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The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror
by David Hoffman
Copyright © 1998 David Hoffman
Published online with the irrevocable permission of the author to republish with attribution on a non-profit basis.
Hosted by the Constitution Society
Text Version (under construction)
[Editor: Chapter 10 included below was not included in the printed edition, which renumbered the remaining chapters accordingly. The chapters below the red bar are still being edited, so content may not match the printed edition, and the endnote numbers will mostly not match the correct endnotes. They are being put up in advance of completion, but should not be quoted until editorial revisions are complete.]
1. The Mannilicher-Carcanno Bomb
2. The Face of Terror
3. Non-Resident Alien
4. Millar's Rent-A-Nazi
5. Teflon Terrorists
6. No Stone Unturned
7. The Connection
8. Lockerbie — a Parallel
9. The Sting
10. The Octopus
11. The Covert Cowboys
12. The Motive
13. The Politics of Terror
14. A Strategy of Tension
15. Epilogue: Let Them Eat O.J.
This book is dedicated to Ace Hayes, my friend and primary mentor, who passed away as this book went to press. As a speaker, and through his small newspaper, the Portland Free Press, Ace hammered away at the establishment with a loquacious cynicism and wit. Ace fought the battle with both pen and sword, dodging the law on the front lines of the trenches. He was both inspirational and instrumental in bringing this book to light. His friendship and counsel will be sorely missed.
Note: The names of certain individuals have been changed and noted in the text. Libel law does not make generous allowances for the use of real names in the case of a person who has not been officially indicted, or who has not gone public (i.e., been previously interviewed in print or on TV), or who is not a public figure.
You may order the hard copy edition of this book from Amazon.com
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"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad."
— Aldus Huxley
The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the help and assistance of the following people, without whose help this story could not have been told: Melissa Klinzing and Brad Edwards, KFOR-TV, Nolan Clay, Daily Oklahoman, Rodney Bowers, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Larry Myers and Rich Azar at Media Bypass, Juval Aviv of Interfor, Don Browning, Jon Rappaport, author of Oklahoma bombing: The Supressed Truth, Michele Moore, author of Oklahoma City: Day One, former DEA agent Mike Levine, Jesse Clear, Mark Sanford, Paul Friend, Idaho News Observer, video producer Chuck Allen, Oklahoma City: What Really Happened?, JD Cash and Jeff Holladay of The McCurtain County Gazette, Britt Anderson and the writers at Mother Jones, The Village Voice, Frances McMorris, The Wall Street Journal, Mike Whitely, Mike Vanderboegh, Mike Kemp, Ted Gundersen, Steve Wilmsen and Mark Eddy of the Denver Post, Mark Schafer, Arizona Republic, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, London Sunday Telegraph, Clayton Douglas, The Free American, Charlie Hatfield, Ellis County Press, Brian Redman, Conspiracy Nation, Ben Partin, The folks at the BBC, Sarah McClendon, Bob Hall, Conspiracy Nation, Ken Armstrong, Rita Cosby, Fox News, John Mattes, Julian Share, CBC, Louis Champon, Roger Bunn, Anthony J. Hilder, Rick Sherrow, Audrey Cummings, Moshe Tal, Stu Webb, Glenn Wilburn, Pat Briley, Monte Cooley, Idaho Observer, The Free American, Hoppy Heidelberg, Eric Lighter, Bill Key, Martin Keating, Linda Thompson, Ramona McDonald, Robert Bickel, Tony Scarlatti, Dr. Rick Nelson, Robert Jerlow, Robert Peterson, Jason at CBS archives, David Parker, Billy at the Daily Oklahoman library, and the librarians at the Washington Post, New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Toronto Star, Covert Action Quarterly, and others, Joe Taylor at Newstrack in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ann Bradley and Christie, and others in Stephen Jones' office, D'Ferdinand Carone, the clerks in the Oklahoma county and federal courts, and scores of others who have selflessly provide information from their own research and investigations into this and other scandals.
My publisher, Adam Parfrey, who instinctively understood the significance of this crime, and, took a chance on me when none of big publishers would.
