The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:23 am

The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Copyright © 1997 by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

• INSIDE & BACK COVERS
• INTRODUCTION: Blackwater
• The Oklahoma Bombing -- "Our Common Ground"
o ONE: The Resurrection of President Clinton
o TWO: Glenn and Kathy Wilburn
o THREE: John Doe Two
o FOUR: Elohim City and Dennis the Menace
o FIVE: Carol Howe
o SIX: Lt. Andreas Strassmeir PzGren (SPz)
o SEVEN: The Aryan Republican Army
• Vince Foster and "The Most Ethical Administration in the History of the Republic"
o EIGHT: The Taboo Investigation
o NINE: The Peripatetic Gun
o TEN: The Neck Wound
o ELEVEN: The Car
o TWELVE: Street Fascism
o THIRTEEN: The Tip-Off
o FOURTEEN: "Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce"
o FIFTEEN: The Verdict of Depression
o SIXTEEN: The Parks Murder
• "Come to Arkansas .... You Might Even Learn a Thing or Two"
o SEVENTEEN: Death Squad
o EIGHTEEN: The Dixie Mafia
o NINETEEN: The Dan Lasater Drug Trafficking Organization
o TWENTY: Barry Seal, Air Contra, and Mena Airport
o TWENTY-ONE: The Mena Twins
o TWENTY-TWO: Paula Jones: Perverse Justice
o EPILOGUE: America's Hope
• Notes
• Appendix A
• Appendix B
• Appendix C
• Index

"I'M A DEAD MAN," whispered Jerry Parks, pale with shock, as he looked up at the television screen. It was a news bulletin on the local station in Little Rock. Vincent Foster, a childhood friend of the President, had been found dead in a park outside Washington. Apparent suicide. [1]

He never explained to his son Gary what he meant by that remark, but for the next two months the beefy 6' 3" security executive was in a state of permanent fear. He would pack a pistol to fetch the mail. On the way to his offices at American Contract Services in Little Rock he would double back or take strange routes to "dry-clean" the cars that he thought were following him. At night he kept tearing anxiously at his eyebrows, and raiding the valium pills of his wife, Jane, who was battling multiple sclerosis. Once he muttered darkly that Bill Clinton's people were "cleaning house," and he was "next on the list." [2]

Two months later, in September 1993, Jerry and Jane went on a Caribbean cruise. He seemed calmer. At one of the islands he went to take care of some business at a bank. She believed it was Grand Cayman. They returned to their home in the rural suburbs of Little Rock on September 25. The next day Jane was in one of her "down" periods, so Jerry went off on his own for the regular Sunday afternoon supper at El Chico Mexican Restaurant.

On the way back, at about 6:30 PM, a white Chevrolet Caprice pulled up beside him on the Chenal Parkway. Before Parks had time to reach for his .38 caliber "detective special" that he kept tucked between the seats, an assassin let off a volley of semi-automatic fire into his hulking 320 pound frame.

Parks skidded to a halt in the intersection of Highway 10. The stocky middle-aged killer jumped out and finished him off with a 9 mm handgun -- two more shots into the chest at point blank range. Several witnesses watched with astonishment as the nonchalant gunman joined his accomplice in the waiting car and sped away. [3]

***

It was another two years before Jane Parks began to tell me the rest of the story. She had remarried and moved to Batesville, two hours' drive from Little Rock. Her new husband was an attorney named Harvey Bell, the former Arkansas Securities Commissioner. His life, too, had intersected with that of Vincent Foster. A colonel in the Arkansas National Guard, Bell told me that he had been the commander of Foster's reserve unit and had later crossed swords with him in court. "Vince liked to think of himself as a master chess player, moving all the pieces, controlling the game," he said. "He was always scheming in the shadows." [15]

Jane felt safer in Batesville. The threatening telephone calls that she had been receiving had stopped. Her illness was in remission. She had held back before, she explained, for fear of violent reprisals against her two sons and herself. But she was weary of bottling up her secrets, and she no longer felt the emotional compulsion to cover for her first husband. "I've been praying about it. I decided that if you tell the whole truth it'll set you free."

She revealed that Jerry Parks had carried out sensitive assignments for the Clinton circle for almost a decade, and the person who gave him his instructions was Vince Foster. It did not come as a total shock. I already knew that there was some kind of tie between the two men. Foster's brother-in-law, Lee Bowman, told me long ago that Vince had recommended Jerry Parks for security work in the mid-1980s. "I was struck by how insistent he was that Parks was a 'man who could be trusted,'" said Bowman, a wealthy Little Rock stockbroker. [16]

Jane thought that Jerry and Vince Foster had gotten to know each other when the Rose Law Firm represented Guardsmark in litigation. Vince had fed him little tasks during the 1980s, she believed, rewarding him along the way. In late 1989 he helped to secure Jerry a $47,959 loan from the Arkansas Teachers Retirement Fund, a huge piggy bank used by the Clinton Machine for political payoffs. As reported by James Ring Adams in The American Spectator, the loan went through the Twin City Bank of North Little Rock, a bank that had played a role in the Whitewater saga.

Jerry, in turn, "respected Vince Foster more than anybody else in the world." [17] It was a strange, clandestine relationship. Foster called the Parks home more than a hundred times, identifying himself with the code name, "The Congressman." Jane met him only once in person. It was at a "Roast and Toast" of the Governor. He walked over, graceful as always, and said: "Hello, you must be Jerry's wife. I'd heard he'd robbed the cradle."

By the late 1980s Vince trusted Parks enough to ask him to perform discreet surveillance on the Governor. "Jerry asked him why he needed this stuff on Clinton. He said he needed it for Hillary," recalled Jane. It appears that Hillary wanted to gauge exactly how vulnerable her husband would be to charges of philandering if he decided to launch a bid for the presidency.

Had he learned to be more cautious? How easily could he be caught? Was it bad enough to destroy a candidacy? These were things she needed to know before subjecting herself and her daughter to the media glare of a national campaign. This moral check-up was a very understandable precaution. [18]

Later, during the early stages of the presidential campaign, Parks made at least two trips to the town of Mena, in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. Mena had come up in conversations before. Jane told me that Parks had been a friend of Barry Seal, a legendary cocaine smuggler and undercover U.S. operative who had established a base of operations at Mena airport. Parks had even attended Seal's funeral in Baton Rouge after Seal was assassinated by Colombian pistoleros in February 1986.

One of the trips was in 1991, she thought, although it could have been 1992. The morning after Jerry got back from Mena she borrowed his Lincoln to go to the grocery store and discovered what must have been hundreds of thousands of dollars in the trunk. "It was all in $100 bills, wrapped in string, layer after layer. It was so full I had to sit on the trunk to get it shut again," she said.

"I took a handful of money and threw it in his lap and said, 'Are you running drugs?' Jerry said Vince had paid him $1,000 cash for each trip. He didn't know what they were doing, and he didn't want to know either, and nor should I. He told me to forget what I'd seen."

They had a bitter quarrel and barely spoke to each other for two weeks. They made up on Jerry's birthday on July 3. "The whole thing was becoming scary," she said of that time. "He was in over his head."

He told her that he would leave his Lincoln at a hangar at the Mena airport, go off for a coke, and by the time he came back they would have loaded the money into the trunk with a forklift truck. He never touched it. When he got back to Little Rock he would deliver the money to Vince Foster in the K-Mart parking lot on Rodney Parham boulevard, a little at a time. They used a routine of switching briefcases, a "flip-flop mail carrier" made of leather.

Foster and Parks had other operations running. The two of them had bugged the Clinton-Gore headquarters in Little Rock. "Vince knew that somebody was stealing money from the campaign, and he wanted to find out who was doing it," she said. If her memory is correct, it suggests that Foster was far more deeply involved in the 1992 campaign than previously thought. It raises extra questions about the bundles of cash coming through Mena. Was it campaign money? If so, how was it laundered? How could so much cash have been spread around without flagging the Federal Election Commission?

Contact with Foster was rare after he moved to the White House. But he telephoned in mid-July 1993, about a week before his death. He explained that Hillary had worked herself into a state about "the files," worried that there might be something in them that could cause real damage to Bill or herself. The conversation was brief and inconclusive. Jerry told Vince Foster that there was indeed "plenty to hurt both of them. But you can't give her those files, that was the agreement." Jerry did not seem too perturbed at the time.

A few days later Foster called again. Jane is sure that it was either Sunday, July 18, or Monday, July 19, the night before Foster's death. Jerry was in the living room with his feet up, watching the History Channel on TV. Jane was puttering in and out of the kitchen. It was around 8:30 PM, central time.

"Vince was calling from a pay phone," said Jane, who overheard one side of the conversation and then learned the rest from Jerry afterward. "He kept feeding coins into the box, and then he told Jerry to hold on. He must have been near a mini-mart or something because he said he had to get more coins. [19] Then he called a second time, and they spoke for 30 minutes or more."

This time it was a heated exchange. Vince said that he had made up his mind. He was going to hand over the files and wanted to be sure that he had the complete set.

"You're not going to use those files!" said Jerry, angrily.

Foster tried to soothe him. He said he was going to meet Hillary at "the flat" and he was going to give her the files.

"You can't do that," said Parks. "My name's all over this stuff. You can't give Hillary those files. You can't! Remember what she did, what you told me she did. She's capable of doing anything!"

"We can trust Hil. Don't worry," said Foster.

Jane does not know exactly what files Foster wanted, but assumes he meant everything that Parks had done for him over more than a decade. Nor did she know what Foster meant by "the flat."

-- The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:31 am

Inside Cover:

The reporter the White House most fears ... with good reason

"Evans-Pritchard has made contacts ... that are the envy of other reporters." -- The New York Times Magazine

Cited by White House press secretary Mike McCurry as the origin of every major Clinton scandal story, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has done more than any other journalist to expose the truth about the Clintons.

Now Evans-Pritchard is braking the biggest scoop of all; an assiduously documented expose of "the blackwater scandals" -- the scandals that have gone unreported in the American media, but that characterize the Clinton presidency as the most corrupt in history.

Among the secrets Evans-Pritchard exposes:

Did the Federal Government have advance warning about the Oklahoma City bombing? Evans-Pritchard tells the story that the FBI and the Justice Department don't want you to know.

Eyewitnesses to corruption in Clinton's Arkansas -- many have met with brutal harassment, physical intimidation, and, in some cases, even suspicious death. Those who survived tell Evans-Pritchard their story.

Bill Clinton's involvement in the drug underworld of Arkansas. Evans-Pritchard talks to the smugglers, the Arkansas state troopers, the federal agents and prosecutors, and the young girls who were the victims of "the good times."

The true story of Vince Foster's death -- what the official report won't tell you, but what eyewitnesses saw, and why the government is being sued for falsifying sworn testimony.

In the aftermath of Vince Foster, the shocking story of the murder of Jerry Parks, head of Clinton security in Little Rock. Why Parks predicted his own death.

Why the Left was right about Mena Airport: Evans-Pritchard discovers the missing evidence.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has been in the trenches for more than four years investigating the stories that few other reporters have the gumption to touch. No other reporter has as strong a record of credibility and as devastating a portrait of our political life as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. And with The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, he has written the Clinton book of the year.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has built a stellar career as a journalist. He covered Central America for The Economist and The Daily Telegraph and has reported from the United States for both The Spectator and The Sunday Telegraph, for which he was Washington bureau chief. Cambridge-educated and internationally renowned, Evans-Pritchard has recently returned to England, where he will serve as The Daily Telegraph's roving European correspondent.

Jacket photo courtesy of AFP

Jacket design by Marja Walker

Back Cover

"He is the Woodward and Bernstein of the current era." -- Michael Reagan

"Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's reporting for The Sunday Telegraph made Washington a lively place, and he was a source of scoops and disclosures that were a source of heartburn and misery for certain occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." -- Wes Pruden, Editor-In-Chief, The Washington Times

"Evans-Pritchard is a straight shooter." -- Christopher Hitchens

"For the past decade one of the greatest journalists covering America has been Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. No one has developed wider contacts regarding the botches and scandals of American government. No one has written more elegantly and intelligently." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Editor-In Chief, The American Spectator

"Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is one of the few British journalists in Washington who did not rehash the front pages of The Washington Post or The New York Times in his dispatches. He made his own investigations, reached his own judgments, and reported his findings in luminously readable and entertaining prose." -- John O'Sullivan, Editor, National Review
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:37 am

DEDICATION

To the people of Arkansas who deserve better,
to the people of Oklahoma who deserve the truth,
and to the people of the United States who have treated me with such generosity

INTRODUCTION: BLACKWATER

I WRITE THIS BOOK with sadness. By elective affinity I am an American, even if I remain a subject of the Queen. I did not come here with an attitude of haughty disdain, intent on running down the country. It has always been my unquestioned assumption that the United States is a force for good in the world, the final guarantor of liberal civilization.

Nor did I harbor animosity toward Bill and Hillary Clinton when I was sent to Washington as Bureau Chief for The Sunday Telegraph at the end of 1992. Although a Tory of Burkean philosophy, I had succumbed to the charm of Bill Clinton years before at a conference of the Democratic Leadership Council in Williamsburg. As for Hillary, I was rather taken by her image of flinty altruism. When I wrote the lead editorial for The Daily Telegraph the day after the presidential election in November 1992, I was guardedly optimistic. Little did I know.

The Clintons are attractive on the surface. As Yale Law School graduates they have mastered the language and style of the mandarin class. It is only when you walk through the mirrors into the Arkansas underworld whence they came that you begin to realize that something is horribly wrong. You learn that Bill Clinton grew up in the Dixie Mafia stronghold of Hot Springs, and that his brother was a drug dealer with ties to the Medellin Cartel. You learn that a cocaine distributor named Dan Lasater was an intimate friend, and that Lasater's top aide would later be given a post in charge of administration (and drug testing) at the White House. You learn that Arkansas was a mini-Colombia within the United States, infested by narco-corruption.

And you start to wonder.

In Washington, Clinton moved with ruthless efficiency to take control of the federal machinery of coercion. While the U.S. watchdog press barked and howled with pitiful irrelevance about Clinton's $200 hair cut, he quietly fired every U.S. Attorney in the country and then made his move on the FBI, which would be transformed gradually, one appointment at a time, into a replica of the Arkansas State Police. When he sacked William Sessions in July 1993, it was the first time in American history that a president had summarily dismissed an FBI director. The putsch passed without protest. This is how a country starts to lose a democracy.

I have not lost my faith in the American people. In the end, I believe, it is the ordinary citizens who will cleanse the institutions of the country before they become irretrievably corrupt. They are the heroes of this book. Ultimately, this is an optimistic essay, a paean to the American spirit. But let me tell you, I am astounded by the bullying and deceitful conduct of the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies under this administration. No doubt there have been abuses in the past, but I believe that malfeasance has become systemic over the last five years. It is spreading down, by example, lodging itself in the institutional apparatus of government. Whether it is the Internal Revenue Service targeting foes of the president, or the Immigration and Naturalization Service expediting citizenship for "Democratic" voters in time for the 1996 elections, or the prostitution of the Lincoln Bedroom, the Clinton reflex is in evidence everywhere. To put it with brutal honesty, you can sniff the pungent odors of decay in the American body politic. I expect that this is what it smelt like in continental Europe in the 1920s, even as the boom rolled on.

When you are living through events day-by-day it is hard to know whether you are witnessing an historic turning point in the life of a country, or just mistaking the usual noise of politics for something meaningful. But there can be no doubt that the undercurrents in the era of William Jefferson Clinton are unprecedented. It was driven home to me by a symposium in November 1996 held by Father Richard Neuhaus, a respected Catholic intellectual and editor of First Things. Neuhaus warned that the experiment of the founding fathers was in danger of failing, and he pointedly spoke of the "the trail of abuses and usurpations" that set off the first American Revolution. Has it reached the point, he asked, "where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime?"

Yes, he said "regime."

Something about Bill Clinton -- his ineffable caddishness, perhaps -- is changing the political discourse of the country. Every year that he continues in power, he eats a little deeper into the eroded legitimacy of the political order. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated. Three-quarters of the American people now tell pollsters that they do not trust the government to do the right thing. If ever there was a time when a leader of stoic virtue was needed to restore the authority of the national institutions, it is surely now.

It is under this president that domestic terrorism has become a feature of daily life in America. For decades the country was largely free of the political violence that has afflicted much of western Europe. Indeed, Europeans looked across the Atlantic with envy, marveling at the way this huge bustling nation managed to order its affairs with such cohesive goodwill. Not any longer. The actions and character of President Clinton have engendered the most deadly terrorist movement in the industrialized world. I choose the word "movement" advisedly because I do not accept the Justice Department claim that Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh were acting alone when they killed 168 people in the Oklahoma federal building in April 1995. There has been a steady campaign of bombing since then: three in Atlanta alone, including the deadly pipe bomb that eclipsed the 1996 Olympics. The attacks are so ubiquitous that they do not make the national news unless somebody is killed. To a foreign eye, America looks like a country that is flying out of control.

Again, it is under Clinton that an armed militia movement involving tens of thousands of people has mushroomed out of the plain, an expression of dissent that is unparalleled since the southern gun clubs before the Civil War. People do not spend their weekends with an SKS rifle, drilling for guerrilla warfare against federal forces, in a country that is at ease with itself. It takes very bad behavior to provoke the first simmerings of armed insurgency, and the militias are unmistakably Clinton's offspring. Would they have happened if America were governed by a President Tsongas or a President Bush? Of course not.

If we look only at the 20th century, we find that the vast majority of presidents were indeed puppets of a supra-constitutional banking establishment that may be associated with the names of Morgan, Mellon, and Rockefeller, with the City of London looming in the background. This is of course the invisible government or parallel government founded in its current form around 1895, when President Grover Cleveland capitulated to the Morgan and London financier interests during a run on the gold backing of the United States dollar. Since 1895, Morgan and London have controlled the public debt of the United States. This arrangement was consolidated under color of law with the passage of the Federal Reserve act under Woodrow Wilson.

This Morgan-led financier faction has generally -- but not always -- been able to have its way over the intervening decades, especially in matters of foreign policy and finance policy. William McKinley is an example of a president who was not sufficiently puppet-like to satisfy the Morgan interests; McKinley was not enthusiastic about founding an American empire during and after the Spanish-American war, and was accordingly liquidated. This process was facilitated by the vice presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, a mental deficient who manifestly lacked the intellectual or moral capabilities to take any form of effective independent action.

The banking elite has always favored presidential candidates whose pedigree includes at least one nervous breakdown, and extreme neurosis, or a borderline psychosis so powerful as to cripple them as autonomous political actors. The banking oligarchy was appalled by the ability of Franklin D. Roosevelt to actually exercise the constitutional powers of the president as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. After Roosevelt's death, the oligarchy swore to itself that it would never again permit a real president who might threaten the sacred principle of oligarchical rule itself. One result of this collective resolve by the banking oligarchs was the imposition of term limits on the presidency, which has tended to make incumbent presidents into impotent lame ducks, sometimes as early as the midpoint of their first term. When John F. Kennedy attempted to reassert the New Deal concept of the presidency, he was liquidated by the secret team or rogue network which is the operational arm of the bankers' invisible government.

-- Obama, The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate, by Webster Griffin Tarpley


Which compels the question: What is it about the combustible chemistry of Bill Clinton that causes such reaction? What has he been doing to America?

The original sin, I believe, was the FBI assault on the Branch Davidian community in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. At least 76 people were incinerated, most of them women and children, after FBI tanks went smashing through the walls of Mount Carmel. The death toll adds up to the worst tragedy precipitated by government action on American soil this century. You have to go back to the slaughter of 200 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in 1890 to find an abuse of power on this scale. Just like Waco, Wounded Knee was designated a "battle" by officials; and just like Waco, the victims were demonized as sexual deviants. Some methods never change.

Infants too young to use masks were subjected to six hours exposure to CS gas, a weapon banned in warfare under the Paris Convention on Chemical Weapons. The Justice Department plan, in effect, was to torture the children to force the surrender of the parents. There is expert opinion that some of the babies would have died from the gas alone, without the fire. So I bristled when Attorney General Janet Reno testified to Congress that the raid would have been a success if the FBI had increased the dosage of chemical poison. [1]

It is my contention that every salient fact put forward by the Clinton administration about Waco is a lie. I do not believe that the Branch Davidians were stockpiling weapons for offensive action, or any action. I do not believe that they "ambushed" the ATF as federal agents were "peacefully" trying to deliver a search warrant. I do not find the FBI account of the final conflagration to be remotely credible.


Nobody has ever lost a day's pay for what happened. I am not suggesting a public flogging for the regular FBI and ATF agents who were just trying to do their job in difficult circumstances. That is not the way to resolve anything. Nor am I suggesting that those responsible be put on trial for negligent infanticide. Not yet, at least. But there has to be a ritual expurgation of some kind if the open wound of Waco is ever to heal. What is missing is any sense of guilt or repentance, any admission that something terrible was done to the Branch Davidians. "I do not think the United States government is responsible for the fact that a bunch of fanatics decided to kill themselves" was how Clinton responded at a press conference two days after the fire.

This, too, was a lie, of course, a posthumous slander. Nothing is more undignified than the attempt by the White House and the Justice Department to exonerate their own conduct by falsely accusing the Davidians of murdering their children. The evidence does not support this outrageous claim.
It is far more likely that the inflammable residue from the CS gas was ignited by accident, perhaps by a tank smashing into a fuel lantern (the Davidians had had their electricity cut off) or by flash-bang grenades or other explosive devices used by the FBI. But to admit that the U.S. Justice Department killed these children, albeit by accident, is to change the whole character of Waco.

No, the victims, not the perpetrators, would continue to shoulder all the blame. To compound the injustice, the survivors were subjected to a vindictive prosecution. Some of the Davidians were sentenced to 40 years in prison, even though the jury found them innocent of conspiracy to murder. To the horror of the jurors, convictions on minor charges were misconstrued by the judge to vastly increase the penalties. As jury foreman Sarah Bain said later: "The federal government was absolutely out of control here. We spoke in the jury room about the fact that the wrong people were on trial, that it should have been the ones who planned the raid and orchestrated it and insisted on carrying out this plan who should have been on trial."

Quite so.

It was not the first time, nor the last time, that Bill Clinton would misuse the judicial apparatus to shape political perceptions. He practiced the art as Governor of Arkansas, and he has continued to use it as an instrument of intimidation in Washington. Sending people to prison on false charges -- or trying to do so -- is his specialty, which is the chief reason why I have come to revile the man. Behind the facade of a roguish bon viveur, Clinton conceals a very nasty streak.

As a foreign correspondent, I have been uniquely privileged. I am not beholden to any political or financial interest in the United States. I do not hang on lips of official sources, nor do I fear the loss of access in Washington, or the blackball of my profession.

As I write this I am already sitting 3,000 miles away, in a medieval village, looking out over the Weald of Kent. I can tell it as I saw it, the whole unvarnished truth.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:38 am

THE OKLAHOMA BOMBING -- "OUR COMMON GROUND"

-- Bill Clinton to reporters aboard Air Force One, November 1996


CHAPTER ONE: THE RESURRECTION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON

RELAXING ON AIR FORCE ONE after the 1996 elections, Bill Clinton told a pool of reporters that he owed his political revival to the Oklahoma bombing. He was in a reflective mood, looking back at the ups and downs of his turbulent presidency. As so often, his thoughts lingered on those first painful months after the Republicans captured both Houses of Congress for the first time in almost two generations. It had been a stinging rebuke for the White House. But then that bomb went off. "It broke a spell in the country as people began searching for our common ground again," he said.

