Tag Archives: federal court

Pre-Blast Videotapes FBI Claims ‘Might Have Been Misfiled’ Remain at Center of Ongoing Oklahoma City Bombing Trial

EDITOR’S NOTE: Four years ago today, I shared an update about the Oklahoma City Bombing trial that was taking place in federal court and continues to this day in Salt Lake City. In case you missed it when it was published on this site and on Breitbart.com, I share it again with only minor modifications.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

In a response filed yesterday to a federal judge’s order May 11, an FBI official offered no denials about the existence of video images captured by more than 20 surveillance cameras operating prior to 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, in the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. Instead, he explained that officials at the bureau merely cannot find the tapes and raised the possibility that they “might have been misfiled and thus could be located somewhere other than in the OKBOMB file (though it would be impossible to know where).”

The order, issued by Judge Clark Waddoups in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, stemmed from the bureau’s failure to comply with a three-year-old Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue, a man on a quest for answers related to the Oklahoma City Bombing and the death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, who died under suspicious circumstances several months later while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.

Judge Waddoups’ order was both clear and concise. The items to which the FBI was to respond by June 30, 2011, and how the bureau responded (shown in italics after each item) appear below:

1.  Affirm whether the six government officials from the FBI and CIA who had submitted affidavits in this case had misrepresented information or provided incomplete or otherwise misleading information to the Court. In response to this item, the only thing Judge Waddoups received as an affidavit from David M. Hardy, section chief of the FBI’s Record/Information Dissemination Section of the Records Management Division in Winchester, Va.  The CIA submitted nothing.

Click on image above to download document.

Click on image above to download document.

2.  Advise whether the I-Drive and S-Drive, data storage areas on the FBI computer system, were searched for the videotapes and other documents sought by my FOIA request and, if not, why not. In response, the FBI told the judge the I-Drive no longer exists and that FBI officials have no reason to believe that S-Drive would contain anything.

3. State whether the Evidence Control Centers or other evidence storage facilities located at FBI Headquarters, the FBI Crime Lab and FBI Oklahoma City Field Office were manually searched for the videotapes and other requested materials and, if not, explain why such searches were not done. The FBI responded by saying their headquarters does not have an Evidence Control Center and that the FBI Crime Lab was instructed to send all OKBOMB materials to the Oklahoma City FBI Field Office, where they were placed in a warehouse.  According to Hardy, “it is always possible” that these materials/evidence “might have been misfiled and thus could be located somewhere other than in the OKBOMB file (though it would be impossible to know where).”

4. Manually search the OKBOMB physical files at FBI Headquarters, the FBI Crime Lab and the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office for the videotapes and other requested documents or provide evidence as to why such a search would be too burdensome. The FBI responded, explaining to the judge that no manual search was done because to manually search the 450,000 pages of the physical file that might contain the location of this evidence, would require one and one-half years of an FBI agent’s time.

5. Provide the court with an affidavit from Mr. Hardy stating that he does not know of either the existence of or the likely locations of the videotapes and that he is unaware of anyone else that may know of the existence or likely locations of the videotapes. The FBI response via Hardy:  “I am unaware of the existence or likely location of additional tapes responsive to the plaintiff’s FOIA request, including tapes from the Murrah Building or any additional Hanger tape other than the tape that plaintiff already received, and do not know of anyone who would know where additional tapes would be located.”

In an email July 1, 2011, Jesse Trentadue pointed out several things to me about the FBI’s response as being “noteworthy.”

“There is no affidavit from someone within the FBI stating that the tapes do not exist,” he wrote, adding that FBI officials couldn’t make such a claim, because it would conflict with three sworn affidavits, the contents of which had already been made public.

In a post published April 7, 2011,  I shared documents Trentadue had shared with me that contain fodder provided by three people — OKC police officer Don Browning, private security specialist Bradford Cooley and FBI Special Agent Ricardo Ojeda — that sheds light on the FBI’s response to the FOIA request.

Office Browning noted in a declaration to the court that he and other non-federal rescuers were ordered to leave the Murrah Building soon after the bomb exploded despite the need to move quickly in hopes of locating and, hopefully, saving victims trapped by the blast. In addition, he wrote the following:

Click on image above to download document.

Click on image above to download document.

