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Feds Distrusted by OK Relatives

  • Families of the Oklahoma bombing victims are saying that the federal government had prior knowledge of the bombing conspiracy.

Johnnie Cochran, one of O.J. Simpson's defense lawyers in his criminal trial for murder, has been retained by more than 300 relatives of the people killed in the Oklahoma city federal building bomb blast two years ago. The relatives are suing the federal government.

Taking the same posture as numerous non-government investigators and authors, Cochran and his Oklahoma co-counsel John Merritt allege that the bombing was a bungled sting operation by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).

In a "wrongful death" petition filed in Oklahoma County District Court, the attorneys allege that numerous federal officials had "detailed prior knowledge of the planned bombing" yet "failed to prevent it from taking place.

Documents obtained by the Sunday Times of London indicate that the Tulsa office of the BATF was about to arrest a group of alleged "neo-Nazis who were said to be plotting to blow up federal buildings in Oklahoma.

The BATF's planned action was pinned on the undercover surveillance of an informant, Carol Howe. But the FBI intervened in February 1995 to stop the BATF raid. Two months later, the Murrah building was blown up.

"It appears that the local BATF had stumbled on a bigger operation being run by the grown-ups at the Justice Department," said Ambrose-Evans Pritchard, the Washington correspondent for the Sunday Times until earlier this year.

The implications of the FBI interference scenario indicate government collusion in the bombing of the federal building. And the Sunday Times is not known for making unfounded accusations.

The Cochran lawsuit could ultimately bring out the truth regarding the strange activities of Andreas Strassmeir and his close friend, attorney Kirk Lyons.

Although the Washington Post (long the daily voice of the CIA in the nation's capital) has rushed to assure its readers that there's no evidence that Strassmeir was ever a federal undercover operative, there are those who are firmly convinced that Strassmeir was indeed precisely that and that he may have had foreknowledge of the Oklahoma bombing conspiracy.

The Lyons has been so vehement in his defense of Strassmeir has led some people to speculate that Lyons has been, in fact, Strassmeir's government "handler," using their attorney-client privilege to mask the covert relationship.

The new book, No Amateur Did This, examines the strange activities of both Strassmeir and Lyons in some detail. Now, with the advent of the Cochran lawsuit, the truth about the Strassmeir-Lyons connection may finally come out.

A number of lawsuits in addition to the Cochran suit have been filed, including one that targets the British chemical company ICI.

The company is named in a suit on the grounds that its "agent," ICI Explosives USA, manufactured the fertilizer that might have been used in the bombing.

A claim filed in a federal court in March by 50 families was "clearly motivated by suspicions of an FBI coverup," not by avarice, according to published reports.

According to United Kingdom sources, the case against ICI Explosives USA is not likely to get very far since it was based on the original FBI pronouncement that the truck bomb was made of ammonium Nitrate. But, "A Damning report by the Inspector General of the Justice Department has concluded that the fertilizer hypothesis was not based on forensic evidence from the crime scene," published reports indicated. It was "conjured our of thin air after ammonium nitrate fertilizer was found at the home of Tim McVeigh's co-defendant, Terry Nichols," according to reports.

Most stories in the U.S. mainstream media-print and electronic - still refer to a "fertilizer bomb," even thought the inspector general's report noted that a dynamite wrapper was found at the bombing site, as was nitroglycerine an explosive that is also a component of dynamite, and dynamite contains ammonium nitrate.