The Sting

"There were people in a position of authority that knew something was going to come down, and they didn't do anything about it… and people got killed."
— Tom G., 22-year CIA/DIA veteran

The logistical apparatus which allowed the PFLP-GC to bomb flight 103 was a controlled drug delivery at Frankfort airport — a sting operation run with the full knowledge of American, German, and Israeli intelligence. It was a sting operation that had been penetrated by Middle Eastern terrorists intent on wrecking havoc.

In Oklahoma City, another sting operation was underway. Like the DEA's controlled delivery of drugs through Frankfort, the ATF and the FBI would seek to utilize a "controlled delivery" of a bomb in Oklahoma City.

As previously discussed, the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Marshals, all had ample prior warning. Not only had the Marshals Service been warned of a Fatwa against American installations as a result of the World Trade Center convictions, but the FBI had received warnings from the Israelis, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, and their own informant, Cary Gagan, concerning threats against federal buildings in Phoenix, Denver, and Oklahoma City.

Additionally, ATF informant Carol Howe had specifically warned authorities about a neo-Nazi plan to blow up a federal building in either Tulsa or Oklahoma City as far back as November of '94.[1051]

As the fateful day drew closer, the warnings began pouring in. Judge Wayne Alley, whose office sits across from the Murrah Building, was warned several weeks prior to the blast by "security officials" to take "extra precautions." The federal judge, who was not in his office at the time, but whose clerks were injured in the blast, told the Portland Oregonian, "Of all the days for this to happen, it's absolutely an amazing coincidence." When asked to discuss the nature of the warnings, Alley said, "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 be a little bit more careful."

This is not surprising. Gagan had warned the FBI as far back as September that federal agents and judges were targeted for assassination. As previously noted, Gagan had been deep inside the Middle Eastern cell involved in the bombing. Gagan informed the feds on September 21, 1994 that his Arab comrades had been cruising Denver in a white Mercury photographing federal agents. Gagan told the author that he was instructed to assassinate Judge Lewis Babcock.[1052]

Had the feds warned Judge Alley? "My subjective impression," said Alley, "was there was a reason for the dissemination of these concerns, strongly suggesting an impending proximate event."[1053]

The Oklahoma City Fire Department, unlike Judge Alley, had the benefit of more specific warnings. On Friday, April 14, the FBI placed a call to Assistant Chief Charles Gaines to warn him of a potential terrorist threat within the next few days.

When Glenn Wilburn confronted Gaines, he was met with a blanket of denial. Wilburn then walked down the hall and confronted Chief Dispatcher Harvey Weathers, who unhesitatingly replied that they had in fact received a warning. Wilburn told him, "Well, you're going to be surprised to learn that Chief Gaines' memory is failing. He says it never happened." Weathers replied, "Well, you asked me and I told you. I'm not going to lie for anybody. A lot of people don't want to get involved in this."[1054]

When Assistant Chief Jon Hansen was later interviewed by KFOR's Jayna Davis, he said he could no longer recall just exactly who had called the Department, but convincingly reassured skeptics, "The FBI came in yesterday and told me it wasn't them."

Yet two reserve Sheriff's deputies on duty at the Murrah Building the night of the bombing, Don Hammons and David Kachendofer, signed sworn affidavits that Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) told them of the government's prior knowledge. Kachendofer was guarding the northwest corner of the building when Istook approached and chated with him. Kachendofer relates the conversation: "[Istook] made the comment to me, he says, 'Yeah, we knew this was going to happen.'

"And I said, 'Excuse me?'

"And he says, 'Yeah, we knew this was going to happen. We got word through our sources that there is a radical fundamental Islamic group in Oklahoma City and that they were going to bomb the Federal Building.'"[1055]

The day after the bombing, Oklahoma City FBI SAC Bob Ricks (of Waco infamy), managed to keep a straight face while announcing to reporters: "The FBI and Oklahoma City has not received any threats that indicated that a bombing was about to take place."

Like the fox assuring the farmer that he hadn't made off with any chickens, the FBI's claims proved of little solace. Fortunately for the FBI, the audio logs of the Fire Department's incoming calls were mysteriously "erased."[1056]

As The Daily Oklahoman reported on August 14, 1997:

…Vance DeWoody, owner of Opal's Answering Service, and his employee, Pat Houser… received an anonymous telephone call saying that a bomb was going to go off in the office of the U.S. Secret Service on the ninth floor of the Murrah Building.…

Opal's… takes calls for the Secret Service. The call came four days before the bombing. Then, on the morning of April 19, the Executive Secretariat's Office of the Justice Department received a mysterious call from someone claiming the Murrah Building had just been blown up… 24 minutes before the blast! ABC 20/20 quoted the official government document:

The Department of Justice… received a telephone call… twenty-four minutes prior to the bombing… The caller said, "The Federal Building in Oklahoma City has just been bombed."[1057]

ABC anchor Tom Jarriel noted that "no action was apparently taken" by the Justice Department in response to that strange emergency call minutes before the blast.[1058]

Not long after Bob Rick's announcement, Carol Howe and Cary Gagan would make their presence known — informing the public that the government did indeed have prior knowledge of the attack. To cover themselves, the government only admitted that they had vague, unspecified warnings of the impending plot. As Stephen Jones wrote in his brief of March 25, 1997:

Soon the government's position will revert to the ridiculous and it will only deny any knowledge that the Murrah Building was specifically targeted at 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, to be destroyed by a bomb delivered in a Ryder rental truck by Timothy McVeigh.… That is the Federal Government playing word games in order to avoid what is potentially the single most embarrassing and humiliating situation since the public found out that the FBI had an informant inside the terrorist group that bombed the World Trade Center in New York — an informant that actually helped make the bomb — but they bungled the entire situation and did not prevent that tragedy.

Nevertheless, it wouldn't be long before a significant percentage of the population would learn about the suspicious activites in Oklahoma City the morning of April 19. Attorney Daniel J. Adomitis was driving downtown around 7:30 a.m. that morning when he noticed a white bomb squad truck parked on the west side of the courthouse, close to the Murrah Building. Adomitis told the Fort Worth Star/Telegram, "I remember thinking as I passed that, 'Gee, I wonder if they had a bomb threat at the County Courthouse?'"

Norma Smith, who worked at the Federal Courthouse across from the Murrah Building, saw, along with numerous others, the Bomb Squad congregated in the parking lot. Smith recounted her story for her hometown Texas newspaper, the Panola Watchman:

The day was fine, everything was normal when I arrived at 7:45 to begin my day at 8 a.m., but as I walked through my building's parking lot, I remember seeing a bomb squad. I really did not think about it — especially when we did not hear more about it....

There was some talk about the bomb squad among employees 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"....[1059]

Renee Cooper, whose infant son was killed in the day-care center, was driving down Robinson Street when she saw several men in dark jackets standing in front of the Federal Courthouse. The men's jackets were inscribed with the words "Bomb Squad."

