Skip to comments.Newspaper Claims Former DOJ Officials Confirm Bombing Coverup (Clinton's DOJ & FBI)
Posted on 07/15/2005 9:05:52 PM PDT by ex-Texan
The McCurtain Daily Gazette today reports several former powerful and high ranking Justice department officials confirm there was a coverup of the investigation to the Oklahoma City bombing.
Ten years after the Oklahoma City bombing, a published report says several former high ranking Department of Justice officials who want to remain anonymous claim there was a coverup of the attack which killed 168 persons.
The story is carried by the McCurtain Daily Gazette in Idabel whose reporter J-D Cash has spent a decade investigating the bombing and its ties to Elohim City, a religious and white separatist compound in eastern Oklahoma.
"We were put into contact with some very, very high level former Department of Justice officials who have seen about as much of this coverup of the Oklahoma City bombing they can stomach," said Cash in an interview with KTOK News.
He explained the once powerful officials in the DOJ believe the story is coming out because of the lawsuit and freedom of information fight between Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue and the FBI. Trentadue seeks the bombing records to show his brother Kenneth, an inmate in the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in the summer of 1995 was beaten to death as federal agents interrogated him about the bombing. The attorney believes his brother closely fit the description of a suspect who had ties to bomber Tim McVeigh.
The former law officers say the story will show the government was aware of German national Andreas Strassmeier who allegedly help plan the bombing while he lived at Elohim City.
"He was providing information to the German government. The Justice department would not allow the FBI to do the type of investigation of Elohim before the bombing they felt like they should," added Cash. The officials also say the bombing occurred because the sting was 'bungled' by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
(see attached story from McCurtain Daily Gazette)
Former officials dispute claims FBI investigated Strassmeir or Elohim City connections
McCurtain Daily Gazette
By J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger Charles, (U.S.M.C. retired)
Speaking on the condition that their names not be revealed, a group of former Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have told this newspaper that the FBI never seriously investigated Tim McVeighs connections to a right-wing paramilitary training camp.
Neither, they say, were McVeighs ties to a notorious bank robbery gang operating in the Midwest investigated. Further, FBI agents interested in working the case were thwarted by Department of Justice attorneys and by other FBI officials.
Even spoken with an identity hidden because of fears of retribution, the explosive statements are especially surprising, coming as they do on the heels of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that journalists may be jailed if they refuse to reveal sources in federal cases. That decision has reportedly already had a chilling effect on some federal whistleblowers.
In addition to the former officials personal insights into the case, however, the newspaper has been able to corroborate much of what they have said about problems with the OKBOMB investigation with other sources and documents pertaining to the bombing of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.
Documents from the FBI and other federal agencies involved in the OKBOMB case support their claims that the FBI failed to arrest all the persons involved and that political considerations played a role in deliberately limiting the investigation to Tim McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier even though the agencies assured bombing victims and the public that all persons involved would be brought to justice.
One former high-ranking member of the DOJ said the investigation began with five very experienced FBI commanders appointed by former director Louis Freeh to investigate the bombing.
However, the former official explained that after each of those men left the case, a less experienced agent took over the OKBOMB investigation, and the probe into other suspects suddenly ground to a halt.
One person assigned to the bombing investigation said, I was inside the FBI office when Freeh showed up. There was a loud shouting match with our SAC.
It wasnt long after that Bob Ricks announced he was retiring and taking a job with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. He left the investigation and by the time the case was transferred to Denver, the prosecutors were telling the field agents what evidence to bring them.
Prosecutors wanted only select evidence, he indicated. I caught hell for sending in evidence that people at Elohim City were involved. They (prosecutors in Denver) said, Never send us anything that points to anyone other than McVeigh and Nichols.
Each of those persons who contributed to this story has continued to follow media reports about the bombing for over a decade. They have come forward albeit without attribution to express concerns and to provide details of a government cover-up of a failed sting operation at Elohim City a sting operation, each agrees, that may have been bungled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).