The searing destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, was the most traumatic event in the United States since the assassination of President Kennedy. Had it been carried out by foreign radicals, the impact on the national psyche would have been far less. But this was a homegrown conspiracy. Americans were committing mass murder against other Americans. One hundred and sixty-eight people were dead. A creche full of infants had been massacred in cold blood, by Americans.

President Clinton's analysis cannot be faulted. The bombing had a catalytic effect, abruptly changing the chemistry of American politics. One has to think back to the mood in Washington in April 1995 to understand what Clinton meant. The Republican Congress was completing its one hundred day march; the Contract with America was being rushed through the House at breakneck speed; and the world was kneeling in obeisance before Speaker Newt Gingrich, even as President Clinton spoke plaintively of being "relevant."

Think back to the triumphalist language of the Republican diehards. The Education Department was going to be abolished before breakfast, the Commerce Department before lunch, Housing and Urban Development before supper, and the Environmental Protection Agency was going to be torched in a spectacular bonfire before bedtime. Rhetoric was leaping ahead of reality, of course, but the tone and manner of the new leadership was deeply unsettling to great numbers of Americans of mellow, conservative views. Things were getting out of hand.

The bombing brought it into sharp focus. The militia movement, right-wing talk radio, the perceived Gingrich onslaught against government, all melded together in the public mind as one rampant movement of extremism.

Clinton seized the moment. He castigated talk radio for broadcasting "a relentless clamor of hatred and division." The Right, he said, was sowing distrust of government institutions and creating a climate that fostered recourse to violence. He did not name the Republicans as co-conspirators; he did not have to. The media clerisy made the connection for him. They all but said that Tim McVeigh was the military expression of the Gingrich agenda. Republicans had failed to understand that rhetoric has consequences, opined the commentators, and now look what had happened.

The Republicans were dumbstruck. A few dared to reply that it was the deployment of tanks by a militarized FBI against women and children in Waco that had set off the deadly spiral. But most were too intimidated, or horrified, to articulate a defense. When Senator Phil Gramm risked a word of polite protest -- "I think we all need to be very careful that we keep politics out of this thing" -- he was reprimanded for his "mean streak."

President Clinton traveled to Oklahoma and handled the ceremony of grief with consummate skill. He visited the rescue workers. He held the hands of the victims. He said all the right things. His empathy was boundless. The polls noted that four-fifths of Americans admired his human touch. Overall, Clinton's job rating jumped from 42 percent to 51 percent, although this did not begin to reflect the tectonic changes beneath the surface of American politics. Clinton had come back to life, and the Justice Department was riding high. There was overwhelming support for White House plans to enhance the anti-terrorist powers of the FBI.

But what if the Clinton administration has not told the full truth about the Oklahoma bombing, as many of the families now suspect? What if some of the perpetrators are still at large, freely walking the streets and giving remarkably candid interviews to this author, because it is not in the political interests of the White House or the FBI to bring them to justice? I think that would give a different complexion to the matter. I hope that the following chapters will make it clear that these are not idle questions.

I do not wish to revisit the Denver trial of Tim McVeigh. I am convinced that McVeigh was guilty, and his own lawyer admitted as much during the sentencing hearings. But the trial did not bring out the full story. Indeed, it was skillfully managed to ensure that collateral revelations were kept to a minimum.

This was a terrible mistake. The Oklahoma bombing was the most deadly act of terrorism ever committed on U.S. soil. It was no time for a sloppy investigation or a trial that could be considered as expedited, abridged, or rigged in any way. Jurists concurred that it was imperative that the Justice Department conduct itself beyond reproach if this tragedy was to attain closure. It would be profoundly injurious to the republic if it were ever felt that the proceedings were manipulated for the benefit of the executive branch. Retribution was important, of course, but it was even more important to sustain confidence in the American democratic system for decades to come. The President professed agreement. The Attorney General promised to make this an exhibit of American excellence.

It did not happen. In violation of its "Brady" responsibilities, [1] the prosecution withheld material from the defense that was exculpatory or impeached the credibility of government witnesses. It delayed a year in handing over FD-302 witness statements that were critical to the defense. It stonewalled, obstructed, and dragged its feet at every turn. [2] It also told a series of demonstrable lies that will be enumerated in this book. If this is how the justice Department behaves in a high profile case after the President and the Attorney General have both made explicit promises of transparency, I dread to think how it conducts itself when nobody is paying attention.

As for the FBI, the proven malfeasance of the crime labs in the handling of scientific evidence from the crime scene makes it clear that the "OKBOMB" investigation was rotten from the foundations up. Far from taking extra precautions to uphold the highest standards of forensic evidence, the FBI resorted to methods that cannot be tolerated in a democratic society. The report of the justice Department's Inspector General lists the Oklahoma bombing case as one of the worst examples of de facto evidence tampering by the crime labs.

It is worth dwelling on this point because the FBI has been patting itself on the back for "solving" the Oklahoma bombing, as if it had cause for self-congratulation. In the first place, the FBI had no scientific basis for concluding that the Murrah Building was blown up by an ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb. The FBI did not know in 1995, and does not know to this day, what actually caused the explosion. The justice Department report concluded that the explosives unit simply guessed that the bomb was made of 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate after "the recovery of receipts showing that defendant Nichols purchased 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate."

The labs guessed that the explosive charge was placed in 50-gallon white plastic barrels, without conducting the requisite tests, after the discovery of 50-gallon plastic containers at the house of Terry Nichols. [4] They said that the detonator appeared to be a Primadet Delay system, but no trace of this was found at the crime scene. Primadet was, however, found at the house of Terry Nichols .... You get the picture.

The FBI crime labs sculpted a theory of the bombing that would help the prosecution secure convictions against Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols -- and science be damned. Once it is understood that the FBI behaved this way in handling empirical evidence -- where malfeasance is susceptible to exposure -- it becomes easier to discern the attitudes that informed the rest of the OKBOMB investigation. It is my contention that the crime labs were no worse than other divisions of the FBI. The only difference is that the technicians were caught red-handed, while certain corrupt field agents and their superiors have yet to be exposed.

In summing up, the Inspector General's report found that the FBI crime labs had "repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis" in the Oklahoma bombing case. [5] I find this quite staggering. In Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, shared by Britain and America, it is not acceptable to shape the crime to fit the suspect. It is a practice we condemn as "framing." I do not understand why the current director of the FBI is still drawing a paycheck from the U.S. taxpayer after a scandal of this magnitude, especially since he permitted the retaliatory harassment of Dr. Frederick Whitehurst, the chief whistle-blower. [6]

It was the duty of Judge Richard Matsch to prevent the executive branch from conducting a politicized trial that obscured the facts. Instead he went with the flow, acceding to the prosecution's request that the Inspector General's report be barred as evidence. It was never made clear to the jury that the FBI did not know what kind of bomb really caused the blast, nor that the FBI had forfeited its magisterial authority.

But most serious of all, the judge refused to allow the testimony of an ATF informant with very relevant information indicating that the Oklahoma bombing was a broad conspiracy involving several members of the neo-Nazi movement in Oklahoma, an assertion that the U.S. government had gone to great lengths to suppress. Whether or not Judge Richard Matsch was acting in tacit concert with the Justice Department is a matter that will demand hard scrutiny by historians. Doubtless Judge Matsch is sure that he can justify his decision on technical grounds. No judge likes to commit reversible error. But even if he can do so, I still believe that he betrayed his mission as a U.S. federal judge. There was more riding on the trial than the guilt or innocence of Tim McVeigh. The greater cause of justice was obstructed.

Needless to say, the McVeigh trial was not described in this way by the American media. The outcome was seen as a triumph. Judge Matsch was lionized, praised for restoring confidence in the criminal justice system. The reaction of the press distributed me deeply. I never imagined that the machinery of coverup could be so oppressively efficient.


McVeigh's mercurial counsel, Stephen Jones, allowed himself a moment of angry passion when he returned home to Oklahoma. If anybody thinks that the full story came out in the trial, he said, he could guarantee them that it most assuredly did not. Jones was bound to silence by the rules of attorney-client confidentiality, while McVeigh was "hanging tough" out of loyalty to his sworn brothers in the Aryan order.

Indebted to the Oklahoma families who have refused to accept the half-truths of the U.S. Justice Department, I offer a fragment of the story that these two men cannot or will not reveal.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:38 am

CHAPTER TWO: GLENN AND KATHY WILBURN

THE BOYS WERE the heart and soul of the house. They lived with their mother and grandparents, three generations together in the suburbs of Oklahoma City. Chase was three; Colton was two. They were lively spirits, with faces lifted from the frescoes of Fra Angelico.

On weekdays they would be dropped off at America's Kids on the second floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Their mother, Edye Smith, worked as a secretary for the IRS, four blocks away. So did their grandmother, Kathy Wilburn, a training instructor.

The daycare center was an extra perk the two women enjoyed as federal employees. They did not know at the time that none of the law enforcement agents put their own children in the creche as a matter of policy. Nor did they know that the ATF, the Secret Service, and U.S. Customs had offices in the building. [1]

Glenn Wilburn doubled as father and grandfather. A courteous, gentle, well-fed fellow, aged 44, he had a successful practice as a certified public accountant. He drove a big silver Mercedes 380SE and looked the part of a prosperous citizen of stature, but his tastes were simple. In the evenings after work he would take his grandsons down to the park. On weekends he would take them to a movie. They watched The Lion King three times.

Glenn had no interest in politics. He did not listen to talk radio. The word militia had never crossed his lips. He had not given much thought to Ruby Ridge, or Nafta, or anything else that was exercising so many Americans in the heartland, although he had cried watching the fiery denouement of the Branch Davidian siege. The knowledge that there were young children trapped inside was deeply disturbing to Glenn. But by and large he was a contented man, firm in his belief that the U.S. federal government was a force for good.

On Tuesday, April 18, 1995, Edye was sick with strep throat and stayed at home with the boys. The next day, Patriot's Day, [2] she was still feeling ill, but her colleagues had made her a birthday cake so she made the extra effort and struggled in to work.

It was the usual morning ritual. The boys were in Edye's bed, one snuggled up on each side. Glenn and Kathy burst in singing "good morning to you," and the scramble began.

"Glenn was helping with Colton. He had him sitting up on the bar in the kitchen, putting on his little blue sandals," said Kathy. "When he finished, Glenn kissed him on the forehead and said 'You're a good boy. Papa loves you.'"

***

The bomb went off at 9:02 A.M.

Edye was about to blow out the candles on her birthday cake when the shock waves rocked the IRS building.

"I grabbed her and we rushed out into the street," recounted Kathy. "I could see smoke over towards the Murrah Building, and I screamed, 'Edye, the babies, the babies,' and we took off running."

"It was like the twilight zone. Big plate glass windows were still crashing out of the sky. There was this boom, boom, boom, and we saw all this black smoke everywhere. It was the cars going off in the parking lot."

"Then we saw it -- the total devastation -- and Edye crumbled to her knees. I put my arms around her and told her, 'It'll be alright.' But I knew it wasn't true. I knew already that our babies were gone."

Both boys were killed. A rescue worker had found Colton still breathing in the ruins, but he would not live long. His stomach had been ripped out. Kathy's grownup son Daniel had spotted the tiny two-year-old body laid out on a bench.

Glenn had already heard the news. When the women found him in the mayhem outside the Murrah Building, he was leaning over the hood of a pickup truck crying his heart out.

"That was when it all fell apart for Glenn," said Kathy. "It wasn't pancreatic cancer that killed him in the end. He really died of a broken heart."

That night they huddled together at home, silently watching the TV news. The camera picked out a solitary shoe on the edges of the smoking rubble. It was the blue sandal that Glenn had slipped onto Chase's tiny foot that morning.

Anger, grief, confusion -- it was the same for all the families. Glenn and Kathy turned the boys' room into a shrine, untouched from that day forth, the teddy bears stacked neatly on each of the little beds. The most poignant memento was a ticket found in Chase's pocket. It was for a Sesame Street Live show entitled "When I grow up."

Within days of the bombing, the rumors began to circulate. People talked of seeing bomb squads in downtown Oklahoma in the early hours of the morning before the blast. It was said that the ATF did not come to work that morning at the Murrah Building. The families noticed that none of the ATF agents were on the casualty list.

It was the usual sort of talk after a disaster of this scale. Glenn did not pay too much attention at first. He assumed like everybody else that the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department would do all they could to establish the truth. One hundred and sixty-eight people had been killed. It was the most deadly act of terrorism in the history of the United States. If there was a bomb squad on alert that morning, the full story would come out soon enough.

But Edye Smith began to sense that the Justice Department was dissembling. There was a hint of arrogance in the responses of U.S. Attorney Pat Ryan. The man was pleasant enough, but he did not make a serious effort to answer the questions of the families. When Edye asked where the ATF agents were on April 19 he brushed her off with a glib comment that they were playing in a golf tournament at Shawnee. He was mistaken. Some of the DEA were playing golf, but not the ATF.

She contacted the ATF directly, only to hear a babel of improvised spin. There were two ATF agents in their offices on the ninth floor that day, said one message on her answering machine. No, there were four, said another message, left by another official the same day. Edye was being trifled with. Her grief turned to anger. On May 23, 1995, the day the ruined Murrah Building was brought down with demolition charges, she erupted in a live interview on CNN.

"Where the hell was the ATF, I want to know?" she thundered, red hair flying in the breeze. "All fifteen or seventeen of their employees survived, and they were on the ninth floor. They were the target of this explosion, and where were they? Did they have a warning sign? Did they think it might be a bad day to go into the office? They had an option not to go to work that day, and my kids didn't. They didn't get that option. Nobody else in the building got that option. And we're just asking questions. We're not making accusations. We just want to know. And they're telling us: 'Keep your mouth shut, don't talk about it.'''

CNN cut her off soon enough, but the impact was searing. Edye Smith, aggrieved and defiant, had thrown down the gauntlet. There would be no turning back.


Deluged with calls from the media, the ATF issued a press release. "I strongly suspect that these malicious rumors are fueled by the same sources as the negative rhetoric that has been recently circulating about law enforcement officers," said Lester D. Martz, the special agent in charge of the Dallas regional office. "The facts are that the ATF's employees in Oklahoma City were carrying out their assigned duties as they would any workday, and several of them were injured in the explosion." [3]

In fact, the only people in the office to suffer injuries were two clerical workers. None of the ATF's field agents were hurt.

If Lester Martz had stopped there, the matter might have subsided. But he overreached, the instinctive reflex of an agency accustomed to operating without accountability. "We were there, and we were heroes," he said. The ATF claimed that Alex McCauley, the resident agent in charge, was in an elevator when the bomb went off. He survived a free fall from the eighth to the third floor. McCauley escaped by breaking through the thick metal doors, and went on to rescue survivors in the stairwell.

If the ATF thought they could get away with this farrago, they had underestimated the 23-year-old redhead and her affable stepfather. Curiosity piqued, the Wilburns tried their hand as amateur sleuths. With the help of a freelance reporter, John "J. D." Cash, Glenn contacted the Midwestern Elevator Company, the firm that had actually searched the elevators for survivors.

"The first thing we did was split up and check, then double check, each elevator for occupants," explained Duane James, one of the engineers. "We found that five of the six elevators were frozen between floors, and a sixth had stopped near floor level.... We had to go in through the ceilings of the elevators to check for people .... All were empty."

Agent Alex McCauley could not possibly have broken out before the team arrived, said James, "not unless he had a blowtorch with him .... The doors were all frozen shut .... It took several of our men over twelve hours just to get the one elevator [opened]."

None of the elevators had been in a free fall. "That's pure fantasy. Modern elevators have counterbalances and can't free fall unless you cut the cables, and none were. There are a series of backup safety switches that will lock an elevator in place if it increases in speed more than 10 percent."

The Midwestern Elevator Company took extensive photographs to document the inspection. These records were later reviewed by ABC's 20/20 program. The pictures confirmed that all the safety cables were intact.

As the details emerged, the ATF began to back away from its claims, suggesting that the blast created the sensation of a falling elevator. "Well, maybe Agent McCauley just imagined he free fell," said Lester Martz in a taped telephone interview with J. D. Cash.

Agent McCauley was transferred to Kansas City and quietly demoted. The Justice Department, however, clung resolutely to the story of his accomplishments. Joseph Hartzler, the chief prosecutor in the case against McVeigh, repeated the tale in a court filing on November 7, 1996, dismissing any doubts about the matter as "outrageous." At At the time, Hartzler already had the FD-302 witness statements given to the FBI by the elevator engineers, all concurring that the story was fabricated. But Hartzler has never been held to account for deliberately misinforming the court.

The Wilburns had walked through the looking glass. They now knew for a fact that the head of the ATF's office in Oklahoma City was a shameless liar. And they were learning that some of the others were just as bad. On May 24, 1995, the day after Edye's outburst on CNN, Glenn was visited by two ATF agents. It was a contentious meeting. Glenn pressed them hard. "Didn't April 19 have any significance to your people? You know, Patriot's Day, the Waco raid?"

"No, there was no alert, or any concern on our part about the significance of that day," replied Luke Franey, an undercover agent who sported long hair and a ring in one ear. [5]

Two hours later Glenn was watching the news. It was a live interview with John Magaw, the director of the ATF, explaining that the agency had taken special precautions on April 19. "I was very concerned about that day and issued memos to all our field offices. They were put on alert," said Magaw.

It was the lies that offended Glenn more than anything else. One lie, after another, after another.

Fresh leads were coming thick and fast. A sheriff's deputy had scribbled a quick note for Edye when he recognized her at the courthouse one day. Slipping the message into her hand, he added sotto voce: "God bless you people." [6] The note said that Charles Gaines, chief of operations for the Oklahoma City Fire Department, had received a terrorism alert on Good Friday before the bombing.

Glenn paid the man a visit.

"I understand that the FBI called you," he said, glowering across the desk. "That's correct isn't it, Mr. Gaines?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." [7]

"You know damn well what I'm talking about, you were put on alert five days before the bomb went off, weren't you?"

Gaines grabbed his hat and hurried out the door, saying that he was late for an appointment. Glenn wandered down the hall until he found an open door. It was the office of Harvey Weathers, the chief of dispatchers. He tried again.

"You're right," said Weathers. "We got a message from the FBI on the Friday before the bombing. We were told to be on alert for terrorist activity in the near future. I passed it down the line."

"Well, it looks like Chief Gaines's memory is failing. He said it never happened," said Glenn.

"You asked me, and I told you. I'm not going to lie for anybody." [8] An alert can mean all kinds of things, but this appeared to go beyond the typical pro forma advisories put out on sensitive dates. U.S. Federal Judge Wayne Alley had spilled the beans in a spontaneous interview with The Oregonian newspaper a few hours after the blast. Yes, he said, his chambers were just across the street from the Murrah Building. But no, he was not hurt. He had decided not to come into work that day. There had been talk.


"Let me just say that within the past two or three weeks, information has been disseminated ... that indicated concerns on the part of people who ought to know, that we ought to be a little more careful. ... My subjective impression was there was a reason for a dissemination of these concerns."

No doubt his guard was down. The reporter was calling from Portland, where the judge grew up, and Portland was far away. But in the age of the Internet, it does not take long for a revelation in The Oregonion to reach the families of the dead in Oklahoma City. When a copy fell into Glenn's hands, he was apoplectic.

"We took babies to that building to be protected and cared for," he said. "If anyone knew there was danger in that area and it was not disseminated, then I am mad. I'm awfully damned mad."

The rumors of a bomb squad started becoming real as witnesses came out of the shadows to tell their story. The Wilburns collected testimony on microcassettes, which were piled up in a box in their kitchen. They amassed more than three hundred hours of interviews, much of it with people who had never spoken to the press.

"People don't want to talk, you know. They're afraid of retribution from the federal government, they're scared for their jobs," said Glenn.


But he and Kathy knew how to draw them out. Glenn would introduce himself and talk about Chase and Colton, and his quest for the truth. Kathy followed, with her forbidding silences, and, when necessary, would seize the throat of a recalcitrant witness and question his manhood -- or so she told me. In my company she has always been the model of decorum.

There was no question that there had been a bomb squad truck in downtown Oklahoma before the blast.

"I was coming down for a charity board meeting that I had at 7:30 in the Oklahoma Tower," said Daniel J. Adomitis, an Oklahoma lawyer. "There was this fairly large truck with a trailer behind it. It had a shield on the side of the door that said 'bomb disposal' or 'bomb squad' below it. And I really found that interesting. You know, I'd never seen anything like that in person."

Something was still going on fifteen minutes later when Norma Jolson arrived for work at the county courthouse. "As I walked through my building's parking lot, I remember seeing a bomb squad," she said. "There was some talk in our office. We did wonder what it was doing in our parking lot. Jokingly, I said, 'Well, I guess we'll find out soon enough.'"

At 8:05, Renee Cooper dropped her son Antonio at the day care center. As she was driving away she saw a bomb squad in front of the courthouse. There were six or seven men. It made her a little uneasy, but she was late for work already.

"I quizzed her at length," said Glenn. "I said, 'How do you know this was a bomb squad?'"

"Well, they had 'bomb squad' written across their jackets in huge letters." [9]


Renee Cooper's FBI 302 statement makes it sound as if she had confused the 18th of April with the 19th, as if she would forget the moment that killed her baby boy. It was insulting. She had told this story two weeks after the bombing during a meal at the Wilburn house for all the families who lost children in the day care center.

In any case, the transparent absurdity of the FBI's ruse was exposed when the Sheriff's Department finally admitted, after months of adamant denials by Sheriff J. D. Sharp, that the bomb disposal vehicle had indeed been in downtown Oklahoma City that morning. [10]

The driver was Deputy Bill Grimsley. He said that he set out from the county jail at 7:00 AM, stopped at the courthouse for a few minutes to take care of an errand, then went to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin and a coffee, and finally made his way to the bomb training squad ten miles outside Oklahoma City. [11] So, the vehicle was there. The only questions were: What it was doing? Why had the Sheriff's Department refused to acknowledge a plain fact? And why had the FBI tried to obfuscate it?


* * *

In the first months after the Oklahoma bombing, I was wary of tackling the subject. There were intriguing stories coming out in the alternative press, as well as the usual mix of planted disinformation and off-the-wall conspiracy theories. I preferred to wait and see, assuming that the Justice Department was essentially still honorable, and that the full story would be forced to the surface in the trial of Timothy McVeigh.

The Oklahoma bombing, after all, was one of the epochal events of U.S. history. The great metropolitan newspapers would ensure accountability. The rest of the world was watching to see how the U.S. system would handle domestic terrorist insurgency. This crime was so big that it had to be prosecuted with total transparency. Or so I thought. It makes me want to blush now, to think I could have been so naive.

But then I met Glenn Wilburn, and I realized at once that this man knew what he was talking about. He was a certified public accountant. He dealt in details. He argued along a chain of logic, inductively, from the facts to the theory, not the other way round. He was empirical. And when he walked me through the evidence, he shattered my last illusions. As a journalist, this was the man I wanted as my source, my guide, my mentor, and he was generous enough to respond -- squeezing out every last drop of energy until cancer finally consumed him.