State Representative Charles Key, who became a good friend. A man whose humor, faith, and courage to stand up and publicly question the governments' official line, putting his life and his career on the line, became an anchor for us all.
Jayna Davis of KFOR, the original lead investigator on the Middle Eastern angle, eventhough the New York Times Broadcasting Company shut down her investigation and took away her helicopter and cell phone.
David Hall of KPOC-TV, who gave me most of the leads I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. Last I heard, the IRS was screwing with Hall because of his courageous work on the Waco case.
Craig Roberts, whose patience and generosity proved invaluable. Craig was a staunch ally whose tenacity and good humor proved an inspiration when I became frustrated (which was pretty often).
Craig's cop friend Randy, who sneaked into the NCIC now and then when we needed it.
Leslie Jorgensen, (Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report ) a great gal with a marvelous sense of humor, who kept me up to date on the latest gossip and straightened me out about certain lawyers.
Gene Wheaton, who took me for a circuitous ride through the desert to talk to me in a scene reminiscent of Mr. "X" in the movie JFK, then regaled me mostly with personal stories about his interesting life.
Bill McCoy (may he rest in peace), who provided humorous translations for Wheaton's conspiracy theory theories, and was instrumental in keeping "scribblers" like me on the path.
Ace Hayes (may he rest in peace), publisher of the Portland Free Press, and my main mentor, who helped me to understand how the system really works, or at least the system according to Ace.
Sherman Skolnick, my other main mentor, who never let me forget how many years he's been in the business, and reminded me that I have a long way to go,
Will Northrop, "Matzo-Ball Charlie," who claimed to work for every Israeli intelligence agency except the Mossad, then took me for $1600 to sip Margaritas in Florida.
Mike Johnston, who accused me of stealing his book, Abu-Nidal: A Gun For Hire, when he knows full well that it was stolen by Chinese cleaning ladies and used as Won Ton wrappers.
James "Jimmy" Rothstein, whose openness, patience, and selflessness proved to be a guiding light in the murky and confusing world of spooks and criminals.
Mien Furher, Al Martin, Iran-Contra "insider extraodinaire," whose still waiting for his $100,000 retainer fee.
Bill Jasper of the John Birch Society, who is convinced it really is all a Communist plot.
George Wallace who introduced me to Jasper and kept the Commie hunters off my back.
Roger Cravens, Dave Rydel, Claire Wolfe, Jon Roland, and other Patriots who posted important and much-needed information on the state of our nation on the Patriots' Information Mailing List (PIML); and Ian Goddard, Bob Hall, and others who did the same on the OKBOMB mailing list.
Laurie Mylroie of the Foreign Policy Institute, for her in-depth analysis of the Iraqis and the World Trade Center bombing.
Terry Cook, for his videos and books, and his excellent and comprehensive research on the staggering new technology that is taking control over our lives.
Jim Levine, and Terry and Kelly, who handled our account and especially Jim's mother, who made me Chicken soup when I was sick.
And finally, Mr. "M," without who's generous financial support, none of this would have been possible.
And I can't leave out all those people who, although aware of the efforts of the authors and others in attempting to bring this information to the public, were either indifferent, or actually obstructed these efforts. The first of these honors goes to the so-called "Justice" Department and the FBI. And to the state Attorney General, Drew Edmondson, and the local District Attorney in Oklahoma City, Bob Macy, who has an annoying tendency to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Oh, Bob, what is that stench?!
And the supervisors of the business office of Southwestern Bell and specifically Mr. Edwards and Mr. Dave Lopez, President of SWB, whose cold, callous, indifference and lack of empathy when I became behind on my phone bill resulted in the termination of my phone service for three weeks, my poor old mother thinking I was dead, and the interruption of our investigation, which they were fully aware of.
And the kind and generous folks of M.C.I. Communications, who not only refused to sponsor our investigation, they never even sent a reply to my inquiry. May they and the principals of SWB get what they deserve.