That same morning, I observed men wearing jackets with “FBI” printed on the back removing the surveillance video cameras from the exterior of the Murrah Federal Building. I thought this was part of the FBI’s evidence gathering or “chain of custody” procedures since those exterior cameras would have shown and recorded delivery of the bomb in a Ryder truck that morning as well as the person or persons who exited that truck.

I knew from my training and experience as a police officer that an investigation of the bombing and prosecution of those involved would require not only preserving the videotapes of the event but also require preserving the cameras and tape decks by which those videotapes were made. Nevertheless, I did think it odd that the FBI’s removal of those cameras was taking place while many people were still trapped alive in the rubble of the Murrah Federal Building and so many of us were working desperately to find them.

Cooley’s declaration, in which he outlined his knowledge of the surveillance systems at the Murrah Building, included the following hard-to-ignore observations:

Click on image above to download document.

Click on image above to download document.

From my knowledge of the video surveillance system in place at the Murrah Federal Building, an my presence on scene just after the bomb exploded, I have no doubt that the two external cameras on the Northwest and Northeast corners of the Building would certainly have recorded the entire event. Those cameras would even have recorded the delivery of the bomb to the Murrah Federal Building in a Ryder truck and, most importantly, those cameras would also have recorded everyone who exited that truck prior to the explosion. Because of their distance from the Murrah Federal Building, ADT’s offices were not destroyed or otherwise damaged in the bombing, which means that the videotapes should still exist.

In a sworn affidavit dated May 21, 2001, FBI Special Agent Ojeda outlined how the FBI handled information they did not want to see brought up in court:

Click on image above to download document.

Click on image above to download document.

The FBI also kept “zero files,” which were reports containing information that the FBI would not generally want disclosed to the defense and which were kept separate from a specific case file. These files were kept internally within the Bureau and typically were not turned over to the prosecution or the defense. Files would be assigned numbers bases on the type of offense or investigation involved, for example, a bank robbery would be assigned a particular number. A letter A after that number would mean highest importance. A zero after that number would mean that the report should go into the “zero” file.

On the last page of his affidavit, Ojeda added the statement below:

Although there are many very good FBI agents, there are also FBI agents, including some who worked on the Oklahoma City bombing case, who are willing to subvert the truth in order to protect fellow agents.

In addition to the conflicts surfacing between the FBI’s stance and statements made in the affidavits above, it appears FBI officials are playing a shell game with Jesse Trentadue and the judge.

Jesse Trentadue pointed out that, for the first time in three years, the FBI said that all Oklahoma City Bombing-related evidence and documents are in a warehouse somewhere in Oklahoma City.  In addition, he noted that bureau officials misrepresented the purpose of the S-Drive before the court.

“This was the time and the place for FBI officials to come forward with evidence of no tapes, but they did not,” said Jesse Trentadue during an interview Friday about the matter.  “They are, in plain English, in contempt of the court’s order.”

For more details about this long-running FOIA case being adjudicated before Judge Clark Waddoups in a federal court in Salt Lake City, I suggest you watch this chilling one-hour video below. After that, read other posts about the Oklahoma City Bombing Trial and stay tuned for more details.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

‘The Financial Coach’ Sentenced to 9 Years in Federal Prison

Federal Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced Bryan C. Binkholder to nine years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release during a sentencing hearing Friday at 10:30 a.m. inside a 10th-floor courtroom at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. In addition, the judge ordered Binkholder to make full restitution of more than $3 million the court said he owes his victims .

The Financial Coach Show

If the name rings familiar, it’s because Binkholder hosted “The Financial Coach Show” on Saturday afternoons on FM Newstalk 97.1, St. Louis’ only conservative FM radio station, from 2009 until early 2012. when his face appeared on the station’s airstaff listing for the last time during the first week of February 2012. A source told me Binkholder had also bankrolled many of the costs involved in staging the first St. Louis Tea Party event at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis in 2009, but I could not obtain confirmation of that today.

Binkholder’s sentencing came several weeks after he accepted a plea deal on four counts of committing financial crimes involving real estate investments in St. Louis and Florida, and brings to a close an investigation that began at the state level more than five years ago and later appeared on the radar of federal investigators.

Attorney Albert Watkins tried to convince Judge White to reduce the number of points levied against Binkholder per federal sentencing guidelines and thereby reduce his sentence, but the judge wasn’t to be persuaded.

