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The Unsolved Mystery Of The Oklahoma Bombing
Andrew Gumbel writes on TruthDig:

We now know, from court records and official documents, that at least two undercover operatives were gathering information on Timothy McVeigh and a group of like-minded white supremacists in the early spring of 1995, one of whom gave her government handlers specific information about a plan to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

We know that, after the bombing, the government expended considerable energy trying to track down a John Doe 2 and other possible accomplices of McVeigh and Terry Nichols -- the "others unknown" cited in the federal indictment -- before abruptly changing tack nine months later and insisting that McVeigh was the lone mastermind behind the attack and, eventually, that no one else other than Nichols had been involved.

And we know that, as the lone-bomber theory has come under increasingly skeptical scrutiny in recent years, the FBI and other federal agencies have expended considerable energy blocking access to their investigative paper trail. When one of the government informants from the spring of 1995 went public about her role, she found herself prosecuted -- unsuccessfully -- for allegedly harboring her own bomb plots; she has since gone to ground, too afraid to say more. At least one key government official, the state medical examiner in Oklahoma City, has indicated he was not given key information he needed to do his job. And one of the senior FBI agents involved in the early stages of the bombing probe now believes that enough new evidence has come to the surface from the files of his own agency to warrant a new federal grand jury investigation.

Perhaps most unnerving is the trail of dead bodies that has turned up over the past decade under less than transparent circumstances. A neo-Nazi bank robber called Richard Guthrie, one of the leading John Doe 2 candidates -- though never publicly identified as such -- was found hanging in a prison cell in July 1996. Kenney Trentadue, a man who looked very much like Guthrie, right down to a snake-motif tattoo on one arm, and appears to have been mistaken for him when he was picked up on a parole violation on the Mexican border in the summer of 1995, wound up bloodied and traumatized from head to toe in his cell at a federal detention facility in Oklahoma City. The feds claimed he hanged himself. An inmate who later came forward and claimed he witnessed Trentadue being beaten to death by his interrogators was himself found hanging in a federal prison cell in 2000.

The person who has done most of the recent work in unmasking the mysteries of Oklahoma City is Kenney Trentadue's brother Jesse, a Salt Lake City lawyer who has not only fought to have his brother's death recognized as murder, not suicide, but is also suing the FBI to release a trove of documents that might shed light on the links among McVeigh, Guthrie and a group of Guthrie's associates widely suspected -- at least outside the confines of the Justice Department -- of being McVeigh's bombing accomplices.

Jesse Trentadue has been all over the federal government like a bad case of lice ever since the authorities at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City unsuccessfully tried to arrange for Kenney's battered body to be cremated before the family had had a chance to look at it or even learn what kind of injuries he had sustained. He not only insisted on the family taking receipt of the body, he has also raised question after question about the government's credibility. Jesse has gotten a prison guard to admit under oath that he lied when he testified about seeing Kenney hanging by a bedsheet, gotten the authorities to admit they never told the medical examiner's office that someone else's blood was found in Kenney's cell, and cast compelling doubt on the suicide note Kenney supposedly scrawled in pencil on his cell wall saying he had lost his mind.

Over the years, as the Kenney Trentadue case has become increasingly intertwined with the Oklahoma City bombing case, Jesse Trentadue has won some key allies in both the federal prison bureaucracy and law enforcement. Just over a year ago, a former FBI agent gave him two heavily redacted agency teletypes connecting some of the dots between Richard Guthrie and McVeigh. Trentadue took the documents to federal court to demand unredacted versions, along with any other documents that might shed light on the Guthrie-McVeigh connection [legal briefing]. The legal process is grinding on, but Trentadue has already obtained one key ruling in his favor from U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball and squeezed more than 100 pages of (even more heavily) redacted documents out of the FBI.

Posted by aalkon at February 28, 2006 9:20 AM

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Paranoid much?

Posted by: Fritz at February 28, 2006 8:26 AM

I saw someone raise this a while ago in the comments on this site, and I wish to raise it again. I am sure Amy will scream fair use, but I really think there is a limit to how much of other people's work you can cut and paste, and this post seems pretty excessive. I'd prefer to read your take on someone elses commentary, followed by a link to it, rather than a "this is interesting" followed by 7 'graphs of someone elses work.

Posted by: bill at March 1, 2006 9:50 AM

Andrew, do you mind that I posted seven paragraphs or should I take a few down?

And I prefer to write commentary on these, but frankly, I was on deadline (from Santa Barbara) on Monday, and on deadline days, it's sometimes all I can do to just put something up. Andrew's very smart. I let him speak for himself, which he does quite well.

And while perhaps I posted a bit much, it was a long story, and I'm not doing it for purposes of reprinting somebody's work, but for giving people enough of a chunk to comprehend the story and click on the whole thing.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 1, 2006 9:57 AM

Amy, I'm deeply, deeply offended that you cut and pasted seven whole paragraphs of my work. I would have expected at least fourteen -- but as you were on deadline and out of town, I'll overlook it just this once.

Posted by: Andrew Gumbel at March 1, 2006 10:17 AM

I realize that blogs that are frequently updated get frequently visited, etc., and that's good for the blog, so to speak. But it's lazy. Or, you are always on deadline. I just find that you do this more often than others.

