Bob McCarty’s Top 5 Oklahoma City Bombing Stories of 2013

For more than four years, I’ve been reporting updates related to the tragic events that took place in and around downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.  Below, I share the Top 5 stories of 2013 from my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing:

Untold Stories of the OKC Bombing#5. Memo Filed in Advance of 2014 Oklahoma City Bombing Trial – Almost two months after sharing news about a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial being set for Spring 2014, I received copies of Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue’s proposed Trial Memorandum in which he outlines the case he hopes will result in FBI officials handing over copies of videotapes they have, thusfar, refused to produce.

#4. New Oklahoma City Bombing Trial Set for Spring 2014 – I shared a federal judge’s ruling that a trial will be held to resolve a long-running legal battle between Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue and the FBI over videotape footage recorded in downtown Oklahoma City April 19, 1995 — footage the Salt Lake City attorney believes will help him unravel a mystery almost two decades old.

#3. Truth Remains Elusive 18 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing – This piece served as my recap of my coverage of events related to the Oklahoma City Bombing on the 18th anniversary of the event.

FBI Informants in Churches?#2. Are FBI Informants Working Inside America’s Churches? – I asked this headline-shaping question regarding Trentadue’s motion to learn whether the FBI has informants working inside American churches.

#1. Brother of Murder Victim Seeks Details of FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’ – Trentadue filed a motion asking a federal judge to determine whether he is entitled to limited discovery into the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program.”

If you enjoyed these stories and others I shared during 2013, you’ll love reading my books. Be sure to add Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO to your libraries today!  Both are available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.com.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Everything Redacted in 4-Page Document About the FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue has received three heavily-redacted batches of recently-declassified documents from the FBI in recent days as partial responses to his ongoing quest for materials related to the Bureau’s “Sensitive Informant Program.”  The most recent document, however, could qualify as the most-heavily-redacted document ever offered in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.  Everything — four pages in all — is redacted!  See pics below.

OKC FBI TRANSP 1 OKC FBI TRANSP 2

OKC FBI TRANSP 3OKC FBI TRANSP 4

In an email message Thursday morning, Trentadue describes this latest set of documents as “certainly in line with the Administration’s position on FOIA and the need for ‘transparency.’”

Trentadue has sought details about the “Sensitive Informant Program” in an effort to learn more about the brutal death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995 and about the connection he believes exists between his brother’s death and the investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

As I reported in a Nov. 21 update to this post, federal Judge Clark Waddoups has set May 5, July 28-30, 2014, as the date on which a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial will begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division.  The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time, is expected to last three days and could produce some bombshells.

To learn more about Trentatude’s long-running legal battle with the FBI, watch the chilling one-hour video below:

To learn more of my coverage about Trentadue’s battle for justice, read Truth Remains Elusive 18 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing and other articles in my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing, that dates back to April 2009 and includes more than 30 original articles.

UPDATE #1 2/28/2014 at 4:45 p.m. Central:  I just learned from a source close to the case that the new trial has been pushed back to July 28-30.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’ Back in the News

Nine months after Jesse Trentadue filed a motion aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Information Program,” FBI officials provided the Salt Lake City attorney with what he described as “another dump of documents.”

Trentadue Motion for Limited Disc 2-27-13

Click to download motion filed 2-27-13.

Via email this afternoon, Trentadue said the documents he received were declassified a little more than a month ago and reveal the FBI has a sophisticated program to recruit sensitive informants and its agents are going to withhold as much information as possible about that program.

Once Trentadue obtains more details about the “Sensitive Informant Program,” he hopes those details will help him learn more about the brutal death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995 and about the connection he believes exists between his brother’s death and the investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  As I reported in a Nov. 23 update to a piece published Sept. 9, a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial is set to take place May 5, July 28-30, 2014 in Salt Lake City.  With Judge Clark Waddoups presiding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, the trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and is expected to last three days.  Hopefully, the upcoming trial will grab the attention of more Americans who, like Trentatude, merely want to know the truth.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingTo learn more about Jesse Trentadue’s quest to learn more about his brother’s deaths, read my posts in the series, Kenneth Trentadue Murder Case, or watch this chilling one-hour video in which he recounts his long-running battle for truth.