Reporter J.D. Cash spoke with a woman whose brother worked in the Federal Building. "Frantic with worry, Jackie Stiles said she talked to an FBI agent at the scene who told her there had been a bomb threat made against the Murrah Building the previous week."

This fact was also confirmed by Michael Hinton, a former police officer who was staying across the street at the YMCA. Hinton witnessed what appeared to be a bomb threat evacuation of the Murrah Building two weeks earlier.[1060]

Naturally, the Bomb Squad denied being there. In an interview with Jayna Davis, Sheriff J.D. Sharp claimed that the Bomb Squad truck was ten miles away at the time. "I can assure you from the testimony of witnesses and the bomb commander that our bomb unit was not anywhere near the Murrah Building the morning of the blast," said Sharp.

When the author attempted to interview two members of the Bomb Squad, one of them became visibly nervous, and demanded that I speak to his superior. He denied removing additional bombs, or being at the Federal Building early that morning.

The Sheriff's Department later told NBC Extra's Brad Goode that the Bomb Squad was in fact deployed downtown for "training purposes," but claimed they were not in bomb attire. At the same time, the OCPD told Extra the Bomb Squad was not there at all.[1061]

Reporter J.D. Cash received a similar response from Bomb Squad Captain Robert Heady. When confronted with the fact that at least two eye-witnesses saw the Bomb Squad members in their black t-shirts with the words "BOMB SQUAD" emblazoned across their chests in silver-white letters, the captain said, "We don't wear those type shirts."

Interestingly, a videotape made by Deputy Sheriff Melvin Sumter at the scene of the blast shows the Bomb Squad members, along with the captain, in t-shirts with words "BOMB SQUAD" in large silver-white letters written across their chests!

Still, the Bomb Squad would attempt to maintain this duplicitous charade. When he was summoned before the County Grand Jury reinvestigating the blast, Deputy Bill Grimsley claimed that the bomb squad was indeed downtown that morning. Grimsley claimed that he had left the county jail at 7:00 a.m., stopped at the nearby courthouse for a few minutes to take care of an errand, went to McDonald's for breakfast, then drove to the bomb training site ten miles away.

Yet Norma Smith saw the Bomb Squad truck downtown at 7:45 a.m. Renee Cooper saw it five minutes after eight — hardly in keeping with Grimsley's story.

Others, like Oklahoma Private investigator Claude Criss and County Appraiser J.D. Reed saw the Bomb Squad downtown in full gear. "The presence of law enforcement was in the air," said Criss. "It was everywhere downtown that morning."

As previously discussed, Debra Burdick was sitting at a red light at 10th and Robinson, five blocks from the Murrah Building. "…as the light changed, we started through the intersection," recalled Burdick, "and [that's when] the bomb went off… And right after that, here comes the Bomb Squad, before the ambulances and the Fire Department." As Burdick's husband remarked, "they would have had to have had some kind of warning to respond that quick, because they would have had to get in their gear and everything."

J.D. Reed, who rushed out of the County Office Building when the bomb went off, later wrote in a company newsletter: "The paramedics and firemen were already at work. How could they move so quickly? They were there by the time we got down to the street!"[1062]

The testimony of Burdick and Reed dovetails with that of Criss, who arrived at his office at 8:58 a.m. "I heard a lot of sirens at that time," he said. "A lot of sirens, coming from the west, approaching downtown. There was approximately seven trucks that were traveling at a high rate of speed. When they reached the top of that hill right there, the explosion went off."[1063]

When ABC's Extra contacted the Oklahoma City Fire Department to inquire about Criss's claim, they replied, "We can't really confirm or deny that claim."[1064]

As Sergeant Yeakey, one of the first rescue workers at the scene later wrote to bombing survivor Ramona McDonald:

Everyone was behind you until you started asking questions as I did, as to how so many federal agents arrived at the scene at the same time.… For those who ran from the scene to change their attire to hide the fact that they were there, should be judged as cowards.

Rodney Johnson, who almost hit McVeigh and John Doe 2 as they ran from the scene minutes before the blast, didn't miss the presence of law-enforcement officers who seemed to materialize out of thin air. Where had they come from?

Associated Press photographer Pat Carter, who was at the scene within one hour of the blast, said that ATF agents were wearing full combat gear. Had they been preparing for a bust?[1065]

HUD worker V.Z. Lawton was on the eighth floor of the Murrah Building when the bomb(s) went off. Lawton described four men who gave him a ride home that afternoon. They told him they were General Services Administration (GSA) employees out of Fort Worth, and were there doing a "routine" security check on the Federal Building. The men told Lawton this "security check" was conducted in the wee hours of the morning.[1066]

Two of the men, Dude Goodun and Brent Mossbarger, later told the Daily Oklahoman they did not take Lawton home that day.[1067]

Even more interestingly, it was alleged that no ATF agents (as opposed to clerical workers) were in the Murrah Building at the time of the blast. Word of this quickly spread when Bruce Shaw, whose wife worked in the third-floor credit union, ran up to an ATF agent anxiously asking of her whereabouts. Shaw told KFOR's Brad Edwards that the agent "started getting a little bit nervous. He tried reaching someone on a two-way radio. [But] couldn't get anybody. I told him I wanted an answer right then. He said they were in debriefing, that none of the agents had been in there. They'd been tipped by their pagers not to come to work that day. Plain as day out of his mouth. Those were the words he said."[1068]

The second witness, Shaw's boss Tony Brasier, was present when the agent made those comments, and confirmed to KFOR the accuracy of Shaw's testimony.[1069]

The third witness was Tiffany Bible, a paramedic. When she asked an ATF agent on the scene (dressed in a black "Ninja" suit) if any of his fellow agents were still in the building, she was told they "weren't here" at the office that morning. When she asked, "who would want to bomb a building in Oklahoma?" he replied that it was in retribution for the massacre at Waco. How did he know?

"It's clear to me that the ATF knew in advance something was about to happen," says a man whose wife was seriously injured that morning.[1070]

In an attempt to steer suspicious eyes away from ATF culpability, Lester Martz, regional head of the ATF, put out a press release stating that several agents — Vernon Buster, Luke Franey, and Alex McCauley — had been trapped inside the building during the bombing:

ATF's Resident Agent in Charge Alex McCauley was with a DEA agent (David Schickedanz) in the elevator when the bomb exploded. The elevator dropped in a free fall from the eighth floor to the third. The two men were trapped in the smoke-filled elevator. The emergency buttons and the phone were inoperable. On their fourth attempt they managed to break through the doors and escape from the elevator.[1071]

Yet according to elevator repairman Duane James, who, along with several co-workers was checking equipment across the street that morning, Martz's statement is "pure fantasy." James, who was interviewed by J.D. Cash and ABC's 20/20, said five of the building's six elevators had frozen in place when the blast occurred, their doors blown inward. "Once that occurs, the doors cannot be opened — period," said James. "What I and some others did was kick in the ceilings on each of those elevators and determined that no one was in them."