And ultimately, all my friends who have kept me [partially] sane throughout the years, even though conspiracies have a way of making one come unglued: Ron Ulfohn, Joe Williams, John Flores, David Wills, Lorenzo, Jon and Lisa, and all those helpful souls I've undoubtedly missed, including my parents (although I'm not sure they've helped me keep sane).
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On April 19, 1995 when I heard the news (and literally heard the explosion) of the Murrah building, I was dumbfounded. As the realization sunk in that so many people and children were killed, I, along with millions of others watching the news coverage, felt that indescribable, overwhelming sensation in the pit of my stomach.
Yet as the "story" unfolded, my spirits were lifted as I saw example after example of sheer human compassion and an outpouring of unblemished, unconditional love flow forth in a far greater degree than I had ever seen in any venue of life, including and especially in political circles.
However, during the intense media coverage that followed, inconsistencies began emerging. Stories kept changing and although I couldn't see the emerging political angle, I could sense it. Those who dared oppose the revisionist news accounts were ostracized, mocked, discredited, dark-cornered, etc. I know, I was one who dared to be politically incorrect.
At some point it became painfully apparent that there was more wrong than right with the federal investigation. That is when I had a very tough decision to make. Should I sit and do nothing and remain in my comfort zone simply "playing the part" of the caring politician for the photo ops? Or should I really do the right thing even if it meant giving the phrase "politically incorrect" a whole new dimension?
It didn't take long after discussing it with my wife to determine that I had to do the right thing — no matter what the consequences were to be. Having come to that conclusion, I decided to go forward to search out the truth and tell it to a waiting world. Journalists such as David Hoffman, concerned citizens, and a few ex-law enforcement officers, have made many personal sacrifices to bring this truth to the American people.
In response, the major media launched unheard of attacks against our desire to conduct constitutionally sound and proper investigations. The Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World have published nine separate editorials viciously attacking me, Glenn Wilburn and all those who have stood up and demanded all of the truth about this terrible crime.
An editorial from the Daily Oklahoman entitled, "Drop It, Mr. Key" even had the audacity to say:
As we argued when Key first set out on this course, the Legislature and its staff had no business investigating the bombing. It was, and is, poorly equipped to do so. The same can be said of a panel of local citizens.
People in powerful positions have repeatedly attacked those of us who have scrutinized the federal investigation. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson issued a personal attack saying that I was proposing a "wasteful witch hunt" and was pushing "the worst kind of paranoid conspiracy pandering."
Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, a former FBI agent himself, went so far as to say that "raising questions would not bring one whit of intelligence to the process." He later escalated his attacks saying those of us who were raising serious questions were "howling at the moon" and "off the reservation."
All of these people are literally robbing the victims family members and survivors — and all of us — the opportunity and right to know the truth.
All of us have had to fight the formidable disinformation and smear campaign waged by "faceless forces" that appear to have pockets of unending depth and the mass media at their beck and call.
Glenn Wilburn, who lost two grandchildren in the tragedy, and I filed a petition in November, 1995, to have a local county grand jury impaneled to investigate the bombing. This independent grand jury would be fully autonomous of the federal investigation, and would double in the capacity of a watchdog of the federal investigation.
Here in Oklahoma, we are very fortunate to be one of only two states that have a constitutional guarantee that the people of a county can cause a grand jury to be impaneled whenever they feel there is a need simply by circulating a petition. It is and always has been a common occurrence in our state.
Nevertheless, the Presiding State District Judge, Dan Owens, tried to stop us from petitioning to impanel the grand jury, and we were forced to appeal his actions to a higher court. That is where the latest and some of the most intense criticism has come from recently. One year after our appeal, we finally got a written opinion from the Court of Appeals in the Tulsa district. On December 24, 1996 the court ruled not
only in our favor, but they did so unanimously.
Not only was it unanimous, but the court issued the decision "For Publication." That means that it was such a clear-cut case in regard to the state constitution, statutes, and previous case law, that it constituted a precedent-setting case to be used in lawbooks, most likely for many years to come.