To learn more about the bigger picture surrounding this case, read my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING, which includes my Exclusive Interviews About the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Memo Filed in Advance of 2014 Oklahoma City Bombing Trial

UPDATE #3 2/28/2014 at 4:42 p.m. Central:  I just learned from a source close to the case that it has been pushed back to July 28-30.

UPDATE #2 11/21/2013 at 5:36 p.m. Central:  Judge Clark Waddoups has set May 5, 2014, as the date on which the next Oklahoma City Bombing trial will begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division.  The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and is expected to last three days.  Details about the trial are in the article below.

UPDATE 11/21/2013 at 8:22 a.m. Central:  A spring 2014 court date for another Oklahoma City Bombing trial should be set later today. I will post details as soon as they become available.

Today, almost two months after sharing news about a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial being set for Spring 2014, I received copies of Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue’s proposed Trial Memorandum in which he outlines the case he hopes will result in FBI officials handing over copies of videotapes they have, thusfar, refused to produce.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingVia the Freedom of Information Act, Trentadue has spent most of the past five years trying to obtain copies of videotape images captured by more than 20 surveillance cameras operating in the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City prior to 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995.

While the FBI did produce tapes from the buildings around the Murrah Building, the tapes had been edited, Trentadue said.  As for the tapes from the cameras on the Murrah Building, the contents of which are described in a timeline prepared by the Secret Service, the FBI does not dispute the existence of the unedited versions of the surveillance tapes recorded prior to the blast; instead, they say they cannot find them.  In addition, FBI officials have refused to provided the one-time star athlete at the University of Southern California with a copy of the original videotape showing the arrest of Timothy McVeigh as recorded on the dashboard camera of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Hanger’s vehicle the day of the bombing.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Below, I offer an excerpt from the document shared with me today.  Please note that I have removed footnotes and, in a few cases, added links for downloading other referenced documents and graphics to lead you to related articles.

Trentadue Proposed Pre-Trial 11-05-13In the Order of September 9, 2013, the Court announced its intention to conduct a bench trial with respect to Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment.  The Court also ordered the parties to submit a Trial Memorandum. In response to that Order, Plaintiff hereby submits his proposed Trial Memorandum.

OKC Bombing Interviews

Click to read interviews.

This suit arises under the Freedom 0f Information Act (“FOIA”). Plaintiff requested the Defendants to produce a number of videotapes: (1) the original Videotape taken by the dashboard camera on Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Charles Hanger’s vehicle showing the arrest of Timothy McVeigh on the morning of April 19, 1995; and (2) surveillance videotapes taken on the morning of April 19, 1995 by exterior cameras mounted on the following, among other, Buildings:  (a) Murrah Federal Building; (b) Journal Record Building; (c) Regency Tower Apartment Building; Southwestern Bell Building, (e) YMCA Building, and (f), as described by a contemporaneous government records, a “security camera” videotape showing “the Ryder truck pulling up to the Federal Building and then pausing (7-10 seconds) before resuming into a slot in the front of the building” and “the truck detonation 3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck.”  Plaintiff also requested copies of all reports, including 302′s, that described and/or referenced Defendants having possession of these videotapes.

Hussain Al-Hussaini (Quincy P.D. Photo)

Author: ‘Third Terrorist’ Arrested in Quincy, Mass.