The kidney-shaped table in the kitchen of Glenn and Kathy had become the nerve-center of the Oklahoma dissident movement. Their closest friend and ally was J. D. Cash from The McCurtain Daily Gazette. At Glenn's insistence, Cash had more or less moved in with them as a houseguest, commuting back and forth from his home in Idabel, southeastern Oklahoma.

"When I first met John, I thought he was awful crusty looking, like a member of the militia or something," said Kathy, laughing. "But that's just John .... He fit right into the family soon enough."

A tall, thin man with a scraggly beard, dressed in jeans and cowboy boots, J. D. Cash had once been married to a Cherokee Indian. Now he was a bachelor again, a sort of Knight Templar in the crusade for truth. Cash took pride in his defiant stand against the health fetishism of yuppy culture. His day began with a cigarette. Breakfast was a T-bone steak. By late afternoon he was already opening his first can of beer, to be followed by vodka. This was the sort of conduct I expected from a reporter, a soothing respite from the twitchy, uptight, prissy, desiccated ghastliness of the Washington press corps.

Cash was a retired mortgage banker, aged 43, writing a novel about Nazi gold when the bomb went off. Soon afterward, he heard about seismograph data from the University of Oklahoma indicating that there could have been a secondary blast, and it set him thinking about a time in the late 1980s when the IRS had tried to lease one of his buildings in Tulsa. The deal had fallen through because the IRS Criminal Investigations Division had wanted to store "raid equipment," including C-4 explosives, in the building. "I knew these guys kept some bad stuff around, so I started trying to find out if the Feds were storing C-4 in the Murrah Building." [12]

He soon confirmed his suspicions. "I can assure you, Mr. Cash, there were explosives stored in the building. I saw them carry them out," he was told by a fire marshal. "They threw them in the bomb squad truck, hauled them out to the gun range, and blew them up."

He learned that C-4 can detonate spontaneously, without a fuse, if subjected to intense pressure. It was the genesis of his first article. He went to the local newspaper in Idabel, The McCurtain Daily Gazette, circulation 6,500, and offered his copy. They checked the facts and ran the piece. It won him an award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. "Beginner's luck, I think they call it," he quipped.


Cash never looked back. Within two years he would prove himself to be a reporter of extraordinary skill -- a loose cannon, perhaps, a wild man, a transgressor of every rule in the Columbia School codex -- but still one of the best investigative journalists of modern times.

"I have the instincts of a banker," he explained. "I've done thousands of loan interviews, and I've the best truth detector in the world. That's the one thing I've got going for me."

Among his friends was Richard Reyna, the court-appointed investigator for Timothy McVeigh. It was a relationship that would lead to an unholy alliance between the Wilburns and the defense lawyers of the man who murdered their grandchildren.

Documents have a habit of leaking when friendships are formed across a broad front, and it was not long before the Wilburns acquired the raw material of the OKBOMB investigation -- FBI 302 witness statements. Tim McVeigh's phone logs, surveillance reports, the unfiltered facts. They were no longer competing at a total disadvantage against the U.S. Justice Department.


The alliance made sense. The Wilburns and the McVeigh defense team had parallel interests. Both wanted to know whether the U.S. government was telling the truth. "This is warfare," explained Glenn. "And we'll do anything it takes to get to the truth."

It caused consternation in Oklahoma City. Glenn and Kathy were denounced by the state media as "conspiracy theorists" and tools of the far-right. For a year they endured bitter recriminations from many of the families.

"There was one meeting that got out of control. There were some nuts there, handing out crazy literature. They had such weird extreme views that it scared everybody, and we sort of got mixed up in the pot with them," said Kathy. "The families started yelling at us. They hated us for a long time after that."

But that would change.

When the Wilburns filed a federal tort claim against the U.S. government in April 1997, just in time for the two-year statutory deadline, they were joined by 170 of the Oklahoma family members. It was an avalanche, one of such irresistible force that it may ultimately sweep away much of the political landscape of fin de siecle America.

The claim alleges that the U.S. federal government "knew or should have known" that the Murrah Building was a likely target of attack. [13] Their chief counsel, Connecticut lawyer Richard Bieder, brought in three other law firms with specialist expertise in a legal alliance that had very deep pockets and a track record of confronting the government.

Another group of five families signed up shortly afterward with the Los Angeles firm Baum, Hedland, Aristie, Guilford, and Downey. Finally, more than 300 family members joined a third suit with John Merritt in Oklahoma State jurisdiction against the FBI, the ATF, and other agencies of the U.S. government. The Merritt lawsuit alleged outright that the disaster was a failed "sting operation."

The claim stated that the U.S. authorities had "detailed prior knowledge of the planned bombing of the Murrah Building yet failed to prevent the bombing from taking place." It alleged that ATF agents were "alerted not go to work on April 19, 1995." [14]

Civil lawsuits are the great purgative instrument of the American system. They are the safeguard against abuse. The rules of civil litigation are very different from criminal trials. The power to subpoena documents and witnesses under legal discovery is much broader, while the power of tame judges to exclude evidence is much narrower. The truth has a way of forcing itself to the surface.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

Postby admin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:44 am

CHAPTER THREE: JOHN DOE TWO

NOT ALL OF THE 168 victims of the Oklahoma bombing died on U.S. federal property. Some died on the streets and in the buildings of Oklahoma County, victims of murder within state jurisdiction.

It was a small point, lost on most people, but Glenn Wilburn seized on it as a second lever to pry the case loose from the U.S. Justice Department. Teaming up with State Representative Charles Key, he began a long, bitter campaign to force the District Attorney to call a county grand jury.

The endeavor seemed hopelessly quixotic. It was greeted with derision and opprobrium from the entire power structure of the state. "The worst kind of conspiracy pandering," said Drew Edmondson, the Attorney General of Oklahoma. "The very idea that a county grand jury could uncover something that the FBI do not know already is ridiculous," he said. Taxpayers' money should not be spent on a "wasteful witchhunt."

"Drop it, Mr. Key," was the title of an editorial in The Daily Oklahoman. Drop this "weird and misguided exercise." But Representative Key had no intention of dropping it, even if it meant political suicide. A round, voluble, impulsive man, he forged ahead, vilified by his colleagues in the Republican Party, and by Governor Frank Keating, a former Justice Department official and FBI agent.

One step at a time, Charles Key and Glenn Wilburn pushed their initiative through Oklahoma courts. The district judge blocked it twice. "This court sees no reason to reinvent the wheel," he said. Finally, in February 1997, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Oklahomans have a right to petition for a grand jury if they can collect the requisite number of signatures.

It was a partial victory. District Attorney Bob Macy, who had fought the Wilburns all the way, would be the prosecutor in charge of the grand jury. He could sabotage it easily enough, if he tried. But the mood in Oklahoma was changing. People had been promised that the full truth would come out in the trial of Tim McVeigh, yet none of the outstanding questions had been answered.

For months, KTOK radio in Oklahoma City had been hammering away at the incoherence of the government case. By the summer of 1997, when the first witnesses were called before the Key- Wilburn grand jury, polls showed that 70 percent of Oklahomans no longer believed the U.S. Justice Department. They no longer believed that Tim McVeigh had blown up the Murrah Building on his own on April 19, 1995. Indeed, it had reached a point where people in Oklahoma County were treating the Clinton administration's "lone bomber" theory with open disrespect.

In principle, at least, Representative Key and his allies could now do what the federal grand jury had failed to do in 1995. The last effort had been a "dog and pony show," in the words of Hoppy Heidelberg, a race horse breeder of admirably stubborn temperament who had served on the grand jury in the summer of 1995.

When Heidelberg could endure the stench no longer he stepped forward and launched a blistering attack on the prosecution. The people of Oklahoma had been deceived, he said, when the bombing indictment named Tim McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and "others unknown to the grand jury." The government had no intention of finding out who the "others" were. In fact, it had gone to great lengths to suppress evidence indicating that McVeigh was acting as part of a terrorist team on April 19, 1995.

"I knew it was a coverup when they wouldn't show a sketch of John Doe Two to the witnesses," he said. "They brought in all these people who knew nothing about the bombing, but they wouldn't call the real witnesses who'd seen McVeigh at the crime scene. And why? Because they all saw other men with McVeigh, that's why, and they didn't want the citizens of this country to find out about that." [1]

John Doe Two was the thick-set, swarthy suspect seen at Elliot's Body Shop in Junction City, Kansas, with Tim McVeigh. The two men arrived together to rent the Ryder bomb truck. McVeigh signed the rental contract, using the alias of Robert Kling, and chatted with the staff while John Doe Two waited in silence.


There were actually two different sketches of McVeigh's accomplice. The first one, the one that was published on the front page of almost every newspaper in America, was so inaccurate that it was worse than useless. It was a frontal portrait of a thuggish-looking man with heavy jowls. But the witness had seen only a profile of the suspect, and the FBI artist had used a highly manipulative process of choosing faces from a catalog. An outside sketch artist, Jean Boylan, was asked to try again. She drew a face that was finer, more handsome, with less of the gorilla about him. This was the real, "pretty-boy," John Doe Two.

For almost three months he was the quarry of a massive manhunt by the FBI, or so America was led to believe. Then on June 14, 1995, the Justice Department announced that it had all been a big mistake. One of the witnesses, Eldon Elliot, had been confused when he gave his description of John Doe Two. He had mixed him up with Todd Bunting, a burly army private who came to the office a day later. (Eldon Elliot had not been the only witness, of course, but the FBI did not mention that at the time.)

The Justice Department could do or say whatever it wanted. That was the prerogative of power. The mystery was why any educated American would believe such self-evident nonsense. It was demonstrably untrue that Tim McVeigh was operating alone in Junction City before the bombing, or that he continued to operate alone in Oklahoma City on April 19. One of the few unassailable facts of this case is that McVeigh was accompanied by other men at every stage. Glenn Wilburn, Charles Key, and J.D. Cash knew it. They lived and breathed it. They had so many witnesses to prove it, that they could only laugh or cry at the preposterous representations of the OKBOMB investigation.

At the risk of being prolix, it is worth listing some of the witnesses who saw the procession of terrorists -- John Doe Two, Three, Four, perhaps even more -- making their way through Junction City and Herington, Kansas, and Oklahoma City in the ambit and company of Timothy McVeigh. Even those familiar with the case, however, may be surprised to learn of the trail of bitterness and frustration left by the FBI.

KANSAS

In interviews conducted on April 19 and 20, the staff at Elliot's Body Shop told the FBI they saw Tim McVeigh accompanied by another man. They were not vague about it. They were categorical. The debriefing began within seven hours of the bombing. Their memories were fresh, so fresh that they were able to provide the uncanny look-alike sketch of McVeigh, which led to his arrest. Eldon Elliot even tried to capitalize on this, selling T-shirts with the logo "We Remember Our Customers." [2] Contrary to press accounts, none of these witnesses has retracted the core claim that there were two men.

* Eldon Elliot, owner.

In pre-trial hearings on February 15, 1997, he continued to insist that "another person was standing there. I glanced at him." Elliot went out front with the two men to inspect the truck. He said the accomplice had a "white hat with blue lightning bolts on the side." He had told the FBI earlier that the man was "a white male, 5'7" to 5'8"." [3]

* Tom Kessinger, mechanic.

He was taking a break in the rental office at about 4:15 PM, eating popcorn, when the two men came in. He watched them for about 10 minutes. John Doe Two was wearing "a black T-shirt, jeans, and a ball-cap colored royal blue in the front and white in the back." He was "about 5'10", clean-shaven, muscular, large arms, large chest, smooth complexion, thick neck, wide chin ... tattoo on his upper left arm, 26 to 27, and white." [4]

A year and a half later, after seven debriefings by the FBI, he said that he had confused the face of John Doe Two with Private Bunting. [5] But this does not pass the smell test. When he was visited by Glenn Wilburn in the summer of 1996 he scoffed at the Bunting canard. "He was laughing about it and said 'I don't know where they came up with that one."' [6]

In any case, he refused to go through with the deception when questioned under oath. During the pre-trial hearings in Denver in February 1997 he repeated his claim that McVeigh was accompanied by another man. The Justice Department decided to drop him as a trial witness.

* Vicki Beemer, bookkeeper.

She had a friendly chat with McVeigh as he was filling out the rental papers, noting that she had been married longer than he had been alive. She testified at McVeigh's trial that she was "very certain" there was a second man.

She told the FBI on April 19 that she "recalled a second person being along but has no recollection of that individuaL" [7] But in her appearance before the federal grand jury in Oklahoma she described him as a "stocky-built gentleman ... darker complected and much larger" than McVeigh. [8]

It seems that half of Junction City and Herington, Kansas, saw McVeigh consorting with other men over the Easter weekend, from the 14th to the 18th of April. Here is a sampler, by no means the full list.

* Nancy Jean Kindle, seating hostess at Denny's Restaurant.

One of the few witnesses called to the trial, she testified that McVeigh came into Denny's at lunchtime on Easter Sunday with two other men. One of them was "a scraggly looking man, about 5' 7". She remembers McVeigh because she asked him to spell out his name ... and she thought he was "cute." [9]

* Elenora Hull, elderly lady from Junction City.

She saw McVeigh with two other men when she was having lunch at Denny's on Friday, April 14. The men were at the next table. One of them looked "very scary." She noticed that there were two Ryder trucks outside.

* Tonya, whose last name remains confidential. [10]

McVeigh and John Doe Two came in on Monday at about midday. She described the man as extremely handsome, wearing a bomber jacket. He wanted a haircut but she was having to rush out to pick up a child at 12:00 P.M.

* Jeff Davis, deliveryman for the Hunan Palace Restaurant. (Now a provost marshal at Fort Riley.)

He delivered an order of moo goo gai pan and egg rolls to the Dreamland Motel on Saturday afternoon, April 15, at about 5:45 P.M. The delivery log said "Kling, Room 25." It was the same room that McVeigh had rented after haggling down the price to $20 a night. But the man who was standing in the doorway was not McVeigh. [11]

Davis and the man chatted briefly. The man gave him $11 for a $9.65 order. He was at least 6'2", aged 28 or 29, 180 to 190 pounds, with "short hair, real dark blonde" that was "generally unkempt" and "tousled about." He had a "slight overbite," and a marked "regional" accent. [12]

Davis told The Denver Post that the FBI tried to talk him into saying the man was McVeigh. "I was frustrated quite a bit because they just didn't seem to want to say, 'Okay, there's somebody we may not have.' A lot of it seemed, 'Damn! I just wish he'd say it was McVeigh so we could be done with it.'''

* Hilda Sostre, maid at the Dreamland Motel.

At 9:00 AM on Monday morning, April 17, she started to unlock the door of Room 25, thinking that McVeigh had already left, when a man appeared and handed her some towels. It was definitely not McVeigh. "He was dark and not so tall, I thought he looked like one of my people," she said, referring to her native country of Puerto Rico. "He had these big strong arms." [13]

* Barbara Whittenberg, runs the Santa Fe Trail Inn in Herington.

McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and a third man came into the diner for a coffee between 6:00 and 7:00 AM on Saturday morning. She already knew Nichols, who used to drop in for a meal from time to time. The third man had a "Hawaiian sort of face" with "no neck, wide lips." He looked like a bodybuilder.

She noticed that they had a Ryder truck and a car with Arizona plates. Since she was from Arizona herself, she started chatting and breezily asked where they were headed.

"Oklahoma," said the third man.

"McVeigh looked at him and you could feel buckets of ice being poured over our conversation," she said. "I got out of it." [14]

Later that day, Whittenberg stopped at Lake Geary on her way up to Junction City. Her aging husband had a bladder problem, so this was one of their regular pit stops.

She saw a Ryder truck, like the one at the diner that morning, parked at the lake. This was significant. The original indictment stated that McVeigh and Nichols had built the bomb in a Ryder truck at Lake Geary, but they said it happened on Tuesday, April 18, the day after McVeigh had rented the truck. Whittenberg saw a Ryder truck at Lake Geary on Saturday.

"The FBI never asked for a composite sketch or anything. They told me my story couldn't be true. They just didn't believe me," said Whittenberg. "They told me not to tell anybody what I knew, but after a year it's time to tell the world what's really going on." [15]

The Denver Post found four other witnesses who had seen the Ryder truck sitting at the lake days before McVeigh was supposed to have rented it. After a six-month investigation The Post concluded that two Ryder trucks were involved, not one. This extra Ryder truck, stated the newspaper, "could hold the key to unlocking one of the most enduring mysteries in the case -- how many people were involved in the bombing."

* Lea McGown, the fierce but engaging German in charge of the Dreamland Motel, says that McVeigh appeared with a Ryder truck on Sunday, April 16, the day before he rented the bomb truck from Elliot's. Her recollection is vivid.

"He backed in jerky, jerky, jerky. Like somebody who doesn't know how to drive a truck," she said. "I thought he was going to smash my roof."

He parked on a soil embankment that could not support the weight. She sent her son Eric to ask McVeigh to move the truck over to the open area in front of the office, The Ryder was light yellow, with a faded appearance. She got a good look at it while she was standing at the counter waiting for customers.

The next day she noticed that McVeigh had a different Ryder truck. This was the one he had rented from Elliot's Body Shop. It was newer, with an orange-yellow color and square cab.

"FBI came in every day for three weeks, asking the same dumb questions over and over again, twisting everything around. I wasted so much time," she said. "They always said I'm not right, because it doesn't fit the picture, see."

"I'm very disappointed with the system, I must say. It's no wonder people turn against the government. I'm not helping them any more, I can tell you that," she said, adding that the FBI seemed to be covering up their own mistakes. "If you did something wrong, admit it, straighten it out. It's very simple, isn't it?"

* David King, a guest at the Dreamland, noticed the same switch.

He saw an old "faded yellow" Ryder on Sunday. The next day McVeigh was there with a "brand new, aerodynamic" model, accompanied by two other men attaching a trailer. They blocked the access to his parking spot. [16]

* Herta King, David King's mother.

She testified at McVeigh's trial that she saw the large Ryder truck parked at the Dreamland Motel that Sunday when she was bringing an Easter basket to her son.

* Renda Truong, high school student.

Also called to testify by the defense, she noticed the Ryder truck at the motel when she was having Easter dinner with the McGown family. Again, this was the day before the bomb truck was rented.

THE CRIME SCENE

At the trial in Denver, the prosecution did not call a single witness who could place Tim McVeigh in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. This is a rather astonishing fact, when you consider that the government called 27 phone-company employees to establish that McVeigh had used a pre-paid phone card bought under the alias of Daryl Bridges.

But such was the trial: 27 witnesses brought in from all over the country to support a secondary point, but no crime scene witnesses from Oklahoma City.

This was not for lack of volunteers. Glenn Wilburn had tracked down a dozen people who had seen McVeigh between 8:00 and 9:00 AM in the downtown area. But in every case they had seen McVeigh with other men, apparently operating as part of a terrorist cell.


The credibility of these witnesses ranged across the continuum, but several were compelling. Glenn kept his taped interviews in a box full of microcassettes in the kitchen, close at hand for visiting journalists in need of education.

* Kyle Hunt, vice-president of a Tulsa bank.

He was arriving for an 8:30 AM meeting when he saw a yellow Ryder truck on Robinson Street, followed by a four-door sedan with three men inside. One of the men was looking up, straining his neck. The group looked lost. As Hunt pulled closer, the driver of the sedan warned him off.

"I got an icy cold, go-to-hell look from the young man that I now know to be Tim McVeigh, It was unnerving," he said, "I kept tabs on the group for a few moments while we were approaching Main Street. All three men in the truck were caucasians; and how many may have been in the Ryder, I couldn't tell." [17]

* Dave Snider, warehouse worker.

He was waiting for a delivery in the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City at about 8:40 AM when he saw a Ryder truck turn the corner. It was coming toward him very slowly. Thinking it was for him, he waved the truck down.

As it passed by, very slowly, Tim McVeigh glowered at him from the passenger's seat. The driver was a darker, stockier man. [18]

* Mike Moroz, attendant at Johnny's Tire Service.

A Ryder truck pulled in at about 8:45 AM. Tim McVeigh got out and politely asked directions to 5th Street and Harvey. There was a darker, thicker set, morose-looking man in the cab of the truck. [19]

* Daina Bradley, bombing victim.

It is a gruesome story. On April 19 she went to the Social Security Office on the first floor of the Murrah Building with her mother, her sister, and her two tiny children. As she was filling out documents in front of the Fifth Street window, she saw a Ryder truck pull into a parking place between the two cars. A man got out of the passenger seat facing her, went to the back of the truck, and then strode down the sidewalk very fast toward Harvey Street. "He was acting very mysterious, and very nervous," she said. [20]

"It was an olive-complexion[ed] man with short hair, curly, clean-cut. He had on a blue starter jacket, blue jeans, and tennis shoes and a white hat with purple flames," she said. He had a tanned look, a slim build. [21]

She stepped back from the window and made a comment to her mother about the truck. It struck her as unusual. The next thing she remembered was a feeling of electricity running through her body, then a flash of light, and the sensation of crashing down into the rubble. Her children were killed. So was her mother. She herself was trapped for five hours. A doctor had to crawl into the rubble and amputate her leg with a saw before rescue workers could pull her out. It was too hazardous to use anesthetics so she had to endure unspeakable pain.

In her interviews with the FBI on May 3 and May 21, 1995, she said the man resembled the sketch of John Doe Two. "That was the same guy I seen get out of the truck," she said. [22] She did not see any other man get out of the truck, nor did she recognize the artist's sketch of McVeigh. This was a position she maintained for two years.

The defense team decided to take a calculated risk by calling her as a witness. They underestimated the persuasive power of the U.S. Justice Department.

On May 16, a week before her testimony, she was visited by a member of the prosecution team. Five days later she met with U.S. Attorney Pat Ryan. All of a sudden, she could remember a second man getting out of the driver's side and walking quickly across the street. He had a baby face. She did not see him clearly. It might have been McVeigh. Or, it might not have. She didn't know.

The reaction to Daina Bradley's testimony is a nice exhibit of the deformed media culture in the United States. In a country with an adversarial press -- certainly Britain, France, or Spain -- the newspapers would have honed in with irreverent zest on the one salient fact of the matter. Ms. Bradley had made a mockery of the government's "lone bomber theory." She was the only crime scene witness called to the stand, and she had testified, categorically, that she saw John Doe Two get out of the Ryder truck.

But no, the U.S. press did not notice this, or feigned not to notice it. Instead, Americans were informed the next day that the subpoena of Daina Bradley was a disastrous own-goal for the defense. It was the usual, exasperating, winner-loser, who's-up-who's-down vacuousness. It was a dubious point anyway. In the end, her testimony had little or no bearing on the outcome of the trial.

With the abdication of the grand press, Americans have had to turn elsewhere for a more illuminating perspective: notably The John Doe Times. It is an internet cyber-journal published by a warehouse manager in Birmingham, Alabama -- Mike Vanderboegh -- dedicated to exposing evidence of a broader conspiracy. It is Vanderboegh's belief that the bombing was carried out by the terrorist wing of the U.S. fascist movement.

He was drawn into the Oklahoma bombing case in late 1995 when he sat down for a coffee with a federal agent in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a cordial meeting. Vanderboegh's militia group had done a favor for the Feds, helping them crack a case involving theft from a military base.

