2, she said, "That's Mike [Brescia]. Lawson repeatedly called the FBI to tell them it was Brescia, but they didn't want to listen, and stopped returning her calls.
"I kept telling them that the man in the [John Doe 2] sketch was that Mike guy, a nice-looking guy, dark-skinned. But the FBI made me feel guilty, then ignorant, as if I didn't know what I was saying. Then, later, I tried to call in with more information and they wouldn't even talk to me."
Debra Burdick had seen the yellow Mercury, the brown pick-up, and the blue Chevy Cavalier at 10th and Robinson on the morning of the blast. Burdick called the FBI and the OSBI, and "they blew me off. They said they didn't have time to get over there. they told me, 'you didn't see anything.' And that's when I thought I was going crazy. "(888)
Jane Graham, along with three other women, had seen a trio of suspicious-looking men in the Murrah Building's underground garage the Friday before the bombing. The men were working with wire and a small, putty-colored block which appeared to be C-4 plastic explosive.
FBI Agent Joe Schwecke made two appointments to interview Graham, but kept neither of them. "He never showed up," said Graham. "I again called and set up another appointment for the following week and that was never kept."
When Schwecke finally spoke to her, he "only wanted to know if I could identify McVeigh or Nichols. Apparently the FBI was not interested in any time other than the Monday or Tuesday--the week of the bombing!" exclaimed Graham, " and only if the responses pointed directly to McVeigh!"(889)
The manager of the Great Western Inn in Junction City was certain the Middle Eastern man who had stayed in room 107 on April 17 was a dead ringer for John Doe 2. Yet the FBI tried to discredit him, saying that the inquiry there had been a waste of time. If that is true, why did the FBI confiscate the hotel's register?(890)
Barbara Whittenberg at the Sante Fe Trail Diner told Bill Jasper the FBI tried to get her to change her story.(891)
Jeff Davis, who delivered Chinese food to a man in room 25 at the Dreamland Motel, had been interviewed numerous times by the FBI. They appeared interested in trying to get Davis to say that McVeigh was the man he saw.
During trial, prosecutor Larry Mackey attacked Davis' credibility, noting that two days after the bombing, he told FBI agents that the man was a white male, 28 or 29, about 6 feet tall, about 180 pounds with short, sandy hair, clean-cut with no mustache.(892)
Yet Davis originally told the FBI, "The man to whom I delivered that bag of Chinese food is not Tim McVeigh."(893)
Still, Mackey tried to shake Davis' confidence in his memory, suggesting that Davis had told a bartender and an ABC sketch artist that he saw McVeigh.
Mackey: "You deny that?"
Davis: "Yes, sir, I do,"
In fact, the person Davis saw had "unkempt" hair, a regional accent, possibly from Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri, and an overbite. McVeigh possesses none of those characteristics.(894)
"I was frustrated quite a bit because they just didn't seem to want to say 'Okay, there's somebody we may not have.' A lot of it seemed 'Damn! I just wish he'd say it was McVeigh so we could be done with it.'"(895)
Davis told The Denver Post that the FBI never even bothered making a composite sketch of the man he saw. A TV network finally hired an artist to do one.
Daina Bradley had seen only one man--olive-skinned, dark-haired, wearing jeans, jacket, and baseball cap--get out of the passenger side of the Ryder truck in front of the Federal Building moments before it blew up. Yet when she testified for the defense during McVeigh's trial, she switched tracks, saying she saw two suspects.
What is interesting is that in numerous interviews with the media, prosecutors, and the defense team, Bradley adamantly maintained that she had seen only one suspect--John Doe 2. Just weeks before her testimony, Bradley again told U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan and defense attorney Cheryl Ramsey she was certain the man she saw wasn't Timothy McVeigh.
Yet shortly after the start of McVeigh's trial--after meeting with federal prosecutors--Bradley suddenly "changed her mind."
It seemed that FBI agents were conveniently waiting at the airport to intercept some of McVeigh's defense witnesses, who would then be "persuaded" to change their testimony.(896)
Under cross-examination by Ryan, Bradley--who had maintained a rock-solid story of John Doe 2 since the day of the bombing--now claimed she saw a second man. Yet during trial she was nervous and faltering, her testimony wavering constantly. At one point, she covered her face with her hands and quietly said, "I want to talk to my lawyer."
Ryan eventually got Bradley to say she wasn't sure whether the second suspect was McVeigh, but that there was "nothing different" between McVeigh's features and those of the second man.
In addition, Bradley told the jury she thought the truck was parked against the flow of traffic on the one-way street--a ludicrous proposition, but convenient for a government intent on convincing a jury that Bradley saw the suspect--who was not John Doe 2, but possibly McVeigh--get out of the driver's side.(897)
Gary Lewis, the Journal Record pressman who was almost run over by McVeigh and two of his associates in the yellow Mercury shortly before the blast, suddenly denied seeing them at all! Just before he was subpoenaed to testify before the county grand jury, Lewis told reporters, "What I seen wasn't a fact, it wasn't true."
Claiming the FBI had "cleared up his confusion" more than a year ago, Lewis said the FBI showed him a photograph of McVeigh's distinctive battered yellow Mercury, and convinced him it wasn't the same car he spotted on April 19. "It was real similar to it," Lewis said. "It was real close but it wasn't it."
Lewis then claimed his eyewitness account, which had already been published in striking detail, had been exaggerated by Representative Key and Glenn Wilburn. "I don't care for [Wilburn] or Charles Key," Lewis told The Daily Oklahoman. "They kind of pushed it along for reasons I don't know why. That is about all I have got to say."(898)
This was quite a change from the nervous witness who checked the underside of his car every morning for bombs, afraid he was targeted for assassination by either bombing suspects or the feds.(899)
As previously mentioned, Dr. Paul Heath, the VA psychologist, had spoken to McVeigh and two of his associates at his office several weeks before the blast, when they approached him looking for "jobs."
Heath was interviewed by the FBI no less than ten times. On the last visit, "He (the FBI agent) confronted me saying he did not want me telling the story any longer. He said it was a false story, that I had made it up, that it was a figment of my imagination, and that if I pursued it, he would publicly discredit me.
"I said to him, 'that is the most despicable, uncalled for attitude that I've ever seen, and I don't know why you said that to me, but I can tell you, you're not going to change my reality with it.'"(900)
Heath, already upset by what he witnessed the day of the bombing, is now uncertain what will happen to him.(901)
Lea Moore, a woman who was badly injured in the blast, was contacted by a reporter from the L.A. Times. While he was enroute to interview her, she received a mysterious phone call telling her not to talk to him. Moore, a diminutive woman in her fifties, was frightened. When the reporter showed up at her door fifteen minutes later, Moore didn't answer.
Melba, the Albertson's worker who made sandwiches for McVeigh and John Doe 2, was hostile and frightened when questioned by this reporter--too scared to talk.
Connie Hood, who saw John Doe 2 at the Dreamland Motel shortly after midnight on April 16, then again the next morning, was interviewed numerous times by the FBI. They even went so far as to administer several polygraph tests. Hood told the agents exactly what she saw. On the last test, the FBI agent "turned around and got in her face," recalled her friend David Keen, "and said, 'You've never seen John Doe! He never existed!'"
The experience of Hood and Keen is reminiscent of the interrogation of JFK witnesses in Dallas on November 22, when FBI agents pointedly told them they did not see any shooters on the Grassy Knoll.
"This big old dude (FBI agent) right out told me, 'You did not see that!'" recalled Hood. "It got to the point where I was saying, 'Excuse me, excuse me, there was someone in that room next to us. I know for a fact there was someone in that room next to us. I did not imagine someone coming out of that fricking room!'"
Hood is sure of what she saw, and is furious about the games the FBI played with her. "I'm angry," said Hood. "It made my blood boil."(902)
TWA 800 Sidebar
The experiences of these witnesses parallels those who saw a missile rise out of the water to shoot down TWA flight 800 on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 people on board. Over 154 witnesses on Long Island, who witnessed the attack, described what appeared to be a missile--a glowing object that impacted with the plane.
These accounts were backed up by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) radar records, which showed an unidentified object (a "blip" that was not "squawking" a transponder code) move rapidly towards, then merge with, the large jumbo-jet.(903)
Yet like the seismic records, and the video surveillance footage which would have shown the Murrah Building being blown up, these radar tapes would be confiscated by the FBI.