In response, Defendants produced 160 pages of documents related to the videotapes but only very few of these documents concerned the videotapes requested by Plaintiff; whereas most of these documents were irrelevant in that they related to videotapes from other locations and even other states, including videotapes of television news casts about the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.  However, Defendants did not produce several key documents related to their having possession of the videotapes requested by Plaintiff.  Defendants, for example, did not produced to Plaintiff a report that the Operations Manager at the Journal Record Building had handed over a videotape to the FBI taken from an exterior camera on the building that had “been blown off the wall” by the explosion and might show the “persons responsible;” a document reporting that the FBI had reviewed videotapes from the Journal Record Building and Southwestern Bell surveillance cameras which were “positive” for images of the “suspects” and/or “explosion” a document showing that on November 25, 1995 two surveillance tapes were being held in the FBI’s Washington Metropolitan Field Office” or a document stating that certain videotapes were being kept in the “valuable evidence vault.”

Trentadue Motion for Limited Disc 2-27-13

Are FBI Informants Working Inside Churches?

Defendants also produced what appeared to be an edited version of the Hanger videotape, but claimed not to be able to locate the original videotape, which they took into evidence on April 27, 1995.  With respect to the videotapes from surveillance cameras that Plaintiff had requested, Defendants provided no tapes from the Murrah Building surveillance cameras nor any records related to those tapes. While Defendants did produce tapes from cameras at the Journal Record Building, Southwestern Bell Building and Regency Towers, they produced none from the exterior cameras directed at the Murrah Building even though they took those tapes in to evidence; and Defendants also did not produce tapes from the YMCA Building or a videotape showing “the Ryder truck pulling up to the Federal Building and then pausing (7-10 seconds) before resuming into a slot in the front of the building” and “the truck detonation 3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck.”

On May 5, 2011, the Court entered an Order requiring Defendants to conduct additional searches for the videotapes and related records.  The Order further provided that if Defendants did not conduct those searches, they were to explain to the Court Why such searches would not be reasonably calculated to locate the videotapes and documents. Defendants did not conduct the additional searches. Neither did they submit a credible explanation to the Court for not having done so.

‘Operation Fast and Furious’ Coverup Not Unique

Nevertheless, Defendants have moved for summary judgment contending that they have only an edited version of the Hanger videotape, not the original; and that they can not find the Murrah Building surveillance tapes.  Defendants offer no explanation for not producing the other videotapes referenced above. Instead, Defendants insist that they did adequate, but limited, computerized searches of their ZyIndex and ACS data bases for the videotapes and documents which failed to locate additional videotapes or related records, and that is supposedly all that is required of them under the FOIA.

To download the entire document from which the excerpt above was gleaned, including footnotes, click here.

To learn more about the Oklahoma City Bombing, read my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKC BOMBING.

To learn more about why Trentadue wants the videotapes, watch the riveting video below:

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Rush, Rabbits, Rules and More: Three Weeks of News Reviewed

Because it’s been a while since I offered a week-in-review post, I thought I’d offer a review of the last three weeks of big news stories at BobMcCarty.com.

Limbaugh Letter Sept 2013On Sept. 1, I shared news about Rush Limbaugh highlighting a hare-brained story of mine in the September 2013 edition of The Limbaugh Letter.  That story highlighted the lunacy of the USDA telling Marty Hahne (a.k.a., “Marty the Magician”) he had to write a disaster plan for the three-pound rabbit he uses in his magic show.

On Sept. 2, I explained how, in his statement on Syria, President Barack Obama had demonstrated his support of mob rule by using the word democracy, instead of republic, to describe United States during his statement on Syria.

WaPo Black Budget Graphic

In a piece published Sept. 3, I observed how the content of “black budget” documents given to the Washington Post by NSA contractor-turned document leaker Edward Snowden resemble and/or overlap with the findings of the four-year investigation upon which my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, is based.

ODNI GITMO Reengage 2013 LR

On Sept. 6, I made the point that 28 was too high a number when used to describe the percentage of detainees who have returned to their terrorist ways after being released from detention at Guantanamo Bay.  I even shared a table of statistics!

