Skip to comments.Mueller orders review of bombing investigation 2004-02-27 -- OKC Bombing
Posted on 02/27/2004 4:49:24 PM PST by PhiKapMom
Mueller orders review of bombing investigation
By JOHN SOLOMON
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI on Friday ordered a formal review of some aspects of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing investigation, reopening the question of whether Timothy McVeigh may have had more accomplices in the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, The Associated Press has learned.
Reacting to an AP story earlier this week, the FBI ordered agents to determine why some documents did not properly reach the bureau's Oklahoma City task force during the original investigation or get turned over to McVeigh's lawyers before he was executed in 2001, officials said.
The review of evidence and documents will also try to determine whether FBI agents in a separate investigation of white supremacist bank robbers may have failed to alert the Oklahoma City investigation of a possible link between the robbers and McVeigh, and allowed some of that evidence to be destroyed.
AP reported Wednesday that documents never introduced at McVeigh's trial showed FBI agents destroyed evidence and failed to share other information that raised the possibility that a gang of white supremacist bank robbers may have assisted McVeigh.
The evidence includes documents showing the Aryan Republican Army bank robbers possessed explosive blasting caps similar to those McVeigh stole and a driver's license with the name of a central player who was robbed in the Oklahoma City plot.
The documents don't prove additional accomplices were involved - blasting caps are plentiful and the gang was expert in document fraud. But the FBI agent who ran the investigation, Dan Defenbaugh, said his team never got the chance to investigate the evidence and he called for the probe to be reopened.
The April 19, 1995, bombing killed more than 160 people and McVeigh was put to death for it in 2001. His co-defendant, Terry Nichols, will stand trial in Oklahoma next week on state charges that could carry the death penalty.
Nichols' attorneys asked Thursday for the trial to be delayed in light of the AP story, but the judge refused.
FBI officials and Nichols' attorneys declined comment Friday night, citing a gag order in the case.
Government officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the review will be handled by the FBI's inspection division, a unit of senior agents that routinely conducts reviews to ensure the bureau follows its own rules and conducts investigations properly.
The officials said the review was ordered ``out of an abundance of caution'' to ensure that any questions about additional conspirators be put to rest.
It is not the first time issues in the McVeigh case have had to be reopened. In 2001, the Justice Department was forced to conduct an internal investigation to determine why 4,000 pages of documents from the case were belatedly turned over to defense lawyers just days before McVeigh was supposed to be executed. The revelation prompted a one-month delay in the investigation.
Peter Langan, one member of the ARA robbery gang, told AP he plans to testify at Nichols' trial that federal prosecutors several years ago offered and then withdrew a plea deal for information he had about the Oklahoma City bombing.
Langan said he plans to testify that at least three fellow gang members were in Oklahoma around the time of the bombing and one later told him that they had become involved.
Agents who worked both the McVeigh bombing and the bank robbery spree - two of the FBI's highest priority cases of the 1990s - said they suspected a link between the two because of physical evidence as well as statements made by the robbers and a girlfriend.
The agents said they ruled out a connection when the bank robbers denied their involvement and provided an alibi showing they left Oklahoma three days before McVeigh's bomb detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995.
That alibi, however, was contradicted by information Langan offered prosecutors and by car sales records that showed the bank robbers were still in the Oklahoma area after they claimed to have left, FBI documents show.
McVeigh in 1994 stole from a quarry hundreds of construction blasting caps, some which he used to explode the Oklahoma City bomb. The FBI spent months unsuccessfully trying to locate many of the other stolen caps.
Agents collected witness testimony that McVeigh had placed some of the extra caps in two boxes wrapped in Christmas paper in the back of his car along with mercury switches and duffel bags.
One electric and five non-electric blasting caps were found in the Aryan Republican Army robbers' Ohio hideout in January 1996, along with mercury switches, a duffel bag and two items described as a ``Christmas package,'' FBI records show. The FBI allowed firefighters to destroy the caps at the scene, and they were never compared to the Oklahoma case.
FBI agents in the robbery case also determined that the bank robbers had an Arkansas driver's license in the name of Robert Miller, the alias name used by Arkansas gun dealer Roger Moore.
The government contended at McVeigh's trial that Moore was robbed at his Hot Springs, Ark., home in November 1994, and the proceeds were used to fund the Oklahoma City bombing.
One of the bank robbers, Mark Thomas, claimed in a newspaper in 1997 that one of his gang was involved in the Oklahoma bombing. And Thomas' ex-girlfriend told FBI agents her boyfriend stated shortly before he traveled to an Oklahoma white supremacist compound in spring 1995 that a federal building was about to be bombed.