James claims the remaining elevator was sitting at the third or fourth floor level and had no one in it. "Certainly it had not 'free fallen,' nor had any of the others." James explained that modern elevators cannot 'free fall' due to counterbalancing weights on them which prevent such occurrences. The elevators are also equipped with automatic safety switches that cut speed and power if the elevator starts accelerating too fast.[1072]

"None of those switches were tripped on any of the elevators in that building," said James. "I, along with other men with our company, checked the equipment several times. Absolutely no elevators dropped that morning."

Oscar Johnson, James' boss, told the Daily Oklahoman that when the elevator was found, a wall was pushed against the top of it "and there is no way you could have gotten the doors open. Our guys were the first ones there to open the top emergency access, and there was no one in it."[1073]

Federal elevator inspector Dude Goodun told the Daily Oklahoman that he agreed with Johnson.[1074]

So does former ATF agent Rick Sherrow. "This elevator business was garbage — about Franey being trapped in the elevator — because it didn't happen" said Sherrow. "Franey I pretty much believe was there, [but] this free-fall business, it just didn't happen."[1075]

Naturally, Martz insisted five ATF employees were inside the Murrah Building. Valerie Rowden, the office manager, was cut all over. Jim Staggs was hospitalized with head wounds. Vernon Buster, they claimed, had a nail driven through his arm, and his name showed up on a list of the injured. But according to David Hall, owner and manager of KPOC-TV in Ponca City, who checked with local hospitals, both Buster and Martz are lying.[1076]

According to a reporter who interviewed Joe Gordon, an ATF agent from Colorado Springs, there was at least one ATF agent from out-of-town (believed to have been Dallas) who was injured in the blast, that the ATF hasn't admitted to. While Buster's name showed up on the list of the injured, his name didn't.[1077]

Another reporter from New York developed information that the Dallas ATF office — Martz's office — was also suspiciously vacant that morning. Was the ATF running a combined operation out of Dallas and Oklahoma City? This would make sense, since Martz is the regional director.[1078]

DEA Assistant Agent in Charge Don Webb called the allegations against the ATF "bull-shit." Webb told the author that McCauley and Schickedanz were indeed in the elevator when the bomb went off. He also said that "Luke Franey was on the phone" at the time of the bombing (although Webb admitted to me that he himself was at a golf tournament that morning).[1079]

According to Sergeant Yeakey, Franey was not in the building:

Luke Franey was not in the building at the time of the blast, I know this for a fact, I saw him! I also saw full riot gear worn with rifles in hand, why?[1080]

Yeakey also wrote that Franey ran into the building. While news footage showed Franey standing in a blown-out window on the 9th floor shortly after the blast, he appeared surprisingly neat and clean. His appearance contrasted sharply with other survivors who were covered in dust and debris. In the photos, Franey is holding a box in one hand, and a walkie-talkie in the other.

Interestingly, Franey later showed up at Glenn Wilburn's house with a bandaged arm. Was Franey one of the agents who Dr. Chumley refused to bandage? According to a federal law-enforcement supervisor who works in the Federal Protective Services, Franey "was a bloody mess. He had a big gash on his forehead."[1081]

Whatever the true story, it is generally agreed that the Federal Building was suspiciously empty that morning. Wendy Greer, the Sister-in-Law of senior FBI Agent Jim Volz (retired), told me her brother said that the FBI's offices at 50 Penn Place (several miles from the Murrah Building) also appeared to be suspiciously vacant that morning.

If these agents weren't in their offices, just where were they? Some FBI agents, it appeared, were at a Special Olympics golf tournament in Shawnee (Webb told me he saw no ATF agents at the tournament). Yet this still wouldn't account for the strange activities on April 19.[1082]

In the early morning of April 19, Bob Flanders and his wife were driving east on I-44 at approximately 3:30 a.m., when they saw a strange team of men near the State Fairgrounds. The men, dressed in government black and driving black cars, were in the grass alongside the road, operating "hoops" — circular-shaped, radio beacon directional finders. Flanders recalled that the devices were about the size of a car steering wheel, and the men held them over their heads, slowly rotating them in a circular pattern.[1083]

At around 4:00 a.m., a man who was driving home after work saw another team operating these unusual looking devices, this time by the Alfred P. Murrah Building. As he approached 5th Street, he was directed to one lane. The person directing traffic was not a police officer, and was standing next to a white vehicle with a yellow stripe. As the man drove by, he saw several men on the sidewalk holding these hoop-like devices above their heads, slowly turning them in different directions. As the man passed through, a roadblock was set up behind him, and all traffic was diverted from the area.

The equipment these witnesses are describing matches that of RDF direction finding antennas that are used to home in on electronic transmitters. Was there a concealed radio transmitter on the one of the Ryder trucks, sending out a signal to these teams? It is likely, given the requirements of a successful sting operation, that they were electronically tracking the Ryder truck. The location of the team at the fairgrounds, high on a hill overlooking the city, is a clue to its intended mission.

Yet why were they tracking the truck? Had their quarry eluded them? Is it possible that one of the bombers, perhaps one of their own trusted undercover agents, turned off the transmitter, resulting in the loss of the signal? If so, it seems that the agents would have had what's known in law-enforcement parlance as a "loose tail," and, it appeared, they were frantically trying to find the truck.

Andreas Strassmeir, McVeigh's friend and alleged government operative, admitted that much in an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

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.

According to KPOC's David Hall, the plan was to arrest the bombers at 3:30 in the morning. Given the ATF's past publicity stunts, it is likely that they were hoping to arrest the suspects at or near the Murrah Building to ensure a highly publicized bust. As Strassmeir told Evans-Pritchard:

"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."[1084][1085]

Strassmeir added that the ATF thought that the bomb was set to go off at 2 or 3 a.m., but somehow the plan was changed. "McVeigh made some changes in the plan," said Strassmeir. "He is a very undisciplined soldier, you know... In retrospect, the ATF should have made the bust when the bomb was being built in Junction City."[1086]

The bombers, according to the former Elohim City security chief, were to be captured "during the night, when no one was there — that's why the ATF had the building staked out from midnight until 6:00 a.m. Later, the informant believed that the bombing was off for the day and reported that... the ATF lost control of the situation, and McVeigh and the others were able to bomb the building."[1087]

While Strassmeir heaps most of the blame on the ATF, he does task the FBI for its failure:

The different agencies weren't cooperating. 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.… Whoever thought this thing up is an idiot, in my opinion.[1088]

While Strassmeir continually protested that he himself was not involved in the plot, as either a suspect or a provocateur, he did say that the plotters consisted of "four [men], plus the informant and McVeigh."

"They probably were going to entrap whoever was coming in," said Sherrow. "They had enough intelligence that they were going to set up an operation to pop this guy, whether it was McVeigh or whoever else, and something fell through the cracks.…

"Talking from the perspective of a former ATF man, say they're going to buy explosives, or let somebody plant a bomb… they will let the deal go until the last second, before making the arrest."