Naturally, the government lied about the crash. The National Transportation Safety board (NTSB) claimed that the most probable cause was a "spark" in the center fuel tank due to "static electricity." This is ridiculous even to the uninitiated. Said Michael Barr, director of aviation safety programs at USC, "Airplanes don't blow up just like that. I've been following 747s since 1970 and I've never seen one blow up like that."(904)
One witness, Lou Desyron, told ABC World News Sunday: "We saw what appeared to be a flare going straight up. As a matter of fact, we thought it was from a boat. It was a bright reddish-orange color.... Once it went into flames, I knew that wasn't a flare.(905)
Another witness told the New York Daily News: "It looked like a big skyrocket going up, and it kept going up and up, and the next thing I knew there was an orange ball of fire."(906)
Long Island resident Linda Kabot inadvertently snapped a picture of the missile while photographing friends at a party. The photo appeared in the July issue of Paris Match.
Eyewitnesses on the ground weren't the only ones who saw a missile. Vasilis Bakoynis, a Greek commercial airline pilot flying behind flight 800, told the FBI that he saw what appeared to be a missile rise up from the water and strike the plane. "Suddenly I saw in the fog to my left toward the ocean, a small flame rising quickly toward the sky. Before I realized it, I saw this flame become huge. "(907)
Private pilot Sven Faret reported a "short pin-flash of light [which] appeared on the ground, perhaps water," that rose up "like a rocket launch at a fireworks display."(908)
Major Fred Meyer, the pilot of an Air National Guard helicopter which was in the area, said he saw "a streak of red orange" heading toward the plane. "...it arrived at a point in space where I saw a small explosion which grew to a small fireball, then a second explosion and a huge fireball," the Boston Herald quoted Meyer as telling a press briefing on July 18th.
Meyer's co-pilot, Captain Chris Baur, told Aviation Week & Space Technology on March 10, "Almost due south, there was a hard white light, like burning pyrotechnics, in level flight. I was trying to figure out what it was. It was the wrong color for flares. It struck an object coming from the right [TWA 800] and made it explode."(909)
Ten days later, Meyer, a Vietnam veteran, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise: "I know what I saw. I saw an ordinance explosion. And whatever I saw, the explosion of the fuel was not the initiator of the event. It was one of the results. Something happened before that which was the initiator of the disaster."(910)
Meyer and Baur's account was backed up by Air National Guard C-130 pilot Cononel William Stratemeir, Jr., who told Aviation Week & Space Technology what "appeared to be the trail of a shoulder-fired SAM ending in a flash on the 747."(911)
Yet the government would seek to silence the hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw the missile. A team of approximately 50 FBI agents, many of the same agents who worked the Oklahoma City case, would visit these witnesses and ask, then demand, their silence.
"There was nothing I observed that gave me any indication that the streak of light I saw was caused by a missile," Meyer would later quoted as saying. "I don't know what I saw."(912)
"We did not see smoke trails [from a missile], any ignition source from the tail of a rocket nor anything " said Stratemeir four months later.(913)
Medical Examiner Dr. Charles V. Wetli originally told reporters that the passengers in the forward compartment were hit hardest, indicating the major event was in the front of the plane, not the center as the government claimed. Dr. Wetli and others then backed off from their findings. An explosion had happened and killed people was as much as he could say, reported the New York Times. (914)
Was the government covering up evidence of a terrorist missile strike, or the negligence of the United States Navy? While the disintegration of flight 800's number three engine appears to indicate a shoulder-launched missile, the large gaping hole running from just underneath the center fuel tank through the top of the forward cabin suggests a strike by an unarmed missile "drone."
There is evidence for both theories. After denying the existence of any military operations in the area, the Pentagon eventually admitted that a C-130 military transport and two HH-60G Blackhawk helicopters of the New York Air National Guard's ANG's 106th Rescue Wing were operating in the area as part of a night-rescue exercise.
Such a "rescue exercise" doesn't explain the presence of a P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare plane, which, contrary to claims by Navy public affairs, is capable of carrying missiles. The U.S.S. Normandy, an Aegis class guided missile cruiser (similar to the one that accidentally shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the straits of Hormuz, killing all 290 people), was also operating in the vicinity. The Normandy carries RIM-67 Standard SM-2ER semi-active radar homing air defense missiles, with a range of 93 miles and an altitude of 100,000 feet. Was the Normandy firing drones as part of a practice drill? Such maneuvers are routinely carried out off the coast of Long Island. Area W-105 was activated as a "hot zone" at the time of the disaster.(915)
Naturally, the Navy claimed the Normandy was 180 miles from flight 800, which was in area W-106, 15 miles to the Northwest of W-105.(916)
FBI chief investigator James Kallstrom cited claims of military culpability as "irresponsible total unadulterated nonsense," and, echoing the psychobabble employed by the government in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, stated that such claims are hurtful to the victims. Jim Hall, head of the NTSB investigation, backed up Kallstrom, saying the allegations "are causing incredible pain and confusion for those who lost loved ones."
"I can tell you we left no stone unturned," Kallstrom announced, as if playing a bad re-run of Janet Reno's press conference on Oklahoma City.(917)
Then in November, Pierre Salinger, a former ABC News correspondent and press secretary for President Kennedy, told reporters in Cannes, France, he had obtained a document from French intelligence (there were numerous French citizens onboard) detailing how the Navy was indeed test firing missiles and accidentally hit Flight 800 because the plane was flying lower than expected. Salinger said the document written by someone who "was tied to the U.S. Secret Service and has important contacts in the U.S. Navy."(918)
Backing up Salinger's report was Lt. Col. Bo Gritz, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and Special Forces commander, who reported in June that the Army and Navy were conducting final acceptance tests of the AEGIS-CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability) system, in the wake of the tragic shootdown of an Iranian airbus by the USS Vincennes.
The military chose Area W-105, claimed Gritz, in order to provide a realistic test using a densely populated area. "W-105 had been especially selected (and activated for live fire) because of its similarity to the Persian Gulf."
The Navy Orion P-3, a member of the CEC team, was loaded with up-graded gear, allowing integration of Army and Navy Anti-Aircraft Artillery acquisition radar. The equipment was supposed to "discriminate between friend-neutral-foe electronic signatures, isolate the hostile threat and select the weapon best positioned for an assured kill to launch at the target."
The simulated boogie was a Navy BQM-74E missile drone launched from Shinnecock Bay, east of Riverhead, Long Island by an Army unit shortly after the "all clear" at 8:30 p.m.
Through the thickening fog of replicated hostile images, a shot solution was plotted and relayed to the missile unit best positioned for the kill. The software then automatically triggered the launch of a Navy Standard IV Anti-missile missile.
The antimissile was programmed to climb rapidly until a "mid-course" correction would be relayed to the missile's on-board computer directing the dive to impact. Final course adjustments would be made by the missile's "semi-active" radar device after "lock-on" was achieved.
Tragically, the last radar able to see the boogie through the heavy jamming and target replication suddenly and unexpectedly went blind. Unable to receive guidance commands to keep it on an intercept course with the target drone, the Standard IV reverted to its own programming and began seeking a target. In a heartbeat, the internal radar acquired the TWA 747 well above and to the west of the intended target.(919)
Was the 747 destroyed by "friendly fire?" Reports that rocket fuel residue was present on seat backs and bodies of the victims, and the large entry and exit holes, tend to support these allegations.(920)
During the 1982 Falklands War, an Argentine AM.39 Exocet anti-ship missile struck the British destroyer HMS Sheffield. Although it was a dud, "the kinetic energy of the missile, flying at supersonic speed, was able to punch through the hull and slice into fuel lines, allowing the still-burning rocket motor to ignite a deadly and explosive fire. TWA 800 may have experienced an airborne version of this same fate."(921)
Gritz' claim that the military chose the area off of Long Island for testing jives with the well-documented fact of decades-long military testing on unsuspecting civilians in hundreds of cities across the nation--including everything from drugs and nuclear radiation, to chemical and biological weapons.(922)
Interestingly, on August 29, six weeks after the TWA 800 crash, an American Airlines pilot reported seeing a missile pass by his 757 while flying over Wallops Island, Virginia, the site of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, which has a program for unmanned research rockets. Wallops Island is about 220 miles south of the TWA crash sight.(923)
Finally, as Ian Goddard reported, on May 13, 1997, Long Island's Southampton Press reported that resident Dede Muma accidentally received a fax from Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical intended for the FBI's office in Calverton, Long Island (the two have similar phone numbers). The fax indicated that parts of a Navy missile target drone, a BQM-34 Firebee I manufactured by Teledyne, may have been found in the wreckage. The fax shows a diagram of what appears to be a missile, along with a breakdown of its tail section and a parts list...(924)
The near disintegration of the plane's number three engine, however, supports the theory of a heat-seeking SAM, suggesting that the plane was destroyed by terrorists.
