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Remembering The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing Mysteries Viewed 90,213 timesBy: Bill Tew
Published for Orem, Utah (Area-Info.net Apr. 04, 2012)
April 19, 2012 will mark the 17th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing incident has had less mention in the media, but prior to 9/11 the bombing in Oklahoma City was considered by federal authorities to be the biggest single terrorist attack on American soil in our history.
At 9:04 a.m. (CT), On April 19, 1995, a blast from an explosion or probably more than one explosion obliterated a large part of the federal building on N.W. Fifth Street collapsing perhaps the front third of the nine story steel and reinforced concrete building in seconds.
The Federal building provided space for several federal offices including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), the Social Security Administration (SSA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a U.S. Army recruiting center, a federal credit union, and a day care center. The terrorist attack killed outright 169 people, including 19 children in the day care center. Hundreds of other Americans were injured badly. Many had to be rescued from beneath the rubble by the rescue workers that descended upon the scene as quickly as possible.
When my wife told me about the event, I positioned myself, like millions of Americans, in front of my television to view events as they unfolded and were reported by reporters that quickly gathered to cover the tragic attack. Like so many other Americans I watched as rescue workers were expelled from the shattered building because another bomb had been discovered inside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that was yet unexploded. “How did someone get bombs inside a federal building?” I asked myself as I watched as the Sheriff’s bomb squad truck was ushered through the escaping rescue workers. But later media would cease to talk of the unexploded bomb that was recovered from the building as the story was fed to the public that a fertilizer bomb inside a Ryder truck parked on the street outside of the building had exploded and supposedly pulverized concrete to sand and brought the building’s pillars down.
The John Birch Society (JBS) had long warned America about terrorist organizations as entities sponsored, trained and armed by various governments. As a JBS member I knew we were all witnesses to important history. By about 8:30 a.m. Rocky Mountain Time, I had phoned the recruiting firm where I worked in Salt Lake City to tell them I wouldn’t be in until later in the day as I was going to watch the reports about the bombing. Working on straight commission, I could do that.
While rescue workers dug through the rubble searching for survivors, Sheriff’s deputies, police, and agents of the FBI combed the crime sight for evidence of what had been done and by whom. Witnesses began to be interviewed even as the wounded were transported to local hospitals.
East of Oklahoma City, in Perry, Oklahoma a highway patrolman pulled over a rather dilapidated, 1977, yellow Mercury because the driver was speeding and the car didn’t have a license plate on it. According to the book, FINAL REPORT ON THE BOMBING OF THE ALFRED P. MURRAH FEDERAL BUILDING, APRIL 19, 1995, put together by The Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee headed by Charles Key, after the patrolman pulled the car over and cited the drive for driving without a license plate, the officer noticed a bulge in the coat of the driver and asked him about it. “The driver advised the officer that it was a gun. He was promptly arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and was taken to Nobel County Courthouse to await arraignment. He was booked under the name of Timothy James McVeigh.” That was a name we would hear for years to come as the investigation of the bombing and the trial took place, for Mr. McVeigh was linked to the bombing that had occurred 60 miles behind him in Oklahoma City.
Soon FBI agents on the site found parts from and a license plate thought to be from the Ryder Rental truck in which the bomb was thought to have been located that destroyed so much of the Murrah Federal building, but did so little damage to the buildings just across the street. Something an investigative reporter for THE NEW AMERICAN magazine would later point out as evidence that the Murrah Building was not brought down simply by the truck bomb alone.
The truck was traced to a Ryder truck rental agency located at Elliott’s Body Shop in Junction City, Kansas. The employees at the rental agency were able to tell investigators of the men to whom they had rented the truck. One went by the name Bob Kling and claimed to be from Decker, Michigan. He was accompanied by another individual whose name was unknown. An FBI sketch artist listened to employee descriptions of the truck’s renters and provided drawings of the suspects.
The sketches were known as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 and were shown over the air on television stations so Americans could help authorities to find the two suspects.
Investigators visited the address given by Bob Kling to the rental agency. It turned out to be the home of James Douglas Nichols and his brother Terry Lynn Nichols. Timothy McVeigh also had a driver’s license listed at the same address.
Ultimately as information was uncovered by federal investigators that “McVeigh and the Nichols brothers had been experimenting with small explosives and that McVeigh had a large stash of possible bomb-making materials”* the two Nichols brothers ended up under arrest.