02/27/04 19:33 EST
There are some pictures of the bombing that I had never really looked at before recently. They don't make much more sense then this whole deal. Looks at this picture -- the debris is in front of the building but why weren't the traffic lights blown down from the truck bomb? If the truck was parked in front of the building -- why is the debris all in front instead of being blown out the back? The second photo is the back and side of the Murrah Building. I could be totally wrong but something about these pictures make me think something is not right.
http://photos.newsok.com/bombing/ There are a lot more photos archived at The Oklahoman on this page. The one of the Clintons at the Memorial Service is not the one the mural is made from. In that one they are both there with that cat that swallowed canary look.
How about an introduction to reality, too?
BET you've NEVER seen this -
- excerpted from ... a published work ...
According to McVeigh, Jones began acting as though he was convinced his client was "delusional." Again and again Jones would send different members of the defense team to El Reno to hear McVeigh recount every detail of the story, only to hear McVeigh give the same version of events each time. Jones even hired an Oklahoma City psychiatrist, Dr. John R. Smith, to evaluate McVeigh and help determine whether McVeigh was delusional or competent to stand trial.
Smith, sixty-three at the time, had examined nearly one hundred accused killers as a court-appointed psychiatrist. But he'd never met anyone accused of killing 168 people. Nor had he ever been assigned to a case that hit so close to home. His own home, about a mile from the Murrah Building, had had a front window blown out by the blast. A piece of debris from the bomb had come crashing through a window in an office where Smith's daughter worked, fortunately injuring no one. He was already treating several of the bomb victims, who were traumatized by their experiences. Smith himself had driven past the Murrah Building less than half an hour before the explosion. When Jones's team approached him, they told Smith that they wanted him to judge the mind of "a man who drove off the interstate, set fire to a five-minute fuse, and then set fire to a two-minute fuse."
Smith talked with McVeigh for twenty-five hours, mostly over a five-week period in the spring and summer of 1995. Five years later, McVeigh gave Smith a written release to discuss their interviews with the authors of this book.
Smith found McVeigh very intelligent, with a 126 IQ, and very open to discussing his crime with a psychiatrist. By the second visit, Smith said, McVeigh was openly discussing the bombing, step by step, in chilling detail.
The psychiatrist saw no signs of remorse as McVeigh calmly explained how he designed, built, and delivered his bomb. He talks about this crime like it's some kind of successful science project, Smith thought angrily after one session.
And yet even in this confessed mass murderer Smith found things he liked, and reasons for sympathy. While others saw McVeigh as outgoing and happy-go-lucky, Smith found McVeigh deeply troubled by his parents' divorce and his war experiences. He pictured McVeigh in adolescence, trying to lose himself in the fantasy world of comic books late at night while his parents argued so furiously in the next room that McVeigh actually feared they might kill each other.
Others saw McVeigh as tremendously proud of his accomplishments in the military, but Smith saw a young man who was horrified by the killing of Arab soldiers. He listened closely to McVeigh's nightmarish descriptions of the killing he had done. To Smith, it was tragic that McVeigh never received counseling when he returned to the United States after the war. McVeigh told him he had looked into the possibility of getting treatment at a Veterans Administration hospital in Florida, but backed out when he was told he could not be treated under an assumed name. McVeigh was worried that receiving such counseling would be held against him when he applied for jobs.
Mcveigh told Smith he bad briefly experimented with methamphetamines after leaving the Army, but Smith saw no indications that McVeigh had ever been a heavy user of drugs.
While McVeigh proudly called himself a warrior, Smith could only picture McVeigh killing others from afar - while peering through the sights of a Bradley, or delivering a bomb and leaving the scene, but never face-to-face.
Smith had met many murderers who seemed to enjoy killing. McVeigh was different. His outlook on the bombing was cold and calculating, but Smith could see that McVeigh took no pleasure from the killings at the Murrah Building. McVeigh viewed the bombing as a mission that it was his duty to carry out, and he was convinced the bombing would change government in America.
"I expect to be convicted for the bombing, and I expect to receive the death penalty," McVeigh told the psychiatrist.
McVeigh also told Smith that, in scouting locations for his bombing, he had looked for a target he could bring down without killing a lot of people in surrounding, nongovernment buildings.
Smith concluded that McVeigh's life had been thrown into turmoil by a series of disturbing events: his parents' breakup, the killing he had done in the war, even the tragic death of Terry Nichols's stepson. But the Waco incident, Smith believed, was the flash point for MeVeigh's anger.
As a boy, Smith said, McVeigh had been so upset by his parents' breakup that he created a fantasy world for himself. "He created this superhero role for himself," Smith said. "He fantasized all these monsters, which he fought."
As an adult, McVeigh came to see the U.S. government as the ultimate monster - especially after the Waco incident.
"Waco was not the sole reason for the bombing," Smith said. "But if there had been no Waco, I don'tt believe Tim would have bombed the Murrah Building."
