April 20, 2005

"Others Unknown" Still Haunt OKC

I'm a couple of days late for the 10th anniversary of the OKC bombing, but then the FBI is ten years late leveling with the American people about who was involved along with Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the plot to bomb the Murrah Building. Rich at Bizblogger has a post up called "Decade of Deceit: The Oklahoma City Bombing" that's worth reading in full.

He focuses on the body of work of Jayna Davis, the Oklahoma City television reporter who has covered the case from the day of the bombing, and has linked McVeigh and Nichols to several Middle Eastern men with ties to Iraqi Intelligence. Rich's post summarizes some of Davis' findings as follows:

Jayna Davis compiled the following evidence over the past decade: 1) Twenty-six sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses who implicate specific Arab men acting in collusion with McVeigh and Nichols during various stages of the bombing plot. 2) Classified government intelligence reports that tie Middle Eastern terrorist organizations to the attack. 3) Court documents, public records and statements by law enforcement and intelligence sources that have independently corroborated the eyewitnesses’ testimonies. The findings have been documented through nearly seventy hours of videotaped interviews, recorded phone conversations, and hundreds of pages of transcripts.

Davis’ evidence pointed to a network of foreign terrorists who were complicit in the bombing, including a former Iraqi soldier named Hussain Al-Hussaini who was identified by several independent witnesses as fitting the description of John Doe 2 with McVeigh in the Ryder truck the morning of the bombing.

On several occasions, Davis attempted to present her evidence to the FBI, but was continually refused. In 1997, she met with an FBI agent to surrender all witness statements and hundreds of pages of supporting information that validated critical aspects of their testimonies. The FBI, however, categorically refused to accept the evidence. The DOJ apparently did not want any more “documents for discovery” to turn over to the defense teams.

Here is a more complete summary of Jayna Davis' reporting, which Wizblog first linked to in this post almost two years ago, and another later in 2003. There was talk at the time that the FBI might be asked to reopen the investigation in light of the Davis evidence, but it was a pipedream then, as it is now, to suggest the FBI would willingly investigate their own corruption and/or incompetence in the OKC investigation, other than to whitewash themselves again.

But it appears a couple of things have once again rekindled some interest in taking another look at the case. First is the publication and subsequent success of Jayna Davis' book, "The Third Terrorist:The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing". This has grabbed the attention of California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who is making noises about a possible investigation. I am not aware of the status of this attempt to start over with a Congressional probe, but ten years has taught me to be skeptical about the chances of any such meaningful truth-telling.

Just as happened in the case of TWA 800 just over a year later, people whose eyewitness testimony proved inconvenient to the direction the government wanted the investigation to go were simply ignored. Any admission of terrorist involvement in either attack would have required an immediate military response of some sort from Bill Clinton. So "right-wingers" and spontaneous sparks got the blame.

I remain convinced that if the mature blogosphere of 2005 had existed in the mid-90's, it would have been impossible for the government and the MSM to stonewall these stories. And now it seems that the political will to pick the scabs off those old wounds does not exist in Congress, and certainly does not exist in the Bush administration.

Someday.

Posted by dan at April 20, 2005 3:23 PM