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Thursday, May 26, 2005

The thorny road to the truth of the OKC Bombing

May 26, 2005

It has been over 10 years since the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 and injured hundreds more. The case, we are told, has been investigated over and over again. No stone has been left unturned, we are told.

Of course, those of us who have really paid attention have likely been uneasy about the case all along. Why, for instance, would the observation video tape depicting the final moments of the bomb-carrying truck sitting next to the doomed building - a tape shot in a public space, where you or I could have stood and witnessed the same events - why is that tape still classified?

Since all those in the know are mum on the issue of the tape, let us leave it alone for now and just move on to another related matter. As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune ("FBI acknowledges it has found records that may apply to death" by Pamela Manson, May 25, 2005),

After insisting for a year that it was unable to find records connected to the death of an Oklahoma prison inmate, the FBI is acknowledging it has found hundreds of pages of documents that could apply to the case.

However, the agency is asking a federal judge in Utah to pare back his order requiring it to produce records and grant an extension of a June 15 deadline. Officials say they need more time to review more than six million pages of information that potentially could fall under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in 2004 by the inmate's brother, Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue.


Kenneth Trentadue, 44, who had served time for bank robbery, was being held on an alleged parole violation in a federal prison in Oklahoma City when guards found him dead on Aug. 21, 1995, hanging from a noose made of torn bedsheets. Authorities say he committed suicide and several investigations also ruled that the prisoner died by his own hand, but his family insists he was killed.

Trentadue contends the FBI mistakenly suspected his brother was part of a gang that robbed banks to fund attacks on the government, and that authorities killed him when things got out of hand during an interrogation.

In his FOIA requests, the lawyer has sought records on a white supremacist compound in Oklahoma where Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in 2001 for the Murrah bombing, allegedly tried to recruit accomplices. Trentadue says an informant for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization, had infiltrated the compound and relayed information about McVeigh's plan to the FBI about two weeks before the bombing.

A similar report titled "FBI has secret docs it's reluctant to give up" was published on on the same day, May 25, 2005. This report states point-blank:

For years, the FBI has repeatedly denied the agency had any prior knowledge of the bomb plot.

The FBI now says it has found 340 documents that could also link the SPLC to McVeigh, Elohim City and members of the Aryan Republican Army.

Well, let me just say that this truth is certainly welcome news, albeit it might be about 10 years late in coming. I would also advise you to think back to this situation every time you hear a government spokesperson speak.

And I am certainly looking forward to more exciting OKC discoveries. We have spent 10 years waiting. It's about time.

Originally published here.

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