"He pulled out a piece of paper with the name, social security number, and profile of Andreas Strassmeir," recalled Vanderboegh. "He said, 'We've gone as far as we can with this; we've been told to back off. Maybe you guys can do something with it.' Then he told me Strassmeir had been the government-sponsored snitch inside the Oklahoma bombing. He walked me through the whole thing." [23]

Andreas Strassmeir was a former German infantry officer who had gained entry into the U.S. neo-Nazi movement and established himself as the chief of security at Elohim City, the movement's paramilitary headquarters in eastern Oklahoma. At the time, it was not known there might be a neo-Nazi link to the bombing, but it made sense to Vanderboegh. He had been tracking the activities of the white supremacist far-right, which he regarded as an extremely dangerous terrorist movement and a threat to the political stability of the United States.

Vanderboegh did not know what to do with the information about Strassmeir and the terrorist conspiracy at Elohim City. Months later he read an article about Glenn and Kathy Wilburn. (It happened to be a piece I had written for The Telegraph, which had been posted on the Internet.) He called them in Oklahoma City and signed on to help them find the truth. "I became their Sancho Panza. It's been the greatest honor of my life to be their friend."

It was a healing process for the portly, 43-year-old warehouse manager to be of service to the victims of April 19. "Imagine what it felt like to be a militia guy when everybody started saying the militia blew up that building in Oklahoma."

Vanderboegh styles himself Brevet Colonel of the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, one of the more colorful militia squadrons. "We're light cavalry," he explained, laughing. "We've got a platoon of dirt bikes, and a team of ultra-lights for scouting."

Like a number of militia leaders, he was an activist in the antiwar movement in the 1960s. "I was a Leftist back in my callow youth, a Maoist actually," he said. "I remember cheering when we pulled out of Saigon. Then I learned about the reeducation camps and the killing fields, and that's when I started to change."


It did not take him long to find a crucial role in the Cash-Wilburn campaign. "We were getting all this exciting stuff. J. D. was writing these incredible pieces, and nobody was picking it up," he said. "So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I turned to the poor man's broadcast network."

In June of 1996 he posted the first edition of The John Doe Times on the Internet. It was not the only "OKC Bombing" site on the Net, but it was more tightly focused than the other websites. It was designed to propagate the findings of The McCurtain Daily Gazette and to expose Elohim City as the nerve-center of the bombing conspiracy. Over time it would acquire great influence.

The John Doe Times has continued to appear, week after week, for almost a year and a half. For Vanderboegh it has been a thankless task. He has made enemies on all fronts. The FBI and the ATF regard him as a menace. The far-right have declared him a mortal enemy of the Aryan cause. The mainstream media call him a crank. "I'm not winning any popularity contests here," he said. "It's tough for your family when you put yourself in a position where nobody loves you."

When Vanderboegh spoke to Glenn Wilburn and J. D. Cash he discovered that they knew all about Elohim City, and that they too were hearing things about the unlikely German infantry officer in charge of terrorist training.

J. D. Cash had been burrowing into Elohim for months, ever since he learned that Tim McVeigh had telephoned the enclave of Odinistic mystics two weeks before the bombing. In itself, the call did not mean much. McVeigh had contacted a large number of people, using the pre-paid telephone card in the name of Daryl Bridges. But this one occurred three seconds after he had telephoned a Ryder rental office in Lake Havasu, Arizona. And the call was for "Andy the German" -- according to Joan Millar, who answered the telephone. "Tell Andy I'll be coming through," McVeigh had said.

There was something else that J. D. Cash had found out, a secret that he held very close to the vest. As we shall see, he had extracted a confession from a leader of the White Aryan Resistance, a wild emotional man named Dennis Mahon. During a five-hour whisky binge in January 1996, Mahon had implicated himself and several members of Elohim City in the Oklahoma bombing. It was not information that could be used in a newspaper. Nobody would have believed it. So Cash had to skirt around the edges, using the leads to find corroboration elsewhere.

Over the next year his articles in The McCurtain Daily Gazette sketched the outlines of a conspiracy at Elohim City. But it was one of those cases where the details were too arcane for the layman. Only the initiated could make any sense of it. In all likelihood the Cash-Wilburn theory would have remained a minority attraction -- much discussed on talk radio, but essentially ignored by the rest of America -- had it not been for J.D.'s discovery of an undercover informant for the ATF.

Her name was Carol Howe. In December 1996 she broke silence, telling J.D. Cash that she had infiltrated Elohim City and stumbled on a conspiracy to bomb federal buildings in the state of Oklahoma. The plot was led by Dennis Mahon and Andreas Strassmeir (Andy the German). Furthermore, she said, the main gist of this had been passed on to the U.S. government before the Oklahoma bombing.


He could not ask for more spectacular corroboration than that.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

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CHAPTER FOUR: ELOHIM CITY AND DENNIS THE MENACE

BIBLICAL SCHOLARS CANNOT agree about the meaning of the word Elohim. In the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, the Hebrew is translated, simply, as God, and thus was it passed on to western Christendom. But Hebrew purists bridle at such imprecision. They note that Elohim is a strictly plural form: Gods, not God. So perhaps it refers to the twin flames of the Godhead, or harkens back to the primordial polytheism of the Jewish tribes. Nobody quite knows, and that is doubtless the source of private satisfaction to Pastor Robert Millar, the founder, patriarch, and theologian of Elohim City.

Is it a Christian cult? Or is it outright paganism, a celebration of the occult practices of Druid, Norse, and Teutonic totemism?

Pastor Millar does not answer such questions. He sits contentedly, stroking his long, white, flowing beard, changing the subject to the less contentious matter of Celtic heraldry. The Highland tribes are his particular passion. He is an ethnic Scot, by way of Canada, and a proud subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth -- who is partly Scottish, of course, as well as being a lineal descendant of a Saxon deity on her father's side. A good pedigree.

His eccentric religion is known as Christian Identity, a British import from the 1870s. Drawing heavily on the "ancestral memory" theories of Carl Jung, the movement asserts that the white peoples of Europe are the lost tribes of Israel. Jews are deemed to he "half-devil" descendants of the "serpent seed," a union of Eve and Satan. The Jewish diaspora is the instrument of Satan to achieve dominion over the world -- notably, by means of the United Nations.

Blacks do not fare well either in the eschatology of the cult. They are the cohorts of Satan. Before the end of the world in A.D. 1000, there will be a final confrontation between the Aryans and Satan's Jews. Asians are "mud" people.

It is race theology of the most fevered kind, laced with millenarian prophesy from the Old Testament and Wiccan nature worship. But it is not to be confused in any way with the virulent anti- Catholic tradition of the Ku Klux Klan. Pastor Millar holds a special affection for the Celtic fringe, especially the Irish. The Celts are the purest of the Aryan peoples because they were the last to succumb to "Judaic influences." It was Celtic culture that held out against Nicean Christianity." The Celts were the chosen tribes. And as we shall see, Celtic-Americans would he the shock-troops of Elohim's secret military wing.

J. D. Cash took me to visit Pastor Millar in 1996 after the Elohim new year, which begins at the spring equinox. It took some courage for J. D. to keep going back after he had published stories linking Elohim to the Oklahoma bombing. But his body was already a patchwork of bullet holes and knife wounds from a rambunctious youth, and the risk of more punishment didn't seem to bother him. "Nah, they won't hurt me. They're really very nice people," he said with his characteristic dry wit. "They're actually some of the nicest Nazis you'll ever meet."

He liked to stop by every few weeks to barter information with Grandpa, as Pastor Millar was usually known. Grandpa always wanted the latest news from Satan's world, happily exchanging a useful nugget with J.D. for advance warning on the next story coming out in The McCurtain Daily Gazette.

Elohim City is a cluster of huts, caravans, and grubby dwellings at the end of a long dirt road in the wilderness of eastern Oklahoma, just a few miles from the Arkansas state line. It has a lumberyard and a small business leasing trucks. It was also under suspicion of "generating income through the sale of illegal drugs produced and grown on the 400-acre compound," according to surveillance reports by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. [1]

The Elohites knew we were coming. They have hidden pressure pads on the access road that sound the alarm.2 We parked at the entrance to the City, next to a hobgoblin house built in the shape of a boot. Two young men armed with SKS assault rifles came to fetch us. One was wearing a T-shirt adorned with the face of Adolf Hider. They were members of the "combat" patrol. Every able-bodied man, woman, and child above the age of twelve, I would later learn, was given training for the coming war against the U.S. government. They were divided into "snipers" and "combatants," the latter subjected to the full, excruciating bootcamp of their Prussian instructor, Lt. Andreas Carl Strassmeir. [3]

It was Saturday, the Sabbath at Elohim, so they escorted us up to the cavernous, polyurethane foam Worship House where the twenty-odd families of the commune were singing joyously and reciting poetry in accordance with their Christo-pagan rites. The virgins were performing the sword dance in their long flowing dresses and making eyes at their betrothed. Young children trotted about, and Aryan warriors marched back and forth with martial banners. There must have been a liturgy of sorts, somewhere at the core, but I could not discern the method of it. And all the while Grandpa sat there beside his two wives, pulling on his beard, with a beatific smile, delighted by the exuberance of his kin and his followers.

A virgin offered me lemonade and biscuits. She curtsied gracefully. No doubt she, too, was a crack shot with an AK-47, but this was worship time. Her manners, the manners of all of them, were decorous.

"We have a guest from England," announced Grandpa as the very, very long service came to an end. "Perhaps he would be so gracious as to come forward and tell us about his country."

I was called to the floor, handed a microphone, and subjected to half an hour of polite interrogation. It began gently.

"What do you think of the United Nations?" asked Grandpa.

Knowing that they regarded the U.N. as the font of all evil, the command center of Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG), I confessed that my grandfather had been a U.N. ambassador, one of the founding delegates in fact, so perhaps [was not quite politically correct on this subject. There was a puzzled silence while the Lord's cohorts waited to see if [ was joking. r was not.

Grandpa came to the rescue, chuckling loudly. Just as J D. had said, they are some of the nicest Nazis you'll ever meet.

Then the questioning became more pointed. What was I doing? Why was I there? Why did anybody in England care about Elohim City?

I told them that I was investigating the activities of Lt. Andreas Strassmeir, their military guru from 1991 until his flight in the summer of 1995. I wanted to know whether Strassmeir was an authentic vagabond tourist with Aryan sympathies, as he purported to be, or whether he was in fact an undercover agent of the German government, or the U.S. government, or both. There were indications, I explained, that he may have been involved in the planning of the Oklahoma bombing.

Excuse me for being candid, I added.

"No, no, quite so, quite so," interjected Grandpa.

After the service, he invited us back to his house for a chicken dinner. Engaging, with a lively, educated mind, he wanted to debate the relative merits of the parliamentary and presidential forms of government. "It's not every day I get a visit from an Oxford man," he said. The sly old fox.

"I'm a tribalist, really. I feel a great sense of kinship with the clans," he said, sitting back in a deep armchair, choosing his words carefully. He was far too shrewd to expose the darker side of his philosophy. "It is inherent in the nature of man that he should wish to mingle with his own kind. That is a lesson we seem to have forgotten, and we do so at our peril.. .. Don't you agree?"

"Yes, tribalism is indeed a powerful force in the world," I concurred, vaguely.

If one did not know it already, one would not have guessed that this small, round, genial intellectual was the leader of a cult that exalted Adolf Hitler, and by extension endorsed the Holocaust. But then one would not have guessed that he worked for the FBI either. But he did. He had been recruited as an FBI informant several years earlier. That stunning revelation would come out later in a Tulsa courtroom. "Whether the FBI got anything useful out of him is another matter. It is my hunch that Grandpa outwitted the Bureau as masterfully as he outwits everybody else.

* * *

"I'm a terrorist with words. I terrorize with the truth," said Dennis Mahon, with a wink.

The former Imperial Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan was looking quite ridiculous. A big, strapping, handsome man with a pointed chin, and a comical turn of mind, he was wearing a tight T-shirt with The Turner Diaries printed on the front, and a black FBI cap. It was his new fad, this FBI cap.

"If I make a big joke about it -- you know -- what do you think?"

"I don't know, Dennis. A lot of people are beginning to think you work for the Bureau."

"They are? I wouldn't work for those clowns. They need me in this town, all right. If I go, they'll lose half their staff. I threatened to leave the state and they said, 'No, no, don't go, it'll put us out of business.' So I asked them for a commission."

"I can believe that, Dennis."

"Now the CIA, that's a different matter; that's a good organization," he said, holding his thoughts for a moment while he ordered the biggest plate of food on the menu. We were at Tally's, a Lebanese cafe in Tulsa where he tended to his Iraqi contacts. "You paying for this?"

"Anything you want."

"Just checking, although I'm flush right now. You should see how much money the CIA's putting into my Swiss bank account."

"Yes, Dennis."

"$3,000 a month."

"Really."

"Shit. If I had $300 a month that'd be something. I could live in Russia on that. Maybe I'll go live in Russia. I sure can't live here. I'm going to be indicted if I hang around here."

"What are you going to be indicted for, Dennis? Blowing up federal buildings?"

"Everybody seems to think I did the bombing."

"I can't think why."

"Even the Iraqis think J did it," he continued, freely admitting that he had been on the Iraqi payroll as a propagandist for over three years. "They paid me $100 a month, not much, but it all helps. Then they cut me off, a month after the bombing."

"After all you've done for them?"

"Yeah, bastards. But no, seriously, the only bombs I've ever made are stink bombs. I use bee repellent. You know, if it's some Jew or capitalist getting on our case. I throw it in their car. They can't get rid of the stuff. It stinks for weeks."

"I see."

But for all his bonhomie, the former Imperial Dragon was in a wistful mood. His life had turned into a "Hitchcock movie" since Carol Howe had come forward with her story. He was 47 years old, and his prospects were, well, dim. He had lost a new job at the American Airlines repair shop in Tulsa because of all the fuss. Nine dollars an hour, too. Good money. And now the movement was upset with him. All because of that girl.

"Look, I never cased that federal building. I didn't even know there was a federal building in Oklahoma City," he said. "It's another one of Carol's bald-faced evil lies. The only thing I ever cased with Andy Strassmeir was the nude titty bars in Tulsa. That I did do."

"It looks like Andreas has put you in a bit of a spot, Dennis."

"You think he's an agent?"

"Makes sense."

"Yeah, that little shit's going to get himself killed. You know Andy told me he'd been in GSG-9."

"Strassmeir told you that? He told you he'd worked for German counter-terrorism?"

"Yeah, told me he worked on the Baader-Meinhoff gang in the eighties. This was a guy who could infiltrate, I tell you, he knew his stuff, but I thought he was just going after the Communists," said Mahon, chewing on the inside of his cheek. "Funny thing. He was never curious about the people in my album. His car kept breaking down, and he couldn't travel. Never even had a telephone."

"Good cover."

"You think so?"

"That's exactly what you'd do if you were a deep penetration agent, isn't it, Dennis?"

"Yeah, maybe. I hope to God he wasn't working as an agent over here."

Mahon was undoubtedly in deep water. Things had moved a long way since his days in the Ku Klux Klan, those halcyon, carefree times when all he did was prance about in white regalia, set fire to crosses, wind up the liberal pointy heads -- and, he whispered to admirers, firebomb the odd abortion clinic. But then he had decided the Klan was not militant enough for him.

"The Klan are just a bunch of uneducated rednecks with low IQs and green teeth, blaming all their problems on niggers and Jews. I kept telling them to snap out of it. This isn't about niggers, it's about the struggle against the government. I'm tired of hearing about white power. We've got plenty of power. Look at our politicians: they're all white, aren't they?"

"Yes, Dennis, they are."

"I'd rather hang ten rich Aryan corporate bosses for every Jew that I'd hang. Like Carol's father. I'd like to see him hanging from a gibbet .... No, I couldn't get it through to those thickheads in the Klan that this is a white civil war we've got. This is the working class against the capitalists. I've gained so much credibility since I left that fricking Klan."

"You have?"

"Yeah. I can hold my head up now."

Like other diehards, Mahon graduated to the Aryan Nations, the descendant of the fascist Silver Shirts. These gentlemen meant business. He found his niche leading the race commandos of the White Aryan Resistance action squad, calling for the overthrow of the U.S. government by "any means." It was exhilarating. But now it had got him into difficulties.

"That girl. I just knew she was a fricking snitch. No more blonde debutantes for me. It's the last time I fall for that one."

"You told J.D. Cash you wanted to saw Carol's head off?"

"J.D. Cash said that?"

"Sure did. He has it on tape."

"How come that guy's still alive anyway? You know what though, I'd like to put her over my knee and give her a good spanking."

It had all begun in May 1994 when Carol Howe called the "Dial-a- Racist" hotline of the White Aryan Resistance. She followed up with a letter asking for white separatist literature. "I am 23, considered beautiful, and want to defend my race and culture," she explained. They arranged a meeting at the Village Inn at 71st and Yale, and the Imperial Dragon could hardly contain himself as this spectral, alabaster creature hobbled in on crutches.

"What genetics," he said, shaking his head. "I fell in love with that girl, I really did. I wanted us to get married, and make little Aryan babies. With her genetics we couldn't have gone wrong.

"But Carol was out of her mind. You know that, don't you? Totally out of her mind. That girl was always talking about violence and killing. She watched Natural Born Killers nine times. Nine times!" he said, with a mixture of awe and reproof.

"Carol only passed her [ATF] polygraph tests because she was on morphine the whole time. She was always popping these pills. I never could reach her soul."

Mahon loved to talk. He would talk all day if you gave him the chance, and I was happy to let him do so. He had me join him on his errands around town, which he carried out in a rickety 1974 truck with a German eagle on the license plate. This was later switched for a CIA Government Vehicle plate, one of those joke tags you can buy for a few dollars at a gun show.

"You're the enemy, of course," he said. The word on the street was that I worked for British M16. But he didn't care. It was better than working for the Mossad, anyway.

At the Post Office he handed me a large box as he carried his parcels up to the counter.

"This isn't a bomb, is it Dennis?"

"I always deliver my bombs in person, in disguise," he said, with a twinkle. "I can look like an Hispanic, or even a nigger. You should see the stuff I've got. I'm the master of disguise."

The thing about Mahon's spontaneous quips is that they were often true. His old friends in the movement vouched for his makeup skills. They said that he had a whole kit to pass himself off as a Mexican.

"It must have taken a technical genius to build that Oklahoma bomb," I said.

"Yeah. One hell of a bomb, wasn't it."

"Do you think it was an ANFO bomb?"

"How could it be an ANFO bomb if there was no fricking residue of ammonium nitrate? That stuff would be all over the place, and they didn't find any, did they? One fricking crystal, that's all they found. ANFO bomb, my ass. Give me a break. I'll bet you it was a fuel air bomb -- two 55-gallon drums, that's all you need. It's very efficient, like a nuke. They used them in the Gulf War to blanket a whole area and set off the anti-tank mines."

"Well, that would get you off the hook, wouldn't it? Carol told the ATF you blew up a truck with a 50o-pound ANFO bomb, in Michigan."

"Hmm," muttered Mahon, torn for a moment between a bomber's pride and the risk of incriminating himself. "Nah, I never blew up a truck. I just told Carol that to test her, to see if it came back at me. Then I'd know she was a fricking snitch."

He took me to his house, a rundown rambler on the wrong side of town. He was living in a mixed ethnic neighborhood -- one of those indignities he had to suffer every day. "The fricking capitalists, like Carol's father, they're all right, aren't they? And I'm stuck here with niggers on every side."

"Life's not fair, Dennis."

"I can handle it. There's good negroes too, you know. They're not all bad."

Inside, it smelt of urine. Mahon apologized. His scraggly black cat was incontinent, ruining what was left of his threadbare furniture. "I'm going to have him put down. He's had a good life."

He played me a tape of an interview that he and Carol gave to a German film crew in 1994. The two of them are sitting on a park bench, praising Adolf Hitler. At one point the reporter turns to Carol and asks if the movement is penetrated by informants. Undoubtedly, she replies with a deadpan face, undoubtedly it is.

"Jesus, she's good isn't she?"

"Outstanding," I agreed.

"I'll sell you the tape," said Dennis.

"I work for a newspaper. I can't use video."

"Okay, okay, how about this?" he said, pulling out a picture of Carol, half-naked, wrapped in a Confederate flag, carrying a submachine gun.

"How much?"

"$1000 bucks."

"Christmas!"

"Okay, $500."

"I can't afford that."

We settled on a cheaper photo of Carol in the uniform of a Russian Air Force officer. To sweeten the deal he threw in his last, treasured copy of The Turner Diaries -- alleged to be the "blueprint" for the Oklahoma bombing. I got the two for $120, billed to The Sunday Telegraph.

"Anything else I can sell you? I've got to get out of this country, soon," he said, winking. "I think I'll go to Argentina."

"Good choice, Dennis."

Before I left, he took me out to a cluttered workshop at the side of his house. It was bedecked with the usual protest posters -- "End Organized Crime, Abolish The IRS" -- that kind of thing.

"This is where I build my bombs. And this is where I build the detonators," he continued, taking me into the nerve center at the back. "Just kidding. Look, it was a justifiable act to blow up that building, but if I'd been involved I wouldn't have done it at nine in the morning with all those children in there. Anyway, I've got an alibi. I was up at the family farm in Illinois from April 16 to April 23. You talk to my father, he'll tell you."

Alibi or not, Mahon had ensnared himself in his remarkable five-hour confession to J.D. Cash in January 1996. At the time, Cash was in touch with The Jubilee, the far-right publication of the Christian Identity movement. He had been invited to speak about the Oklahoma bombing at a Jubilee conference, and his picture had appeared in the monthly newspaper next to that of Louis Beam, the eminence grise of the Aryan movement. When Mahon saw the picture, he falsely assumed that Cash was an emissary sent by Louis Beam.

"I went along with it. If he was going to be that dumb, that was fine by me," explained Cash. "So I said to him: 'Dennis, why did you blow up the fucking building in broad daylight with a nursery in there? You've no idea how much trouble you've caused the movement, killing all those children.'

"'I know, the whole thing's fucked up.'

"'Dead babies don't cause revolutions. There are some people who are real upset about this.'''

Over the next five hours Mahon worked his way through a bottle of Irish whisky and babbled frantically about the bombing. In the flood of conflicted emotions, he lurched from guilt, to pride, to a perverse jealousy. The former Imperial Dragon could not bear to see an upstart Nazi like Timothy McVeigh hogging the limelight, taking all the credit for the bombing.

"The thing you have to understand about Mahon is that he had become a joke in the movement," said Cash. "He was being ridiculed as a talker, and he wanted to prove that he was a 'doer.' It was his middle-aged crisis, I guess."

"It got lively when I told him that Andreas Strassmeir was a government agent. That's when he jumped up and said, 'Oh, sweet Jesus, I'm fucked!'

"Then he told me I had to pass the word on to Michael Brescia and Mark Thomas: 'They're in up to their asses in the bombing.' And he blurted out that Michael Brescia was the 'pretty-boy' John Doe number two, the one in the side-sketch."

Thomas was the East Coast leader of the Aryan Nations and head of the Posse Comitatus of Pennsylvania. Brescia was one of his proteges. The two had close ties to Elohim City, and Brescia had taken up residence at the commune two years earlier. He shared a house with Andreas Strassmeir.

