- The dead are buried, but the wounded can't be healed.
- As in all the world's atrocities, both cry out for justice,
yet no one hears their pleas.
- This April 19th is the eighth anniversary of that awful
day when 168 unsuspecting people suddenly lost their lives in a massive
explosion that obliterated the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
- Literally minutes after the blast, an ATF agent was heard
to say the crime was revenge for the massacre of members of a religious
cult in Waco, Texas two years earlier. Thus, like the lone assassin theory
used in so many public crimes, the official story line was planted, and
now it is cast in stone.
- The so-called perpetrator has been tried, convicted,
and executed, but those long-suffering survivors who walk around the glittering
new Oklahoma City Bombing Museum are haunted by the ghostly apparition
of guilt for never finding out what really happened on that innocent Wednesday
- Mostly when you ask the question of those on the streets
of Oklahoma's state capital, there comes an uncomfortable silence amid
memories of suspicious suicides, changed stories and ignored evidence.
Though polite respect is the rule, no fact of the case remains certain
except the corpses, the blood, and the pain.
- Sensational theories of foreign terrorists and government
conspiracies have come and gone, and now mostly gather dust on forgotten
pages in used bookstores. Witnesses ignored by the official trial still
recount their stories to the few who remain to listen.
- But the world moved on to new traumas, suspiciously couched
in similarly suspect explanations.
- In the public's mind, Oklahoma's great wound was overshadowed,
six years later, by an even ghastlier scenario that involved even more
catastrophic tragedy in New York and Washington in 2001. And what is transpiring
now, as the official hearings into the 9/11 tragedy get underway amid charges
of coverup and deception, seems to be an instant replay of what happened
in Oklahoma, where all those important questions were asked but never answered.
- Shortly after the Oklahoma City blast, Retired Air Force
Gen. Benton K. Partin wrote that he had conclusive proof that the Murrah
Federal Building was not destroyed by Timothy McVeigh's truck bomb, but
by four demolition charges placed at critical structural points on the
- A recognized expert in bomb damage analysis, Partin said
the damage pattern on the reinforced concrete superstructure could not
possibly have been caused by a single truck bomb.
- In a letter to 72 members of Congress, Partin also urged
lawmakers "to defer action ... on so-called anti-terrorism legislation
that has serious civil liberties implications, and which would not be passed
except for the Oklahoma City bombing ... "
- The retired general also noted "the effort required
to bomb the Murrah Federal Building pales in comparison to the effort to
cover up evidence in Oklahoma ... "
- But Partin's evidence was shoved aside and he was not
allowed to testify before any judge.
- Just as the demolished World Trade Center site was blocked
from independent forensic investigators, so was Gen. Partin's recommendation
ignored and the Murrah building demolished before explosives experts could
properly examine the building.
- Except for a few of the less popular books that have
inadvertently slipped onto the new OKC memorial's library shelves, the
museum's message is essentially the same as the government's: white Patriot
maniac avenging government atrocity at Waco now executed; sad case closed.
- But still lingering, important questions asked and never
answered, the ghosts of Oklahoma City:
- * The strange "suicide" of OKC police officer
Terence Yeakey, who had helped rescue victims moments after the blast,
who compiled extensive files on his observations which were never found,
who was discovered with his wrists and throat slashed and after that, 3,300
feet from his car, with a bullet through his head at an impossible angle
- * The early TV reports about more bombs found in the
wreckage of the Murrah building, reports that suddenly ceased after a few
days and were forgotten ...
- * The encyclopedic "Final Report" on the bombing
compiled by The Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee includes testimony
from nine recognized experts in the field of explosives dynamics who unanimously
conclude that no truck bomb of any strength could have sheared off the
concrete columns in the middle of the Murrah building ...
- * Grand jury refusing to see witnesses who saw an unnamed
second person with McVeigh ... evidence of a sting operation gone bad much
the first World Trade Center bombing ... consistent official opposition
to an independent grand jury ...
- * Rescue of victims halted so federal agents could remove
boxes from where the offices of the DEA and ATF had been located, including
crates marked "explosives" presumably stored in a building full
of civilians ...
- * FBI refuses to release satellite surveillance tapes,
numerous witnesses altered their stories from previous depositions, government
quashes testimony about existence of John Doe #2, a presumed accomplice
of McVeigh ...
- * FBI fails to follow up on leads provided by paid government
informants to German provocateur Andres Strassmeier, KKK kingpin Dennis
Mahon, and possible John Doe suspect Michael Brescia, all of whom were
fingered as participants in discussions about targeting federal buildings
for terrorist acts ...
- * Numerous other witnesses were threatened to "keep
their mouths shut" (Debbie Burdick, Nancy Kindle, John Jeffrey Davis,
Randall A. Yount, Jim Linehan, Morris Kuper) ...
- * ATF agents told not to come to work that day, lab tests
falsified, FBI decides on type of bomb without evidence, judge makes ruling
without reading evidence ...
- * All nine members of the bombing memorial museum's board
of trustees have been 'hand-picked' by our president, eliminating impartiality
of opinion here that might reveal the true facts of the case.
- The official report of the bombing committee runs 548
pages of unanswered questions.
- But the motive for the crime was established by fiat
moments after the blast, convenient criminal suspects were ID'd shortly
afterwards, and over the many months that followed, every other lead was
pushed aside because the powers that be had what they wanted, and that
- Now that 9/11 probe is proceeding along the same lines
of planted stories, premature conclusions and stonewalled evasions.
- The lives of those Oklahomans, not to mention Vicki Weaver,
- faithful and 3,000 unsuspecting New Yorkers, remain unavenged
and unexplained, all the while with a government clucking contentedly that
wheels of justice are turning smoothly.
- Despite a disinterested public, a small cadre of frustrated
men and women who know all these facts like the back of their hands bravely
continues to strive to keep these questions in the public mind. I asked
one what he thought was the real deal about Oklahoma City that the government
had worked so hard all these years to conceal.
- "I think it was the Iraqi connection," he confided.
- In a letter from the executive director of the new museum,
this source reportedly wrote back: "Thank you for providing us with
the additional information, but in fact, the veracity of these materials
still would not impact the story told in the memorial museum."
- And the ghosts of Oklahoma City continue to float on
the dusty air.
- Source: Final Report on the Bombing of the Alfred P.
Murrah Building, April 19, 1995, by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation
Committee, available online at www.okcbombing.org
- John Kaminski, who lives on the coast of Florida, is
the author of "America's Autopsy Report," soon to be published
by Dandelion Books.