I was close to the bombing case immediately, one former official told the Gazette, and over time it became clear the White House had taken the investigation away from the FBI and handed it over to officials at the Department of Justice.
And thats not how it works. The FBI should investigate and then turn the evidence over to them to decide if they want to proceed with a prosecution. That didnt happen in this case. In this case, after the original commanders left the case, the DOJ began calling the shots telling field agents what they could investigate and what they couldnt.
Several law enforcement sources had previously indicated to this newspaper that they are convinced from the evidence they have seen that McVeigh was aligned with Andreas C. Strassmeir, a German military officer that some believe was still on the payroll of the Bundesweir (German military) at the time of the blast.
One former senior member of the DOJ put it in strong terms. He laid blame at the feet of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Forearms.
I know Strassmeir was central to this crime and I believe Carol Howe, the informant, was dead right. She warned the ATF and they blew this whole thing. They knew the details of what was in the works and they messed everything up.
FBI headquarters knew about Strassmeirs presence at the Elohim City compound and couldnt admit it. They had to find a way to work around the agents in the field. I dont think (Danny) Defenbaugh had any idea how much stuff was being withheld from him and his men.
Indeed, in the days leading up to McVeighs planned execution, thousand of pages of documents regarding other suspects in the case suddenly began turning up in FBI field offices around the country.
With the possibility that there could be thousands of pages of important FBI interviews that attorneys for McVeigh had never seen, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft had no choice but to put off the execution until the matter could be further explored.
A former crime lab technician, Defenbaugh, suddenly was placed in the embarrassing position of having to admit the largest and most expensive investigation in history had been compromised. He left his position as Dallas SAC and entered retirement soon after thousands of pages of previously unrevealed documents surfaced.
Regarding some of the most recently discovered documents, a former DOJ official said that he is still unable to answer all the questions, but agrees with others who played a role in the OKBOMB investigation, saying Strassmeir was and still remains the key figure in the bungled sting operation and subsequent cover-up.
We didnt do an interview with this guy, he said. Can you believe that?
Two assistant U.S. attorneys made a phone call over a year after the bombing and let an FBI agent listen and take notes. Hell, thats not a real investigation. The FBI would go straight to Berlin and get him. This is a joke.
Confirming his recollection of events, the newspaper has obtained a copy of a FD-302, which records an FBI agents recollections of two telephone interviews with Andy Strassmeir.
Strassmeirs attorney, Kirk Lyons, was included in both overseas conference calls made at the behest of the DOJ. The first conference call took place on April 30, 1996. The second took place the following day.
Calling from Oklahoma City, special agent Lou Ann Sandstrom monitored both calls to Berlin, while DOJ lawyers Aitan Goelman and Beth Wilkinson asked several questions about Strassmeirs relationship with McVeigh. The FD-302 notes that, Strassmeir did not remember meeting McVeigh until he was interviewed by defense investigator Richard Reyna. Reyna told Strassmeir that McVeigh remembered meeting Strassmeir, and that Strassmeir bought several items from McVeigh.
Reyna also told Strassmeir that McVeigh also tried to call him.
Claiming that his memory was refreshed by the visit from the defense investigator, Strassmeir said he told Reyna that he may have met McVeigh at the Tulsa Gun Show and never saw nor heard from him again.
Notes recorded by Special Agent Sandstrom also reflect the following exchange concerning a phone call McVeigh made from his motel room in Kingman, AZ., before the bombing: Strassmeir advised he could not recall where he was on April 5, 1995, when a call came into Elohim City for him, but believed he was out working on a nearby property, and did not receive the call.
On April 19, 1995, Strassmeir said he and Eddie Wing were clearing a fence line on property located ten miles from Elohim City. Strassmeir could not remember the name of the property owner.
Concluding the interview, Strassmeir told Goelman and Wilkinson that, He was not involved in the planning or execution of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, nor did he have any foreknowledge of the bombing.
Readers may recall that this newspaper published a series of articles beginning in the spring of 1997 detailing its interviews with ATF informant Carol E. Howe.