Recall that two major terrorist conferences were held during which it was announced that there would be increased attacks against U.S. interests: one on June 20-23 in Teheran, and the other on July 10-15 in Pakistan. Intelligence officers and terrorist leaders from Hamas, HizbAllah, and the PFLP-GC's Ahmed Jibril, who carried out the Pan Am 103 bombing, were in attendance. This was followed on June 25 by the truck-bombing of the military housing compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.(925)
Also recall that immediately following the July 16th U.S. Senate resolution for sanctions against Libya and Iran, the al-Hayat newspaper received a warning from the Movement for Islamic Change:
The world will be astonished and amazed at the time and place chosen by the Mujahadeen. The Mujahadeen will deliver the harshest reply to the threats of the foolish American president. Everyone will be surprised by the volume, choice of place and timing of the Mujahadeen's answer, and invaders must prepare to depart alive or dead for their time is morning and morning is near.
The New York Post also reported that the FBI was looking into an anonymous threat received after conviction of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the World Trade Center bombing cell, convicted of plotting to blow up major New York City landmarks. The threat warned that a New York area airport or jetliner would be attacked in retaliation for the prosecution of the sheik.(926)
A warning was also provided to the Israelis that Iran was likely to launch an attack against a U.S. aircraft. Thousands of Stinger missiles were given to the Mujahadeen by the CIA in the 1980s. According to former FAA investigator Rodney Stich, "At least a dozen were thus obtained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Yunis Khalis, a radical Muslim Afghani resistance leader. One of them was fired by Iranians at an American helicopter on patrol in the Persian Gulf on October 8th, 1987."
The U.S. produced nearly 64,500 of these missiles for the military and other countries since 1980, including Angola, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Soviets are known to have sold their SAM-7 to China, North Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Laos, Libya, Sudan and Syria, among others.(927) Stingers provided to the Mujahadeen via the CIA in Peshawar, Pakistan, were often sold to terrorists and other groups.
"We have now spent more than a decade trying to retrieve those missiles," said Natalie Goldring, a defense analyst with the British-American Security Information Council. "Several hundred that were transferred during the Afghan war are nowhere to be found. They are very capable anti-aircraft missiles."(928)
According to Stich, the CIA has bumbled attempts to retrieve the missiles. In a letter to Senator Arlen Specter dated October 20, 1995, Stich writes:
Recent information provided to me by one or more of my contacts in the CIA community describes the dates, places, and people involved in offering the missiles to the United States, and the rejection of this offer. These sources provided me with precise details of the negotiations to give the missiles to the United States, the agreement by Afghan rebel leader, General Rashid Dostom, and a CIA attorney.
[One] possibility for CIA and Justice Department rejection of the Stinger missiles is that the CIA wants the missiles to fall into terrorists' hands, and actually wants an airliner to be shot down. The shoot-down of a commercial airliner could then be used to justify the continuation of CIA activities.(929)
In fact, Israel intercepted unconfirmed reports that 50 of Stingers were smuggled into the country in 1995. A letter reportedly presented to members of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committee after the shootdown of flight 800 not only claimed credit for the attack, but provided the serial number of the missile that was used.
Naturally, government would trot out its usual stable of spokesmen to claim that the plane hadn't been downed by a missile, especially a shoulder-launched SAM, which the Pentagon claimed couldn't down a jumbo-jet flying at 13,700 feet.
"There's no American official with half a brain who ought to be speculating on anything of that nature," said White House spokesman Mike McCurry. "There's no concrete information that would lead any of us in the United States government to draw that kind of conclusion."
Yet the State Department has catalogued 25 incidents between 1978 and 1993 in which commercial airliners were shot down by SAMs, killing more than 600 people. (Israeli commercial airliners, like the President's Air Force One, are equipped with special flares capable of diverting surface-to-air missiles.) During the Vietnam War, Russian Grail missiles routinely shot down planes at altitudes of 11,000 and 12,000 feet. Some SAMs--including the Stinger, and the Swedish-built Bofors RBS 70 and 90, which military and aviation analyst Ronald Lewis, writing in Air Forces Monthly believes was used--are reportedly capable of reaching altitudes of between 15,000 and 18,000 feet.(930)
It is for precisely this reason that the government kept changing the altitude of the plane, which they first reported at 8,500 feet, then 10,000 feet, and finally at 13,700 feet (Apparently they didn't take into account the range of the Bofors). This is strikingly similar to their altering of the size of the bomb in Oklahoma, originally stating it was 1,200 pounds, then 2,000 pounds, then 4,000 pounds, then finally 4,800 pounds, to match their magic ANFO theory.
Given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, however, the talking heads would modify their statements. "They will be looking at all three scenarios," said Former FBI Assistant Director Oliver "Buck" Revell, "and probably the least likely will be the missile, but it will be one that is very carefully examined."(931)
Even the FBI's James Kallstrom was later forced to admit, "We do have information that there was something in the sky. A number of people have seen it."(932) As the New York Post reported on September 22:
Law-enforcement sources said the hardest evidence gathered so far overwhelmingly suggests a surface-to-air missile--with the sophisticated ability to lock on the center of a target rather than its red-hot engines--was fired from a boat off the Long Island coast to bring down the airliner July 17.(933)
On December 17, the Washington Times quoted a congressional aide who verified that an unnamed DIA official confirmed the missile attack: "'In his opinion, the plane was brought down by at least one shoulder-fired missile,'" said the congressional source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."(934)
Interestingly, the FBI focused part of its investigation on boats on Long Island that had been chartered or stolen. One report that surfaced early on reported that two Middle Eastern men had rented a boat. A boat 30 or 40 feet in length would provide a stable enough platform for a someone aiming a heat-seeking or laser guided SAM, even if the waters had not been perfectly calm.
Obviously, the government was perfectly capable of determining who, or at least what shot down TWA flight 800. Aviation Week reported that technology is available to establish, within hours, the exact composition of any explosive, even after days of submersion in sea water. Yet months after the disaster, the government was still claiming it hadn't determined the cause of the crash. At times, the explanations offered by government officials bordered on the ridiculous. On July 11, 1997, a NTSB official was heard postulating before members of Congress that the plane may have been destroyed by errant "space junk."
It is hardly surprising that the government would want to cover up the truth, especially if flight 800 had been destroyed by a Stinger missile, one given to the Mujahadeen by the Central [Stupidity] Agency. If the public learned that a commercial jet could be shot down by a hand-held missile, one of many smuggled into this country, the airline industry would suffer huge financial loses. In countries where tourism is essential to the economy, such a revelation would be devastating.
Moreover, if TWA 800 had been downed by our own military, the government would be even more desperate to cover up the truth.
At a press conference on November 8, IWW reporter Hillel Cohen asked, "Why is the Navy not a suspect?" In response, Kallstrom said, "Remove that man." As about 10 security guards swiftly removed Cohen from the room, as he shouted, "We want an independent investigation!"
Nor were journalists investigating Oklahoma City immune from harassment. Jayna Davis, the courageous KFOR reporter who tracked down Hussaini and Khalid, received a warning from the Bureau that she was getting "too close" to the truth, and should drop her investigation.
Journalists and investigators who have attempted to interview rescue workers, including firemen, police and other city officials are denied interviews. Most workers say they've been told not to talk by their superiors or the FBI. " they're afraid of losing their jobs or being subjected to abuse if they say something," said Jane Graham.
Nurse Toni Garret was one of many people who had volunteered to help tag dead victims that terrible morning. Garret and her husband Earl had just taken a break when they noticed federal agents arriving to set up a command post. "They acted like it was just a drill, like it was no big deal, said Garret. "They were kind of joking around and all that kind of stuff."
Approximately 20 minutes later, when the Garrets re-entered the makeshift triage center, they found many of the doctors and nurses gone, and a completely different atmosphere prevailed. "There was nobody helping anymore," said Earl. "Before, there were people bringing in food and medical supplies--just everything. When we came back in, there was a cold, callous atmosphere. I found out later that the FBI had taken over. "
But what really upset Toni Garret was the fact that the FBI and the Medical Examiner were suppressing the body count, which they had claimed as only 22 dead. Garret, who had personally tagged over 120 dead bodies that day, was shocked. "I was being interviewed by a lady from TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network). I told her that I was highly upset because the news media and the information they were being given was not accurate information. There were many more bodies than what they were saying on the news media and releasing at the time. "
"[The FBI] didn't like that Toni was being interviewed by the media," said Earl. "An agent came [up] to me and said, 'Do you know her?' pointing to Toni. I said, 'Yes, she's my wife.' He said, "What is she?' I said, 'Well, she's been down here all day trying to get people out of this building and help people.' He turned around to his friends and said, 'Well, we need to get her out of here.' Toni then told me that the agents had told her that the FBI was taking over and all of us could get out. They told us to keep our mouths shut."