Cash continued: "Dennis was really quite upset about Strassmeir. He got on the line to Germany and said he wanted Strassmeir checked out. If Andy had betrayed the cause, he was to be shot in both kneecaps, interrogated, given a half-hour trial, and executed. Since it's my duty as a citizen to report death threats, I passed this on to the FBI."

Before leaving, Cash pulled out his tape-recorder and asked Mahon if he wanted to convey any messages to Tim McVeigh in prison. (Cash had a letter from McVeigh's lawyers scheduling an interview with the prisoner.) Mahon fell for the bait. Speaking into the microphone, he exhorted McVeigh to accept his "sacrifice," even if he was guilty by reason of entrapment. Don't forget Waco; don't forget Ruby Ridge; don't forget all the southerners who died for the cause; and don't forget that members of his family were vulnerable to reprisal.

Immediately afterward, J.D. Cash gave a sworn deposition to Stephen Jones, the lawyer of Timothy McVeigh, recording the ramblings of the Imperial Dragon. It was submitted to the court in Denver, where it has remained sealed ever since.

But if it has been kept from public view, the prosecution at least has been able to read it. Apparently it has had no impact. To this day the Justice Department has not seen fit to question Dennis Mahon about the Oklahoma bombing, or treat him as a suspect in any way.

"Yes, I know I'm protected," Mahon told me archly. "It's a nice feeling to have."  
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

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CHAPTER FIVE: CAROL HOWE

CAROL ELIZABETH HOWE was recruited as a confidential informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on August 25, 1994. Her task was to gather intelligence on Dennis Mahon and the White Aryan Resistance.

She was 23 years old, with a petite figure, beautifully coifed sand-blonde hair, a swastika tattooed on her left shoulder, and a pentagram on her right ankle. Her motive was listed by the ATF as "personal vendetta, public safety." [1]

It was a far cry from the genteel, equestrian pursuits of her caste. Carol was an accomplished hunter-jumper -- a gentrified sport known as "point-to-point" in Anglo-American circles. Her family were members of the Southern Hills Country Club, site of the annual PGA Players Championship. Their seven-bedroom residence was just up the road from Southern Hills. It was a discrete, understated home, appraised at $900,000. Genteel, not flashy.

Carol's father had been CEO of Mapco Incorporated, a Tulsa energy conglomerate with 4,500 employees and a ranking on the Fortune 500 list. His position put him at the pinnacle of Oklahoma society. Carol's mother, Aubyn, was an immaculate, effusive philanthropist with short blonde hair and a taste for exotic earrings. They were most definitely Brahmin WASPs. But they were also willful, controlling WASPs, and Carol needed to be given a long rein.

As so often with the highly strung children of privilege, "culture-slumming" was the ultimate rebellion. The lower, the better; the subconscious purpose was to shock. And shock she did. Carol threw herself with zest into the most verboten subculture in America. She started to consort with fringe skinheads, neo-Nazis, and punks.

The silliness took a serious turn for the worse in the spring of 1994 when she jumped off a wall to escape a group of black youths and broke both her heels. In retaliation, she called Dennis Mahon's "Dial-a- Racist" hotline. Her flirtation with the White Aryan Resistance would last six weeks. It ended as violently as it had begun, when Dennis Mahon allegedly raped her. She fled to her grandfather's ranch in Texas.

On her return to Tulsa she found a series of threatening messages on her answering machine. "Have you turned on us?" growled Mahon. "We will neutralize you .... We assume you're with the enemy." [2]

Carol filed a complaint with the hate crimes unit of the Tulsa Police on August 22, 1994. "Victim stated she had been a member of WAR (White Aryan Resistance) for two months," said the report. "She has been trying to get out of this organization for the last month. Victim feels that her life is in danger." [3]

Three days later she went to the Tulsa County District Court to file for an emergency protective order. It flagged the Tulsa office of the ATF. They pounced immediately.

Would she like to get even? asked rookie agent Angela Finley, who was not much older than Carol herself.

Most certainly, said Carol. And more than that, she wanted to get these lunatics off the street before they provoked a race war, or blew something up. [4] They signed a two-page contract enlisting her at a pay of $2 5 a day, plus expenses. Five days later Special Agent Finley submitted the opening report of the ATF's Terrorist/Extremist investigation of the White Aryan Resistance. It outlined her preliminary debriefing of Confidential Informant CI-183, the code number by which Carol would be known. [5]

"WAR has approximately 20-25 active, 50 nonactive and 200 underground members locally. The primary training location is called Elohim City .... Mahon and his organization are preparing for a race war and war with the government in the near future and it is believed that they are rapidly stockpiling weapons."

On August 30, 1994, Carol passed her first ATF polygraph test, as she did every test thereafter. The WAR investigation was designated SIGNIFICANT/SENSITIVE, which meant that it had "potential national interest" and that ATF headquarters in Washington should be kept apprised. [6]

Carol was quite a find for the ATF. Wild, fearless, a talented actress, she was willing to do practically anything. But she was not a "snitch," and that would cause problems. The ATF likes to work with criminal defendants who have "rolled over" to avoid prosecution. Snitches can be controlled. But Carol did not have any criminal record, which is rare. She was a volunteer, performing a public service -- and as we shall see -- trying to redeem herself in the eyes of her parents.

With her family's millions as the ultimate guarantor behind her, she was not going to be pushed around by low-level agents in the provincial office of a second-tier federal agency. In fact, she was not going to be pushed around by anybody. Not even the FBI elicited the proper sense of deference. Imbued with the prejudices of her class, she tended to view the FBI as jumped-up policemen, perfectly respectable, but not the kind of people you invited to dinner. The Justice Department never understood this, and it would pay dearly for the miscalculation.

Carol reported that Dennis Mahon had promised to teach her how to assemble hand grenades, or "paperweights" as he called them. So her first assignment was to film Dennis Mahon in flagrante delicto. She went out shopping with Agent Finley -- or just Angie, as she was by then-and bought a trunk. With help of ATF technicians from the Dallas office, they mounted a tiny surveillance camera on the inside, drilled a small hole in the trunk for the lens, and placed it in the living room of Carol's house in Tulsa. Then they picked up four grenade casings from an army-navy surplus store. [7]

"I got Dennis talked into making them real, and he did so on camera. Later we went out to Elohim City and blew them up," she told J.D. Cash.

By now the focus was already shifting from Mahon to Elohim City. Carol's early reports had been so disturbing that the ATF wanted her to infiltrate the cult, find out what kind of weaponry they had, and profile the key radicals. It was an extremely dangerous mission. She learned at worship that execution was the penalty for any informant who caused a member of the group to go to prison.

In September she was given her first taste of "Andy the German." (It would take her three months to discover that he was Andreas Carl Strassmeir, born May 17, 1959.) He made her crawl underneath barbed wire while he fired a .45 caliber pistol at her feet, his idea of a loyalty test. [8]

During worship on the Sabbath, which lasted four hours, Strassmeir would patrol the compound. "If someone -- anyone -- leaves the meeting during service, he hunts them down and brings them back." He would enforce the 9:00 PM curfew, conduct background checks, and ensure that troublemakers were beaten. [9]

"He believes we cannot outbreed the enemy, so we must use mass genocide against them + of course, the biggest enemy is the U.S. government," wrote Carol in her notes.

Carol was not yet permitted to attend "guerrilla warfare and tactical maneuvers" training, but she would learn that Andy had no tolerance for slackers. He made his troops camp out in 14 degree December weather, and swim through frigid waters in their combat fatigues. No complaining tolerated. When the "troops" let him down, he would have them summoned to the Worship House for a session of vitriolic abuse by the patriarch. [10]

The "troops" were dressed in black jeans, combat boots, and dark blue T-shirts with a badge on the left breast and "Security Officer" in yellow on the back. Every Elohite was required to have gear for "patrols, maneuvers, and combat," with an ammunition stockpile of 400 to 500 rounds per firearm. The full combat load was 200 to 280 rounds per man, worn on a chest pouch. Every male over 17 had to carry a weapon at all times, either a revolver, or a rifle strapped across the shoulder. The standard weapons were Mini-14s, AR-I 5S, and SKSs. Andy also claimed to have an M-60 heavy machine gun and a 40 mm grenade launcher.

Carol was gaining trust. Grandpa put her on the 3.3.3 test routine, which meant that she was to graduate from a three-day trial stay at Elohim, to a three week stay, to a three month stay, before gaining permanent admission. He wanted her to teach Aryan history at the Elohim school. Approved by the elders, she began her three week probation during the "Pagan Christmas" in December. She moved into a trailer that Mahon kept at the commune, stocked with cans of food and covered with a camouflage net. When it got too cold, she moved in with some of the other families.

By early 1995 Grandpa had started preaching every day, working himself up into a froth about ZOG's storm troopers. "He brought forth his soldiers and instructed them to take whatever action necessary against the U.S. government. He stated that certain groups from Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma will be uniting as one front to fight the government," says an ATF report dated January 11, 1995. [11]

Interestingly, this was not seen as an ethnic uprising. Pastor Millar was in contact with Louis Farrakhan's organization, as well as militant Hispanic and American Indian groups. He explained to Carol that "Elohim City would unite with other races in order to create a more powerful adversary opposing the U.S. government. The white supremacist issues are secondary to the anti-government attitude." [12]

A mood of apocalyptic frenzy was engulfing Elohim City. There were now nightly patrols and daily paramilitary maneuvers. Fully automatic weapons were being stockpiled in anticipation of a Waco-style raid. The flag of the Branch Davidians was hanging in the chapel as a constant reminder of the assault on Mount Carmel on Patriot's Day, April 19, 1993.

But Waco was only part of the drama. The date of April 19, 1995, had multiple significance for Elohim City. It was the ten year anniversary of the federal assault on a white supremacist encampment in Arkansas known as the Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord. The compound had surrendered to federal agents on April 19, 1985, ten years to the day before the Oklahoma bombing.

During the sedition trial of the survivors, it emerged that they had been plotting to blow up the Murrah Federal Building with a rocket launcher in 1983. The conspiracy involved James Ellison, who later married a granddaughter of Pastor Millar and settled at Elohim City. His chief accomplice was Richard Wayne Snell, a neo-fascist cult-hero who edited a newsletter called The Seekers and was a member of Elohim's extended family.

It so happens that Snell was executed in Arkansas on April 19, 1995, a few hours after the Oklahoma bombing. He had been convicted of murdering a black state trooper. His supporters dispute this version of events, claiming that Snell shot back in self-defense. Whatever happened, the young bloods at Elohim had worked themselves into a fury as the day of execution drew near. On April 19, a caravan of vehicles drove down to Little Rock for a clemency rally. After the execution they brought the body back for burial on hallowed Aryan ground at Elohim City.

At the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Snell was fulminating about bombs and catastrophic retribution. "He repeatedly predicted that there would be a bombing or an explosion on the day of his death," said prison official Alan Ables, in an interview with The Denver Post.

"I moved my wife aboard a federal installation to spend the day and possibly the next night ... because I didn't feel safe with her at home." The prison took the exceptional step of transporting Snell to the execution chamber by helicopter.

Pastor Millar ministered to Snell during the final hours before the lethal injection. According to a documentary by the Canadian Broadcast Company, the prison deathwatch log notes that Snell made a request at 12:20 PM that the television in his cell be turned on. He watched the early coverage of the Oklahoma bombing. At 12:30 the log notes: "News 4 special on the situation in Oklahoma. Inmate Snell watching newscast, smiling and chuckling." [13]

* * *

As instructed by the ATF, Carol had befriended Strassmeir. She cooked for him; she did his laundry; she cleaned his house -- and reported back on the 30 cans of ammunition and grenade casings he kept in storage. This took self-sacrifice. The skinny, buck-toothed fanatic was not exactly her type, and she had could hardly understand his guttural accent anyway. But she succeeded in tempting him.

"Andy and I talked of 'us' and he said he was definitely attracted to me, and I have a chance of being his marriage partner," read her notes from November 24, 1994. This was later followed by a terse notation that the mission was accomplished. "I secured an intimate personal relationship with Andy and am now his girlfriend."

"Sometime in November there was a meeting and Strassmeir and Mahon said it was time to quit talking and go to war .... I reported all this to Angie," she told J.D. Cash.

This is confirmed by Agent Finley's monthly report, dated November 29, 1994, which states that Strassmeir had discussed plans to bring down the United States government with direct actions such as "assassinations" and "bombings" and "mass shootings." The word bombing is underlined in the handwritten notes of Finley's debriefing of Carol. [14]

By Christmas the plot was taking shape. Strassmeir and Mahon, the ringleaders, had picked three possible targets for attack in the state of Oklahoma: the IRS and federal buildings in Tulsa, and the "federal building" in Oklahoma City. Carol has stated under oath that she reported these threats to her ATF case officer. "I wrote down about blowing up federal buildings," she testified. "I relayed it the way we relayed it." [15]

She later said that she informed the ATF, on paper, that something called the "Morrow Building" (sic) had been mentioned as one of the targets. [16]

The ATF denies this adamantly. But Carol is vindicated by an FBI write-up of her debriefing on April 21, 1995, at the FBI's OKBOMB command center in Oklahoma City. It said that Dennis Mahon had discussed "targeting federal installations for destruction through bombings, such as the IRS Building, the Tulsa Federal Building and the Oklahoma City Federal Building."

She said that Strassmeir and Mahon had "taken three trips to Oklahoma City in November 1994, December 1994, and February 1995." She had accompanied the group once, in December 1994. [17]

The government is now claiming that Carol made this story up after the bombing. But this was their informant, meeting at their request, at the headquarters of the bombing investigation, telling them in strictest confidence what she knew about the most traumatic terrorist event in the history of the United States two days after it happened. It is contained in their own internal documents.

Unfortunately, such a large chunk of Angela Finley's ATF notes are missing that it may be impossible to resolve this point with absolute certainty. But here are the transcripts of a closed-door cross-examination of Special Agent Finley, under oath, on April 24, 1997.

Q: "Ms. Howe told you about Mr. Strassmeir's threats to blow up federal buildings, didn't she?"

Finley: "In general, yes."

Q: "That was before the Oklahoma City bombing?"

Finley: "Yes."

Q: "Now, Ms. Howe actually took some of these people from Elohim City at your direction to Oklahoma City, didn't she?"

Finley: "She went with them. She probably did drive."

Q: "She called you before, and said, 'These folks from Elohim City want to go over and look at Oklahoma City.' And she had specific places they were going."

Finley: "It did not include the federal building."

Q: "This trip to Oklahoma City by Elohim City residents occurred before the bombing, actually just by a few weeks, didn't it?"

Finley: "No, it would be months ... the fall of '94."

Q: "Are you sure? So, it wasn't the third week of February?"

Finley: "Oh, I'm sorry, we did send her back."

Q: "I'm asking you whether it is a fact that Ms. Howe picked up people from Elohim City ... and took them to Oklahoma City in February, the third week, of 1995."

Finley: "I would have to look at my reports again."

Q: "The very next day, you asked Ms. Howe to take you to Oklahoma City and show you the places they visited, didn't you?"

Finley: "I don't know if it was the next day, but yes, I took her to Oklahoma City and asked her the places."

So, the ATF has admitted to the substance of Carol Howe's claims. It knew that Andreas Strassmeir had discussed blowing up federal buildings in Oklahoma. It knew that a party from Elohim City had visited Oklahoma City eight weeks before the Oklahoma bombing. The only dispute is whether the Alfred P. Murrah Building was specifically named as one of the targets.

For two years the Justice Department insisted that the U.S. government had no prior warning of any kind that a federal building might be bombed on April 19, 1995. They did not qualify this by saying specific threats, or credible threats. The Justice Department stated categorically that there were no threats, period, and that it was "an outrageous charge" to suggest otherwise.

When Carol Howe came forward, however, it changed the terms of the argument with swift sleight of hand. The operative word was now "specific." Carol Howe did not give a "specific" warning. The ATF records -- those parts that have not been shredded already -- do not indicate a "specific" warning. The Justice Department holds that unless she can demonstrate otherwise, the information in her debriefings is all mindless chatter. The burden of proof falls entirely on Carol Howe.

But this is indefensible. It is not the job of a confidential informant to cross every "t" and dot every "i." It is the job of the case officer to ensure proper documentation. It is the job of the agency to exploit the tips and leads, using the vast resources of the U.S. federal government. Intelligence rarely comes gift-wrapped in a chocolate box, especially in cases of terrorism. It comes in scraps. A bit here, a bit there. The warnings that Carol provided were, if anything, unusually detailed and precise. If they fell short of absolute specificity, that does not absolve the ATF in any way.

Special Agent Angela Finley has a great deal of explaining to do. But it is unfair to pick on her alone, for she was put in an impossible position by the FBI. The document trail shows that the Tulsa office of the ATF was ready to take action against the White Aryan Resistance in February 1995. Carol Howe had succeeded in filming Strassmeir preparing hand-grenades, and the ATF was preparing for a possible raid on Elohim City to arrest him. It had requested INS "participation in [the] raid," because Strassmeir was an illegal alien. [18] The Oklahoma Highway Patrol had been alerted that Andreas Strassmeir "carries a .45 auto pistol at all times ... if he is stopped and has the gun on him, ATF will file the charges." [19]

But the FBI muscled in and prevented the arrest. On February 22, 1995, Agent Finley was notified by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol that the "FBI also had an ongoing investigation at Elohim City." [20] One can imagine the shock of this rookie ATF agent when she discovered that she had unwittingly stumbled on a much bigger sting being conducted by the FBI, probably a counterintelligence operation approved at the highest levels in Washington. For whatever reason, Strassmeir was being protected by the Bureau.

If Agent Finley still had any doubts, they were dispelled the next day. On February 23, 1995, the head of the Tulsa office of the ATF was informed that Bob Ricks, the chief of the FBI regional office in Dallas, wanted to schedule a meeting "to discuss the investigation of Elohim City." The memo made reference to the work of informant CI-183, Carol Howe. On the same day, the ATF Tulsa chief was called in to discuss the problem with the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Major damage control was under way. The Angie-Carol team had stepped on a land mine.

Within days the ATF case against the White Aryan Resistance collapsed. No arrests were ever made. Carol Howe's efforts had been in vain. Less than a month later Agent Finley filed an "emergency request for the removal of Confidential Informant 53270- 183." The memo stated that she was "no longer loyal or competent to operate as an informant for ATF." Her accumulated pay had been $4,621.64. [21]

In truth, Carol was in a bad state. She was seriously depressed in February, in part because the ATF had been pressuring her to go back to Elohim City for her three-month probation as a Nazi. It was a terrifying assignment. Elohim was reaching a fever pitch. If anybody had got wind of her activities as an informant she faced kneecapping or the not-so-apocryphal fate of being weighed down with rocks and thrown into a river.

But the notation that she was "no longer competent" was clearly just a bureaucratic formula. It would be forgotten soon enough once they needed her again.

When the bomb went off, Carol was devastated.

"The first thing I thought is that they had done it," she said. "They had taken the next step and done the things they said they were going to do." [22]

Then the guilt set it. She could have stopped it. If she had tried even harder, if she had concentrated properly when they told her these terrible things, if she had been more specific with Angie, perhaps she could have made the difference. But she had failed. Fate had put this matter in her hands, her hands alone, and she had failed. [23]

The day after the bombing she was called by Angela Finley. Would she come down to the OKBOMB command post in Oklahoma City? Would she help identify the sketches of the suspects? Yes, she replied. "I hated to quit prematurely, I wanted to go back and finish the job," she later testified.

The ATF put her back on the informant roster under an "emergency reactivation." The approval request stated that Carol had been reliable in the past, and that she "has shown emotional instability, received treatment and appears to have recovered satisfactorily."

Making a genuine effort to follow up on her information, the ATF increased her pay to $150 a day and sent her back to Elohim City to collect more intelligence and try to identify suspect John Doe Two. She stayed for three days, from the first of May to the third, and reported back that "individuals spoken with were supportive of the bombing." She also learned that "there is a big secret out here." [24]

There were plans to send her back for a second visit in May 1995 to crack open this "secret." But the mission was aborted after the ATF office in Tulsa was informed that Pastor Robert Millar suspected that Carol was a confidential informant. The ATF, of course, had no idea that Pastor Millar was actually working for the FBI.

By this stage the intrigue had become so twisted -- with undercover informants from different agencies tripping over each other -- that it is almost impossible to disentangle. Reviewing the documents, however, it is clear that the FBI was engaged in major damage control from the first days of the OKBOMB investigation.

The FBI write-up of Carol Howe's debriefing -- at the OKBOMB command post on April 21, 1995 -- omits the surnames of the men identified by Carol as possible suspects in the bombing. After being shown three composite sketches, including one that she had never seen published in the newspapers, Carol identified John Doe One as Peter Ward, the tall blond roommate of Andreas Strassmeir at Elohim City. She said that John Doe Two looked like his brother, Tony Ward. [25] The FBI listed them simply as Pete and Tony, even though Carol had written profiles of them in her ATF reports using their full names.

It was hardly a minor matter. An FBI memo dated April 28, 1995, a week later, states that Officer John Haynie of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had also suggested that Peter Ward could be one of the bombers. But the FBI, apparently, was not interested. The record shows that they did not speak to Peter Ward for another year and a half. An agent conducted a superficial interview at the Jackson County Jail in Oregon on September 23, 1996.

The Bureau's decision to ignore the Ward brothers, who were last known to be living in New Mexico, cannot be explained by mere oversight or lack of resources. In the days and weeks after the blast, FBI agents were fanning out across the country interrogating street vagabonds about the bombing on the basis of anonymous tip-offs. This had the hallmarks of containment. It is patently obvious that the FBI was willing to go to any lengths to protect its undercover operation at Elohim City, even if that meant allowing suspected bombers to walk free. The only question is why.

Despite the evasions, an April 21 FBI memo confirms that the Bureau was fully aware of Carol's clandestine intelligence within two days of the bombing.

"Mehaun [sic] has talked with Carol about targeting federal installations for destruction through bombings, such as the IRS Building, the Tulsa Federal Building, and the Oklahoma City Federal Building.

"Strasmeyer [sic] has talked frequently about direct action against the U.S. Government. He is trained in weaponry and has discussed assassinations, bombings and mass shootings."

This memo is the smoking gun of the Oklahoma bombing. While the Clinton administration can make an argument, perhaps, that the warnings of the blast were not as clear before April 19, 1995, as they may look in hindsight -- much like the disputed warnings before Pearl Harbor -- how can it possibly explain the failure to pursue Andreas Strassmeir and Dennis Mahon?

Here were two men under investigation by the ATF for Terrorism/Extremism, who had allegedly threatened to blow up federal buildings in Oklahoma. Yet the FBI is too busy to talk to them? It conducts more than 20,000 witness interviews-most of them inconsequential -- but cannot find the time to interview these two gentlemen?

Two and a half years after the bombing, Dennis was still driving the streets of Tulsa in his blue 1974 Chevy pickup. He had never been questioned by any agency of the U.S. government. It is even more staggering when you learn that the handwritten notes of Agent Finley, taken in the September/October 1994 time frame, reveal that Dennis Mahon knew how to make truck bombs out of fertilizer. "He made a 5oo-pound ammonium nitrate bomb in Michigan about five years ago, put it under a truck and blew it up." [26]

At last, here was somebody who knew how to build an ANFO bomb and detonate it successfully. The FBI crime labs had concluded that the Murrah Building was destroyed by a 4,800-pound ammonium nitrate bomb, and here was one of the few living Americans with the technical expertise to actually do it.

When Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols tried to blow up a milk jug with a small fertilizer bomb in October 1994, the experiment was a fiasco. "The blasting cap just sprayed the ammonium nitrate everywhere. It didn't work," said Michael Fortier, at McVeigh's trial. [27]

The Justice Department claims that McVeigh improved his technique over the next six months by studying the bomb manual Homemade C-4. But the book describes a laborious process of baking ammonium nitrate in small cans. It would take weeks to build a 4,8oo-pound truck bomb this way, and it would not solve the technical challenge of achieving simultaneous detonation.

Yet the prosecution insists that McVeigh and Nichols built the bomb in one day, on April 18, 1995, and then executed the flawless detonation of the biggest ANFO bomb in the history of U.S. terrorism.

Common sense would suggest that McVeigh had help from an expert, at the very least.

Now we learn that Dennis Mahon -- an acknowledged associate of McVeigh [28] -- was logged by the ATF as a man capable of detonating large ANFO truck bombs.

The FBI had been told that he had threatened to blow up federal buildings in Oklahoma.

But the FBI was too busy to talk to him.

Really.

There is another clue in that April 2 I FBI memo. Every name of significance was misspelled. Special Agent James Blanchard managed to turn Elohim City into Elohm City. Dennis Mahon became Dennis Mehaun. Andreas Strassmeir became Andreas Strasmeyer. Pastor Robert Millar became Bob Lamar.

It is possible, I suppose, that the FBI agents tasked to conduct the most sensitive interviews of the Oklahoma bombing case were imbeciles. But I do not believe it. This ruse of misspelling names is a technique I have encountered before when the FBI wants to jam a computer search. [29] It can backfire, however, for it indicates who may be working undercover for the Bureau. We now know that Pastor Millar was already an FBI informant in early 1995, at the very time that he was inciting "Holy War" against the "Zionist Occupied Government." Was Dennis Mahon on the payroll, or "turned" as a snitch? Was Andreas Strassmeir working in conjunction with the Bureau?

* * *

By now Carol was a massive liability to the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Clinton administration as a whole. Even if she remained silent, there was always a risk that McVeigh's defense team would find out about her as it honed in on Elohim City. Indeed, it was likely. FBI agent James Blanchard had slipped up by calling her Carol instead of CI 53270- 183 in a memo obtained by the defense team under legal discovery. (In fact, McVeigh's lawyers did not know they had it buried in the 22,111 pages of documents.)

The ATF were apoplectic when they discovered that "the identity of CI 53270-183 had been severely compromised." On April 22, 1996, Agent Angela Finley fired off a "damage assessment" memo reminding her superiors that Carol was "involved with the OKC bomb case" and was "the key in identifying individuals at Elohim City, which is tied to the OKC bomb case."

Noting Carol's concern about reprisals from the neo- Nazis, Finley wrote that "this informant has not been overly paranoid or fearful during undercover operations. This agent believes that s/he could be in serious danger when associates discover his/her identity." [30]

Finley had a clandestine meeting with Carol in a South Tulsa park to tell her that her cover had been blown. It was the FBI that was responsible, said Finley, so Carol should contact the FBI and ask them to deal with it. Carol did as she was told. She called Special Agent Pete Rickel in the Tulsa office of the FBI to request witness protection. He sent her bouncing back like a Ping-Pong ball to the ATF, although he was careful to ensure that there was no paper trail documenting her call or his refusal to refer her request to the proper authorities. [31]

Nobody was going to do anything to protect her. The U.S. government had reneged on a promise, written into her ATF contract, to provide her with witness protection if her life was in danger. It was a foretaste of the full treatment waiting for her.

At this point, she would have been well advised to leave the United States for a few years, studying in Europe, perhaps, or doing volunteer work in some overlooked outpost like Bolivia. Instead she chose to keep going. "I dug myself deeper into the movement, and cloaked myself in it," she said. [32] It was a decision that would be used against her later, but in the back of her tormented mind was a notion that she could still, somehow, prove herself of value to society, perhaps foiling the next act of terrorism by the deranged far right.

Her status as an ATF operative was nebulous. She was still on the "active informant roster," retained for the duration of the OKBOMB investigation. But she had been cut adrift. Angela Finley had stopped using her, stopped paying her, stopped taking her calls. Finley had another informant now, a man, coded CI - I 96. Carol was, to put it bluntly, the declining member of a menage it trois.

In early December 1996, she was discovered by J.D. Cash, who had been tipped off about her affair with Andreas Strassmeir. Cash called her house and left a message on her answering machine. She did not reply, but the FBI was clearly not going to hazard anything to chance. Days later, on December 13, 1996, the FBI raided Carol's house, alleging that a telephone "hotline" for the Aryan Intelligence Network, registered in her name, had broadcast a bomb threat.

"A letter from a high ranking revolutionary commander has been written and received demanding that action be taken against the government by all white warriors by December 15, 1996, and if this action is not taken, bombs will be activated in 15 major preselected U.S. cities." [33]

It took some imagination to construe this hearsay repetition of a crazed prophesy as an actual bomb threat that Carol Howe was intending to carry out.

Inside the house the FBI found materials that could, theoretically, be assembled into a pipebomb. Most of the material had actually been collected by Carol during her undercover work for the ATF, including the pipe itself, the fuse, and a stash of black powder. The parts were sitting in a box. Nothing had been done to assemble them into a bomb.

The U.S. government was turning Carol's cover against her, the ultimate nightmare for every clandestine operative. The FBI would later claim that they did not know she was still on the active informant roster of the ATF, or that she had ever been an ATF informant for that matter. But the FBI official who orchestrated the raid -- Special Agent Pete Rickel -- was the same man who had discussed witness protection with Carol eight months earlier. His face flushed red, Rickel would later admit under cross-examination in court that he had rebuffed Carol when she asked for witness protection. [34]

It would later come out in court that the impetus behind the raid had come from the highest levels of the FBI in Washington. It involved not only the chief of domestic terrorism, Kenneth Piernick, but also the head of the national security division, Robert Bryant. This is not the first time that Bryant has surfaced in controversial cases. As head of the Washington Field Office, he had been in charge of the FBI's much criticized response to Vincent Foster's death in 1993.

Carol's live-in boyfriend, James Viefhaus, was indicted on bombing charges, but Carol herself was left hanging, uncertain whether or not they would indict her next. If the purpose was judicial blackmail -- as her lawyers have alleged -- it was a poor reading of her character. Carol reacted with fury.

Eleven days later she agreed to talk to J.D. Cash, the first time she had ever divulged a word to the press. As they discussed Andreas Strassmeir on the telephone, she dropped a bombshell. Andy never was much of a lover, she said. "All he wanted to do was blow up federal buildings." Cash was flabbergasted. He called me in Washington, flush with excitement, and played the tape. It was a validation of everything Cash had been saying for a year about the Elohim conspiracy.

A few days later they met at her house in Tulsa. During the interview Cash showed her a document that happened to have Agent Angela Finley's name on it.

"You don't work for them, do you?" she shouted at him. Then, beside herself with rage, she fetched a business card with Finley's name on it and said that she used to "work for those people."

Throwing caution to the winds in an act of blissful revenge, she explained that she had been an undercover informant for the ATF, infiltrating the White Aryan Resistance, Elohim City, the Aryan Republican Army -- and, as it happened, a conspiracy to bomb federal buildings in Oklahoma.

When J.D. Cash published his astounding scoop in The McCurtain Daily Gazette, it set off an earthquake. The Justice Department had insisted time and again that no agency of the U.S. government had had an informant at Elohim City. It was a demonstrable lie -- for which, by the way, nobody has ever been sanctioned or held to account. Now there was a frantic campaign to prevent any major news outlet from picking up the Cash story. An ABC News segment on Carol Howe was pulled at the last moment on February 5, 1997. [35]

The ABC producers for 20/20 were sitting in the lobby at ABC's KTUL affiliate in Tulsa, waiting to watch the program, only to find that it had been replaced by a segment on New Zealand. When it became clear that the piece was never going to run, the assistant producer, retired Marine Lt. Col. Roger Charles, spoke out in protest. Appearing on the Don Imus radio show, he accused Peter Jennings and the top management of ABC News of caving in to political pressure. He was fired immediately.

"There were two messages," Charles told me later. "The first was that this story would bring the country down, whatever that's supposed to mean. The second was that it would lead to the abolition of the ATF. Machine guns on every street corner. You know the argument." [36]

Abandoning the media as a lost cause, Roger Charles went to work for the defense team of Tim McVeigh. Over the next month, McVeigh's counsel, Stephen Jones, would recast the whole defense strategy, hoping to exculpate McVeigh by suggesting that the Nazis of Elohim were the true perpetrators of the Oklahoma bombing. Carol Howe was going to be the star witness, the linchpin that held it all together.

The Justice Department promptly issued a superseding indictment against Carol Howe on March 22, three months after raiding her house. She was charged with conspiracy, willfully making a bomb threat and possessing a nonregistered destructive device. It tainted her as a witness, and it put her under immense pressure to accept a plea bargain under terms imposed by the political powers in Washington. She told them to go to hell. "If the Justice Department thinks it's going to shut me up, it's going to have the opposite effect," she told J.D. Cash.

Stephen Jones filed a writ of mandamus to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, accusing the "government of engaging in a willful and knowing cover-up of information supplied to it by its informant." The writ asserted that the indictment of Carol Howe was obtained "for purposes of leverage against her in order to keep her mouth shut about the activities of Mahon and Strassmeir."

Jones argued that "there is a high probability that Mahon and Strassmeir are part of a conspiracy that planned to bomb federal buildings, and may in fact have been part of the conspiracy to bomb the Murrah Building .... Our patience is exhausted. We are no longer convinced the documents drafted and furnished to us, after the fact, by bureaucracies whose very existence is challenged, can be relied upon .... Statements by the prosecution that it cannot connect Strassmeir and Mahon to the bombing are hardly surprising. They did not try very hard to connect them because had they been connected, and Carol Howe's previous warning disclosed, the resulting furor would have been unimaginable."

The Appeals Court rejected the writ of mandamus. Then Judge Richard Matsch ruled that Carol Howe could not even be called as a witness in McVeigh's trial. Her testimony was deemed "irrelevant." For Stephen Jones it was a devastating blow. The foundation stone of the defense had been ripped away. The trial became a desiccated exercise and a poor advertisement for the American judicial system. It was the reverse of the O. J. Simpson trial, lurching from one extreme of an overindulgent star-struck judge to the other extreme of a rigid, narrow judge who was overly willing to accommodate executive power.

For the Justice Department it was a victory, of course. Nobody learned anything worthwhile from the McVeigh trial. But it now had to deal with the consequences of indicting the irrepressible daughter of a very wealthy man. Carol's pugnacious lawyer, Clark Brewster, was running rings around the U.S. Attorney's office in Tulsa. And this time the judge was standing up against the executive branch. He compelled the ATF to produce Angela Finley's reports under legal discovery. These would prove that Carol Howe was still a U.S. government operative on December 13, 1996, the day that the FBI raided her house.

Another lie by the Justice Department had been exposed, but this was nothing compared to the rebuke that the prosecutors would suffer when they brought Carol to trial in front of an attentive Tulsa jury in late July and early August of 1997. Eerily pale, with a tragic look about her, she sat motionless in a pink suit as the government attempted to turn her undercover role against her.

Sitting in the court room, I began to feel sorry for the two assistant U.S. Attorneys, decent men following orders to pursue a case they must have known to be an abomination. It was almost pathetic to hear them explain why the constituents of the pipe bomb in the case had been provided to the defendant by the U.S. government in the first place, or explain why Carol Howe was listed on official documents as an active informant of the U.S. government -- not a former informant, not a dormant informant -- on the day that her house was raided by the same U.S. government.

"The government is not on trial. We did not manufacture this case against the defendant," said Neal Fitzpatrick, plaintively, going through the motions. His efforts at moral outrage were stillborn, because he manifestly did not believe his own words. "To suggest that these charges are retaliatory is absurd."

But everybody in the room suspected that it was exactly that, a retaliatory, manufactured case. On the higher plane of history, it was most certainly the Clinton Justice Department that was on trial, not Carol Howe.

"They ought to be ashamed of themselves. Goodness, how can the government look you in the face and ask you to convict her," thundered Carol's lawyer, Clark Brewster, as he accused the prosecution of trying to destroy his client before she could reveal their terrible secrets. "They want to put Carol Howe away for what she knows, but they need twelve accomplices to do it .... Don't let them. This is wrong!"

The last witness was Carol's white-haired father, Robert Howe. Dressed in a trim grey suit, he was the picture of reassuring respectability. He was asked to read a letter that Carol had written three years earlier, addressed to her family, to be opened in the case of her death or her disappearance into the witness protection program. He had never seen it before.

"Well, I guess by now you may have figured out what happened. Maybe someone's come to see you to explain, maybe you've seen it on the news or in the paper," her father began to read. "Carol Elizabeth Howe no longer exists.

"I don't like America as she is today, but I don't think she is past saving. And if there is something I can do to help this country realize a glimmer of her potential greatness, then I must do it. These people intend to start a war here within the next few years. They have the power, means, and support to do it. This war would especially devastate America. These organizations must be dissembled [sic] one by one ....

"Mom, you asked me what I've done to help anyone else. I guess you were right. I've never done anything for anyone else. Now with my actions and with my testimony I am helping every American man, woman, and child. I am helping to avert a war.

"You see, I've always been an idealist, never a realist," continued her father, pausing to wipe away the tears. "I've seen now that I can make a small contribution to my fellow man in the great scheme of things .... I ... will live a sacrifice every day for the rest of my life. But I have chosen this path with my eyes wide open and know it is the right one.

"Family, you have done a great job of educating me and preparing me for life. The ATF will now finish where we left off; they will teach me to be responsible, to make good decisions and to take care of myself .... I hope you continue to love me and perhaps respect me and be proud of me."

She was acquitted on all charges on Friday, August 1, 1997. The Clinton administration had fired and missed. Now there would be a settling of accounts.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

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CHAPTER SIX: LT. ANDREAS STRASSMEIR PZGREN (SPz)

ANDREAS STRASSMEIR MUST lead a charmed life. Two days after the Oklahoma bombing Carol Howe reminded the FBI that Strassmeir was a terrorist instigator who had "talked frequently about direct action against the U.S. government" and had "discussed assassinations, bombings and mass shootings." [1]

The FBI record of her debriefing, dated April 21, 1995, goes on to say that Strassmeir had "taken three trips to Oklahoma City in November 1994, December 1994, and February 1995." It also mentioned the fact that Strassmeir's friend Dennis Mahon had threatened to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building.

Yet the FBI saw no reason to interview Strassmeir. An illegal alien, he was allowed to leave the country and return to Germany in his own good time in January 1996. The Bureau waited until April 30, 1996, more than a year after the bombing, before conducting a desultory interview over the telephone.

"It was a conference call with my lawyer," he said. "The FBI asked where I was on the day of the bombing. They wanted me to help debunk the rumors spread about me." [2]

Before the McVeigh trial, the Justice Department derided any suggestion that Strassmeir could be linked to the Oklahoma bombing. The chief prosecutor, Joseph Hartzler, even went so far as to state to the court that "at no time did the FBI consider Andreas Strassmeir a subject of the Oklahoma City bombing investigation."

This was not true.

On April 28, 1995, the U.S. Embassy in Bonn sent a cable "TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY" in reference to the "Oklahoma City Bombing." The teletype transmits the results of a background check on Andreas Carl Strassmeir by German Police Intelligence. It refers to the e-mail and telcon requests of FBI Special Agent Hudspeth made on April 27,1995.

The cable was sent to the State Department in Washington for distribution to the Counterterrorism Division, and to the office of Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Clearly, Strassmeir was under investigation by somebody in the FBI immediately after the bombing. Then the paper trail abruptly stops.

Strassmeir's credentials as a virulent, anti-government warrior in the Aryan resistance are a little shaky, as we shall see. His father, Gunter Strassmeir, was a solid, respected member of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) before his retirement in 1991. During the 1980s the elder Strassmeir served as party chief in Berlin and then as Parliamentary Secretary of State to Chancellor Helmut Kohl from 1989 to 1991. [3] One of Gunter's younger sons, Alexander, is currently an elected member of the Berlin assembly. The family is quiet, hardworking, and anything but extremist.

Andreas joined the army. Exactly what he did during eight years in the military is still elusive. He told me that he was a lieutenant in the Panzer Grenadiers, second-in-command of a company of 120 mm mortars on the Helmstedt Highway. This part is true. His papers from the Kompftruppenshule in Munster in 1982 list him as an officer cadet in the PzGren (SPz). He also told me that he did a stint as a liaison officer with the British Army of the Rhine. He was placed in the Welsh Guards, which allowed him to cultivate his interest in Celtic folklore.

But he told me other things that are difficult to verify. In the late spring of 1996 we had five long conversations on the telephone. He was living at his parents' home in Wilmersdorf, an affluent sector of West Berlin. It was not easy to get him. He would disappear at times, apparently attending to his affairs at a local Kneiper, or an Irish pub he frequented in Berlin. (He said he was besotted with a young Irish woman, who kept breaking his heart.)

But once he was on the telephone line, he enjoyed talking. He would ruminate for hours in his slight guttural accent about life as ... as ... as what? A Nazi? A spy?

That was never quite clear. At times it was like listening to an organ fugue, billowing up toward a climax as his thoughts raced ahead, then subsiding as he realized he was revealing too much. He should have cut me off, but something impelled him. I believe that the pretense of being a Nazi had become too painful, both for him and for his family. It was horrible, he said, for his parents to pick up the Tagesspiegel in Berlin and read that their son was a militant Aryan racist. He wanted to reassure the world that his calling was higher. I was willing to believe him.

"I gained very good knowledge about military intelligence procedures that I can't talk about," he said, and promptly started doing exactly that. He explained that he had served as acting battalion intelligence officer on a regular basis when the designated officer was away on training.

"Military intelligence doesn't have enough young people, so they like to pick junior officers from the field units, to give them some experience .... It doesn't necessarily appear on your papers," he added.

The work involved detecting infiltration by East German agents in the West German Army, apparently a big problem at the time. "If we caught a guy, we'd offer him an amnesty. We'd turn him and use him to feed false information back to the Warsaw Pact."

He also engaged in undercover assignments for the German Police. Under the German Grundgesetz, he explained, the police were highly restricted in what they could do. They got around the rules by involving the military. "We did a lot of work with drugs," he said.

So this is the professional background of Lieutenant Andreas Strassmeir, Panzer Grenadiers. He also studied at the military university in Hamburg, where he got into a dispute with his superiors. They wanted him to finish a degree in social sciences; he wanted to study English medieval history. In any case, Wanderlust was already consuming him. He was thinking of fresh adventures across the Atlantic. During a visit to the United States in 1988 for a Gettysburg Civil War reenactment he got in contact with Lt. Col. Vincent Petruskie, a retired U.S. Air Force officer.

Ostensibly, Petruskie had worked for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, retiring in 1975. Files at the National Military Records Center in St. Louis list him as having been a "Foreign Intelligence Officer" in Vietnam, deployed to the 1131st U.S. Air Force, Special Activities Squadron, Saigon. In the 1970s he served as Special Projects Officer, Special Activities Branch, Counterintelligence Division in Washington, D.C. During the Gulf War he was reactivated with a sensitive assignment in the Gulf states. [4]

"That I know Colonel Petruskie should be a clue too," said Andreas, coyly, without elaborating,

He said that Petruskie was expecting an appointment to the DEA if George Bush was elected President. The colonel had told Andreas that he might be able to use a German with the right kind of military background.

"I discussed the job when I was in Washington. I was hoping to work for the operations section of the DEA, penetrating the cocaine cartels," said Andreas. "He thought I'd be better with the Hispanics. "

The lure was enough. Andreas obtained a discharge from the German army at the age of 17. On April 7, 1989, he flew to Washington, D.C., on a regular B2 tourist visa. However, he already had a Special Status of A O in the INS computers. [5] It was logged in the NIXOBAS data system. McVeigh's defense team was never able to establish what A O meant. Nor was I. The INS professed ignorance, saying they had never heard of it before.

Whatever it was, A O was clearly something sensitive because it was later scrubbed from Strassmeir's computer records. A printout dated April 18, 1995, shows A O on all of his entries into the United States. A year later it had vanished from the records. A printout dated March 18, 1996, shows that somebody had gone back into the system and altered the entries. It is one of those tiny clues.

The job with the DEA fell through. Vincent Petruskie told me that he tried to help Andreas get work at the U.S. Treasury -- for Customs, not the ATF, Andreas insists adamantly -- but he did not get very far. "We took him under our wing when he first came to the United States, and to be quite honest he's a little immature," said Petruskie. "I mean he's a good kid, but he fantasizes." [6]

Does he?

Andreas is very reticent about his next moves. He went to Texas and started working as a salesman for a computer company. For a while he attended the meetings of the Texas Light Infantry militia, until he was chased off as a suspected undercover agent. [7] From there he apparently drifted into the subculture of the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations. At some point, he formed a friendship with Kirk Lyons, the strident lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan. Lyons introduced him to Elohim City in 1991. "We had to find a place for Andy where he could live off the land because he didn't have a green card." [8]

There, at the nerve center of the U.S. neo-fascist movement, he established himself as chief of security and weapons training. It would be hard to imagine a better vantage point for gathering intelligence on proto-terrorism -- and for helping to shape its activities. An FBI memo reveals some of the information that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had gained from intermittent surveillance of Elohim City.

"Strassmeir is alleged to train platoon-sized groups consisting of approximately thirty to forty individuals approximately every three months at the Elohim City facility. These individuals are comprised of members of various militia groups throughout the United States .... Sources have indicated the existence of bunkers and weapons storage facilities at Elohim City." [9]

Speaking in his usual, elliptical mode, Andreas noted that the ATF lacked the anthropological skills to infiltrate the ultra-right Christo-pagan militias. "They don't know how to talk to them. These groups are irrational, and it takes a special approach," he said. Of course, he may have misjudged the ATF. They did come up with Carol Howe, after all, and she managed to fool everybody, even Lieutenant Strassmeir himself.

"The right wing in the U.S. is incredibly easy to penetrate if you know how to talk to them," he said, making it clear that he considered himself a gifted artist. "Of course, it's easier for a foreigner with an accent; nobody would ever suspect a German of working for the federal government."

But then he changed tack again, saying that he moved to Elohim City because he loved the outdoor life. It was a carefree time. Money was short, but he made ends meet putting up fences, doing landscape work, helping with the sheep. Every now and then his mother, a former screen actress, sent some deutsche marks to help him out. Andreas stayed at the commune for four years, apparently enjoying the kudos he derived from his time in the German military. They in turn were honored to have him.

He built a house and set his heart on one of the nubile daughters of Elohim, then another, and another. His advances were largely unrequited. But he was showered with affection by everybody else. That was the charm of the place. It was a genuine collective, with ceremonial gatherings every day at noon. Even an eccentric misfit like him could be made to feel at home.

The theological race theory of the movement passed him by, as if it were nothing more than cultural decoration. "I'm pretty tolerant when it comes to religion. I'd go to any church, actually," he said.