Yet, why is there such extreme opposition to keep this independent grand jury from being allowed to assemble? As you will learn by reading this book, that is because some in our federal law enforcement agencies (i.e. ATF and FBI) had prior knowledge that certain individuals were planning to bomb the Murrah Federal Building!
Prior knowledge on the part of some individuals in the Federal Government may also be why the federal prosecutors barred every single witness to John Doe(s) from the Federal Grand Jury. Of the more than 20 witnesses to one or more John Doe(s), none — not even one — were allowed to tell the Grand Jury what they saw.
Additionally, when the prosecution's list of witnesses was unsealed, we found that the one witness who will be allowed to testify in the trial to McVeigh being in the company of a John Doe can't describe in any way who he saw. Indeed, the best witnesses who can positively place McVeigh in downtown Oklahoma City that morning saw him with one or more individuals and are able to describe to some degree what that person or persons looked like. Those witnesses were not even allowed to testify at McVeigh's trial.
As bizarre as that sounds, Federal Prosecutors were not allowing any of those witnesses to be seen or heard by the Federal Grand Jury. This gives "blind justice" a whole new meaning.
To make this even more clear, the Federal Grand Jury wanted to interview both the eyewitnesses and the sketch artist who drew the John Doe composites but they were flatly refused by the federal "authorities." Clearly they were blatantly deprived of their basic constitutional rights as grand jurors. Why?
Just what is it that they are trying to accomplish? Or, perhaps more pointedly, just who are they trying to protect? And what are they trying to hide?
Let's not forget, elected officials are supposed to be the servants of the people and not the other way around. Just what's going on? And how are they getting away with it?
Our efforts to reinvestigate the case before a county grand jury are important for numerous reasons. One of the reasons that concerns me most is that I fear that the record of McVeigh's trial will comprise the "official story" of what happened. If the evidence of prior knowledge and other perpetrators is not presented in this case, I fear that the government will be successful in shaping the official story to permanently exclude that evidence.
Another reason that I feel that the OKC bombing case is important and directly effects you is that the government has reached a new level of operating out of the bounds of the law and is becoming more and more arrogant. You will read about some of those cases in the second part of this book.
I don't know about you, but that kind of arrogance sickens me and leaves me with a eerie feeling. The government must not be allowed to get away with yet another botched job! The Government must be held accountable.
In spite of the seemingly impenetrable and insurmountable forces acting against us, on February 18, 1997 the Oklahoma State Supreme Court miraculously ruled in favor of allowing the independent county grand jury and against the Federal Government's attempt to quash the rights of the people. That grand jury is investigating the case as this book goes to press.
Based on two years of intense research and investigation, this book gives the public an insight into the evidence which the grand jury will confront. Hopefully now, the forgotten families, survivors, and victims who died from the blast will have their right to a full, open and truthful investigation of the events of April 19.
Rep. Charles Key
State Capitol Bldg., Rm 508 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (405) 521-2711
Publisher's note: The preceding Foreward was adapted for publication from an appeal letter sent by Representative Key to "concerned citizens" on 12 March 1997. Its publication in this book does not necessarily imply Rep. Key's endorsement of the author's conclusions. Both Rep. Key and David Hoffman spent long hours together investigating leads and sharing information regarding the Oklahoma City bombing.
Author's note: While Representative Key and the people of Oklahoma have succeeded in impaneling their grand jury, they are without the
necessary funds to proceed with the investigation. Any contributions towards this effort may be sent to:
Oklahoma County Grand Jury & Bombing Investigation Fund Post Office Box 75669 Oklahoma City, OK 73147
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"All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed."
— I.F. Stone
The images are forever etched in our minds. Scorched, burning cars, pouring black smoke and charred, twisted metal. Piles of rubble, screaming sirens and battered, bloody bodies. And the babies. Frail, lifeless figures — tiny, silent witnesses of death and destruction.