Somehow, the deal went wrong.

While this startling evidence would soon make itself known to investigators, bombing victims, and a limited segment of the public — the "Justice" Department, federal prosecutors, and the ATF all rushed to refute the evidence.

"Can you imagine if we had known that… and let that happen?" said ATF agent Harry Eberhardt. "I had a lot of friends in that building — a lot of friends.… We never would have let that happen."[1089]

Dewy Webb, the current ATF RAC, concurred. "They had so many friends they lost in the bombing — they had to pick which funeral they could go to."[1090]

Athough Eberhardt's reasoning sounds valid, it is likely his concern is overrated. While it is doubtful the ATF, FBI, or local officials would purposefully allow such a catastrophic event to occur, it is likely — highly probable in fact — that through their stupidity and negligence, such an event did occur.[1091]

Said Sherrow, "I've got agents in their court testimony saying that they don't care about the public's safety. They don't consider it. They arranged to meet with a guy here in Phoenix who allegedly had hundreds of pounds of explosives, and they chose a crowded shopping center parking lot, running around with MP-5 [sub-machineguns] and handguns and everything else.

"This happened before Oklahoma, and it continues to happen. We had a case in Pennsylvania where a guy wanted to sell a small amount of explosives. He wanted to meet [the agents] way out in the country. Instead they decided to meet him on an Interstate rest stop that was jammed with people, and brought the media. They endanger the public right and left and they don't care about it."[1092]

Sherrow's analysis is based on more than historical precedent and informed opinion. While ATF agents refused to admit their involvement in the bungled operation, Martz met with local TV producers behind closed doors shortly after the bombing. His intent was to convince the journalists that what was underway was a sensitive undercover operation, and that they should take pains not to reveal it.

This is most interesting considering that ATF agent Angela Finley-Graham's report of August 30 stated that their investigation of Elohim City was classified as "SENSITIVE" and "SIGNIFICANT" (as opposed to routine), and the investigation concerned "terrorist/extremist" organizations.

According to former ATF official Robert Sanders, such classifications mean that all reports would automatically be sent to Washington, as well as being routinely routed to Martz at the Dallas Field Office, which in fact, it was.

Sanders, who held every possible supervisory position including that of ATF Assistant Director, told The New Americanmagazine that the activities cited in the ATF reports have "such a high potential for affecting national security" that they would have most likely been sent to the heads of the Treasury and Justice Departments as well as the White House and National Security Council.[1093]

As if finally stating the obvious, Martz admitted to the incredulous reporters was that there was indeed a sting operation underway on the night of the 18th that was called off at 0600 hours (6:00 a.m.). When reporters asked Martz if the operation involved Timothy McVeigh, he replied "I can neither confirm or deny that."[1094][1095]

David Hall attended the closed-door meeting with Martz. "I don't believe that the ATF wired the building and blew it up. I do believe that they knew that there was going to be a possible bomb threat to the building, because they had set it up themselves, with their informants and different people they were working with. And somebody really slipped it to 'em."[1096]

Hall had also been long-time friends with Harry Eberhardt, and was one of the first to develop inside information regarding the ATF's activities that morning. While Martz held fast to his claim that three ATF agents were in the Murrah Building at the time of the blast, Hall insists, "that's an outright lie."[1097]

The seasoned investigative journalist contends that at least eight of the ATF's regular compliment of 13 agents were on assignment away from the Federal Building that morning. "Three agents (Don Gillispie, Delbert Canopp and Tim Kelly) were in federal court in Newkirk, on an arson case that occurred in Ponca City…. Two agents (Karen Simpson and Harry Eberhardt) were in federal court in Oklahoma City. Three more were in Garfield County at a hearing. The other five were out on surveillance."[1098]

Just who were they surveilling?

"As far as can be determined," said Sherrow, "they had an undercover sting operation. They had a sting operation going that night, with about six agents involved, and they terminated it at six in the morning. Martz has admitted to this, then since backed off.… given the circumstances, it's reasonable to assume that the person they were surveilling was McVeigh."

Hall concurs. "We developed from our sources inside the ATF that five agents were up on surveillance all night long. We have to assume at that point, basically probably surveilling either McVeigh — and let me say this about McVeigh — there's a good chance that McVeigh could be the informant in this operation."

According to Glenn Wilburn, the ATF's plans changed at the last minute, and they stood down at 6:30 a.m. Then the Bomb Squad came on the scene at 6:30, checked the building for bombs, then stood down at 8:30. When the building blew up at 9:02 a.m., all the agents and police, who were already on the scene or nearby, quickly responded.

Yet it appears there is more to the story. Hall claims that on the night before the bombing, several witnesses saw McVeigh meet with ATF agent Alex McCauley and two other individuals of Middle Eastern descent in an Oklahoma City McDonalds at approximately 9:30 p.m. "He was a known ATF agent," said Hall. "[And] money changed hands."

Could this money have been the $2,000 that was discovered on McVeigh at the time of his arrest?

Terry Nichols was interviewed by Hall early on, and was told that McVeigh had met with "men" who had provided him with a $2,000 pay-off. Nichols left the restaurant at approximately 9:45 p.m. and drove back to his home in Herrington, Kansas. Hall interviewed Nichols' neighbors who claimed he arrived early that morning.[1099]

Another witness, an unidentified homeless man, contacted KTOK reporter Jerry Bonnen, and told him McVeigh drove past the McDonalds and yelled "Hey, want to have a few beers?" McVeigh then gave the man some cash, whereupon he purchased two quarts at the Total convenience store across the street. A Total employee, Ron Williams, reported that a Ryder truck was parked at the McDonalds.[1100]

An anonymous informant who contacted Representative Key, claiming to be a friend of the brother one of those involved in the bombing, said that McVeigh had indeed met federal agents at an unnamed restaurant in Oklahoma City, and had rendezvoused with at least four of them prior to the bombing. Key taped the conversation:

"This guy here, he has a recording — a video recording — a camcorder recording that shows this same DEA agent and… McVeigh in the parking lot of a restaurant. And this is was shot about dusk. And two people in suits go over to the car, McVeigh and this DEA agent get out and they're standing back by the trunk. And the DEA agent's patting McVeigh on the shoulder, and then one of the two men in suits passes McVeigh a white envelope and then they leave, And he has this on tape."[1101]

While Representative Key never did get the videotape, another source close to the investigation told him that McVeigh was indeed an informant.

What he didn't explain was the reason for the presence of the DEA.

KFOR's Brad Edwards developed similar information," said Hall, "from totally different sources. "So we have four different sources telling us this. He also has the same name of the agent (McCauley). "I think that when this is all said and done, that we're going to find out — and this is what I've said from the beginning — that this was a sting operation gone sour."