Meanwhile, two days after the bombing, the FBI got a call that identified John Do #1 as being Timothy McVeigh. THE FINAL REPORT explained that “The tip came from a former co-worker of McVeigh who had seen the sketch on TV. He also said that McVeigh held very militant, anti-government views and was extremely angry over the deaths of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas two years previously on 19 April . The FBI ran a check on McVeigh through the National Crime Information Center and found that he was already in custody in Logan County, Oklahoma jail. They took him into federal custody….A preliminary hearing to determine probable cause was held at the penitentiary. The indictment charged Timothy McVeigh and “Others Unknown” with the bombing of the Murrah Building.”
Of course many Americans had been rightly shocked and upset at the treatment of the Branch Davidians exaclty two years before when the FBI and BATF had surrounded the Branch Davidian living facility and church in Waco, Texas and carried out a gun-fight and lengthy siege that ended in the death of over 80 men, women, and children who were shot to death, gassed to death by cyanide produced from burning tear gas and consumed in a fire caused by a flammable CS tear gas pumped into their buildings through a military tank's intrusions through the walls of the Branch Davidians’ communal home.
U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, under the Clinton administration, had approved the siege upon the Branch Davidians. David Koresh and his congregation had come under a BATF investigation for possible firearms violations. The Branch Davidians feared what they called the great Babylon and had collected weapons. While most guns owned by the Davidians were for investment purposes, some of the guns were for protection. The BATF was looking for an event they could stage for some media coverage to improve the tarnished image of their organization.
In the language of the BATF, one agent said the Waco raid was what is known as a ZBO (Zee Big One). It was to be a “press drawing stunt that when shown to Congress at budget time justifies more funding.”**
The eventual result of the “stunt” was that 86 members of the Branch Davidians church were killed by the federal agents. Some 44 of the corpses were found to test positive for cyanide. “The fate of the children at Mount Carmel was not dissimilar to that of the children at Auschwitz: gassing, followed by cremation.” Wrote Authors Kopel and Blackham in their 1997 book, NO MORE WACOS.
Nevertheless, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (and their probable accomplices) had apparently thought to avenge the killing of the Branch Davidians on the same day, April 19th, as the Davidians had met their blazing horrific deaths at the hands of federal agents in 1993.
Suddenly, the FBI announced that they were no longer looking for John Doe #2, that they didn’t believe that the suspect existed.”They issued statements calling into doubt the accounts of numerous eye witnesses; they ignored scientific and engineering experts’ information; they threatened witnesses who wouldn’t be quieted with obstruction-of-justice charges; they discontinued the quest to determine if the ‘Others Unknown’ were involved in a conspiracy and, if so, how; they developed a new theory and chose to ignore everything that didn’t fit their new theory; they destroyed or ignored physical evidence. They chose not to call a single bombing victim as a witness in the trials of McVeigh and Nichols in Denver, Colorado,” wrote Charles Key on page 2 of the FINAL REPORT.
The John Birch Society sent investigative reporter William F. Jasper to Oklahoma City to explore the evidence, to interview the witnesses, to piece together a picture of what had happened. William F. Jasper uncovered much that was covered up by the government. There were the independent sightings of Timothy McVeigh with a dark, Arabic-looking individual in the days leading up to the bombing. There was the question as to whether the FBI and BATF had prior warning of the bombing from an undercover informant (Carol Howe) at Elohim City that Mr. Jasper interviewed.
Questions surrounding one Al-Hussaini Hussain who was suspected of being involved in the OKC bombing were brought out by Bill Jasper’s OKC reports published time and again in his ground-breaking articles in THE NEW AMERICAN. Information assembled by Brigadier General Benton Partin (retired) concerning the extreme probability that internal explosives were used to bring down the Murrah Federal Building was analyzed and published by THE NEW AMERICAN. General Partin’s evidence was very persuasive that the government’s story of a lone truck bomb causing the pulverization of concrete pillars far from the truck was given an airing in THE NEW AMERICAN magazine before other reporters dared touch the story or the evidence of the cover-up that was underway.
Months before the OKC bombing in 1995, Senator Joe Biden, now our Vice President, introduced a bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995 as if in expectation of a major terrorist attack, a bill that would propose the core elements of what later came out as the 2001 PATRIOT ACT.