In the early morning hours of April 19th, the Oklahoma City federal building had, in one long, horrible moment… exploded with the force of a volcano, spewing forth the contents of its human carnage onto the streets below. What had a few moments ago been the Alfred P. Murrah building was now a huge, gaping tomb. The entire façade of the nine-story superstructure had been ripped away, exposing its innards — dangling chunks of concrete, tangled strands of cables and bent pieces of rebar — into the choking, blackened sky. Now it stood smoking and eerily silent, except for the muffled cries of its few remaining inhabitants and the wailing of the sirens off in the distance.
One man, an ex-Marine, likened it to carnage he had witnessed in war-torn Lebanon. Another veteran, Thu Nguyen, who had his five-year-old son Christopher in the day care center, said, "I've seen war…. I've seen soldiers I fought with in Vietnam cut this way, cut in half, heads cut off. That was war. These are children. This is not a war. This is a crime."
The scene was surreal — almost too horrific to bear. There were bodies — and pieces of bodies — strewn about, along with childrens' toys and workers' personal effects — tragic reminders of what had moments before been the meaningful mementos of someone's life. One passerby had been wrapped around a telephone pole, her head blown off. Workers who had been sitting at their desks were still sitting there… lifeless, morbid, like eerie figures out of a wax museum of horrors.
Police detective Jay Einhorn remembers one scene: "There was a guy — a black guy — on the second floor, just sitting there. I knew he was dead. He's looking at me, and I'm looking at him… if you don't think that's fucking scary. We just said, man we gotta go up there and cover that guy up."
Daina Bradley, who was trapped under a slab of fallen concrete, was still conscious. With no way to remove her without upsetting the huge piece of concrete, doctors were forced to amputate her leg. As Bradley lay screaming in a pool of water, surgeons, using scalpels and saws, and without anesthesia, amputated her leg below the knee.
The federal office building, home to over 550 workers, had also housed a day care center. Nearby, a makeshift morgue had been set up in what had once been the childrens' playground. Refrigeration trucks lined up to haul away the dead bodies. "Sheriff Clint Boehler, from nearby Canadian County, recalls, "We went flying down there at about 110 miles an hour… you never saw so many services running over each other." As hundreds of volunteers poured in from all over the country, fireman, police and medical personnel began laying out the victims for identification. Shirley Moser, a nurse, began tagging dead children. "Their faces had been blown off, "said Moser. "They found a child without a head."
Those who were lucky enough to escape the carnage were wandering about, dazed and confused. One man, his face bloodied, wandered down the street, saying he was headed home, except that he couldn't remember his name or where his home was. Another man who was entering the building had his arm blown off, but was in such a state of shock that he didn't notice it as he went about trying to help others. 
People who lived or worked nearby had been blown out of their chairs. Trent Smith, 240 pounds, was tossed seven feet into the air and through the window of his hotel room. Several blocks away, a bus filled with people was nearly blown on its side. The force of the blast extended for nearly 30 blocks, blowing out windows and heavily damaging a dozen buildings, and causing damage to almost 400 more.
When it was all over, more than 169 people, including 19 children, lay dead, and more than 500 were injured. The damage was estimated in the hundreds of millions.
Federal authorities were calling the bombing the single largest terrorist attack in the history of the United States. Yet it was difficult to discern whether the bombing was some ominous precursor to some as yet undeclared war, or the result of some criminal plot gone horribly awry. Just who had caused it wasn't clear.
As rescue workers continued the difficult task of searching for bodies, and hospital workers began attending to victims, law enforcement agents began searching for clues. What was clear as law enforcement personnel descended upon the scene, was that the blast had left a 30 foot wide, 8 feet deep crater in front of the building. Fortunately, a ATF agent who had recently attended a course on the identification of car
and truck-bombs just happened to be in the federal courthouse. The agent was able to identify the cause of the blast immediately. He telephoned his superiors in Dallas and told them that an ammonium nitrate truck-bomb had just blown up the Murrah Building.