But do you really need two tons of explosive in order to set up a sting? Yes, according to Hall. Ammonium-nitrate isn't illegal in Oklahoma, and a few hundred pounds won't convince prosecutors there was a serious bomb threat in the works. "I think the intent there was to show that it was going to do some damage, rather than, you know, a pipe bomb. It wouldn't bring the intention here in Oklahoma."[1102]

Strassmeir agrees. "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.…"[1103]

While Martz would not confirm who the actual target of the sting was, one person who did confirm it was a man who spoke with bombing survivor and activist Ramona McDonald. McDonald had formed a group called Heroes of the Heart. Through her numerous meetings with paramedics and police, firefighters and even some federal agents, McDonald began learning the sickening truth about what really happened that day.

As the meetings wore on, a consensus was reached that the truth needed to be told. The question was how. As McVeigh's trial approached, McDonald and her group were gearing up for a trial of their own. McDonald had contacted former Pentagon counter-terrorism analyst Jesse Clear, and Clear had contacted a young fire-brand attorney named Joseph Camerata. Camerata's intent was to gather together survivors and family members, and bring a negligence suit against the Federal Government.

In August of 1996, about a month before Camerata came to Oklahoma to interview his prospective clients, McDonald received a mysterious phone call. Although the caller didn't identify himself by name, McDonald thought she recognized the voice of as that of Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK). The caller was concerned. "What do we have to do to get you to drop this?" he asked McDonald.

Although he didn't realize it, McDonald was taping the conversation. The scenario the caller lays out is, to the uninitiated, both startling and frightening. He describes in almost precise detail how the operation was a sting gone bad; how federal agents allowed a truck with a powerful bomb to be driven through a crowded city and parked next to a building containing hundreds of people. And, revealing the mystery of the elusive John Doe 2, he explains how he was an undercover agent, supposed to diffuse the bomb at the last minute… and failed to do so.[1104]

Caller: "I don't think they expected the truck to blow up. I believe, and I've believed this for a long time… I believe that number two — John Doe #2 — was a federal agent working undercover. And I believe that he helped McVeigh steal the goods and helped buy the equipment, and I believe that he helped McVeigh make the bomb, and I believe that his whole task in this whole thing… his only real task was to render the device safe so that the federal agents could pretend to remove it and move in. They did not want to move in until he was cleared of the scene so that they wouldn't tip their hands. See what I'm saying? And the odds are pretty good that whole reason behind this is because they were after someone bigger than McVeigh, which means they probably think he was linked to somebody in the Militia movement or something like that.

"So I think what you're saying… you know I understand what you're saying… but I don't think you see the big picture. I don't think that , you know, I'd only divulge a look at the big picture if that's the actual scenario. If that's the actual scenario, which I believe it to be, I think there really is no claim that the agent, that was John Doe #2, did not render the bomb safe. Which he very well may have rendered the bomb safe, and then McVeigh may have put in a second fail-safe which he didn't know about. Which is probably what's happened.…

"I would bet money on that's, in fact, the way this whole thing came down. Yes, they stood out in front of the building. Yes, they followed him directly to the building. Yes, they watched him get out of the building… get out of the truck. Yes, they watched him drive off. That's not … that was their plan. I don't believe they ever planned to apprehend him anywhere near the building. I believe that John Doe #2 was a federal witness. His job was to render the device safe. Therefore, the only thing sitting out in front of that building was a bomb… a truck loaded with a bomb that would not go off. And I think that's the situation. In fact I know it is."

McDonald: "Okay… so… so why didn't they just come out and explain that to everybody?"

Caller: "The public doesn't have to know that. When it comes to the national security and things like this, the public does not have to know… the public is not required to know. First of all, by doing that, they would've, uh, put their witness, which is the federal agent John Doe #2, they would have blown his cover, first of all. Which possibly he's involved in something right now that you have no idea about. You know, there very well may have been numerous plots involving numerous buildings. See what I'm saying? You don't have the whole picture… without full knowledge… what you may do may cost them their lives. You should be very aware of that."

McDonald: "Okay. Well, that's what I've been trying to be very careful of. I don't want to see anyone else get hurt. At the same time…"

Caller: "…Well, if that guy's cover's been blown, he'd dead already."

McDonald: "Do you think so?"

Caller: "Sure… I'm sure. Once you have gone up to this point, it has gotten out, which I'm sure it has, because there are moles everywhere… the chances are good that he's been terminated already and this whole thing has blown up in their face. I don't believe that, out of an act of negligence, these highly trained professionals would have allowed that man to leave that truck out in front of that building with its live bomb in it."

McDonald: No, no, no. It stood out there for the whole time, from the time it pulled up until it went off."

Caller: "That's what I'm saying. They would not have allowed it. The only reason they allowed the truck to sit there so long, is because in my opinion they were under the impression that that bomb was rendered safe. And I'd say that there was no rush… there was no reason… to evacuate the building. There was no rush to make an arrest. The truck was just going to sit out there until they went and towed it off. So I don't think they thought it was an emergency and I think either that John Doe #2 made a mistake in rendering the bomb safe, or McVeigh was smart enough to plant a second fail-safe. Which most bomb makers do."

McDonald: "Do you think that's why they didn't tell anybody?"

Caller: "No. The bomb was safe as far as they knew."

McDonald: "Okay. Well, that explains why there was so many of them (federal agents) there so fast."

Caller: "Exactly. They followed him to the building, their agent was in the truck with him when they followed him to the building, everything was under control, as far as they thought, all they had was the man who built the bomb that was not going to go off, because their agent had rendered it safe. And their whole thing was not a problem. Let him drive his truck right in front of his target, then they allowed him to drive off.

"Once he drives off, he renders the truck safe, and then we can have the trooper arrest him on the interstate for bogus charges. Which they did, and this was all planned out 100 percent. I… I… I don't believe they allowed that truck…"

McDonald: "You don't think they intentionally let the bomb go off?"

Caller: "No, that's right. I'll never believe that."

McDonald: "Well, I mean, that's the only thing about this that I found so hard to believe."

Caller: "They… they thought the bomb was safe. They thought that their agent, who was in the truck and who helped prepare the bomb, would set it so it would not go off. Now, whether McVeigh went back to the truck… where the agent did not know… and put a second fail-safe… or the agent made a mistake and did not actually render the bomb safe like he was supposed to… that's what's going on here."

McDonald: "Well, see, that's it then. I wanted someone that would be able to tell us for a fact if this was, like, deliberate or not. You know what I'm saying?"

Caller: "I'm not gong to tell you that. Let me tell you something. I'm sure they had… everything was under surveillance there. So I'm sure they do have pictures of the building blowing up, and I'm sure they do have pictures of federal agents, and I'm sure they do have audio tapes of them saying: Let 'em go, let 'em go… Wait, wait, wait…" there was no rush in their mind. In their mind, there was no rush to get that truck away from that building… that bomb… was not supposed to go off.