One of the outcomes of the terror attack in Oklahoma was an attempt by the Clinton Administration to use the OKC bombing as the justification for an attempt to pass the counterterrorism bill drafted by the Clinton Administration which had been introduced earlier that year in the Senate as S. 390 and in the House as H.R. 896. Never miss a chance to gain power from a crisis, right? But the Republican dominated Congress didn’t pass those bills for Clinton, the way a later Congress, after the 9/11 terror attacks would quickly pass the PATRIOT ACT without even reading it and would institute the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for President George W. Bush. Biden would later recognize that the bill that Ashcroft championed, the PATRIOT ACT, was a remake of his 1995 bill. ***
A bigger terror attack on America, the 9/11 attacks that killed many more people and brought down more and larger buildings than the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, supplied the justification for passage and approval during the George W. Bush administration of the core elements of the bill that Clinton’s administration and Joe Biden couldn’t get approved in 1995 after the OKC bombing. The move towards police-state powers in American has advanced steadily under the guise of a “war on terrorism” ever since the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks.
The “Others Unknown” are still free from arrest and thus unprosecuted. There are suspicions of who some of them are, but the brave work of reporter Bill Jasper remains unrewarded and largely unrecognized to this day on the subject of the OKC bombing and who besides McVeigh and Nichols were involved and to blame.
Having read Bill Jasper's reports in the 1990s and beyond, I often wonder if McVeigh wasn’t the sacrificial patsy for a conspiratorial group, some of whom hung out at the Elohim City compound and were linked to such shady figures as Andreas “Andy Strassmeir, a German national who became the Chief of Security in weapons training at Elohim City in 1992 and had a background in the German military similar to being a special forces soldier in America.
Or there was Michael Brescia who some witnesses thought was possibly John Doe #2. Brescia was a roommate with Strassmeir at Elohim City. Carol Howe, the undercover ATF/FBI informant who had worked her way into Elohim City who Bill Jasper had as a source before the rest of the media knew her name, had, before the OKC bombing, warned the FBI of plans among the Elohim City crowd to blow up a federal building. And don’t forget the former KKK imperial wizard, Dennis Mahon who was friends with Strassmeir. Mahon was part of the White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and “friends” of undercover ATF/FBI informant Carol Howe.
There are even ties with between Terry Nichols and possibly al-Qaeda in the Philippines that go unexplored. Then there are the awful questions about what did the top leaders of our government and FBI know prior to the OKC thanks to Carol Howe and thanks to Philippine police concerning the 9/11 terror events. For example in 1995, Philippine police had warned the FBI about al-Qaeda's "Bojinka" plan to hijack and fly commerical aircraft as missiles into the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, the Sears Tower, and the TransAmerica building."
And what about the BATF Resident-in-charge, Alex McCauley, who told the story on an Oklahoma television show about himself and DEA Agent Dave Schickendanz being together in an elevator in the Murrah building at the time of the blast. McCauley claimed the elevator fell five floors with the two inside, then they pried open the doors of the elevator and exited and walked to safety. But on 20/20 two elevator company maintenance men Duane James and Oscar Johnson claimed that story was nonsense. The ATF and DEA agents would have been too seriously injured to move if their elevator fell five stories. After the bombing, the Murrah building's elevators were all in working order as they were checked by the two maintenance men twenty-minutes after the bombing and their brake systems wouldn't have allowed them to fall as the BATF leader claimed. (Page 321-FINAL REPORT) The ATF agent was lying and got caught in his lie. Other evidence showed that BATF agents had a prior warning and didn't go into work the day of the bombing. ATF agents were tipped on their pagers not to come into work that day.****
Why has so much been left without a deeper investigation? Why was the standing portion of OKC building, the crime scene, brought down so quickly and its evidence buried? The government imploded the Murrah Building on May 23, 1995, 33 days after the bombing. General Parton had wanted to keep the building in tact for expolosives experts to examine the building, but it was demolished. Why didn’t General Partin’s Report get wide press coverage? And we could fill more pages with more unanswered questions surrounding the deaths of 169 American on April 19, 1995. There is a large mystery still that should have occasioned a Congressional investigation in 1995.
*Page 2, Chapter 1, FINAL REPORT. Charles Key headed the Committee that produced the 556-page report.
** page 48, NO MORE WACOS, by David Kopel & Paul H. Blackman, published 1997, by Prometheus Books.
****Page 342, FINAL REPORT.
Hold a BS degree from USU with a double major and an Associates degree from UVU. Works in political education field.
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