While being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit after the hearing, Binkholder turned toward the gallery — where approximately 60 people were in attendance, including his wife and one of his three children — and told those who had not yet left they would get all of their money back if the government handled things (i.e., the assets involved) properly.

Binkholder’s attorney told the court his client will need a court-appointed attorney to handle his appeal which must be filed within 14 days.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

National News Media Outlets Ignore Current Oklahoma City Bombing Trial During Week of 20th Anniversary Milestone

Thanks to our nation’s news media paying scant attention to the case, few Americans are aware that a second Oklahoma City Bombing trial has been taking place in federal court in Salt Lake City for several years. Even during the week leading up to the 20th anniversary of the deadly man-made disaster, I could find only three minor media outlets mentioned the plaintiff attorney in their coverage. Only three.

In this trial exhibit, two Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building surveillance cameras are shown, circled in red.

In this trial exhibit, two Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building surveillance cameras are shown, circled in red.

Despite the fact Judge Clark Waddoups, the federal judge handling the case, is expected to make a decision within the next few months, the nation’s news media seemed interested only in the official government narrative when it came time to cover the milestone anniversary.

Despite the fact that Judge Waddoups threatened the FBI with contempt of court for their behavior during the trial.

Despite the fact that Judge Waddoups was asked to appoint a special master to investigate allegations of FBI witness tampering against an FBI agent who was arrested a short time later on disturbing, but unrelated, charges.

The only things plaintiff attorney Jesse Trentadue seeks to obtain via the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit he filed against the FBI seven years ago are copies of surveillance camera videotapes taken from cameras in the area of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City during the minutes prior to the deadly blast at 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995. Both government documents and sworn affidavits from witnesses — including members of more than one law enforcement agency — point to the FBI as having taken possession of the videotapes in question soon after the bombing. The FBI, however, seems to have reason(s) to want to keep those tapes out of Trentadue’s hands — and, in turn, out of public view.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

To learn more about this trial, which I’ve been covering for six years, click here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty’s Weekly Recap: Jan. 11-24

Since my last weekly recap, I’ve spent more time working on my next fiction novel than I have in following news of the day. That in mind, I ask a question: It is possibly to cover two weeks of work in a single weekly recap at BobMcCarty.com? Answer: It is, and I prove it today!

A U.S. Sailor, foreground, assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion conducts an early morning patrol while detainees stand by in the background at the recreation yard inside Camp Delta at Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, July 7, 2010. JTF Guantanamo provides safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

In a post Jan. 12, I made the point that Americans deserve more facts about the activities at Guantanamo Bay and about the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings. Click on the image above to read the post.

In a Jan. 12 post, I made the point that Americans deserve more facts about the activities at Guantanamo Bay and about the Oklahoma City Bombing and Boston Marathon Bombing. I can’t blame you if you struggle to grasp how the three might be connected, but I think you’ll get it after you read the article.

In a Jan. 17 post, I shared guest writer Paul R. Hollrah’s take on bloody massacres and “solutions”  to the “Muslim problem,” some of which he describes as “totally useless and pointless” and others as “quite draconian.”

The word balloon of the cartoon that appeared on the cover of the Nov. 3, 2011, issue of Charlie Hebdo -- renamed Charia Hebdo ("Sharia Hebdo") -- reads "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!"

Click on the graphic above to read a guest piece about “solutions” to the Muslim problem.

Due to a fly-there-drive-back three-day round-trip to South Texas, I produced little in the way of writing products online or offline Jan. 18-20. Upon returning home, however, I shared news about the courtroom portion of another Oklahoma City Bombing trial that ended recently in Salt Lake City federal court. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself among the millions of Americans unaware another trial was even taking place. Instead, read and share my Jan. 21 post and my Jan. 23 post mentioned in more details near the end of this recap.

After reading about Air Force Maj. Gen. James Post allegedly saying Air Force personnel committed treason when they exercised their right to free speech, I used the headline of a second Jan. 21 post to ask the question, Is Speaking Out in Favor of A-10 ‘Warthog’ Treasonous?

In a third Jan. 21 post, I shared another Amazon customer’s 5-star review of my just-released crime-fiction novel, The National Bet. You can read about the review under the headline, Reader Enjoyed The National Bet ‘From Start to Finish’.

In my fourth and final Jan. 21 post, I explain why my reasons for watching the blockbuster film, American Sniper, are unlike anyone else’s.