"Therefore, everything they did, fits, if you think about it. they followed it, they allowed it to drive up there knowing that there was a bomb in the truck. Their idea was to let John Doe #2 — their federal agent — they would be able to use him in further investigations of these bombings of these groups that are in militia groups. And this was a perfect entry in, because he could have went through there.

"After McVeigh was arrested, John Doe #2 would have become a hero to the cause of the militias. And the militias would have taken him in and hid him, which would have made him part of the infrastructure of the militias. Which is what their goal was for this whole thing… was to bust the militias. If you take the big picture, and look at the big picture, there were very few mistakes made on this sting operation. (except blowing up a building and killing 169 people - ed.) With the exception that John Doe #2, the federal agent, did not render the bomb safe. Just think of it this way, Ramona."

McDonald: "I've always been a big fan of the United States and that, but then… I've always been… this was the one thing that bothered me."

Caller: "They didn't let the building fall intentionally. Their opinion was that this bomb was rendered safe and this bomb would not go off. And their whole thing on this thing… if you think about it… it makes sense from a tactical standpoint. You would follow the truck to the building. You allow your lead suspect to get away from the building because it didn't blow up, because it's not supposed to. You take John Doe #2… he gets away, which is your federal agent. John Doe #1 — McVeigh — is arrested on a bogus charge and then later proven that he's the one who planted the bomb that did not go off."

McDonald: "But you honestly don't think that they really intended…"

Caller: "Not at all. Not at all. They would not have to. No.… Basically, what happened is, this was a mistake. Someone screwed up and the only one that screwed up… The agents on the scene? They didn't screw up. They did exactly what their orders were: Wait… allow the suspect to leave the scene. Once the suspect had left the scene, then render the truck safe, which is already safe. All they have to do is get in, give it a hot-wire, and drive it off to a safe location and then open up the back and disarm the bomb. Which was supposedly rendered safe to begin with. Okay?

"And then, from there… they charge in… See, the plan… this plan was put in motion before the bomb ever went off. Their intent was to allow McVeigh to be arrested later on… John Doe#2 to get away… and then, John Doe #2, the Federal Government would have released a sketch or picture. And then, that man would have had to go underground and hide. Where would he hide? He would have hid with the militias. The militias would take him in as a hero. The militias would give him hero status in the Militia movement, which would allow him to be privy to information that the government could use later on…

"…they did not want that building to blow up. I guarantee you this… their whole intent was that that bomb was rendered safe before it was ever parked in front of that building… otherwise, they would have quietly…"

McDonald: "…Got everybody out of the building?"

Caller: "Got everybody out of the building, before the bomb ever even pulled up in front of the building. There was no reason for them to do that, because according to their plan, the bomb was safe now. There was no reason to evacuate the building and the panic… because there was a truck loaded with a bomb that was not going to blow up.…"

McDonald: "Okay."

Caller: "See what I'm saying? And John Doe#2.… By going this far with it… Let me explain something to you. Your actions have consequences. There are a lot of witnesses. There are a lot of agents right now in the hills that are infiltrating these militia groups, and… all these people will get killed. Their blood will be on your hands. I understand that you want… If I really thought that the government allowed the building to blow up, I would be with you 100 percent. But I know… and I believe… they were horrified when the bomb went off… really horrified."

McDonald: "Yeah, they all looked like they were in shock."

Caller: "They figured, as soon as McVeigh got free, as soon as he got… drove off in his car… and I'll tell you something they did. Do you what they did?"

McDonald: "What?"

Caller: "They stole his license plate off that car. You know why? So they'd have probable cause to stop him on the interstate.… They stole his plate. Why do you think the plate was never found? His plate was stolen from the vehicle and the Federal Government stole the plate from the vehicle, so that he would be arrested… John Doe #2 would go free, they would put a sketch out that would make him 'America's Most Wanted.' The only place that a man that would be wanted by the government can hide would be to be hid by the militia groups inside their infrastructure.

"But once he infiltrates the infrastructure… and he's in… all of a sudden he's a hero. And right now, you know, these groups probably believe that they have John Doe #2 and that they're hiding him from the government and they're doing the patriotic thing… and they believe that the building should have blown up. So they're holding him. Now, this man's privy to all kinds of information about future bombings, which we don't even know how many bombs they have stopped because the agents… how many lives have been saved because that agent's now in the militia. And if this comes to light… this operation…"

What the caller does is attempt to instill guilt in McDonald over her efforts to reveal the truth. Yet McDonald did not allow 169 innocent people to be killed through her negligence and stupidity. The government did.

This ridiculous and immoral rationale is similar to that used by Winston Churchill during WWII. Churchill knew the German Luftwaffe were going to bomb the city of Coventry, because the British had cracked the German code using a device called the "Enigma" machine. Churchill feared that by evacuating Coventry on the night in question, the Germans would realize their codes had been broken and change them, thus hampering British intelligence efforts. Churchill, having knowledge of the forthcoming raid, let it proceed, at the cost of thousands of lives and millions in property damage, in order not to compromise their source — in this case — the Enigma machine.

In a similar vein, the Feds would cover up the truth of the Oklahoma City bombing so as not to compromise their undercover agent — John Doe 2 — and ultimately, reveal their own negligence.

Nevertheless, McDonald's caller makes the case that she should respect these agents, who he terms "highly trained professionals," conducting an operation that has already resulted in the criminally negligent deaths of 169 people, and allow it to continue unabated, when it was undoubtedly government agents who acted as provocateurs and goaded the suspects into carrying out the bombing in the first place!

Of course, these "highly trained, dedicated professionals" he talks so admiringly about are the same "highly trained, dedicated professionals" who murdered 86 innocent men, women and children at Waco; who practically murdered an entire innocent family at Ruby Ridge; who dropped a bomb on the MOVE housing activists in Philadelphia, killing 11 people, including five children; and who bungled the World Trade Center sting operation, resulting in the deaths of six people and the injury of over 1,000.

What nitwit is supposed to buy the story that "highly trained, dedicated professionals" would drive a truck laden with explosives around a busy city — a bomb that could explode at any minute? More likely, the caller is using the "federal agent in danger" line with McDonald as a ruse to cover up the fact that these "highly trained, dedicated professionals" are nothing more than a bunch of highly dangerous, out-of-control, self-serving lunatics.