Howe, a college student and former Houston, Texas, debutante, was recruited by the Tulsa office of the ATF in the late summer of 1994. Howe accepted employment with the agency after passing a polygraph examination.
As a paid confidential informant, her assignment was to infiltrate the neo-Nazi movement in eastern Oklahoma. From trips to Elohim City in the fall of 1994, Howe quickly discovered a plot there to overthrow the government with violence. At the center of the conspiracy was the camps paramilitary advisor Andy the German Strassmeir.
Howes reports were sent to the Dallas regional office and then forwarded to Washington, D.C. Marked sensitive-confidential, her identity was simply CI-183. The Howe file clearly indicates a violent plot at Elohim City a plot that included (M)ass shootings and bombings of government installations. And the person said to be urging the killings was Strassmeir.
Interviewed on Dec. 24, 1996, Howe told the Gazette, All Andy wanted to do was blow up federal buildings. Thats the truth. He even told the young radicals he was training that, if they wouldnt go to war with the U.S. government, he would leave and find a group that would.
Speaking of Elohim City spiritual advisor and founder, Robert Millar, Howe told the Gazette: Millar even gave a sermon and urged the younger members under Andys training to prepare for war with the government. He told them other militias would follow suit. The key date was the upcoming anniversary of Waco: April 19th.
So violent was the rhetoric at Elohim City that the Tulsa office obtained a large number of mail covers, and phone calls were recorded at the urging of the U.S. attorneys office in Tulsa.
So complete was the undercover operation, the ATF even had a video camera installed in Howes apartment in Tulsa where she entertained several members of the Aryan Republican Army. On one videotape, White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger of California was even caught visiting the attractive young blondes apartment.
In spite of the detailed information and recordings of the radicals, no one seemed to be able to thwart the plan. On Patriots Day, 1995, 149 men, women and 19 children perished. Another 500 were injured. Shortly after the bombing, the ATF boosted Howes pay and sent her back to Elohim City. There she reported that the residents were preparing for a standoff with the government.
A few tense days later, Howe returned to Tulsa and told her ATF handler, Angela Finley Graham, that a member of the leadership at the camp confirmed the groups role in the bombing, saying simply, We have a big secret here. Howe knew who McVeigh was. She heard his name at the camp many times.
It was Tuttle this or Tim Tuttle that, Howe recalled for this newspaper. I even saw him there one time. He was walking along with Andy. He was just one of many skinheads that passed through.
Howes work was terminated though, shortly after she made her report public about the big secret at Elohim City.
According to documents in Howes ATF file, the FBI then contacted the informants supervisors and told them to close their investigation into Elohim City and completely back off.
Later, this newspaper obtained copies of Howes (largely) complete file after she began cooperating with the Gazette.
Someone familiar with the ATFs investigation at Elohim City after the bombing offered an explanation for the FBIs actions.
The FBI learned from inside that militia members were coming to Elohim City for a standoff. It was clear we were dealing with some very dangerous people who were capable of anything. We wanted to avoid more bloodshed and thats why they (ATF) had to be pushed out. If we wanted something from Elohim City, all the FBI had to do was pick up the phone and call Robert (Millar). That individual went on to say that he remains convinced the ATF would have eventually made the situation far worse had the agency continued to meddle with the OKBOMB case.
Look at Waco. Just look at Waco, he repeated.
Shortly after the DOJ learned that Howe had begun giving this newspaper interviews about the plot, she was indicted in Tulsa federal court on conspiracy to make bomb threats and possession of an unregistered destructive device. However, it took the jury only a short time to find her innocent of all charges. A member of that jury told this newspaper they were handed the case at nearly 5 pm on Friday.
Someone said, I think we all know this girl has been set up by the government and we know she should go free. But why dont we order dinner from the best BBQ joint in town and eat on the governments dime one more time? Even after Howe was acquitted of the charges, government officials made comments to major media, dismissing Howe as a radical, mentally deranged, or both.
To some extent the tactic has worked, but a former DOJ official said he is more convinced than ever Howe had good information.
