Freedom Folks

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's About Damn Time!

Source: yahoonews
WASHINGTON - The FBI failed to fully investigate information suggesting other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, allowing questions to linger more than a decade after the deadly attack, a congressional inquiry concludes.

The House International Relations investigative subcommittee will release the findings of its two-year review as early as Wednesday, declaring there is no conclusive evidence of a foreign connection to the attack but far too many unanswered questions remain.

The subcommittee's report will conclude there is no doubt McVeigh and Nichols were the main perpetrators, and it discloses for the first time that Nichols confirmed to House investigators he participated in the robbery of an Arkansas gun dealer that provided the proceeds for the attack.

There have long been questions about that robbery because the FBI concluded McVeigh was in another state at the time it occurred.

The report also sharply criticizes the FBI for failing to be curious enough to pursue credible information that foreign or U.S. citizens may have had contact with Nichols or McVeigh and could have assisted their plot.

"We did our best with limited resources, and I think we moved the understanding of this issue forward a couple of notches even though important questions remain unanswered," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (news, bio, voting record), R-Calif., the subcommittee chairman, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Rohrabacher's subcommittee saved its sharpest words for the Justice Department, saying officials there exhibited a mindset of thwarting congressional oversight and did not assist the investigation fully.

The report rebukes the FBI for not fully pursuing leads suggesting other suspects may have provided support to McVeigh and Nichols before their truck bomb killed 168 people in the main federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

The report says the inadequacy of the bureau's work was exposed two years ago when some bombing evidence overlooked for 10 years was discovered in a home linked to Nichols that had been searched repeatedly by agents.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said Sunday, "Having not yet read the report, it would be inappropriate to comment on its contents." *snip*

Previously, the bureau has said it believes its investigation of the bombing was exhaustive and there is no credible evidence that other people were involved.

The subcommittee concludes the Justice Department should not have rushed to execute McVeigh in 2001 after he dropped his court appeals, and officials should have made more efforts to interview and question him about evidence suggesting he might have gotten help from other people who remain unpunished.

The former lead FBI agent in the case, Dan Defenbaugh, told AP a few years ago he was trying to get one last interview with McVeigh to go over unanswered questions in the case but could not get it arranged before McVeigh was executed.

Rohrabacher's report cites several leads the subcommittee believes were not fully investigated, including:

_Information that McVeigh called a German citizen living at a white supremacist compound in Oklahoma two weeks before the bombing and that two witnesses saw the men together before the bombing.

_Witness accounts that another man was seen with McVeigh around the time of the bombing. The FBI originally looked for another suspect it named John Doe 2, even providing a sketch, but abruptly dropped that line of inquiry. The subcommittee concludes that decision was a mistake.

_Findings in AP articles in 2003 and 2004 that indicated the FBI had gathered some evidence suggesting a group of neo-Nazi bank robbers may have been tied to McVeigh. The subcommittee interviewed three of those robbers, and all denied a connection. A fourth member of the gang died and a fifth member could not be located by Congress.

_Phone record and witness testimony that persons associated with Middle Eastern terrorism in the Philippines may have had contact with Nichols, and that Nichols took a book about explosives to the Philippines. The FBI and Filipino police spent months investigating such a connection, but ruled it out.

_Information from a former TV reporter concerning an Iraqi national who was in Oklahoma around the time of the bombing.
Two things. First, are we really awash in white supremacist groups? All hysteria from the SPLC aside I think that ship has sailed.

Second, the former TV reporter? Her name is Jayna Davis and she has been doggedly pursuing this story for over ten years. And she's been doing the one thing a lot of reporters don't seem all that interested in these days, seeking the truth.

She has an excellent book out called "The Third Terrorist." Read it, it will knock your socks off and you'll see just how comprehensive the FBI's investigation wasn't.

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