"The government must, and I say must, take responsibility for their sting operation going sour," said HUD worker Jane Graham.… "We are not expendable for their cause.…"[1105]

As of this writing, the tape is being analyzed by an audio forensics expert. Those Oklahomans who have listened to the tape, however, strongly believe that it is Representative Ernest Istook. Istook sits on the Subcommittee on National Security, which would tend to explain his rationale that "the public doesn't have to know.… When it comes to the national security and things like this, the public does not have to know.…"

Istook also voted for the 1995 Crime and Anti-Terrorism bills, and is reportedly very friendly with Senator Orin Hatch, one of the original drafters of the latter. Istook is also on close terms with the FBI, which would go a long way towards explaining his apologetic tone. He lives in the same Congressional district and neighborhood (Warr Acres) as McDonald.[1106]

This scenario is also reinforced by a second individual — a police officer named Bob Cancemi. He told McDonald he knows "for a fact" that authorities knew in advance specifically when and how the Ryder truck-bomb was to arrive at the Federal Building. But, he says, something went "very wrong;" the bomb was supposed to have been disarmed. "I feel pretty confident that they knew exactly what was going on," he said, "and just… things didn't go according to plan."[1107]

Cancemi's information, and that of McDonald's caller, is backed up by Daina Bradley. Peering out the window of the Social Security office minutes before the blast, Bradley caught a glimpse of a stocky, dark-skinned man exiting the passenger side of the Ryder truck. She said the man walked to the back of the truck to open the door, then spun around, looking "very nervous, almost confused." He then ran down 5th Street in the opposite direction and jumped into a brown pick-up which sped away. Could the man's confused expression have been the result of an unexpected occurrence? Perhaps when he lifted the rear gate he saw a second timing device attached to the bomb that he didn't know how to disarm? And not knowing what to do, he fled.

Yet while the caller admits the government's involvement in the bombing, he fails to take into account the additional bombs placed inside the building. He fails to explain why the government quickly demolished the bomb site, destroying all forensic evidence. And his story does not account for the Middle Eastern and numerous other suspects.

The caller's explanation also goes a long way towards explaining a statement made by Terry Nichols after his arrest. When Lana Padilla asked her ex-husband during a prison visit about John Doe 2, he said, "If they want to find John Doe 2, they should look in their own backyard."[1108]

What is clear is that the government could take no chances in allowing any of their undercover operatives and informants — Strassmeir, Brescia, Howe, Gagan, Hussaini, and others — to testify at trial. To cover their butts, federal law enforcement agencies ignored, discredited, and even killed those who attempted to reveal the truth. As Officer Terrance Yeakey wrote before he was murdered:

I took an oath to uphold the Law and to enforce the Law to the best of my ability. This is something I cannot honestly do and hold my head up proud any longer if I keep my silence as I am ordered to do.

My guess is the more time an officer has to think about the screw up the more he is going to question what happened… Can you imagine what would be coming down now if that had been our officers' who had let this happen? Because it was the feds that did this and not the locals, is the reason it's okay.

The sad truth of the matter is that they have so many police officers convinced that by covering up the truth about the operation gone wrong, that they are actually doing our citizens a favor. What I want to know is how many other operations have they had that blew up in their faces? Makes you stop and take another look at Waco.

I would consider it to be an insult to my profession as a police officer and to the citizens of Oklahoma for ANY of the City, State or Federal agents that stood by and let this happen to be recognized as any thing other than their part in participation in letting this happen.…

Finally, while those who said the bombing was an excuse to destroy the Militia movement were dismissed as self-deluded paranoiacs, McDonald's caller admits the entire operation was to ensnare the Militia movement! Of course, McDonald's caller makes no distinction between militias and neo-Nazi groups. militia groups angrily denounced the bombing, as any self-respecting citizen would, and certainly no militia member would consider a person who killed 169 innocent people a hero.

If the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building was merely a failed sting operation, where did it go wrong? Those who remember the World Trade Center bombing, may recall that it, too, was a fouled sting operation.

In that case, the FBI's original plan to entrap the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiya group was to have their undercover operative, Emad Eli Salem, substitute a harmless powder for the real explosive, which he would help them build. Instead, due to a "disagreement," the FBI pulled Salem off the case.

Like Cary Gagan, who tried to warn the FBI of the Oklahoma City bombing, and Samra Mahayoun, who tried to warn officials of the Pan Am 103 attack, Salem, they insisted, was just not credible. Several weeks later, a truck-bomb detonated under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring 1,000 more.

Unbeknownst to the FBI, Salem, a former Egyptian Army colonel, had secretly recorded his conversations with his FBI handlers.[1109] Portions of the tapes were made public and reprinted in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.. In broken English, Salem talks with the unnamed FBI supervisor who pulled him off the case:

"We'll be going building the bomb with a phony powder, and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn't do that."

When Salem decided to complain to FBI headquarters, FBI supervisor John Anticev dissuaded him: "He said, I don't think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York Office to go to Washington, D.C."

Salem's immediate handler, agent Nancy Floyd, is heard on the tapes agreeing with the Egyptian's account, saying, "Well, of course not, because they don't want to get their butts chewed."

In one conversation, Salem tells Floyd:

"Since the bomb went off, I feel terrible. I feel bad. I feel here is people who don't listen."

Ms. Floyd seems to commiserate, saying: "Hey, I mean it wasn't like you didn't try, and I didn't try."

…Salem recounts another point in the conversation he said he had with Anticev, saying:

"I said, 'Guys, now you saw this bomb went off, and you both know that we could avoid that.'"

…Salem talks of the plan to substitute harmless powder for explosives during another conversation with Agent Floyd. In that conversation, he recalls a previous discussion with Anticev. Mr. Salem says he told the other agent:

"Do you deny that your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the World Trade Center?"

Mr. Salem said that Anticev did not deny it.[1110]

What is also interesting to note is that not only did the FBI "foul up" the operation, but they had Salem act as a provocateur, recommending potential targets, teaching the terrorists how to build the bomb, then teaching them how to drive the truck used in the bombing!

As the Wall Street Journal reported in regards to Salem's activities inside the Sheik's group immediately following the World Trade Center bombing:

Mr. Salem helped organize the "battle plan" that the government alleged included plots to bomb the United Nations and FBI buildings in New York, and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels beneath the Hudson River. Working with a charismatic Sudanese man named Siddig Ali, a follower of Sheik Omar, Mr. Salem recruited seven local Muslims to scout targets, plan tactics and obtain chemicals and electrical parts for bombs, the government alleged. The FBI supplied a safehouse in Queens.[1111]

As Floyd later explained to her superior, "Emad had the information about the bombs and where they wanted to have them placed. If we had done what we were supposed to have done, we would have known about it… we would have used our heads and come up with the solution of trying to neutralize the situation."[1112]

When these "highly-trained, dedicated professionals" pulled Salem off the case, the bombers contacted Ramzi Yousef, an Iraqi agent and expert bomb maker. Mujahadeen veteran and World Trade Center bomber Mamud Abouhalima met Yousef in Afghanistan in 1988, and brought him and co-conspirator Ahmed Ajaj to the U.S. in September of 1992. Far from building a harmless device, Yousef constructed a sophisticated, powerful bomb, capable of causing extensive damage. Had patsy driver Mohammed Salemeh parked the truck next to a key column, they might have toppled the 110 story Twin Towers, killing as many as 20,000 people!