Solid in his book
Shes solid in my book. Id like to meet her, he said about Howe and the intelligence she uncovered at Elohim City.
The FBI knew about Strassmeir. He was reporting to the Germans
At some point, the White House must have become concerned about the investigation going out of control. It appears to this observer that high officials may have covered up everything implicating the suspect Strassmeir and his alleged connection to the German government. Then the Justice Department threw the book at Howe, one of their own undercover investigators, for discovering the alleged connection between Strassmeir, Elohim City and McVeigh. That effectively ended any possible inquiry into alleged Neo-Nazi and skinhead links leading back to connections in Germany.
The site of the OKC bombing was where many of the documents regarding Waco were stored. There have been rumors on the Internet about the ATF not showing up for work on the day of the OKC bombing. More rumors about the bombing being enhanced by bombs set inside the building.
Oh, well . . . Not for me to worry. Time to move on people. Lock your doors and windows.
This story lacks the Middle East connection ("The Third Terrorist" by Jayna Davis, 2004). Why is that?
Damn the Clintons to hell. Period.
You will have to direct your questions to J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger Charles (U.S.M.C. retired) who wrote the report.
I was wondering that too... what of the Middle East connection?
Because the author wasn't trying to simply find what people wanted to hear?
There were three informants at Elohim City. Carol Howe, the owner of the property and even Andrew Strassmeir himself were reported to be in close contact with the feds.
Strassmeir was the son of a German official. I believe he was an ex or possibly even active/on leave or possilbe special ops military member.
One does wonder what the feds relationship with Strassmeir was. I've long suspected that some foreign ops work in the U.S. to circumvent certain domestic laws about what law enforcement officers can do.
I only offer the last comment as a possible reason for cover-up. I can't think of any other.
May be true, may not. Without anyone willing to speak under oath and on the record it doesn't go too far.
Justice in America.
Thanks for you very insightful input. Perhaps that explains what may have happened. Strassmeir might have been working for German Military Intel. But why did Janet Reno prosecute Carol Howe, who is apparently getting strong support from many former DOJ and FBI officials? What's up with that, other than political power playing?
Yes, God bless the souls of those who died in the PanAm plane over NY. Yet another coverup.
Another case of yesterdays conspiracy becoming todays news.
You have to remember that when the bombing took place, government officials were loathe to admit they had advance warning that one site in Tulsa and two sites in Oklahoma City were likely to be attacked.
Carol Howe desparately sought to get the feds to wake up, and they acted as if there were no concern.
On the Friday before the blast, some people in the Oklahoma City area were warned. One was a judge. Another was a fireman. A friend of the judge called him from Oregon (I believe it was) to ask how his day went. He stated, "I didn't go to work that day." I was told to stay home. (My memory does get a bit fuzzy on this, but suffice it to say that the judge's friend was left scratching his head.)
Howe had been a paid informant for several years. She must have been giving pretty good intel or she would have been terminated. She remained employed for a period after the bombing. Then it became public that Howe had been an information and had told her handlers of the danger.
Suddenly it became quite important to descredit Howe. She wasn't a pristine character. I believe she had a shady past and was ripe for being attacked on character issues.
That was something many of us had to take into account, with her reports. Does she have ulterior motives? I more or less took what she had said with a grain of salt, but over time her comments remained credible.
Their last straw attempt to trash her, was the criminal prosecution. That was a big mistake in my book. In effect they overplayed their hand. Here was someone that remained on their payroll long after the bombing, who by their account was a 'cook' 'criminal' and not credible.
I'd have believed her a lot less, if they had ignored her. I'd have believed her a lot less if they had allowed her to testify at McVeigh's trial. If I remember correctly, they refused to let her testify. I may be wrong about that.
It sounds plausible.
But damn scary.
A possible consequence of this placement: the agent while acting the role, may have planted the idea of bombing the Murrah building into the heads of those who committed the crime.
Boy that would be a one heck of a reason to a cover up that agents actions.
I agree. I believe Jayna Davis before I would put stock in this stuff.