Said Toni, "When they came over to me, one of the agents was very pompous and arrogant about asking me who I was, what I was doing there, if I was a civilian, where I worked, and what my name was. I didn't feel like any of that pertained to what was going on that day or what had happened that day, and he wanted to know everything about me.
"He said, 'Well, we're down here now, and we're taking over the building. It would be advisable and recommendable that you keep your mouth shut."(935)
Norma Smith, who worked at the Federal Courthouse across from the Murrah building saw, along with numerous others, the Sheriff's bomb squad congregated in the parking lot at 7:30 that morning. Shortly after Smith's story appeared in a local newspaper, her house was broken into--twice. Smith, frightened, took early retirement and moved out of state. She is currently too afraid to talk to anyone.
The bomb squad, incidentally, denied being there.
New American editor William Jasper learned from an OCPD officer that during a mandatory daily security briefing at the Murrah Building, he and other assembled police/rescue/recovery personnel were told "in no uncertain terms" by one of the lead federal officials that it was necessary for "security" reasons to provide the public with "misinformation" regarding certain aspects of the case, and that this "official line" was not to be contradicted by any of those in attendance.(936)
"There's a lot that's being covered up, for some reason," charged a federal employee who narrowly escaped death but who lost many friends in the terrorist attack.
Said a man who lost his father, " I'm angry because I know I'm being lied to."
"Many of us are going to come forward and challenge what's going on as soon as we get some more of the pieces figured out," pledged a law enforcement officer.(937)
This same police officer later told me he was called into the offices of OCPD Chief Sam Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Pat Ryan and told to "cease and desist."(938)
Another officer who was told to "cease and desist" was Sergeant Terrance Yeakey. On May 8, 1996, only three days before Sergeant Yeakey was to receive the Oklahoma Police Department's Medal of Valor, he "committed suicide." The 30 year-old cop was found in a field near El Reno, not far from where El Reno Prison guard Joey Gladden "committed suicide." His wrists were slashed in numerous places, as was his neck and throat. Apparently not satisfied with this initial attempt to take his life, he got out of his car, walked a mile and-a-half over rough terrain, then pulled out his gun shot himself in the head.
The media claimed Officer Yeakey "was wracked with guilt" over his inability to help more people that fateful morning. They also claimed he led a "troubled family life," having been recently divorced from his wife Tonia, and separated from his two daughters, aged two and four, whom the Daily Oklahoman claimed he was not permitted to see due to a restraining order.
Other accounts suggest that Yeakey was reluctant to receive the Medal of Valor due to his "guilt" over being injured in the Murrah Building. "He didn't like it," said his supervisor Lt. Jo Ann Randall. "There are some people that like to be heroes and some that don't. He was not one that wanted that."
"He had a lot of guilt because he got hurt," added fellow officer Jim Ramsey.(939)
Apparently, there was much more behind Officer Terrance Yeakey's reluctance to be honored as a hero.
"He kept telling me it wasn't what I thought it was," said his ex-wife, Tonia Rivera, "that they were only choosing officers who were not even at the site, you know--who didn't see anything--to take public rewards, recognition, that sort of stuff.
"They started pressuring them into taking [the rewards]," added Rivera. "There came a time about mid-year, where they were forcing him into going to these award ceremonies. As in, 'Yes, you could not go, but we'll make your life hell '
The story of the reluctant hero, she added, was nothing more than a "real thin veil of truth" which covered up a "mountain of deceit."
"[T]erry wanted no part of it."(940)
His sister, Vicki Jones, agreed. "Terry hated that stuff. 'I'm no hero,' he would say. 'Nobody that had anything to do with helping those people in that bombing are heroes."
Why would the Medal of Valor recipient make such a bizarre-sounding statement? In a letter he wrote to a bombing victim and friend Ramona McDonald, the officer tells the real reason for his reluctance to be honored as a hero:
I hope that whatever you hear now and in the future will not change your opinions about myself or others with the Oklahoma City Police Department, although some of the things I am about to tell you about is [sic] very disturbing.
I don't know if you recall everything that happened that morning or not, so I am not sure if you know what I am referring to.
The man that you and I were talking about in the pictures I have made the mistake of asking too many questions as to his role in the bombing, and was told to back off.
I was told by several officers he was an ATF agent who was overseeing the bombing plot and at the time the photos were taken he was calling in his report of what had just went down!
I think my days as a police officer are numbered because of the way my supervisors are acting and there is [sic] a lot of secrets floating around now about my mental state of mind. I think they are going to write me up because of my ex-wife and a VPO.
I told you about talking to Chaplain Poe, well the bastard wrote up in a report stating I should be relieved of my duties! I made the mistake of thinking that a person's conversation with a chaplain was private, which by the way might have cost me my job as a police officer! A friend at headquarters told me that Poe sent out letters to everyone in the department! That BITCH (Jo Ann Randall) I told you about is up to something and I think it has something to do with Poe. If she gets her way, they will tar and feather me!
I was told that Jack Poe has written up a report on every single officer that has been in to see him, including Gordon Martin and John Avery.
Knowing what I know now, and understanding fully just what went down that morning, makes me ashamed to wear a badge from Oklahoma City's Police Department. I took and oath to uphold the Law and to enforce the Law to the best of my ability. This is something I cannot honestly do and hold my head up proud any longer if I keep my silence as I am ordered to do.
There are several others out there who was [sic] what we saw and even some who played a role in what happened that day.
[Two Pages Missing]
My guess is the more time an officer has to think about the screw up the more he is going to question what happened Can you imagine what would be coming down now if that had been our officers' who had let this happen? Because it was the feds that did this and not the locals, is the reason it's okay. You were right all along and I am truly sorry I doubted you and your motives about recording history. You should know that it is going to one-hell-of-a-fight.
Everyone was behind you until you started asking questions as I did, as to how so many federal agents arrived at the scene at the same time.
Luke Franey (a ATF agent who claimed he was in the building) was not in the building at the time of the blast, I know this for a fact, I saw him! I also saw full riot gear worn with rifles in hand, why? Don't make the mistake as I did and ask the wrong people.
I worry about you and your young family because of some of the statements that have been made towards me, a police officer! Whatever you do don't confront McPhearson with the bomb squad about what I told you. His actions and defensiveness towards the bombing would make any normal person think he was defending himself as if he drove the damn truck up to the building himself. I am not worried for myself, but for you and your group. I would not be afraid to say at this time that you and your family could be harmed if you get any closer to the truth. At this time I think for your well being it is best for you to distance yourself and others from those of us who have stirred up to many questions about the altering and falsifying of the federal investigation's reports.
I truly believe there are other officers like me out there who would not settle for anything but the truth, it is just a matter of finding them. The only true problem as I see it is, who do we turn to then?
It is vital that people like you, Edye Smith, and others keep asking questions and demanding answers for the actions of our Federal Government and law enforcement agencies that knew beforehand and participated in the cover-up.
The sad truth of the matter is that they have so many police officers convinced that by covering up the truth about the operation gone wrong, that they are actually doing our citizens a favor. What I want to know is how many other operations have they had that blew up in their faces? Makes you stop and take another look at Waco.
I would consider it to be an insult to my profession as a police officer and to the citizens of Oklahoma for ANY of the City, State or Federal agents that stood by and let this happen to be recognized as any thing other than their part in participation in letting this happen. For those who ran from the scene to change their attire to hide the fact that they were there, should be judged as cowards.
If our history books and records are ever truly corrected about that day it will show this and maybe even some lame excuse as to why it happened, but I truly don't believe it will from what I now know to be the truth.
Even if I tried to explain it to you the way it was explained to me, and the ridiculous reason for having out own police departments falsify reports to their fellow officers, to the citizens of the city and to our country, you would understand why I feel the way I do about all of this.
I believe that a lot of the problems the officers are having right now are because some of them know what really happened and can't deal with it, and others like myself made the mistake of trusting the one person we were supposed to be able to turn to (Chaplain Poe) only to be stabbed in the back.
I am sad to say that I believe my days as a police officer are numbered because of all of this .
Shortly after the bombing, Yeakey appeared at his ex-wife's. "About two weeks before his death, he'd come into my home at strange times," said Rivera, "two-thirty in the morning, four in the morning, unannounced--trying to give me life insurance policies. He kept telling me we needed to get remarried immediately, or me and the girls would not be taken care of.