Sixty miles away, near Perry Oklahoma, Highway Patrolman Charles Hanger was making his usual rounds. Around 10:30 a.m. Officer Hanger noticed a battered 1977 yellow Mercury, without a license plate, speeding along at 81 miles an hour. Pulling the vehicle over, Hanger cited the driver, 26-year-old Timothy James McVeigh, for driving without a license plate. As he was about to let McVeigh go, Hanger noticed a distinct bulge under McVeigh's windbreaker. When he asked McVeigh what he had under his jacket, McVeigh casually informed the cop that he had a gun — a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol. Hanger subsequently arrested McVeigh for carrying a concealed weapon, driving without a tags, and driving without insurance.
Back in Oklahoma City, investigators were busily searching the wreckage for clues that could lead them to the perpetrators. It didn't take long for investigators to find what they were looking for — a piece of axle and a license plate — believed to have been part of the truck used in the bombing. After FBI agents ran the VIN (vehicle identification number) and the plate through their Rapid Start computer system, they discovered the vehicle belonged to a Ryder rental agency in Florida. A check with the agency revealed that the truck, a 1993 Ford, was rented out of Elliott's Body Shop in Junction City, Kansas. Elliott's said that they had rented the 20-foot truck to a Bob Kling on April 17th, and gave the FBI artist a description of two men who had rented the truck, known as Unsub #1 and Unsub #2.
Kling, Unsub #1, had listed his address as 3616 North Van Dyke Road in Decker, Michigan. The address was the home of James Douglas Nichols and Terry Lynn Nichols. A quick check of that address with the Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles revealed a license in the name of Timothy James McVeigh.
FBI agents interviewing James Nichols and relatives in Decker quickly learned that Timothy McVeigh was a friend of Nichols, who possessed large quantities of fuel oil and fertilizer. Armed with a search warrant, agents found 28 50-pound bags of fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, a 55 gallon drum containing fuel oil, blasting caps, and safety fuse.
Interviews with neighbors[, including Daniel Stomber, Paul Isydorak and others,] revealed that the Nichols brothers and McVeigh had experimented with explosives, using household items to produce small bombs using bottles and cardboard cartons, which they would detonate on their property for fun. Witnesses also claimed that in December of 1993, McVeigh and one of the Nichols brothers had visited Thumb Hobbies, Etc. to inquire about purchasing 100% liquid nitro model airplane fuel. One of these witnesses had reported that James Nichols had repeatedly blamed the U.S. government for all the problems in the world.
Federal agents then decided they had enough evidence to arrest James Nichols, and to put out a warrant on his brother Terry, who was living in Herrington, Kansas. On April 22, Terry Nichols, wondering why his name was being broadcast on television, walked into the local police station in Herrington.
In the meantime, witnesses at the scene of the bombing had given FBI agents a description of possible suspects. While interviewing people in Junction City, agents spoke to the manager of the Dreamland Motel who recognized the composite sketch of the suspect the FBI called Unsub #1. The man had registered at the Dreamland from April 14 to April 18 under the name of Tim McVeigh, had driven a yellow Mercury, and provided an address on North Van Dyke Road in Decker, Michigan.
On April 21, Carl E. Lebron, a former co-worker of McVeigh's, recognized the composite sketch of Unsub #1 on TV and called the FBI. He said that the man was named Timothy McVeigh, and that he was possessed of extreme right-wing views, was a military veteran, and was particularly agitated over the deaths of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas in April, 1993. The man told the FBI that McVeigh expressed extreme anger towards the Federal Government. The man gave the FBI the last known address he had for McVeigh: 1711 Stockton Hill Road, #206, Kingman, Arizona.
Back in Perry, Oklahoma, McVeigh was still sitting in a cell at the Noble County Courthouse, waiting for his arraignment. After feeding McVeigh's name into the National Crime Information Center, the FBI discovered their suspect sitting quietly in the Noble County jail on a traffic and weapons charge. Just as McVeigh was about to be set free, District Attorney John Maddox received a call from the FBI telling him to hold on to the prisoner, that he was a prime suspect in the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
So, by good luck, diligent work, and an amazing series of coincidences, federal law enforcement authorities solved the most heinous crime in the history of the United States — all within 48 hours.
Or did they?
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