That same day, I shared news about an Indiana man being sentenced to eight months in prison for using well-known technological flaws in the polygraph to teach people how to pass polygraph exams.

On Sept. 9, I shared a retired Army two-star general’s informed opinion about possible U.S. intervention in Syria.  It was, of course, an opinion with which many might disagree; still, I shared it and found it quite logical.

Later that day, I broke news about a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial being set for Spring 2014 to resolve a legal battle over the FBI’s refusal to turn over videotapes recorded prior to 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995. Not surprisingly, news about the upcoming federal trial in Salt Lake City went unreported by major media outlets for six days after it appeared on my front page.

On Sept. 10, I offered an update about the aforementioned case that involved an Indiana man and how-to-beat-the-polygraph lessons.  Of course, it included a glimpse of the “elephant in the room” that was ignored by federal prosecutors in the case.

Three days later, I used a new article to reveal how my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, reveals disturbing documents related to the vetting process being used to screen Afghan recruits before they’re allowed to work alongside Americans.

Extortion 17 Lives lost

The images above are those of the men lost while serving their country in Afghanistan aboard a CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter — call sign “Extortion 17.”

On Sept. 16, I used a serious question — Did Afghan Officials Play Deadly Role in Navy SEALs Helo Crash? — in a headline to introduce the first of two pieces based on my review of an investigation report that followed the crash of a helicopter — call sign “Extortion 17″ — in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011.  That crash, by the way, resulted in the single-largest loss of life in U.S. Naval Special Warfare history.

On Sept. 18 and 19, respectively, I shared articles highlighting a not-for-profit foundation helps Gold Star family members heal and my virtual conversation with an Army polygraph instructor who told me he had purchased a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

A sensor operator aboard an AC-130U performs preflight system checks before takeoff at Hurlburt Field, Fla. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek.

A sensor operator aboard an AC-130U performs preflight system checks before takeoff at Hurlburt Field, Fla. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek.

Finally, on Sept. 20, I shared a follow-up to my piece four days earlier about the Extortion 17 mission.  The crux of the story:  If the crew of an Air Force AC-130 gunship had been allowed to engage the enemy sooner, the single-largest death toll in U.S. Naval Special Warfare history might have been avoided.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

New Oklahoma City Bombing Trial Set for Spring 2014

UPDATE #3 2/28/2014 at 4:40 p.m. Central:  I just learned from a source close to the case that it has been pushed back to July 28-30.

UPDATE #2 11/23/2013 at 9:56 a.m. Central:  Judge Clark Waddoups has set May 5, 2014, as the date on which the next Oklahoma City Bombing trial will begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division.  The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and is expected to last three days.  For more details about the trial, see Memo Filed in Advance of 2014 Oklahoma City Bombing Trial.

UPDATE 9/15/2013 at 4:55 p.m. Central:  Fox News Channel’s Eric Shawn is finally on the case.  See video below:

A federal judge in Utah ruled today that a trial will be held to resolve a long-running legal battle between Jesse Trentadue and the FBI over videotape footage recorded in downtown Oklahoma City April 19, 1995 — footage the Salt Lake City attorney believes will help him unravel a mystery almost two decades old.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingThe mystery in this case surrounds the death of Jesse Trentadue’s brother, Kenneth Trentadue, who died under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City several months after the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Via the Freedom of Information Act, Jesse Trentadue has spent most of the past five years trying to obtain copies of videotape images captured by more than 20 surveillance cameras operating in the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City prior to 9:02 a.m. on that fateful spring day.

While the FBI did produce tapes from the buildings around the Murrah Building, the tapes had been edited, Trentadue said.  As for the tapes from the cameras on the Murrah Building, the contents of which are described in a timeline prepared by the Secret Service, the FBI does not dispute that the existence of the unedited versions of the surveillance tapes recorded prior to the blast; instead, they say they cannot find them.  In addition, FBI officials have refused to provided the one-time star athlete at the University of Southern California with a copy of the original videotape showing the arrest of Timothy McVeigh as recorded on the dashboard camera of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Hanger’s vehicle the day of the bombing.