"I mean, why would a guy tell you to take a life insurance policy, knowing damn well it wouldn't pay for a suicide? He obviously knew he was in danger."
Yet Officer Terrance Yeakey was not the type of person to easily show his feelings. He didn't want to tell his family anything that might get them hurt.
"He told me enough to let me know that it was not what they were making it out to be," said Rivera, "and that he was disgusted and didn't want any part of it, but he never went into detail. It scared me."(941)
Within days of the bombing, according to a sympathetic government source who has spoken to Rivera, Yeakey began receiving death threats. He was at his ex-wife's apartment when the calls came. Afraid for his family, he got up and left.
"When he came to my apartment two weeks prior, trying to give me these insurance policies," said Rivera, "he sat on my living room couch and cried and told me how he had a fight with [his supervisors] Lt. Randall and Maj. Upchurch. He did not tell me what that entailed, but he was scared--he was crying so badly he was shaking.
"He wouldn't totally voice whatever it was," recalled Rivera. "It was like he'd be just about to tell me--he'd want to spill his guts--and then he stopped, and he just cried. And that's when he kept insisting that I take the insurance policy."
Although Yeakey was concerned for his family, the marriage was not without abuse. Rivera had filed a VPO (Victim's Protective Order) against him slightly over two years ago. In a fit of temper, Yeakey had once threatened to take his life and those of his wife and children.
"I think it was said in the haste of, well, he's going to kill all of us kind of thing--cop under pressure," said Rivera. But that was over a year and-a-half ago. Yeakey had spent considerable time with his wife and children since then, taking them on family outings and so forth.
Nevertheless, the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) attempted to use the incident to claim that Yeakey was suicidal. It was on the day of his death, around 1:30 p.m., that they called Rivera, trying to get her to file a VPO Violation based on the two-year-old report. "They wanted me to come down and make some statements against him," Rivera said.
On the same afternoon, in-between messages on his answering machine from his sister, Vicki Jones and his supervisor Lt. Jo Ann Randall, Yeakey had a message from Tonia. "The message was like at 5:30 in the afternoon," recalled Rivera. "I sound like I'm whispering, and I'm apologizing for waking him up--at 5:30 in the afternoon--on Wednesday."
It seems the intent behind this cleverly-crafted deception was to convince the family and potential investigators that Rivera was an "evil person," who was sleeping with him the night before, but "went down and filed a VPO the next day."
"That tape was planted," said Rivera. "I never called his house."
It seemed the OCPD was playing an elaborate game to sow confusion and mistrust, and create the appearance that Rivera was responsible for her ex-husband's death.
"So it comes out in paper after paper how he's having problems with his ex-wife, how he's not allowed to see his children. "They're trying to play up the story of the bitch-ass wife whose trying to get him fired. "
Yet Rivera claimed she never filed a VPO violation. "The OCPD wanted to file one," said Rivera. "But I never signed it." Rivera claimed she had gone to the police station, but simply out of concern for her ex-husband, who had been acting strangely.
"Nobody ever said, 'Mrs. Yeakey, Terry's missing. Do you know anyplace he might have gone to? They never told me that they weren't able to locate him, that they were concerned, you know--nothing. I never knew he was missing."
If Officer Yeakey's death was anything more than a suicide, the OCPD didn't go to any great lengths to find out. While his death occurred in El Reno, the OCPD took over the crime scene, squeezing the El Reno Police Department out of the picture. The OCPD's Media Relations officer, Cpt. Ted Carlton, explained, "It was our police officer who was killed. It's not uncommon [to take over the investigation] in the case of a smaller police agency."(942)
Although forensics are also standard procedure in the event of a violent or suspicious death, especially that of a police officer, Yeakey's car was never dusted for prints. "And the next day, they gave us the damn car!" said Mrs. Jarrahi. "It was full of blood."
When Yeakey's Brother-in-Law, Glenn Jones, inspected the dead man's car, he discovered a bloody knife stashed underneath the glove compartment. Yet according to the responding officer, Yeakey had apparently used a razor blade. Where did the knife come from? Since no forensic investigation was conducted, this remains unclear.
No autopsy was ever conducted.
"There were common sense things that were wrong about the whole thing, that makes it so weird," added Mrs. Jarrahi. "It just doesn't seem right. Why would policemen and the authorities make such common mistakes that would leave questions? It's just really weird."
If Yeakey's death was a suicide, he left no note. Although he was upset over his divorce, according to the family, he was not suicidal. It is also unlikely that he abused drugs, as he was an instructor at DARE, a program designed to keep children off drugs.
Former Canadian County Sheriff Clint Boehler, who claims to have known Yeakey, doesn't concur with this analysis. Boehler said that Yeakey showed up at his house in El Reno on the afternoon of his death, his car stopped at an angle in the middle of the road. When Boehler and his girlfriend Kate Allen, a paramedic, ran outside, they found the police officer virtually passed out.
"He couldn't tell us his name initially," said Allen. "He was ill, and he was very anxious. His heart rate was rapid; he was sweaty. He told us he had been having concentration problems, he hadn't slept. He had all the appearances, my first guess would be, of someone who was having emotional problems. And my second guess would be, of some kind of substance abuse problem. But that's a pure guess."
Boehler added that Yeakey said he hadn't eaten, and was "throwing up, taking medication, and incoherent. "He was taking medications for his back," said Boehler. "He had four or five medications in the car."
Boehler and Allen didn't know that Yeakey had Sickle-Cell Anemia--a blood-sugar-related condition that caused seizures. It was these seizures, Rivera explained, that would occasionally cause her ex-husband to act "out-of-sorts," or even to slip into unconsciousness.
In spite of his medical condition, Rivera insisted that Terrance Yeakey was a health fanatic. The prescriptions were for his condition, she said, but he used only the minimum amounts.
According to Canadian County Sheriff Deputy Mike Ramsey (no relation to OCPD Officer Jim Ramsey), who drove Yeakey home, Yeakey was not suicidal. "He didn't give me any indications that he was out to do harm to himself," said Ramsey. "He seemed more disoriented, tired "(943)
There are many things about Officer Yeakey's death that remain a mystery. While Boehler described a man on drugs, the Medical Examiner claims they didn't bother to conduct a drug test because it "costs too much."(944)
The ME's field investigator, Jeffrey Legg, also reported that Yeakey "had been drinking heavily" the day before, based on statements made by OCPD Homicide Detectives Dicus and Mullinex. Yet Terrance Yeakey didn't drink, and their own report concluded that there was no alcohol in the body at the time of death.(945)
Canadian County Sheriffs discovered the abandoned car, filled with blood, about two and-a-half miles from the old El Reno reformatory. The OCPD was notified, and Police Chief Sam Gonazles flew out by chopper. Using dogs, they followed a trail of blood, and found the body in a ditch, about a mile and-a-half from the car. (Legg reported the body was 1/2 mile south of the car, when in fact it was 1 1/2 miles north-east of the car.)
Apparently Yeakey had tried to cut himself in the wrists, neck, and throat, then, after losing approximately two pints of blood, got out of his car (contentiously remembering to lock the doors), walked a mile and-a-half over rough terrain, crawled under a barbed-wire fence, waded through a culvert, then lay down in a ditch and shot himself in the head.(946)
As is this weren't strange enough, Yeakey's diet-related condition would have made him too weak to walk the mile and-a-half from his car to where his body was found--especially after losing two to three pints of blood.
Nevertheless, the OCPD ruled it a suicide on the spot. Their investigation remained sealed. This reporter was unable to obtain it, and not even the family was allowed to see it.
"There were so many things that were weird," said Mrs. Jarrahi. "My daughter kept going back to the Police Department. She said, 'Well what about this we knew he had a camcorder, we knew he had a briefcase '
"These are things we never got back. The kid always carried camera and film. [He] never went anywhere without his camera and briefcase. He had all his important papers in there. We got the camera back. We never got the film back. We never got the briefcase. They said they never saw it ."
In regards to Yeakey's videos, Detective Mullinex, who "investigated" the case for the OCPD, told Vicki Jones, "I really don't think you'll want to see those; they contain pornography." Jones didn't believe him and didn't care. "I want those tapes!" she demanded.
The Homicide detective finally told her she'd get them back after they had "examined the evidence."
"One minute the guy would say he had them," said Jones, "the next minute he'd say 'we don't have anything. '"
According to Jones, Mullinex then said, "Now, we all loved Terry. I hope you understand that, but I'm not going to let you see any pictures. And I don't know anything about a briefcase, but if there's anything back there, I'll give you a call, and you can come back and get them."