As William Norman Grigg writes in the February 19, 1997 issue of the New American:

Shortly after Yousef's arrival, the FBI subpoenaed two dozen of Sheik Omar's followers and questioned them about the sheik, Nosair, and Abouhalima. However, no arrests were made, no grand jury investigation was launched, and the FBI chose to downgrade its scrutiny of Omar's network — just as plans were being finalized for the Trade Center bombing. This curious decision is even more peculiar in light of the fact that the FBI had obtained intelligence on the network's capabilities and intentions from Emad A. Salem, a former Egyptian Army officer and FBI informant who served as Omar's security guard.

The FBI defended themselves by alleging that Salem had refused to cooperate with FBI guidelines and procedures. He didn't want to wear a body-wire they claimed, and refused to testify against his so-called terrorist comrades in court. Salem was summarily dismissed. When these "highly-trained, dedicated professionals" pulled Salem off the case, they lost control of the situation, and the bombers made their move.

The FBI claimed the exact same thing about one of their informants in the Oklahoma City bombing case — Cary Gagan. Although the Justice Department granted Gagan a Letter of Immunity, they and the "highly-trained, dedicated professionals" of the FBI failed to follow up on the informant's apparently credible information. Gagan hadn't just contacted the FBI and the Marshals Service once or twice regarding the plot, but had informed them on numerous occasions of the terrorists' plans. To the Gagan's knowledge, none of this information was followed up.

After the bombing, the Justice Department tried to maintain that Gagan wasn't credible. The U.S. Attorney's Office revoked his Letter of Immunity, ignored his information, and apparently tried to assassinate him. In order to prove their bogus allegations, they removed reports from his informant file that showed Gagan had assisted the DEA in recovering critical information.

The government's conduct in dealing with Gagan paralleled their treatment of Carol Howe. As discussed previously, Tulsa ATF Agent Angela Finley-Graham had placed Howe inside Elohim City, where she reported on the activities of Mahon, Strassmeir, and others allegedly involved in the plot. It was recently learned that Howe had secretly taped conversations with her ATF handler as Salem had. Those tapes have not been made public as of this writing.

Still, the government would try to cover its tracks by claiming that Howe's information was unspecific, and that she was emotionally unstable. Yet two days after the bombing, the ATF renewed its contract with her, and sent her back to Elohim City to collect additional information. In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI renewed its association with Emad Salem, paying him a reported $1 million to infiltrate Sheik Omar's group once again.

Given the Tulsa ATF's interest in Strassmeir and Elohim City, it is highly likely that they were the initial target of the sting. ATF agent Angela Finley -Graham conferred with her superiors about raiding the compound in February of '95 and arresting Strassmeir, but FBI and DoJ officials advised against it.[1113]

The ATF's actions at Elohim City were a curious parallel to those of the FBI's in New York. As the London Sunday Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard stated, "It appears that the local BATF had stumbled on a bigger operation being run by the grown-ups at the Justice Department."[1114]

If the Arabs had plotted with neo-Nazis to blow up the Federal Building. It is a foregone conclusion that they were under surveillance by the ATF and FBI.

Recall that Timothy McVeigh and Sam Khalid were both investigated by the FBI. McVeigh in 1993, and Khalid in 1990. Since Mike Khalid was investigated for espionage by Army CID, it is reasonable to assume that attention was focused on his brother as well.

Said David Hall, "I felt like… that probably the agencies involved in this, their intent was to tie together some Patriot groups and to tie in some other terrorist groups. I think the intent here was to say — go to Congress and say — that we have domestic and foreign terrorist groups, Mideast or foreign, working together and trying to blow up buildings here in the United States."

It is likely that the FBI became aware of collusion between the two groups — neo-Nazis and Arabs — as early as 1994, when Cary Gagan reported that Terry Nichols had met with "Iranians" in Henderson, Nevada. With the involvement of the Arabs, and the white supremacists at Elohim City, the sting became a joint ATF/FBI operation.

Interestingly, Hall learned that the FBI and the ATF got into a shouting match while debriefing Janet Reno. According to Hall, when Reno left the room, the FBI and ATF began yelling at each other, angrily accusing each other for the tragedy.

Somewhere along the line in Oklahoma City, the FBI and ATF lost control of the situation, and the bombers were able to make their move. As in the World Trade Center case, someone who had infiltrated the operation in Oklahoma had substituted a real bomb for a phony one, or had placed a redundant timer on the bomb, or had simply provided false information to the agents in charge, preventing them from stopping the attack.

Were the FBI and ATF double-crossed by one of their own informants? Or, as in the Pan Am case, did someone in a position of authority look at the situation and say, "Don't stop it, let it go"?

If the FBI and ATF were double-crossed, it may have been by one of their own agents. Recall that Michael Franks, a rogue American agent with connections to the Octopus, had provided the key information that allowed Ahmed Jibril to target Pan Am 103.

Former FBI SAC Ted Gundersen (head of the Los Angeles field office) described to me what he called a "unilateral transfer" of CIA agents into various federal law-enforcement agencies in the early 1980s. The purpose of this Reagan/Bush covert policy was to permit the CIA to head off any inconvenient investigations that such agencies might be undertaking. If so, it would go a long way towards explaining the FBI's curiously timed fit of incompetence.

There are precedents. In 1971, Louis Tackwood, an agent provocateur working out of the LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section (CCS), charged that the CCS "had been set up on the same basis as the CIA." Tackwood disclosed that CCS agents — approximately 125 of whom were agent provocateurs — were sponsored by federal intelligence agencies. As researcher Alex Constantine notes in his book, Blood, Carnage, and the Agent Provocateur, the CSS was directly linked to the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-Agency Group on Domestic Intelligence and Internal Security, a little-known covert operations unit made up of Right-wing agents from the FBI, CIA, DIA, NSC, Army, Air Force, and local police departments.[1115]

The CCS's spying activities came to a head in 1973 with the publication of Tackwood's The Glass House Tapes, and the unit was summarily disbanded. In its place evolved the Organized Crime Intelligence Division (OCID), which, interestingly enough, maintains no files on organized crime, but plenty on local citizens and politicians.

The OCID also still maintains its ties with the federal intelligence apparatus. According to Pasadena City Council member Michael Zinzin, who won a $3.8 million dollar lawsuit against the LAPD's Anti-Terrorist Division, that apparatus is the same secret cabal involved in the Iran-Contra imbroglio.

In other words, the Octopus.

Mike Rothmiller, a former OCID detective, stumbled upon the connections and subsequently fell prey to an assassin's bullet. At the time, Rothmiller had been investigating one Robert Terry, an arms and drug smuggler with links to the CIA.[1116]

Gundersen's "unilateral transfer" could easily explain how intelligence operatives were able to manipulate the sting operation in Oklahoma City. If there were duplicitous agents inside the ATF and FBI, they would have known when and where the bomb was to be delivered. They would have known how [one of] the FBI's undercover agent(s) — John Doe 2 — was to disable the bomb. They would have had full and detailed knowledge of the plot.

Like Michael Franks, they could have easily informed those who had an interest in changing that plot — those who had an interest in seeing that the building, and possibly some of those inside it — was destroyed.