Smith once tried to confront McVeigh about the pain his bomb had caused others. Smith had noted how much McVeigh seemed to enjoy talking to people, and now he tried to use this quality to provoke a reaction from him. "Instead of the death penalty, Tim, they should put you in a tiny little cell, Smith said. "You wouldi't be allowed to talk to anyone, ever again."
McVeigh looked surprised. He stood straight up from his chair. "You'd put me in a little cell like that?" he said.
"Tim, that's what you did to your victims and their families," Smith said. "They'll never be able to communicate with each other again."
The two quickly moved on to other topics. "Tim, have you ever loved anyone?" Smith asked.
"My father and my grandfather," McVeigh quickly answered.
"I noticed you didn't mention your mother or your sisters," Smith remarked.
"Yes," McVeigh said. "I was just noticing that myself."
Smith could see that McVeigh was awkward with women, but he knew that McVeigh had cared deeply about a couple of women in his life. McVeigh once asked Smith if he could take some of his sperm out of the prison and give it to a woman, so she could become pregnant. Smith agreed to look into the legal requirements for such a venture.
Smith said McVeigh also told him of the brief affair he allegedly had with Marife Nichols, the wife of Terry Nichols. Though he was horrified by McVeigh's crime and his cold attitude, Smith did not see him as an evil man. Clinically, he saw him as an essentially decent person who had allowed rage to build up inside him to the point that he had lashed out in one terrible, violent act. "I've seen it many times," Smith maintains. "Nice people do really terrible things."
The psychiatrist reported back to Jones that his client was not delusional - that be knew exactly what he did, and exactly what be was doing now.
As for McVeigh, he considered himself as sane as anyone. In the months after his arrest, he continued his voracious reading of all things antigoverment, and he enjoyed watching TV shows that questioned the government's actions. One night on cable, McVeigh enjoyed a viewing of Brazil, Terry Gilliam's surreal 1985 film about a futuristic society where citizens are dehumanized. One of the characters in the film is Harry Tuttle, a terrorist bomber played by Robert DeNiro. Some people later theorized that McVeigh had chosen the alias Tim Tuttle in honor of DeNiro's character, but the first time he saw the film was inside prison walls.
"US extremists conflicted over war on terror," by Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, June 18, 2002
"Experts tracking antigovernment radicals also note their shared interest with Muslim extremists in opposing what they see as this country's pro-Israel foreign policy. This is often voiced as opposition to, as the most militant call it, "ZOG" -- the "Zionist-Occupied Government" of the US."
Cooperation with foreign terrorists would help to precipitate "the kind of race war envisioned in 'The Turner Diaries,' the anti-Semitic, racist, and apocalyptic novel many on the extreme right see as prophetic." [end excerpt]
It took years to get serious looks at Ruby Ridge and Waco. OKC is no different except it connects directly to the Clintons' Oval Office.
Americans who would not let Ruby Ridge and Waco go were ridiculed and threatened. Jayna Davis, Mr. Key and others have suffered the same treatment.
Remember this? "When the full stories of these two incidents (1993 WTC Center bombing and 1995 Oklahoma City bombing) are finally told, those who permitted the investigations to stop short will owe big explanations to these two brave women (Middle East expert Laurie Mylroie and journalist Jayna Davis). And the nation will owe them a debt of gratitude." -- Former CIA Director James Woolsey, "The Iraq Connection", Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2002
Mind numbing idiocy ...
THIS is the SHAM theory that michael redvero 'pushed' for so long ...
There is absolutely no evidence of any internal explosions in the Murrah Bldg.
An internal explosion would leave scorch marks, melt the carpeting, form spiderwebbing cracks, and generally create an epicenter of damage.
NO such damage was found anywhere inside the building. One of the witnesses to this fact was a local fire marshal who participated in the rescue effort.
The notion of internal explosions was contrived by a very retired USAF Brig.Gen, Ben Partin, whose "expertise", it turns out, was precision aerial bomb dropping on third world huts (he had retired during the Vietnam War), not the physics and chemistry of homemade explosives at ground level on modern office buildings.
Partin didn't even come to OKC to view the damage himself. Based on some (wrong) assumptions Partin convinced himself that, mathematically, a truck bomb couldn't have done the damage and he postulated four bombs inside the third floor. Except the third floor was the Federal Employee's Credit Union, which was actually a non-civil service establishment and more heavily locked and protected than most of the rest of the building.
Morever, there were some survivors from the third floor who testified and made it Very Clear that the explosion (just one) came from outside the building.
Partin postulated the internal bombs only to solve one problem -- his own calculation about the blast power at the distance from the truck -- but his postulation created even more problems; if bombs had been on the third (or fourth or any other) floor, then the floors below and the floors above would have been pushed in different directions and there would be unmistakable signs of that, also there would have been a LOT more damage to the far side of the building. And, again, a different epicenter.