In a Jan. 23 post, I hammered away at the subpar journalism taking place in my birth state of Oklahoma when it comes to covering the aforementioned Oklahoma City Bombing trial in Salt Lake City. Read about it under the headline, News Media Fails to Provide Thorough Coverage of Latest Oklahoma City Bombing Trial in Salt Lake City Federal Court.

Away from BobMcCarty.com, I’ve encountered numerous articles and Facebook status updates about the growing crop of Republican presidential hopefuls. In response, I’ve shared the link to another guest piece by Hollrah, a former two-time member of the Electoral College. Sadly, his facts seem to upset some of my fellow conservatives. You can read it where it appears under the headline, Ted, Bobby, Marco and Rick Share Something in Common. I’d love to hear your reaction.

That’s all for now!  I hope you enjoy my work. Please buy my books to ensure it keeps coming! Thanks in advance!

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

News Media Fails to Provide Thorough Coverage of Latest Oklahoma City Bombing Trial in Salt Lake City Federal Court

Two days ago, I shared news about the courtroom portion of a little-publicized Oklahoma City Bombing Trial coming to an end in federal court in Salt Lake City. Then I waited for members of the news media in Oklahoma City and around the world to share news about the trial. For the most part, I heard crickets.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

While I never expected members of the national media to devote much time and attention to the case, I remained hopeful that so-called “journalists” in the state where I earned my journalism degree would see the news value of the trial. Sadly, they’ve underwhelmed me.

While reporters at NewsOK.com, the online home of the state’s largest print newspaper (The Oklahoman), have covered the trial, the coverage has lacked enthusiasm. Proof can be found in the fact that five months have passed since the last trial-related report in which the name of the plaintiff, Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, was mentioned appeared on the site under the headline, FBI agent to testify in Oklahoma City videos case.

Conversely, yours truly has published several articles since that date, the date I shared news under the headline, Documents Raise Serious Questions As New Oklahoma City Bombing Trial Takes Place in Federal Court in Utah, and included a chilling one-hour video of Trentadue explaining his quest:

• On Nov. 7, I shared news about Federal Judge Clark Waddoups threatening FBI officials with contempt of court for failing to comply with his order and provide a required report.

• On Dec. 3, I shared news about Judge Waddoups being asked by Trentadue to appoint a special master to investigate allegations of FBI witness tampering.

• On Dec. 16, I shared news about the arrest of an FBI agent who allegedly beat up his girlfriend. The story was relevant inasmuch as the agent involved was the same one I had mentioned in the Dec. 3 report as having allegedly told a key witness to take a vacation.

On the FBI website, the Oklahoma City bombing is described as "the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history." Click on image above to read why this narrative appears to be false.

On the FBI website, the Oklahoma City bombing is described as “the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history.” Click on image above to read why this narrative appears to be false.

• On Dec. 30, I asked a question — Does ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Label Apply to OKC Bombing? — after learning Trentadue had obtained evidence that led him to say, “My thoughts are that the CIA could only have been involved if there was some foreign connection,” after I asked him to explain the involvement of the intelligence agency tasked with the collection of national intelligence outside the United States.

Of course, NewsOK.com isn’t the only Oklahoma City news outlet failing to keep Oklahomans informed. Local television stations have, for the most part, dropped the ball as well.

For instance, News9.com hasn’t broadcast a story in which the name of the plaintiff, Trentadue, was mentioned since July 30, 2014. Likewise, KFOR-TV hasn’t mentioned Trentadue in a story of their own since July 31, 2014, though they did share a Salt Lake City station’s story Nov. 13. Following suit, KOKH-Fox 25 has aired only two pieces during the past year — one on Aug. 17 and the other Aug. 22.

The only television station in the state capitol city appearing to have made a slight effort to report about the trial was KOCO-TV. During 2014, the station aired five no-byline pieces — July 30*, Aug. 1, Aug. 26, Oct. 28 and Nov. 11*. Sadly, two of them — each marked by an asterisk (*) — spanned only four paragraphs.

Worth noting: I did not dive into the radio scene, because there are simply too few radio journalists anymore to make such a look worthwhile.

As The X-Files characters “Mulder” and “Scully” said so often, “The truth is out there.” Now, I think Trentadue is on the verge of finding it. Judge Waddoups is expected to issue a ruling in the case by the end of the year, so stay tuned!

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.