Posted by: bill at March 1, 2006 10:19 AM

i am just curious does you advertsing relationship with Pajamas Media or any other ad relationship you have require or suggest a certain number of post per week, day or month? If so, it is particularly lame to cut and paste somene elses work, however interesting, to avoid your own thoughtful commentary. It would seem to me, the curteous thing, would be to link to the site where it came from so their site can get what benefit their may be from the added traffic. Definitely offer your commentary, but I woudl prefer to read their work on THEIR site. And vice versa.

Posted by: bill at March 1, 2006 10:25 AM

If you look back at my site, you'll notice I post daily, the same amount as ever -- before and since Pajamas Media. There is this tendency to see Pajamas as evil, and I don't know why. They give me a little money for what I was already doing for free. I don't see you, Bill, contributing to my Paypal button. Few people do.

I'm not posting to avoid commenting; I was up from about 4am into the wee hours, using a spotty Internet connection to communicate with my assistant on my column. I posted this because I found it interesting. Period. No conspiracy. And Andrew doesn't have a site.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 1, 2006 10:42 AM

I have nothing against Pajamas Media. My comments:
- I just prefer to read your original commentary, and not large blocks of other people's work cut and paste on to your blog. If suggesting someone else's work as interesting, a tease about it and a link to their site (or as in Andrew's case, to Truthdig)
- as blogs become increasingly monetized by concerns like Pajamas as well as others, I just think it's fair that the author/site for which they write be beneficiary, unless it's syndicated content.
- If Pajamas requires you to post a specific amount to partake in any ad share, then that would seem like a lame way to keep your blog active.
- Not sure I get your shot about me not contributing. My beef isn't that you have a relationship with Pajamas, and that you make some $$ off the relationship. My beef is more about 'fair use' of others work.

Posted by: bill at March 1, 2006 11:03 AM

Bill is clearly an advocate of work-ethic blogging -- if the blogger hasn't dripped at least two bucketfuls of sweat per entry, he doesn't want to know.

Personally (and this has nothing to do with the fact that in this case it was my work that was referenced), I find that drawing attention to material on other sites is one of the most useful things that blogs can do. Sometimes, commentary adds value, sometimes it really doesn't. Often the biggest favor a blogger does me is simply trawling through a bunch of sites and highlighting the interesting bits -- which is most certainly work in and of itself.

As for fair use -- what's unfair about posting a chunk of text from a website or websites that are offering it for free? I've already been paid for my piece, by TruthDig. Of course, if Amy wants to buy me a coffee, I won't complain. But I certainly don't feel hard done by. On the contrary -- information-sharing is what the web is all about.

Posted by: Andrew Gumbel at March 1, 2006 11:14 AM

Since you're not "monetizing" me in the slightest, it's kinda rich that you would drop by and start deciding what's fair in terms of the amount of content I post. And if you stop posting regularly, nobody's going to come to your blog, and thus, nobody's going to read or click on the ads. Is it really an act of genius to figure that out? I have posted ceaselessly since I started blogging. I didn't start blogging because of Pajamas, and quite frankly, I've only recently started remembering to let them know when I put up a post they might want to link to. It's just a nice thing, their throwing me some cash, considering that I don't see any from "bill" or many other people. I do love blogging, but there are costs associated with it. At the moment, we're going through a bit of hell because the comments spam I delete still remains on my site like a pile of giant turds. I might have to move to a $109 a month dedicated server if we can't get this resolved. And then there are the boyfriend hours (and some Amy hours) that go into resolving issues like this, our last server move, dealing with MT problems, etc. Yet, bill, I have yet to see you put your money where your mouth is!

And PS, the reason I didn't post more items today is that we're over the 100 meg limit (due to the hang-on spam turds, mainly), and we're afraid my site will crash. My boyfriend is devoting his entire day to fixing it, and we may possibly have to move to another server -- a process which, last time, probably took three years off both of our lives.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 1, 2006 12:15 PM

I certainly hope your server issues get resolved. I do not think that my question on fair use is unreasonable, so perhaps others will weigh in.

I should know better than to start a debate in such a setting, so maybe I'll treat for coffee, and perhaps Andrew can join and you'll convince me or we'll just agreeably disagree. And as long as there is no mother with an out of line kid at the coffee shop, we'll have a reasonable good time.

Posted by: bill at March 1, 2006 12:48 PM

WHY did this devolve into an argument about "fair use" trivia? Law enforcement agencies routinely break the law. You can look up the actual court conduct of the Ruby Ridge incident, the Ventura County attorney's dissertation on the killing of Donald Scott in order to seize his property, or the multiple and breathtaking offenses of all sorts of empowered morons at Waco at attorney David Hardy's site.

Cops are not required to protect you. See Warren v. DC. In the meantime, they can be ordered to disregard your civil rights (that means sodomize you with a broom handle, beat you up, and - whoops! - "allow" your "accidental" death), and there is no debate whatsoever that this occurs constantly.

Posted by: Radwaste at March 4, 2006 10:14 AM

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