As for his politics, he called himself a civil libertarian, with a dash of pastoral romanticism. The Waco raid shocked him. "There was really no political protest from the Left, and that disturbed me. Where were all the hippies who protested Kent State?"

In February 1992 Andreas's Chevy stationwagon was impounded after he was stopped at a roadblock by the Oklahoma highway patrol for a traffic violation. "The police broke the lock 00 my briefcase and removed the documents, which was a violation of my civil rights," he said.

The incident would elicit a remarkable reaction.

"Boy, we caught hell over that one," said Kenny Pence, the driver who towed Andreas's 1983 maroon Chevy. "Some lawyer in Houston called and said they'd made a bad mistake arresting him. You know, we hear that all the time. But then the phone calls started coming in, from the State Department, from the governor's office, and then someone called and said he had diplomatic immunity." [10]

"When they released the car, he just headed straight for that briefcase .... He was a weird cookie, that boy."

Andreas says the man must be confused about the details. "Some calls did come in to rattle their cage," he said. "Something may have been said about my father's position. I don't know where he got this idea about the State Department."

Inside the briefcase was The Terrorist Handbook, which explains how to build an ANFO bomb out of fertilizer and fuel oil, and how to make detonators with a delayed fuse. [11] There were also job application forms for the INS and the DEA, foreign bank statements showing that Andreas was not nearly as poor as he pretended, and a stash of documents in German. One was a letter revealing that he was trying to purchase a Boeing 747 from Lufthansa. [12] This was supposedly part of a scheme by Colonel Petruskie to set up an air cargo service in Latin America. [13] Nothing came of that idea either, apparently.

At Elohim the mood was becoming more apocalyptic. "I don't know whether it was 'Andy,' or whether it was the times. There were a lot of things happening, you know, Ruby Ridge, Waco. We were all starting to feel pretty militant," said Joan Millar, the daughter-in-law of Pastor Millar. "But Andy was stirring things up. He was rounding up the younger kids for his patrols, and in the end we had to tell them to stay away from him." [14]

Zara Patterson, one of the church elders, was much blunter. "From the moment Andy got here, all he wanted to do was illegal stuff," he said. "I had to keep telling him that we were on the defensive, that we didn't want any trouble with the feds."

This is a self-serving version of events, of course. Elohim had in fact been stockpiling fully automatic assault rifles and modified MAK 90 rifles in preparation for the expected assault by the federal government. [15] Grandpa had been inciting his followers to take action against ZOG, preaching in fevered tones about the coming "cataclysm."

But Carol Howe had been saying much the same thing about Andreas Strassmeir in her ATF reports. "Andy leads the young adults in guerrilla warfare and tactical maneuvers training.. .. [He] makes weapon and firearm purchases for those who cannot buy for themselves," she reported to her ATF handler. [16] "His plans are to forcibly act to destroy the U.S. government."

Even by the standards of Elohim, this Prussian was a firebrand.

It was shortly after the Waco assault, in the late spring of 1993, that Strassmeir met Tim McVeigh at a Tulsa gun show. He sold McVeigh a U.S. Navy combat knife, and bought a pair of camouflage pants in exchange. They shared a few brief thoughts on the FBI's deployment of tanks against the Branch Davidians. "We spoke for five minutes, that's all," said Andreas. But they must have hit it off. He gave McVeigh his telephone number at Elohim.

Two years later McVeigh made the telephone call that would embroil Strassmeir in the Oklahoma bombing mystery. [17] It was recorded at 1:46 PM on April 5, 1995, seconds after McVeigh had telephoned a Ryder truck rental office in Arizona. "Tell Andy I'll be coming through," was all that McVeigh had said. It was enough.

"I don't know why McVeigh was trying to contact me," said Andreas.

Two weeks later McVeigh called the offices of Kirk Lyons, the Klan counsel who had introduced Andreas to Elohim City and who would later give him sanctuary after the bombing at his home in Black Mountain, North Carolina. It was April 18, the day before the blast. McVeigh spoke for fifteen minutes, apparently without identifying himself. He was waxing indignant about the Waco raid. Or at least that is what Kirk Lyons now claims. Dave Holloway, who took the call, says that he cut the conversation short when McVeigh started talking about the need to "send a message to the government."  [18]

Andreas insists that the meeting in Tulsa was the only time he ever spoke to Tim McVeigh. But a number of witnesses dispute that assertion. In states as far apart as Idaho, Oklahoma, and Kansas, this skinny, buck-toothed German kept surfacing with McVeigh, or in his immediate circle.

Witness sightings can be notoriously unreliable, but it is hard to discount the claims of Katina Lawson. She got involved with McVeigh during a wild phase in the summer of 1992 after she graduated from high school. It has been reported that she was McVeigh's girlfriend. But Katina vehemently denies this. Tim was just a friend, she insists, part of a group of soldiers from Fort Riley she got to know.

The group used to hang around at a house in Herington, Kansas, that she shared with a dissipated party girl named Lindy Johnson. The scene was so debauched, in fact, that Katina moved out soon afterward and severed her ties with her old roommate. But she was a witness for long enough to observe that the McVeigh crowd was heavily involved in drugs, frequently with high school teenagers.

They liked to hold "pasture parties" on Route 77. "Tim was there, but he never drank. He was always in control," she said. "It was weird that summer. There was always this elder gentleman with Tim, mid 4o-ish, with a red sports car. He seemed out of place, but he was always around." [19]

At the time Katina was hoping to work as a youth minister for troubled teenagers, and she found McVeigh's views on life to be repugnant. "He said Hitler would have been a great leader for the world. If he had planned it better it might have worked out, and we'd have had an Aryan world .... At first I didn't know if he was joking with all this scary stuff, but by the end I knew he was really warped. He was always making racial slurs. I thought it was sad to have attitudes like that."

Her account is of great significance. The McVeigh that she describes was an ideological activist in the Aryan Nations movement. This is not quite the same as the portrait sketched by the prosecution of an anti-government radical set on avenging Waco. Indeed, the Justice Department has systematically downplayed the Aryan racist in Tim McVeigh, and the U.S. press has followed suit. The question is why? Why deflect attention from the white supremacist movement?

I showed Katina a photograph of Andreas Strassmeir standing in jeans and a lumberjack shirt in front of an American flag. She recognized him at once. "Oh yes, his name is Andy, and he speaks with a German accent. He came to my house once .... It was either Christmas of '92 or New Years of '93 .... He had crooked teeth. I remember he was dressed in black, but he had this very white skin. He mentioned that his daddy was some big shot in Germany .... I thought he seemed kind of odd."

In the most damning of the witness sightings, McVeigh was seen with Strassmeir and Michael Brescia eleven days before the bombing. The three men were at a strip club in Tulsa called Lady Godiva's. We know that the date was April 8 because the security cameras in the dressing room caught three of the dancers chatting on tape. [20] J.D. Cash discovered the tape and made a copy before the FBI had time to confiscate the original. For once, a critical piece of evidence is available to the public instead of being sucked into the black hole of the official investigation.

The tape shows a cocktail waitress, a winsome brunette with a low-cut dress, walking into the locker room. The wall clock says 9:00 PM. She starts talking about a customer who had clearly made an impression.

"He said, 'I'm a very smart man.' 'You are?' 'Yes I am, and on April 19, 1995, you'll remember me for the rest of your life.'''

"Whooa!" laughs one of the other girls.

"Weirdo," says the brunette as she heads back into the noisy bar.

She returns a little later to discuss business with her colleague Shawn Tea Farrens, who is standing with her back to the camera, wearing nothing but a red G-string and high heels: "What time do you get off?"

"About 10:30."

"You know those guys I'm sitting out there with? Well, one of them says he's looking for a girl to fool around with tonight. Are you interested?"

"No, I don't do that kind of thing all weekend."

"He already knows I'm married. I won't do it."

"Oh, I've got to scam 'em somehow," said Shawn, after thinking about it.

"I kissed his forehead. He's got this real sweaty forehead."

"Oh, gross!" laughs Shawn.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to question Shawn about her night on the town with McVeigh, Strassmeir, and Brescia. She was found dead in her apartment, aged 23, shortly after the existence of the tape became known. The death was ruled a suicide.

But the staff of Lady Godiva's have identified the group of men, first in interviews with J.D. Cash, and then with an investigation team from the Canadian Broadcast Company's Fifth Estate. The staff clearly remembered McVeigh sitting in a booth. They could hardly forget him. When he was arrested for the bombing two weeks later his visit was something of a sensation at the club.

But they also picked out Michael Brescia and Andreas Strassmeir from a montage of photos. Brescia, they recalled, was very good looking, but full of himself. He was the one paying for the drinks and flashing hundred dollar bills. Strassmeir was quieter, but they remembered his distinctive narrow face and his buck teeth.

According to the FBI version of events, McVeigh could not possibly have been in Tulsa on April 8, 1995. The records show that he checked into the Imperial Motel in Kingman, Arizona, on April 5 and paid through until April 12. But the telephone logs tell a different story. Shortly after checking in, McVeigh called Elohim City and left his message for "Andy the German" that he would be coming through. There was a steady pace of calls from his motel room for two days. Then it stopped. There was no further telephone activity from his room between April 7 and 11. He vanished from the radar screen.

Andreas says that at the time of the bombing he was at work "clearing a line fence" on the land of an elderly couple near Elohim. He refuses to identify the couple, but insists they kept a schedule sheet that would validate his claim. He says he returned to Elohim an hour and a half later because it was raining. He watched the news about Oklahoma on TV with his housemate and votary, Peter Ward. "I named him as an alibi witness," he said.

Really?

Peter Ward was the tall, fair-haired man named by both Carol Howe and Officer John Haynie of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol as a possible candidate for bombing suspect John Doe One. [21] By the time I learned about this, Andreas had already gone underground. I tried to set up a further series of interviews with the help of his brother, Alexander, but to no avail. The two brothers were not talking to each other much anyway.

"It really is terrible the people he got mixed up with," said Alexander. "All these neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. I mean, it's quite dreadful."

"It doesn't look good," I agreed. "Especially the bombing."

"Oh God," he groaned.

He is a nice man. All the family are charming. Even Andreas has the mannerisms of a well brought up, polite, late twentieth century Berliner. But there is no escaping the fact that he is now the chief target of McVeigh's defense team. As the appeals process moves its way through the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the petition for a new trial is based largely on the allegation that Andreas Strassmeir and his friends were the true culprits behind the Oklahoma bombing.

In light of this, it is worth exploring what Strassmeir himself told me about the bombing. The series of conversations we had in the late spring of 1996 are probably a unique record of his rambling on the subject. I offer it to the reader as a window into his mind, not as an assertion of fact. He spoke vicariously, alluding to his "very reliable source." He never acknowledged playing any role in the terrorist plot, either as an Aryan warrior or as an undercover agent, informant, or participant observer.

But it was my intuitive feeling that the "very reliable source" was none other than Lt. Andreas Strassmeir of the Panzer Grenadiers (SPz). I sensed that he was in deep anguish about the tragedy and wished to get some of it off his chest without violating any secret protocol he may have signed. Undoubtedly he mixed disinformation with elements of truth. What struck me were the unpredictable surges of passion.

"The different agencies weren't cooperating," he said. "In fact, they were working against each other. You even had a situation where one branch of the FBI was investigating and not sharing anything with another branch of the FBI."

Overall, however, he was protective of the Bureau. It was the ATF that evoked intense feelings of bitterness, betrayal, and anger.

"It's obvious that it was a government 'op' that went wrong, isn't it? The ATF had something going with McVeigh. They were watching him -- of course they were," he asserted, without qualification. "What they should have done is make an arrest while the bomb was still being made instead of waiting till the last moment for a publicity stunt. They had everything they needed to make the bust, and they screwed it up."

He said that the sting operation acquired a momentum of its own as the ATF tried to "ice the cake" for more dramatic effect. "Whoever thought this thing up is an idiot, in my opinion. I am told they thought it would be better to put a bigger bomb in there. The bigger the better. It would make them more guilty .... McVeigh knew he was delivering a bomb, but he had no idea what was in that truck. He just wanted to shake things up a little; you know, make a gesture."

"According to your source?"

"That's correct. The bomb was never meant to explode. They were going to arrest McVeigh at the site with the bomb in hand, but he didn't come at the right time .... Maybe he changed the time, you never know with people who are so unreliable."

"What time were they expecting the truck?" I asked.

"I have heard that it was the middle of the night, between two and three in the morning. The truck had a transmitter, so they could track it with a radio receiving device. I don't know how they could have lost contact. I think there was misinformation that the operation had been canceled."

I told Strassmeir outright that the evidence linking him to the bombing was very strong.

"Either you are a mass murderer, or you are an undercover agent," I said. "Either you killed all those people, or you risked your life to penetrate a group of vile, dangerous people. Take your pick, Andreas, but don't think you can stick your head in the sand and hope that it will all go away. It won't go away."

"You don't understand," he said.

"You know what I think already," I persisted. "I think you're a very courageous man. I think you did everything you could to stop that bombing. You did your part; you got inside the most deadly terrorist conspiracy in the history of the United States; you got these maniacs to believe in you; your cover was brilliant; and somebody let you down, didn't they Andreas?"

"You don't understand," he repeated almost plaintively.

"I do understand, Andreas. I understand that it wasn't your fault. Are you listening to me? It wasn't your fault. So why not just come out and tell the whole rotten truth, and get it over and done with? You don't have to cover for the ATF."

"You think it's as simple as that?" he stammered.

"I don't know, Andreas. You tell me. Who were you working for anyway? Did the Germans send you over?"

"No! No, they would never do that."

"So who was it then? The ATF? The Bureau? Who were you working for?"

"Look, I can't talk any longer."

"Just listen to me, Andreas. They're going to hang you out to dry. When this thing comes down they're going to leave you holding that bomb, or -- and you know this as well as I do -- you'll fall under a train one day on the U Bahn, when no body's looking."

"I've got to go to work."

"There comes a time in every botched operation when the informant has to speak out to save his own skin, and that's now, Andreas."

"How can he?" he shouted into the telephone. "What happens if it was a sting operation from the very beginning? What happens if it comes out that the plant was a provocateur?"

"A provocateur?"

"What if he talked and manipulated the others into it? What then? The country couldn't handle it. The relatives of the victims are going to go crazy. He's going to be held responsible for the murder of 168 people."

"That is true."

"Of course the informant can't come forward. He's scared shitless right now."

"It sounds to me as if you've got a problem, Andreas."

"Scheise."

* * *

So who was Andreas Strassmeir working for?

Before the trial in Denver, McVeigh's defense team secured a court order from Judge Richard Matsch compelling the major U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to reveal whether Andreas Strassmeir had ever worked for them as a source, informant, or undercover agent. It is notoriously hard to pin down federal agencies with this type of request. Unless the wording is exactly right, there is usually a way to wriggle out of disclosure without explicitly violating the court order. So it was no surprise when each of the law enforcement agencies came back with denials.

But the response of the CIA remains a secret. The Agency provided its findings to prosecutor Beth Wilkinson, who refused to hand the material to McVeigh's defense team. The Justice Department even ignored a motion to compel, without suffering any sanction from Judge Matsch. At the end of the trial, McVeigh's lawyers still did not know what the CIA had revealed about its ties to the mysterious Andreas Strassmeir.

It is assumed that Strassmeir could not have been a CIA asset because he was operating on U.S. soil. But this is not necessarily the case. He could have been reporting to the domestic services section of the CIA, which has offices all over the country. [22] Under usual procedures, his reports would be passed through them to the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Or alternatively, he could have been an FBI operative working under CIA auspices.

My own conjecture, for what it is worth, is that Strassmeir was a shared asset, on loan to the U.S. government, but ultimately answering to German intelligence. It has been a pet gripe of the Germans for many years that the U.S. neo-Nazis, operating with great freedom under American constitutional protections, have been stirring up the German far right.

FBI Director Louis Freeh alluded to this in December 1993 after a trip to Germany. "We were requested by both the Interior Minister and the Justice Minister to look particularly at several cases where they believe activity by U.S. persons are contributing to the commission of crimes against Germany, and we're going to look at that very seriously and very vigorously."

Freeh's remarks give us a glimpse of the increasingly tight cooperation between the U.S. and German authorities. But I suspect that Strassmeir's operation was already up and running by this stage. I also suspect that there was a more serious purpose than merely stopping the flow of racist propaganda across the Atlantic. It is worth paying some attention to the words of Ron Noble, Undersecretary of the Treasury, who accompanied Freeh on the trip to Germany.

"The FBI Director discussed his concern about the possibility of nuclear materials falling into criminal hands in meetings with Germany's Interior and Justice Ministers."

If I had to bet, I would hazard that Andreas Strassmeir's real purpose at Elohim City was to find out whether the U.S. neo-Nazi movement had the capability and intent to graduate to weapons of mass destruction, particularly biological and chemical devices. A high level counterintelligence operation of this kind would explain why Elohim City was being protected, even though it was engaged in every weapons violation in the U.S. code, not to mention manifest sedition.
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Re: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories

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CHAPTER SEVEN: THE ARYAN REPUBLICAN ARMY

GLENN WILBURN AND J.D. Cash had amassed enough evidence to convince themselves, if not the FBI, that the bombing was carried out by a team of four to six men, with several others playing support roles in the background. Elohim City was either the headquarters, or at least an integral part of the conspiracy. But what was the organizational structure that tied it together? How was it financed?

Shortly after the bombing, The New York Times had reported that McVeigh and Nichols may have been linked to a spree of bank robberies in the Midwest. Most of the press forgot about this after the Justice Department performed one of its nimble pirouettes and issued a new story. J.D. Cash did not.

He discovered that Tim McVeigh's sister, Jennifer, had given a sworn statement to the FBI on May 2, 1995, admitting that her brother had asked her to exchange three $100 bills for clean money. She deposited the three bills at the Federal Credit Union in Lockport, New York, in December 1994.

"He had been involved in a bank robbery but did not provide further details. He advised me that he had not participated in the robbery itself, but was somehow involved in the planning or setting up of this robbery," she said in the affidavit. "I observed at that time that my brother had on his person an undetermined quantity of $100 bills, of which he provided me a small portion. It is my belief that the bank robbery had occurred within the recent past. My brother remarked that the money represented his share of the bank robbery proceeds."

So Cash paid close attention when a group of bank robbers were arrested in Ohio in early 1996, especially when it came to light that the band was a self-described commando cell of the Aryan Republican Army.

The ARA was modeled on the Aryan Resistance Movement, the military arm of a clandestine Nazi organization called Bruders Schweigen or simply, The Order.] In the early 1980s The Order was arguably the most dangerous terrorist group in the United States, robbing $3.8 million from a Brinks armored car, planting bombs, and killing, in an escalating guerrilla campaign against the Zionist Occupied Government.

The organization was finally broken by the FBI in 1984 when the leader, Robert Mathews, or "Carlos" as he strangely called himself, chose a fiery "martyrdom" rather than surrender to the FBI. He went up in flames on an island in the Puget Sound as 150 FBI agents watched in awe.

He left behind some very specific instructions on terrorist tactics.  [2] "The first rule that must be strictly observed is that cells must be kept separate from other units and then must be broken down into even smaller units called teams. It is recommended that no unit comprise more than six members. This unit is then broken down into two- or three-man teams.

"Every member of the Bruders Schweigen is expected to obtain at least one, and preferably two, false identities. No member is to divulge his new identity to anyone, not even his team leader .... All sensitive communications must be made from a pay phone, and often from pay phone to pay phone. Every member should have at least one ten dollar roll of quarters with him at all times .... " The document concludes: "This is the strategy of an underground army."

The Aryan Republican Army was clearly an attempt to reconstitute The Order for round two of the terrorist war against the ZaO. "Our goal was to open the door to the overthrow of the United States government," admitted Kevin McCarthy, one of the bank robbers.

When the FBI busted two ARA safe houses in Ohio and Kansas in February 1996, they found a recruitment video called the "Armed Struggle Underground." A laconic "Commander Pedro," sitting in a command "bunker" with a ski mask covering his face, explains that the goal of the ARA is the overthrow of the U.S. government, the extermination of America's Jews, the deportation of all blacks, and the establishment of an "Aryan Republic" on the North American continent.

"Linger at your own peril," warns Pedro, with theatrical menace. "We have endeavored to keep collateral damage and civilian damage to a minimum. But, as in all wars, some innocents shall suffer. So be it."

The tape is an interesting exhibit of terrorist cross-pollination in the post-Communist era.

"We call ourselves the Aryan Republican Army because in some of our tactics, and some of our goals, we have modeled the organization after the successful and yet undefeated Irish Republican Army," says Commander Pedro.

"In solidarity with our Serbian brothers, we understand the meaning of ethnic cleansing," says Pedro, briefly digressing into the Balkans, but clearly it is the Provisional IRA that has captured the imagination of the group. This is not entirely surprising. The "Provos" are the premier terrorist professionals in Europe. And as we have seen, the Christian Identity sect regards the Celtic peoples as the purest survivors of the Aryan race. "The Irish, another tribe of the Aryan people, have fought off the Jewish-inspired elite of the English," says the Commander.

The tape starts with an IRA song, The Patriot Game, then moves on to a lively discourse on kneecapping. "We will deal with informers ruthlessly and permanently. For actively working with our enemies, you'll be terminated. If you just like to run your mouth, you'll be kneecapped," warns Commander Pedro, holding up an automatic pistol, and then the feared symbol of the IRA -- an electric drill. "Either one, I can assure you, are extremely painful."

Among the items seized from a storage locker belonging to the group was the Irish Republican Army handbook, a terrorist manual known in Ireland as the Green Book. "I gave them that," said Dennis Mahon, who considers himself something of an expert on the Irish cause. [3]

Needless to say, the IRA itself had no idea that it had become a role model for deranged Nazis in the United States. An organization with historic and emotional ties to the Left, it exists in a different ideological universe, though Irish nationalists did indeed flirt with Hitler, at least to the point of official Irish Republic neutrality during the Second World War. In any case, the Provos maintain a strict ban on transatlantic subversion. Any IRA guerrilla who violated this cardinal rule -- provoking the wrath of U.S. counterterrorist forces -- would probably be court-martialed by the IRA's own military command.

The Aryan Republican Army was equipped for terrorism. In the busts, the FBI captured a shoulder-fired rocket launcher, Semtex explosives, hand-grenade canisters, eleven pipe bombs, and an arsenal of M-14 rifles. It also found high-quality false J.D. badges and drivers licenses in the names of U.S. marshals and FBI agents, along with boxes of books and tapes that included Say It in Arabic, a guide to Interpol, a registry of U.S. government radio frequencies, The Scottish Chiefs, and Quotationsfrom Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. [4]

But this cell was not primarily a terrorist action squad. It appears to have been the fundraising arm of the Aryan revolution. Over a two year stretch, between January 1994 and December 1995, the group netted more than $250,000 in well-planned, pinprick robberies across the Midwest. Wearing Ronald Reagan and Count Dracula masks, they would burst into small town banks, seize the cash on hand -- anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 -- and get out within 90 seconds, never pushing their luck by trying to get the big haul from the vault. As a decoy for the police, they would leave disarmed pipe bombs in Easter baskets and Christmas stockings.

They were a comical lot. Their special touch was leaving evidence that would track back to legitimate agents of the FBI. Sooner or later, they were bound to make a mistake. It happened when one of the group broke discipline and started freelancing on the side. By the time the FBI cracked the cell, the ARA had carried out a total of twenty-two bank robberies. It was a run that matched the brief career of Jesse James.

