Saturday, April 24, 2010

The OKBOMB and the TiNRATs, Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at how, on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, former President Clinton was warning against possible violence from right-wing terrorists.

From page 6 of The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh, by Gore Vidal, September, 2001:

Did the government blow it? Terry Nichols was tried in the fall of 1997. From the beginning, the government's case against Nichols was more difficult to prove than that against McVeigh. Biggest difference: Nichols was in Kansas at the time of the bombing. Also, Nichols had a good lawyer in Michael Tigar. The jury found Nichols innocent of murder but guilty of planning to bomb the Murrah building and guilty of eight counts of involuntary manslaughter. Next, the jury deadlocked during sentencing, which ruled out the death penalty. After two days of deliberation, the forewoman, Niki Deutchman, informed Judge Richard P. Matsch that the jury was hung. On June 4, 1998, Matsch stepped in and sentenced Terry Nichols to life, but the judge's decision was not without controversy. Deutchman told the press, "Decisions were probably made very early on that McVeigh and Nichols were who they were looking for, and the same sort of resources were not used to try to find out who else might be involved.... The government really dropped the ball." Some of the jurors thought that there may have been others involved who are still at large. Shortly after her news conference, Deutchman reportedly received bomb threats.

And then the government responded.

Attorney General Janet Reno blasted Deutchman's criticism. Reno assured the nation that the F.B.I. had followed every lead in its effort to find those responsible for the blast. She denied a larger conspiracy and said that McVeigh and Nichols were the sole perpetrators of the crime.

Higher up on the page, we are told of a statement made by then-FBI Director Louis Freeh to the Senate:

Shortly after McVeigh's conviction, Director Freeh soothed the Senate Judiciary Committee: "Most of the militia organizations around the country are not, in our view, threatening or dangerous."

So, the FBI Director under President Clinton tells us that most of the militias are not "threatening or dangerous" and Clinton's Attorney General, Janet Reno (who presided over the FBI during one of the bureau's most important investigations, that into what was then by far the most significant terrorist act on American soil) tells "the nation that the F.B.I. had followed every lead" and "that McVeigh and Nichols were the sole perpetrators of the crime."

If most of these militias are "not ... threatening or dangerous" and if "McVeigh and Nichols were the sole perpetrators of the crime", why did President Clinton take the opportunity of the anniversary of the bombing to warn us about the threat posed by the right wing?

Could it be that the additional "right-wing terrorists" who were (not) involved in the plot were themselves (not) connected to the Middle East? To expose these additional right-wing terrorists would inevitably expose their allies, and Clinton "hope[-d] there's no Middle Eastern connection to this" - so, for political reasons, Clinton made sure the whole matter... uh... "died" with McVeigh (and with Terrance Yeakey)?

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