Partin had calculated on the assumption that McV used common diesel fuel, when in fact he used racing fuel which would have quadrupled the blast power.
The simple fact is that the truck bomb not only wrecked the Murrah Bldg, it also wrecked at least two buildings at least as far away in the opposite direction - the Water Board Bldg and the Athenian Bldg - and killed four people inside those other buildings! To me, this is very clear proof that Partin's calculations are just plain wrong.
Partin tried to get on the defense witness lists for the McV & Nichols trials but the defense lawyers refused to use him because they knew he'd be torn apart by real experts in the field of demolition and arson investigation. He did testify before the OKC Grand Jury, which was clearly not persuaded by his theories.
Aerial photos of the scene made within an hour or two after the blast, before the streets were cleared off, makes it Very Obvious that the epicenter of the damage is the spot (a deep crater) where the truck used to be.
All the debris radiates from that point. If there had been bombs inside the building, you see multiple epicenters, which didn't happen. Also, a couple of blocks away there were thin straight lines of debris in the streets -- not stuff blown all the way from the Murrah Bldg but dust and old paint and the like jarred loosed from the nearby buildings as a result of the blast, which creates an odd sort of chalk outline on the streets. If there had been multiple blasts, that line would have been seriously blurred.
There is no evidence that ATF personnel lied. One ATF person reported being trapped for several minutes in the elevator stalled at the time of the blast, and the building engineer denied that anything like that could possibly have happened with HIS elevators .... but I could tell you stories of my own about how govt building engineers have lied about their elevators. A contradiction but no solid proof.
I have not heard the stories about ATF people being bandaged, certainly a couple of them were actually taken to the hospital with bona fide injuries altho they were, generally, less seriously hurt than most others because of the location of the ATF office. A few people - none of them an expert on explosives - thought they saw "bombs" lying around (if this were true then the conspirators were very lousy bomb-makers, certainly not up to CIA standards) but these turned out to be such stuff as desk clocks and other innocuous items blown around to odd places by the explosion.
59 Posted on 09/28/2000 11:57:27 PDT by DonQ
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"This book serves as documentation of the incident from a structural standpoint. It provides detailed discussion of the construction of the building, the structural damage witnessed, the hazard mitigation measures taken during the rescue/recovery process. It also provides a discussion of the weak points in the design and construction which may have contributed to exacerbating the damage and measures that structural engineers can take to limit damage due to this severe loading condition."
"It is important to understand that the bomb blast to the Murrah building was not devastating by itself -- it just so happened that it was located at a critical point which undermined the whole structure of the building. What we discovered as a result of our investigation was that most of the damage and a vast majority of the fatalities were caused by the progressive collapse of the building."
"A minimum of two subsequent "bomb scares" forced the evacuation of these personnel. The evacuation of the structure allowed officials to create a controlled perimeter around the dangerous site. Rescue workers were not allowed to re-enter the site until confirmation was given that no additional explosive devices were located."
"Draws on more than three hundred interviews--with survivors, victims' families, investigators, and convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh--to examine the full story of the Oklahoma City bombing."
BY JOHN PRENDERGAST
(Reprinted by permission from Civil Engineering, October 1995)
Can lessons learned from the tragic bombing in Oklahoma City help engineers outwit future terrorists? A key issue in the emerging debate is whether to require that government buildings be designed to protect against progressive collapse.
The explosion that ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shortly after 9 a.m. on April 19 killed 168 people, injured more than 500 and damaged more than 300 buildings. Also among the casualties of the blast was a lingering American faith that terrorism was something that happened somewhere else-in other countries, or at high-profile structures like the World Trade Center in New York.
......According to Rittenhouse, "The biggest structural engineering lesson learned from the Oklahoma City bombing was the need to improve the structure's ability to sustain significant local damage and remain standing." It has been estimated that at least 80% of the deaths at the Murrah Building were caused by the structure falling on occupants who might otherwise have survived the bomb attack, he says. "Therefore, the single most important improvement, aside from maintaining a substantial keep-out distance, would be to mitigate catastrophic failure or progressive collapse. This measure alone, regardless of improvements to the glazing and facade, will significantly reduce the number of fatalities." ............................................
Rittenhouse predicts there will be a "significant reduction" in transfer girders in future construction, especially in potentially dangerous locations. The Murrah Building had a transfer girder running across the face of the structure at the second floor, which transferred the weight of 10 building columns to five columns down to the ground. The failure of one column meant three failed; with the failure of two, six or seven failed, he says. "A certain number of people will be looking out a window or standing in the wrong place when a bomb goes off, but the remaining people get crushed," says Rittenhouse. "That's why this is an important issue. You'll have localized damage no matter what, but preventing progressive collapse will limit damage after that."
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