In a piece published 29 months ago, I shared an excerpt from a memo Jesse Trentadue presented to the judge overseeing this case, Judge Clark Waddoups of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, who made today’s ruling.  Shown below, it highlights how FBI officials seem to want to limit the public’s access to the videotapes by ignoring transparency laws such as FOIA:

The American public has a right to know what happened in Oklahoma City on the morning of April 19, 1995 and, more importantly, why?  Yet, it is obvious that for some reason FBI Defendants do not want the truth about the Oklahoma City bombing made public.  Perhaps the reason is as simple as: the Federal Government’s prior knowledge of that planned attack and failure to prevent it, or that there were others involved whom the Federal government chose not to expose and/or prosecute.  But whatever the reason, that is precisely why the FOIA became law: to protect the right of American citizens to know their own history and, more importantly, their government.  And that is why the Court should reject the FBI Defendants’ claim that their only obligation is to search their computerized records for this evidence knowing that it is not there and once that search they knew would fail has been concluded, they need do no more.

Today’s ruling could force the FBI to hand over the videotape footage which they’ve never denied existed but have been more than reluctant to have anyone see.

To gain a better understanding of why Jesse Trentadue has pursued this information so diligently, watch the video below — the pertinent segment of which begins just before the 3-minute mark:

Jesse Trentadue told me he expects the trial will be scheduled to take place Spring 2014.

To learn more about this case, read Truth Remains Elusive 18 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing and other articles in my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing.  Dating back to April 2009, it includes more than 30 original articles.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Documentary Offers Surprising New Details About OKC Bombing

When Chris Emery asked me to review a film, I was skeptical at first.  It was only because a mutual friend had sent him my way that I agreed to take a look at it.  Today, I’m glad I watched Free Mind Films’ two-hour documentary about the Oklahoma City Bombing, A NOBLE LIE.

A NOBLE LIE dvd cover

Click image to visit film’s website.

Before watching A NOBLE LIE, I thought I had the market cornered when it came to knowledge of investigations, official and unofficial, related to the Oklahoma City Bombing.  When it arrived in my mailbox, my interest grew upon seeing it had received awards at no fewer than 10 film festivals across the county.  After watching the film, I realized I had learned something I hadn’t known about what really happened in downtown Oklahoma City the morning of April 19, 1995.

In my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing, I’ve shared dozens of articles about investigations — official and unofficial — into the events that took place before and after 168 people lost their lives in and around the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  I had not, however, shared a great deal of technical information about explosives science.

In A NOBLE LIE, Emery and his colleagues introduced me to insight offered by several technically-savvy experts who offered their professional opinions, backed up by first-hand experience with high-yield explosives and high-impact terror events.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingWhen I shared my feedback with Emery, the only criticism I had to offer had to do with the amount of time — less than five minutes, I figure — the film makers allotted Alex Jones, the man behind the InfoWars website.

“If I was editing the film and its financing did not depend on giving Alex Jones more face time,” I wrote in a message to Emery, “I would have left him out or limited him to a minor role. He’s simply too polarizing, and giving him so much time reduces the film’s credibility among those who are harder to convince in the first place.”

I don’t want to spoil the film for you, so I’ll end my commentary with this:  Even with Jones’ involvement, A NOBLE LIE is worth buying, watching and sharing — and not just because it was made by people in the state of my birth (i.e., Oklahoma).  It backs up everything I’ve reported — and more!

The full-length version of the documentary below offers a glimpse:

After watching this film, I encourage you to purchase a copy at ANobleLie.com so these film makers can recoup their expenses on this project and pursue others in the near future.

NOTE:  Because the video above was removed by the folks who posted it on YouTube, I offer links to Trailer #1 and Trailer 2 as a substitute.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.