"And I just sat there and looked at him, and said to myself, 'You're doing a great performance, but it's not working. ' Then he got really uptight and said, 'Well, some of us hated Terry.' [Then] he kind of grabbed his face and said 'oh shit.'"
For his part, Mullinex had "no comment either way." He then told me, "I don't remember what I said to the lady, but I certainly was not rude to her. This comes as a big shock to me, because he was a police officer and a friend of mine. It was a hard thing and hurt me to have to work it."
Cpt. Carlton likewise feigned shock at Jones' rebuffs, and said he would have to know who the officer was who made those statements. He then asked me to have the family contact the OCPD directly (as though they hadn't already done so numerous times), and he would meet with them and discuss the case, but that Cpt. Danny Cockran, Chief of the Homicide Squad, would have to make the decision about whether or not to let the family see the files.
Yet Carlton's statements fly in the face of the experiences of not only Yeakey's mother and sister, but those of his ex-wife. In a letter to Police Chief Sam Gonzales dated September 4, 1996, Rivera writes:
Needless to say, I have many questions regarding the investigation. What type of weapon was used to inflict the gunshot wound to his head? Who located the body? How could the cause of death be determined with such confidence with the multitude of injuries to his body and how did he walk the distance indicated in People magazine with the great loss of blood from razor cuts not only to both wrists, but both his forearms as well as two razor cuts to his neck? Not only did he walk this distance, but he struggled with bobwire fencing to reach his chosen destination to die then inflicted the gunshot wound to himself? I request that a copy of the investigative report of his death be made available to me.
Gonzales didn't respond.
Police officials eventually responded to Vicki Jones' complaints by telling her she needed to see a psychiatrist. "They said, 'We're just trying to protect you.'"
Exactly what were they trying to protect her from? When I called Mrs. Jarrahi, the telltale signs of a tapped phone were clearly present. If Terrance Yeakey's death was a simple suicide, why would law-enforcement agencies be tapping the family's phones?
The OCPD soon began conducting surveillance on the dead man's family.
"There was always an officer out there in front of our apartment," said Jones. Anywhere we went, we had an officer or someone in a marked car following us around. It started right after I started going to the Police Department quite a bit."
They also tailed Rivera. When she confronted the officers, they ignored her, hid their faces, or sped off. Cars were parked outside her childrens' school. When she spoke to school officials about the surveillance one afternoon, she went to work startled to find the conversation on her office answering machine! Rivera had spoken to the school principal in person. How did the conversation wind up on her answering machine?(947)
The harassment against Officer Yeakey's family wasn't limited to mere surveillance. After Rivera met with State Representative Charles Key, her car was broken into. Her house was broken into twice.
She finally moved to Enid when the heat became too hot. "I lived in an apartment on the third floor with a security alarm in it," said Rivera. "I'd come home and the alarm would be off. I'd notice things out of place. There'd be cabinets open that I'd have no reason to have opened."
About two weeks after Terry's death, Rivera went downstairs around 6:30 one morning to do some laundry, "and there was a man downstairs with huge headphones on, at 6:30 in the morning, right behind my apartment. "
The individual, who was wearing a jogging suit--wasn't jogging, and was not doing laundry. "He looked startled when I came around the corner," said Rivera. "I came back down at 8:30 and the guy was still there."
It appears that what Rivera was describing was an audio technician with a "Shotgun Mic," a portable surveillance tool designed to pick up conversations through windows and across fields. They are commonly used by private detectives and law-enforcement agencies.
One day Rivera came home to find her front door open and off its hinges. When the frightened single mother walked into her bedroom, she found a balloon tied to her door. It read: "Get well soon. This will keep you busy until you do."(948)
It seems the OCPD and the FBI thought that Officer Yeakey had passed off some incriminating documents concerning the bombing cover-up to his ex-wife, and were intent on obtaining the documents.
The surveillance, break-ins, and thinly-veiled threats soon escalated into more serious incidents. Right before Yeakey's murder, the couple's Ford Explorer began getting mysterious flats. "And when I'd roll it into a shop," said Rivera, "they'd pull out like six or seven nails." This occurred between eight and ten times, she claims.
Rivera explained that once during a quarrel, Terry had removed some fuses from her car to keep her from leaving. The police knew about the incident, said Rivera, who thought the subsequent events were created by the OCPD to sow mistrust and provide a convenient trail of evidence to prove that Yeakey led a troubled family life. Yet while Yeakey admitted to removing the fuses, he repeatedly and adamantly denied that he had damaged the car--a car that was registered in his name and carried his cherished children to and from school.
On April 24, two weeks before he was found dead, the Explorer began acting strangely. When Rivera pulled it into the local Aamco Transmission Center, she found that it had been tampered with. "Somebody who knew what they were doing pulled hoses from your car," said Todd Taylor, the chief mechanic. "I'm sorry to tell this ma'am, but this is not just something you can pull randomly. " Taylor also said he though Rivera's brakes had been tampered with.(949)
About two weeks before this story went to press, the Ford's brakes went out suddenly while Rivera was traveling at 40 mph. "I went to brake," said Rivera, "and guess what? No brakes!" The large 4 X 4 slammed into the back of smaller car, damaging it badly. "The message is 'we can get to you if we want to,'" she concluded.
Officer [Jim] Ramsey also began making his presence felt. "All of the sudden, when we moved to Oklahoma City [from El Reno]," said Jones, "there was Ramsey. When we joined a new church, Ramsey was there. Ramsey was everywhere. You turn the corner, there was Ramsey. Everything we did, he was like the helpful old guy. This went on for two months."
"He was keeping tabs on everyone," added Rivera. "He was showing up in a lot of places just casually, in fact, places where he knew that people knew me just as well as they knew Terry, and weren't buying into the 'it's Tonia's fault' routine.
"[Ramsey] tried to claim it was his ex-wife and love for his children he couldn't see that made him commit suicide," she added. He would talk to her friends. "'How's she taking it? What does she think, blah, blah, blah.'"
Both Rivera and Jones feel the OCPD officer was sent to "baby-sit" them--to maintain an ever-present watchful eye. "[When he showed up]," Jones said, "I looked at him and said, that is not a friend of Terry's. He was never at the house. I never met him before."
Ramsey, who told People magazine that Yeakey was his "dear friend," also told the press that he was Terry's partner.
"That was a lie," declared Jones.
Rivera concurred. The ex-wife said that not only was Ramsey never Yeakey's partner, but that the two men didn't even get along. "Terry hated Jim Ramsey," said Rivera. "He put on a real good performance," she added. "He's hiding something, I believe. It burns me up."(950)
For his performance, Ramsey was promoted to Detective, and made "Officer of the Year."
If Terrance Yeakey did have many friends in the Police Department, they were among the beat patrolmen, not the upper echelon. While Detective Mullinex said everybody "loved Terry," according to Rivera, the brass "hated his guts." "Him and [Maj.] Upchurch had a hate-hate relationship," she said.
For his part, Mullinex claims he was "totally unaware" of any problems Yeakey was having in regards to what he knew about the bombing. "It is my opinion as a fourteen-year homicide veteran that it was a suicide," said Mullinex. If we thought it was anything [other than a suicide] we would have pursued it to the ends of the earth. We're not hiding anything."(951)
According to Rivera, three government sources, including a U.S. Attorney and a U.S. Marshal, hold a slightly different view. As relayed by Rivera, the events on the morning of Officer Yeakey's death transpired as follows:
At 9:00 a.m., Officer Yeakey was seen exiting his Oklahoma City apartment with nine boxes of videos and files. He then drove to the police station where he had a fight with his supervisors.
He was told to "drop it" or he'd "wind up dead."
Yeakey was also due for a meeting with the heads of several federal agencies that morning. He apparently decided to skip the meetings, instead, driving straight to a storage locker he maintained in Kingfisher.
What he didn't realize was that the FBI had him under surveillance, and began pursuit. The six-year OCPD veteran and former Sheriff's Deputy easily eluded his pursuers. Once at his storage facility, he secured his files.
What were in the files? According to one of Rivera's sources, incriminating photos and videos of the bombed-out building. Perhaps more.
On the way back, the feds caught up with him just outside of El Reno. "He had nothing on him," at that point, said Rivera, "just copies of copies."
While it is not known exactly what transpired next, Rivera's confidential source "described in intimate detail," the state of the dead man's car. The seats had been completely unbolted, the floor-boards ripped up, and the side panels removed, all in an apparent effort to find the incriminating documents.