One of the commanders, Richard Guthrie, did not last long in police custody. The prison guards found him dangling from an air vent with a sheet around his neck on July 10, 1996. The other commander, Peter Langan, 38, was lucky to survive capture. His white van was shot to pieces by a combined "Safe Streets Task Force" of the FBI, U.S. Marshals, and local police, though he never fired a shot himself. Grazed in the head by a bullet, he managed to crawl out alive.

Langan was high school dropout from suburban Washington, and the son of a CIA agent. It soon emerged that he was the Commander Pedro of the ARA video, though a good deal less menacing without his ski mask. According to a hilarious article by Richard Leiby in The Washington Post, Langan had pink varnish on his toenails and a shaven crotch when he was captured by the FBI. Commander Pedro was a transvestite. He was known as "Donna" at the chapter of Crossdressers and Friends in Kansas City.

This ARA cell might have been no more than a colorful footnote in the history of criminal gangs, except for the fact that all four of the other indicted co-conspirators had close ties to Elohim City. One of them was Pastor Mark Thomas, head of the Posse Comitatus of Pennsylvania and East Coast leader of the Aryan Nations. A former "state chaplain" of the Ku Klux Klan, he had left the organization because it was, he told me, infested with "do-nothing bellyachers."

At his run-down farm in Pennsylvania, he published an intellectual newsletter called The Watchman. It offered a rich stew of Odinism, Jungian ancestral theory, and national-socialist anti-capitalism -- the doctrinal expression of the Aryan Republican Army.

The other three were his proteges, Kevin McCarthy, Scott Stedeford, and Michael Brescia, all former skinheads from Philadelphia who had played together in a speed-metal rock band called Cyanide. Mark Thomas had introduced them to Elohim City, where they had gone through terrorist boot camp under Andreas Strassmeir.

McCarthy and Stedeford used to stay with Strassmeir when they came through for R&R between robberies. In fact, they were with him at Elohim City immediately before the bombing in April 1995, according to McCarthy's statement to the FBI. [5]

Brescia's role seems to have been different. He did participate in the robbery of $9,845 from Bank One in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 30, 1995, waving a 9 mm pistol at customers, and planting a black-powder pipe bomb in the bank. But robbery was not his main function in the ARA. He was a permanent resident of Elohim City, betrothed to Esther Millar, the granddaughter of the patriarch. There, Brescia served as second-in-command of paramilitary operations, apprentice terrorist, and soulmate of Lieutenant Strassmeir.

It was the same Michael Brescia who had been named by Dennis Mahon as the "pretty-boy John Doe Two" when he inadvertently gave away the secrets of the bombing to J.D. Cash.

* * *

Glenn Wilburn had a mind like a steel trap. He rarely forgot a name, and this one kept spinning in his head during the early months of 1996. Who was Michael Brescia? Where did he come from?

Mahon's drunken confession had offered a tantalizing lead -- yet another one-but it seemed to be going nowhere until a contact in Herington, Kansas, advised him to get in touch with Connie Smith. She was the mother of Katina Lawson, the young woman who had frolicked on and off with Tim McVeigh before she became disgusted by his views.

Glenn called Mrs. Smith on the telephone. J.D. Cash was in the room listening. So was Richard Reyna, the chief investigator for the McVeigh defense team.

Eager to help, she told Glenn about a chance encounter at Cardie's Corner store in Herington, possibly in the summer of 1992. She had run into her daughter, who was hanging out with some new friends. Tim McVeigh was there, accompanied by a very good-looking man called Mike with thick dark hair and a clean-cut, preppie manner. Afterward Mrs. Smith told Katina how handsome this Mike fellow was. Yes, agreed Katina, but he was not as nice as he looked. He was an insufferable braggart, with an undisguised contempt for the peasantry of Kansas.

Connie Smith saw him again in the spring of 1995, around April, getting out of a car.

"Mike? Mike who?" asked Glenn.

"I don't remember. It was a funny name: Braysi or Bresci or something. Mike Bresci, I think."

"Brescia?"

"Yes, that's it, Mike Brescia. I couldn't remember when I spoke to the FBI."

"The FBI? What did you tell the FBI?"

"I told them he looked like John Doe number two .... But they weren't interested."

Glenn couldn't believe his ears. Somebody in Kansas had independently established the link between Tim McVeigh and Michael Brescia. It was imperative, said Glenn, to find a picture of Brescia and show it to the witnesses in Kansas.

J.D. Cash had discovered that Brescia came from Philadelphia. This was closely guarded information. Brescia pretended that he came from the West Coast, and claimed that his father was a Portland lawyer. [6]

Since I lived near Washington, D.C., two hours' drive from Philadelphia, Glenn Wilburn enlisted me in the hunt for a photograph.  [7] It did not take long to find out that Michael Brescia's father was an irascible battalion chief for the Fire Department in the Andorra section of Philadelphia. His mother was head of the local civic association, a busybody who had led a campaign to stop construction of a synagogue in their leafy, affluent, very Catholic neighborhood.

They were a pushy family, climbing fast up the social ladder. As for Michael, he was affable, extremely bright, with boyish good looks and, though not tall, a tennis player's body. An Eagle Scout, he had gone on to study finance at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Somehow, blessed with every advantage in life, he turned into a skinhead.

At La Salle he started going to lectures with the sides of his head shaved, a Mohawk buzz over the crown, and a ponytail down the back. Then he tried to set up a white supremacist cell on campus. He stopped going to classes in June 1993. He mentioned something about a "bookkeeping" job in Oklahoma before he vanished. His fellow students had no idea that he had taken the plunge, signing up as a full-fledged warrior in the Aryan Republican Army. All they were left with was a picture of him in the La Salle yearbook holding a corner of the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity flag. It was Brescia in his respectable mode. Coat and tie. Preppie.

"That's him," said Connie Smith, at her home in the farm village of Ramona. [8]

"No question, that's Mike," agreed Katina, leaning over her mother's shoulder.

Katina explained that her housemate, Lindy Johnson, had a brief fling with Brescia after Tim McVeigh had introduced him into their circle in the summer of 1992. [9] "I never found out what he was doing in Kansas. But I remember Lindy saying that he came from Pennsylvania, and I saw the Pennsylvania tags on his car."

Katina had come forward to the FBI after she saw Tim McVeigh undergoing his courthouse "perp walk" in an orange jumpsuit two days after the bombing. The FBI asked if she recognized the sketch of John Doe Two. "I told them he had a tattoo on his arm and his name was 'Mike,' but I didn't know the rest of his name," she said. [10]

Connie said, "I kept telling them that suspect number two was that Mike guy, a nice looking guy, dark skinned; whenever I saw Tim McVeigh he was there .... But they made Katina and I feel ignorant, like we didn't know what we were saying .... When I tried to call in with more information, they wouldn't even talk to me.

"Later the FBI started asking weird questions about Katina. They were sending me a message, a very negative message. That's when I said: 'To heck with this, I'm not going to deal with them any more.' In the end I wouldn't even tell them where Katina was.

"We're not being told the truth here," she said. "It scares me to death as an American citizen. We've got to put a stop to this or we'll lose this country."

J.D. Cash drove up from Oklahoma in his dilapidated brown jeep, and we went to visit Tom Kessinger, the mechanic at Elliot's Body Shop who had provided the FBI with the original sketch of John Doe Two. I waited outside in the car. Kessinger refused to talk to journalists. He made an exception for Cash because Glenn and Kathy Wilburn had anointed him.

"I think this is the guy we're looking for," he said, excitedly, when J.D. showed him the photo of Brescia. "Where's he from?" "Italian," said J.D.

"So he tans easily ... a real lady-killer. This could be him, but I'll need to look at a color photo."

Months later, after a series of visits by the FBI, Kessinger would self-destruct as a witness. He changed his story abruptly, stating that he had confused John Doe Two with Private Todd Bunting. But the recantation was preposterous. It reflected more on the FBI's methods of coercion than it did on his veracity as a witness. In June of 1996 he was still adamant about his description of the man who had walked into Elliot's Body Shop with Tim McVeigh.

It is possible, I suppose, that Kessinger was spinning yarns, or that Katina Lawson and her mother were both mistaken, or that four women at Lady Godiva's strip club were confused when they said they saw Michael Brescia with Tim McVeigh on April 8, 1995. But there comes a point when accumulated witness testimony reaches critical mass.

At Elohim City, Joan Millar protested that Michael Brescia could not possibly be John Doe Two. "He was right here with us on April 17, helping to prepare the grave for [Richard] Wayne Snell. If he had gone up to Kansas at any time we would have known about it." [11]

Indeed she would. Brescia was part of the family. He was engaged to her daughter, Esther. As for April 19, the day of the bombing, he was supposedly in Little Rock, attending a clemency rally for Richard Snell. [12]

That August he drove to Wisconsin to participate in an ARA bank robbery. After his return, he moved out of the compound, ostensibly expelled for violating the 9:00 PM curfew. For three months Brescia stayed with George Eaton, a neighbor and also the publisher of a radical newsletter called The Patriot Report. It was long enough for Eaton to notice the tattoo on Brescia's upper left arm-a marking he shared in common with John Doe Two. It was a circle with four spokes, a neo-fascist symbol. [13]

"He was very difficult to get along with, very secretive," said Eaton. "He wouldn't get a job because he didn't want to use his social security number. Instead he sold military clothing for Civil War reenactments, through magazine ads. He was conducting a whole business, using our washer and dryer, and it got to be a problem. I had to ask him to leave in the end."

For a while he disappeared, much like the others. They had all scattered in different directions. The Ward brothers went to Georgia, then vanished. Peter Ward was later picked up for robbery in Oregon. Strassmeir went to a safe house in Knoxville, Tennessee, then hid out in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina, and finally made his way back to Germany by crossing the land border into Mexico. (You don't have to show a passport leaving the U.S. across the Rio Grande. All you need is a driver's license. Often they wave you through without looking.)

In the end, Brescia went back to Philadelphia, moved in with his parents, got a job as a bookkeeper at Intelligent Electronics, and enrolled for further classes at La Salle University. On January 30, 1997, he was indicted for his role in the Wisconsin bank robbery by the ARA, and accepted a plea agreement that prevented collateral revelations at trial.

The Justice Department continued to ridicule the notion that the Aryan Republican Army played any role in the Oklahoma bombing. But Glenn Wilburn believed that he had won the argument. He believed that his small circle of followers had solved the crime-the worst mass murder in the history of the United States-and the FBI had failed to do so.

Glenn would go to his grave certain that the bombing was a broad conspiracy involving several men, and that there was some degree of official prior knowledge. The best indications were that the plot was hatched at Elohim City in the fall of 1994 under the guidance of Dennis Mahon and Andreas Strassmeir, two men who are clearly enjoying the protection of the FBI. The attack itself was carried out by the Aryan Republican Army, probably involving more than one terrorist cell. McVeigh was undoubtedly part of the movement. Glenn did not know for sure why the Clinton administration had gone to such lengths to cover this up, but he concluded that the bombing was probably a sting operation that went disastrously wrong. He suspected that the stingers had been outstung at the last moment. But whatever happened, the Justice Department was so fatally enmeshed in the terrorist activities of the ARA that it could not allow the truth to come out. At the very least, the FBI would have to explain why it had ring-fenced a group of virulent Nazis and shielded them from investigation. With time, and with his lawsuit, he believed the truth would force its way into public consciousness.

Consumed by pancreatic cancer, Glenn soldiered on through the early months of 1997. By the end, his voice was gone. Kathy had to interpret his faint utterings as admirers came to pay their last respects. Even The Daily Oklahoman found itself paying homage to the man. For two years the dominant newspaper in the state of Oklahoma had been at war with the Wilburns. It had criticized Glenn and mocked his views, but it had never sent a reporter to sit down at that little kitchen table to hear what the leader of the dissident movement had to say.

Two weeks before his death, the call finally came. Glenn, always gracious, made his final heroic effort. Too ill to move, he insisted on being lifted into his wheelchair, his drooping limbs strapped with a sheet, and was taken out to say goodbye to Oklahoma. [14]

"Do you think that the stress of all you've been through the past two years contributed to your illness?" asked the reporter.

Yes, replied Glenn, the emotional trauma had probably suppressed his immune system.

"Knowing that, would you do it all over again?"

"Yes, because I have to look at myself in the mirror."

He died on July 15, 1997, aged 46, an ordinary American who showed great independence of mind. He had been angry with God, bitter at the injustice of the bombing, but he had made his peace. "Lord forgive me that I didn't become all that You wanted me to be," he prayed aloud, in his last conscious act with his wife.

He asked to be buried by Dr. Larry Jones, a family friend and founder of Feed the Children, who had come to see him every day in his agonies.

"What do you want me to tell them?" Jones had asked.

"Just tell them the truth, Larry," replied Glenn.

He did. At the funeral service, Dr. Jones gave a blistering oration. "I don't want us to become a nation, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn said of the Soviet Union, where the lie has become not just a moral category, but a pillar of the state. If I'm not mistaken, we're living in America, and this frustrates me, what is taking place. I am beginning to see that Americans are living under fear of their government."

"I really believe that after the Oklahoma City bombing, if our government had stood up and said: 'This is actually what happened. Something went wrong. And we apologize to Oklahoma City and to the nation. We're sorry for what happened. We want you to forgive us.' Had that happened, I don't think we would be here today burying Glenn Wilburn."

"You see, as Huxley said, 'You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.' And as Glenn Wilburn began to find out the truth, it did make him mad. And the load that he carried literally took him to the grave."

The funeral procession circled the haunting, empty site where the Murrah Building had once stood. Among the pallbearers were his greatest admirers: J.D. Cash, State Representative Charles Key, McVeigh defense investigator Richard Reyna, and crime scene witness Bruce Shaw.

For Kathy Wilburn it was a cruel two years. First her grandchildren, then her husband. But she is one of life's stoic souls, raised with the virtues of a different age.

"I will carry it forward," she told me, choking back the tears. "I was Glenn's voice when he couldn't speak any longer, and my mission now is to continue being his voice, for however long it takes, until we know the truth."

***********************************************

VINCE FOSTER AND "THE MOST ETHICAL ADMINISTRATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC"

-- Bill Clinton's promise to the American people, November 1992


CHAPTER EIGHT: THE TABOO INVESTIGATION

ON JULY 15, 1997, Kenneth Starr issued a terse statement. "Based on investigation, analysis and review of the evidence by experts and experienced investigators and prosecutors, this Office concluded that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park, VA, on July 20, 1993."

Critics were not allowed to evaluate his arguments or scrutinize his conclusion because the report has not, as I write, been released.

Most people are prepared to accept Starr's conclusion, but before making their judgment they should know that the lead prosecutor appointed to investigate the death came to a very different conclusion. When Starr was presented with the evidence by his own staff, he looked the other way.

Associate Independent Counsel Miquel Rodriguez was summoned to the Washington Office of the Independent Counsel in the fall of 1994 by Kenneth Starr, with the explicit task of reviewing the Foster death. He was not a conservative. He had no ideological investment in the matter. Indeed, when he arrived from California with his ponytail, his earring, and his leather jackets, there were comments among the hard-liners that Kenneth Starr had gone too far in his efforts to recruit Democrats, liberals, and ethnic minorities to his team.

For four months Rodriguez probed the case. He called witnesses before a grand jury to answer questions for the first time under penalty of perjury, and soon discovered serious indications of a cover-up by the FBI. By the early spring of 1995 he was starting to probe a hypothesis that the crime scene at Fort Marcy Park had been staged, that the gun had most likely been planted in Foster's hand, and that a crucial photograph of Foster's neck and head had been falsified.

But Rodriguez believed that the investigation was being sabotaged by prosecutors and FBI agents in his own office. He turned to Starr for support. Nothing was done to resolve the matter. In March 1995 Rodriguez resigned. The only serious investigation ever conducted into the death of Vincent Foster came to an abrupt end.

I do not wish speculate at length about the motives of Kenneth Starr. But one has to wonder about the seriousness of a man willing to abandon a half-completed investigation of the President and seek comfortable refuge as a dean at Pepperdine University in Malibu. The fact that he later reversed himself in panic, after a barrage of press criticism, illustrates the point with brutal clarity. But there is a more important point to understand about Kenneth Starr. He is by character a servant of power, not a prosecutor. One thing can be predicted with absolute certainty: He will never confront the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI, and the institutions of the permanent government in Washington. His whole career has been built on networking, by ingratiating himself. His natural loyalties lie with the politico-legal fraternity that covered up the Foster case in the first place.

While it appears that Kenneth Starr has given more emphasis to investigating Whitewater than to investigating the death of Vince Foster, in my opinion, Whitewater is not a matter of epochal importance. It is a fit subject for news reporting. It is something that the American people should be told about. It reflects badly on the President and the First Lady. But is it a grievous offense? Should it be allowed to paralyze the executive branch of the world's paramount power? If I were a member of the grand jury in Little Rock, I would be reluctant to indict Bill or Hillary Clinton on anything related to Whitewater, and I believe that a great number of people feel the same way.

The death of Vincent Foster is another matter. He was the highest ranking official of the executive branch to die in suspicious circumstances since President John F. Kennedy; he was handling the private business affairs of the First Family at the White House; and he was Hillary Clinton's closest friend, the one person in the world that she would entrust with the most sensitive problems. His death occurred in July 1993, under this administration. The subsequent conduct of the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department, the Virginia medical authorities, as well as Independent Counsel Robert Fiske and all those who participated in his report indicated that the police and judicial apparatus of this country had been dangerously politicized. Every backstop mechanism had failed. If ever there was a need for a crusading prosecutor to cleanse the institutions of the republic, it was in the case of Vincent Foster.

"Pontius Pilate of the Potomac" -- is how Starr was described in a blistering denunciation by James Davidson, the editor of the newsletter Strategic Investment. "Starr will fade, but he will not be forgotten. Historians will certainly have something to say about him. When 'The Decline and Fall of the United States' is written, Starr will merit a chapter. He will be seen as a weak, temporizing man who lacked the force of character to confront a corrupt system."

* * *

The Foster case is taboo for American journalists. In private, many concede that the official story is unbelievable, but they will not broach it in print. I have been involved in some contentious matters during my career as a journalist, but I have never seen anything like the irrational fright when the subject of Vincent Foster is raised. It has nothing to do with party affiliation. If anything, Republican journalists are even more susceptible to the spell. Try uttering the words Fort Marcy Park at a gathering of Capitol Hill neo-conservatives and watch the reaction.

I do not entirely understand why this should be so. Unexplained deaths have been a source of fascination for thousands of years, across the globe. What is clear, however, is that the White House has been successful in casting the "Foster crazies" as villains interested in dredging up dirt for partisan advantage without any regard for the feelings of the Foster family. As with all good propaganda, there is an element of truth in this.

Foster left a widow and three children, now grown up. They have been through Purgatory and they linger there still, denied the closure that any normal family would expect. One inquiry after another has kept the controversy alive. It must be exceedingly painful for them.

That said, it is the White House itself that has been exploiting the Foster family, using them as a shield to deflect all legitimate questions about the death. Perhaps they are willing to be exploited in this way for reasons of parallel interest. If so, that is their privilege. But the larger issue needs to be confronted head on. The death of a top official has been covered up by the FBI and the judicial institutions of the U.S. government. It is facile gallantry to silence debate ever after by invoking the name of Lisa Foster.

Americans need to know that within hours of Vincent Foster's death, the White House had stepped in to orchestrate the response of the family. Vulnerable and confused, Lisa Foster surrendered herself totally to the political agenda of James Hamilton, the attorney for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. Let there be no confusion about the allegiances of this man. He is typically described as the Foster "family lawyer" but an internal White House memo describes him more accurately as a lawyer performing a "surrogate role" for the White House. [1] He was in fact hired by Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell to handle the fallout from the death. "I knew Jim and asked him to act as counsel," explained Hubbell. [2]

Hamilton was a member of the elite, very expensive K Street firm of Swidler & Berlin. He had never served as Foster's personal lawyer. As the House Travelgate Report makes clear, he was consulted by Vincent Foster shortly before his death as an outside attorney to represent the collective interests of the White House Counsel's Office in the Travelgate affair. He scarcely knew the family.

For the White House, however, he was an ideal "surrogate." He had befriended Hillary Clinton and Bernie Nussbaum, the pugnacious White House Counsel, while serving as Assistant Chief Counsel on the Senate Watergate committee from 1973 to 1974. He had worked on the Clinton transition team, talent scouting for top posts in the new administration, and had continued playing a highly irregular role afterward as leader of a group of private lawyers vetting nominees for the Supreme Court.

There is no question that he did an outstanding job as damage-control handler in the Foster case. For one thing, he did not let the Park Police get anywhere near the grieving family. "We did not interview any of the Foster children. Mr. Hamilton would not make them accessible to us," said Park Police Captain Charles Hume. [3] This is an astounding comment. Foster's children were grown adults, perfectly able to answer questions by the Park Police. Two of them, Laura and Vincent III, accompanied their father to work on the morning of his death. Their insights were critical to the investigation. By what authority can a private lawyer prevent the police from talking to relevant witnesses in the probe of a violent death?

Captain Hume then goes on to say that Lisa Foster had obviously been coached. "She had gone over [the story] with her lawyer [so] that she had it down pat .... I can remember Pete [Markland] having his notebook out and I think he started to question her, you know. We had a hard time to get started because Hamilton wanted to lay out the ground rules."

Layout the ground rules? It is clear that the U.S. Park Police were deferring to James Hamilton as if he were, indeed, a "surrogate" of the White House.

But there is another reason why Lisa Foster cannot be accorded the last say on all matters concerning her former husband. She must have known, at least intuitively, that Vince was engaged in activities that belied his image of gentlemanly rectitude. This is not to dispute that he was one of life's higher souls, a patron of the Little Rock orchestra, a connoisseur of good wines, a man who enjoyed Tuscany. But that means nothing at all. I have known such people all my life. It is a neutral indicator of moral character.

Foster could also display unusual generosity and consideration. Imagine the pressure he must have been under in November 1992, tying up his work as the star litigator for the Rose Law Firm and preparing for the move to Washington. Yet he found time to take a Swiss exchange student visiting his family to watch the Davis Cup tennis championship in Dallas. A Swiss player was in the final, a rare moment for the little Alpine nation. "Vincent Foster was the kindest person I ever knew. I really loved that man," said Luca Dalla Torre, two years later, speaking from his home in Berne. [4] That is a testimonial worth having, because it is genuine.

But there was a less saintly side to Vincent Foster. One of the things you learn in Arkansas -- assuming you move beyond the usual Friends of Bill, and other quasi-official voices of the party apparatus -- is that Foster was a man who moved in the shadows. He cultivated an image of propriety that served him well. But it was not entirely authentic, and the act can become a burden in the end. "The reputation you develop for intellectual and ethical integrity will be your greatest asset or your worst enemy," he said in the commencement address to the University of Arkansas Law School a month before his death. "Sometimes doing the right thing will be very unpopular."

His old friend from the Rose Law Firm, Associate White House Counsel William H. Kennedy III, told the FBI that Foster's death had nothing to do with Travelgate, Whitewater, or any of other scandals du jour in Washington. It was, he suspected, something he brought with him from Arkansas. Foster had been "fighting his demons" for a long time. [5]

I believe that.  
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