There were also burn marks on the floor. Apparently, the killers had used Yeakey's car to destroy what little evidence they had discovered.(952)
At approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening, Canadian County Deputy Sheriff Mike Ramsey was cruising the area near the old El Reno reformatory when he noticed an abandoned vehicle in a field. "Immediately [the] hair stood up on the back of my neck," said the deputy. Ramsey came upon the empty car which he immediately recognized as Yeakey's. There was blood on both seats, and a razor blade lying on the dash. Yeakey was nowhere to be found.
The deputy immediately called for a homicide investigator, and taped off the scene. It wasn't until several hours later that police dogs finally located Yeakey's body in a ditch, a mile and-a-half away.(953)
While it was a macabre scene, the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's report was even more gruesome. The report released from the Medical Examiner described numerous "superficial" lacerations on the wrists, arms, throat, and neck, and a single bullet wound to the right temple.
The report also showed another curious thing. The bullet had entered just above and in front of the right ear, and had exited towards the bottom of the left ear. Apparently, whoever held the gun held it at a downward angle. A person shooting themself would tend to hold the gun at an upward angle, or at the most, level. It would rather difficult for a large, muscle-bound man like Yeakey to hold a heavy service revolver or other large caliber weapon at a downward angle to his head. (See Appendix)
While it is true that a slug can alter its trajectory once inside the skull, a pathologist in the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office told me that a 9mm or other large caliber weapon--the type commonly used by police officers--usually tends to travel in a straight line.
But perhaps the most revealing evidence was that the wound did not have a "Stellat," the tell-tale star shape caused by the dissipating gases from the gun's muzzle. At the close range of a suicide weapon, such markings would clearly be present, unless of course the shooter used a silencer.(954)
While Dr. Larry Balding, Oklahoma City's Chief Medical Examiner, quickly ruled the death a "suicide," another Medical Examiner's report would, according to Rivera, surface like an eerie, prescient message from the grave. This other report, quickly redacted and hidden from public view, showed a face that was bruised and swollen; blood on the body and clothes that was not the dead man's blood type; and multiple deep lacerations filled with grass and dirt, as though the body had been dragged a distance.
Yet according to Rivera, Maj. Upchurch denied that Yeakey's throat was slashed at all. She was later told by a sympathetic police dispatcher that his throat was indeed slashed--deeply.
Dr. Larry Balding, who signed off on the Yeakey report, is adamant. "I can tell you unequivocally and without a doubt that there was no other ME report."
Yet while attending a social function, Rivera claims her sister had a chance encounter with the mortician who worked on Yeakey's body. She was discussing the strange inconsistencies of his death with someone at the party, when the mortician, not knowing the woman was Rivera's sister, spoke up. "That sounds just like a police officer we worked on in Oklahoma City," he said. When asked if that man happened to be Terrance Yeakey, the mortician "freaked."
When pressed, he told the shocked relative that the dead man's wrists contained rope burns and handcuff marks. A former FBI agent and police officer, the mortician said that Yeakey's lacerations were already sewn up when the body arrived from the Medical Examiner's office. Dr. Balding's response to this was that the marks were merely "skin slippage," resulting from the natural decomposition of the body.
Yet stranger still, the body was not supposed to go to this particular funeral home at all, but to one in Watonga. While the OCPD was supposed to pay the expenses of the funeral, no funds were ever allocated, according to Rivera. "Vicki had to pay off the burial to Russ Worm [Funeral Home]. So I wonder if we paid somebody off to do the job."(955)
Was that job to clean up Yeakey so that his manner of death wouldn't appear suspicious?
This incident is similar to the murder of President Kennedy, whose body was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital instead of being examined by the Dallas Medical Examiner as is standard procedure. Once there, military pathologists and those controlling them were able to skew their findings to the satisfaction of the murderers. The chief pathologist burned his notes, and years later, when researchers went to examine Kennedy's brain, it was found missing from the National Archives.
Apparently, Terrance Yeakey's murderers and those covering up his death had not counted on this particular mortician's testimony.
Was Terrance Yeakey tortured? Was he murdered, then made to look like a suicide? Did he know something he wasn't supposed to know, or was he simply despondent over life's circumstances?
Said friend Kimberly Cruz, "I don't believe he would have done something like that. He was always happy and joking a lot."
Another friend, Karen Von Tungeln, said, "[Terry and I] talked about a friend in high school who had committed suicide, and how stupid and selfish he was for having done so. 'I just can't understand it man,' said Terry. 'It makes no sense to me.'"(956)
If the officer was bent on taking his life, it would appear strange, since he had spent most of the previous month taking entrance exams for the FBI. Yeakey and best friend Barry McCrary were looking forward to becoming FBI agents. Perhaps if he had known the role that the FBI played in the bombing, perhaps even in his own death, he would have changed careers.
Like Dr. Don Chumley, Terrance Yeakey was one of the first rescuers in the Murrah Building on April 19. Had he seen something he wasn't supposed to see? Had he heard something he wasn't supposed to hear?
One afternoon, while the family was at Police Headquarters, an officer who Rivera described as Yeakey's "only true friend," pulled them off to the side, and whispered "They killed him."(957)
Like Terrance Yeakey, the press claimed that Dr. Don Chumley was saddened and disturbed that he hadn't helped more people that terrible day. Chumley, who ran the Broadway Medical Clinic about half a mile from the Federal Building, was one of the first to arrive at the bombing site on April 19. Shaun Jones, Chumley's step-son, was assisting him. Jones recalled the scene:
"They had sent us around to the underground parking garage, where some people were trapped. Suddenly, three guys come running out of the basement yelling, 'There's a bomb! A bomb! It's gonna' blow!' Everybody panicked and ran screaming away from the building as fast as they could."
Chumley, who was working with Dr. Ross Harris, was one of the few doctors who actually went into the Federal Building, while the others waited outside. He had helped many people, including seven babies, whom he later pronounced dead.
Chumley was killed five months later when his Cessna 210 crashed near Amarillo, Texas in what Jones calls "mysterious circumstances."
"It's a pretty mysterious circumstance," said Jones. "There's no apparent reason--there's nothing we can think of."
Jones added that Chumley had been in a minor wreck during a landing a year earlier when his plane became trapped in a vortex caused by a large jet landing nearby. The small plane was forced into a snow bank causing some damage to its left wing tip. The damage had been repaired.
Would this contradict Jones' hypothesis?
"Well, from talking to pilots I that know, they say that can't cause a plane to crash. I mean, as good a pilot as he is, that's not going to cause his plane to go straight down into the ground.
Another pilot said, 'that's just like a car that's out of alignment--it happens all the time--it's just something you learn to fly with.' The plane had been flown several times since that."
According to reports in The Daily Oklahoman, Chumley, who was on a hunting trip that weekend, had twice landed earlier--on Friday, due to bad weather conditions. The crash occurred three days later, on a Monday.
"The thing that's odd to me is that Don was perfectly healthy," said Jones. "He was talking to the tower, and from one minute to the next he just went straight smack down into the ground."(958)
Investigators said they could find no evidence of an explosion at the macabre scene. Chumley's throttle was still set at cruise, and his gear and flaps were up. The FAA inspector stated there were "no anomalies with the engine or the airframe," and "pathological examination of the pilot did not show any preexisting condition that could have contributed to the accident."(959)
"To me it's unusual because I know he was a good pilot," added Jones. "Everything was fine, he was in the air for 15 minutes, he was climbing, he had just asked permission to go from six to seven thousand feet. They tracked him on the screen at 6,900 feet, and the radar technician said he saw him on the radar, then he looked back and he was gone, and the plane came straight, straight down. I mean, no attempt to land nothing, just straight down."
Chumley's hunting partner Joey Chief said in an interview in The Daily Oklahoman:
"He was the kind of guy who did everything right, always. He was very cautious, very professional," Chief said, adding [that] Chumley's plane was equipped with extra safety instruments.
Mike Evett, a Federal Public Defender, had known Don Chumley for over twenty years. "I would never get into an airplane with anybody I didn't know," said Evett, "and I would never be afraid to fly with Don. For the life of me, this doesn't sit right with me."(960)
Yet Clint Boehler, a former FAA inspector, discounts that notion. "That was an accident waiting to happen," said Boehler. "He didn't have an instrument rating, and he went out into adverse conditions. One of the classic symptoms of what's called stall-spin accidents, is people who are in limited visibility or full IFR, meaning they can't see the propeller in front of their face. And, they're not current or trained or in some way up to speed on their operation. And they'll get into some particular mode of flight, particularly a climb, and their body and mind tells them their not doing what their instruments say they're doing, and they tend to react to that. And the results is sometime they stall the airplane, and not necessarily spin it, but what it then does is it rolls over to one side and begins a very tight, steep spiral that is gaining speed all the way down. And if they ever do come out of the clouds or obscuration or whatever it is, often they see the ground at low altitude and they pull back on the wheel and overstress the airplane as it hits the ground. And this is not an uncommon thing. Its called spatial disorientation followed by the graveyard spiral. And I can cite numerous examples of that. There was a local doc here went out west some time ago--went out in a 210--and had the same scenario exactly."(961)
Yet Boehler is incorrect. The doctor did in fact have an instrument rating, and was an experienced pilot, having logged over 600 hours of flying time.
Did Dr. Don Chumley crash on the evening of September 25th due to bad weather? Did he commit suicide due to his grief over what he saw on the morning of April 19th. Or was Don Chumley murdered?
The Daily Oklahoman article described how he had cried in front of his friend Jim Taylor on the day of the bombing, after tagging seven babies, and was not satisfied he had done all he could, even after helping to organize a fund-raiser for the victims.
It was also rumored that Chumley was about to go public with some damning information. According to a local journalist who has investigated the bombing, Chumley was asked to bandage two federal agents who falsely claimed to have been trapped in the building morning. Since the pair was obviously not hurt, Chumley refused. When the agents petitioned another doctor at the scene, Chumley intervened, threatening to report them.
Chumley's crash is reminiscent of that of Dr. Ronald Rogers, whose plane went down on March 3, 1994 near Lawson, Oklahoma in good weather. Clinton's former dentist, Rogers was on his way to be interviewed by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Sunday Telegraph, where he intended to reveal evidence of Clinton's alleged cocaine use.
He never made it.
Like Rogers, Hershel Friday, a "top-notch pilot," died in the crash of his small plane only two days earlier during a light drizzle at his private airstrip. Friday had been a member of Clinton's presidential campaign finance committee, and was a close associate of C. Victor Raiser, another member of Clinton's presidential campaign, who died in a suspicious plane crash two years earlier.(962)
In fact, the list of those who had potentially damning evidence on everything from the Kennedy assassination to Clinton's improprieties is a long one and sordid one, stretching to hundreds of names and spanning at least three decades.
A few years after the Kennedy assassination, a disgruntled CIA official was on his way to Chicago to inform a journalist of the CIA's complicity in the murder. His plane exploded and fell into Lake Michigan.
Another well-known crash was that of Gary Caradori, a private investigator who was hot on the trail of a pediophile ring being run by Larry King and other prominent businessmen and politicians in Omaha, Nebraska.
Caradori and his eight-year-old son Andrew died when their plane crashed in July of 1990. Caradori radioed that his compass was swinging wildly just before he went down. Moments later, the plane went into a steep dive from which it never recovered.(963)
What is interesting is that only several days earlier, the courageous investigator had informed a friend that he had obtained evidence which threatened to break the case wide open. Among those implicated in the child pornography ring was none other than George Bush.
Like Caradori, Rogers, and numerous other whistle-blowers, Don Chumley had evidently learned of the government's hastily planned cover-up surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing.
Had he, like so many others, made the fateful decision to go public?
Glenn Wilburn, who lost his grandsons Chase and Colton in the bombing, was one of the very first to go public. A staunch opponent of the government's case, Wilburn had teamed up with reporter J.D. Cash and State Representative Charles Key to investigate the crime.
Key and Wilburn petitioned for the County Grand Jury investigation. Wilburn worked tirelessly to investigate the truth about what really happened that fateful morning, and his evidence was proving more and more embarrassing to authorities.
About a year after he began his investigation, Wilburn, 46, came down with a sudden case of pancreatic cancer. Initially recovering after surgery, he died on July 15, 1997, the day after the County Grand Jury which he convened began hearing evidence.
Three weeks later, on August 5, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Richardson was found in a church parking lot with a shotgun wound to the chest. The Medical Examiner's report stated: "No powder residue is apparent, either on the external aspect of the wound or in the shirt." An interesting observation considering Richardson had allegedly pushed a shotgun up to his chest and pulled the trigger.(964)
The death was ruled a "suicide."(965)
Yet the circumstances seemed to concur. Richardson had been depressed. He had been seeing a psychiatrist and was on Prozac. He once told a hunting buddy he "felt like ending it all."(966)
One sunny morning, Richardson rose, fed his two dogs, got in his car, drove to a church near his house, pulled out a shotgun and shot himself through the heart.
He left no note.
Was Ted Richardson depressed enough to kill himself? And if so, why? The 49-year-old father of two had a happy marriage, and adored his 8-year-old son.
The two weeks he took off of work due to unexplained "pressures" may provide a clue. Richardson was the bombing and arson specialist for the Western District of Oklahoma. He was inexplicably transferred to the bank robbery detail after the bombing--an area in which he had no expertise. As his brother Dan explained, "Ted should have gotten the bombing case."(967)*
Instead, the case was given to Joseph Hartzler.
Friends described Richardson as "one of the few good guys," and a man with a "strong sense of conscious."(968) It is uncertain if the same can be said of Hartzler. Given the Federal Government's conduct in this case, such labels might tend to render a man such as Richardson a piranha.
Interestingly, Richardson was the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Sam Khalid in 1990 for insurance fraud. It was rumored that he was looking into Khalid's suspicious activities subsequent to the bombing, and was about to bring charges.
He decided to kill himself instead.
Is it a coincidence these individuals, who had witnessed events on April 19, or had been vocal opponents of the government's case, had died?
"Out of roughly 5,000 of us who were originally involved in Iran-Contra," said Al Martin, "approximately 400, since 1986, have committed suicide, died accidentally or died of natural causes. In over half those deaths, official death certificates were never issued. In 187 circumstances, the bodies were cremated before the families were notified."(969)
Craig Roberts and John Armstrong, who investigated a similar spate of suspicious deaths for their book, JFK: The Dead Witnesses, revealed that most of the deaths peaked in the months leading up to one of the investigations, with the deaths often coming days or even hours before the person was supposed to testify.
In the three years following the Kennedy assassination, 18 material witnesses perished. In the time period leading up to 1979, when the last of the Kennedy investigations ended, over 100 witnesses had died. Interestingly, most of the deaths coincided with one of the four main investigations: The Warren Commission (1964-65); the Jim Garrison investigation (1965-69); the Senate Committee investigation (1974-76); and the House Committee on Assassinations investigation (1976-79).
Naturally, the CIA had an answer for these mysterious deaths. In a 1967 departmental memo, a CIA officer wrote:
Such vague accusations as that more than 10 people have died mysteriously can always be explained in some rational way: e.g., the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the [Warren] Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses--the FBI interviewed far more people, conducting 25,000 interviews and re interviews--and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected.
Yet Roberts and Armstrong correctly note that if the CIA were not involved in any of the deaths, why was such a memo disseminated?
Then, to add further fuel to the fire, CIA technicians testified before the Senate Committee (Church Committee) in 1975 that a variety of Termination with Extreme Prejudice [TWEP] weapons had been used throughout the years, and many were chosen because they left no postmortem residue.
In one particular memo, the author states:
You will recall that I mentioned that the local circumstances under which a given means might be used might suggest the technique to be used in that case. I think the gross divisions in presenting this subject might be:
(1) bodies left with no hope of the cause of death being determined by the most complete autopsy and chemical examination;
(2) bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death;
(3) bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death;
(4) bodies left with residue that simulate those caused by natural death
Regarding deaths that could be simulated to appear as "natural causes," the various assassination experts within the intelligence communities of the world knew quite well of the effects of such chemical agents as sodium morphate, which caused heart attacks; thyon phosphate, which is a solution that can suspend sodium morphate and provide a vehicle to penetrate the surface of the skin with the chemical (which is used to coat something the victim might touch); and beryllium, which is an extremely toxic element that causes cancer and fibrotic tumors.(970)
As the daughter of a CIA contract agent who worked with Oliver North told me: "They eliminated my father, and I know what they do in the Agency. I know how they work as far as the Mafia goes. They have no scruples. And they don't go by any law but their own. There is no conscious to these people; the end justifies the means. They will shut anybody up that they possibly can. They're amazing. And they will go through anything to make you look crazy, to make you appear to be a liar.
"And they go into these operations, and they run amok. They run amok. And then when it gets carried away or there's a leak, here comes the damage control, and you have to make everybody else appear like they're crazy. I mean people out there drop like flies. How many people can commit suicide for God's sake. How many people can be handcuffed behind their back, and they can call it suicide because they were shot in the head?"(971)
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