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Grand Jury Probe Sparks Controversy

In Oklahoma County a grand jury has been formed to investigate the Oklahoma City bombing. The effort was led by state Sen. Charles Key (R). The show was a topic on Radio Free America (RFA) July 13. Pat Briley, an investigator from Oklahoma, has been on the story from the beginning. He was Tom Valentine's guest for this show. Valentine's questions and comments start with a Q. Briley's statements start with an R.

Q. Is this grand jury going to do the job, or is this grand jury going to continue the cover-up of all the details that are left hanging?

R. We have some warning flags going up here. Hopefully by pointing these things out and putting public pressure on the people running this grand jury we can avert some problems, but I am very concerned that we may not get the kind of answers we want out of this grand jury.

Q. You do not have the major newspaper in Oklahoma city on your side, but you did get on the major radio talk show there.

R. We were on KTOK, which is a major talk radio program here in Oklahoma City, and I was on there with Hoppy Heidelberg, the grand juror. We aired our concerns about the direction this grand jury is taking in hopes that it would warn some people to try to make some corrections.

During that program the talk show host took a poll. Starting about 6:30 he asked the people who called in to vote whether or not they had confidence in the district attorney to run a fair and open grand jury or not.

Around 7 o'clock the host reported that the poll result was 50-50. But by 8 the tide had turned. When we got off the program at 9 he announced that as a result of our efforts, the poll had shifted to 68 percent lacking confidence.

Q. Charles Key has been behind this all the way. Robert Macy is the district attorney. Is Macy cooperating with Charles Key?

R. Much more so than in the past. Robert Macy, the DA, fought Charles Key trough the district courts, and all the way to the state supreme court, trying to block having a county grand jury.

Macy still says there is no evidence of John Does, and it is a waste of time and money.

This same Robert Macy by the way is a very liberal Democrat, a very close friend of President Clinton, and about four years ago refused to prosecute eight felony indictments that another Oklahoma grand jury handed down after deliberating for two years, eight felonies against a sitting Democratic governor, who was a campaign manager for President Clinton.

Part of this has come out in the Daily Oklahoman: they have published the names of the grand jurors and given a thumbnail sketch of them. The foreman of the grand jury is an Oklahoma government employee who was a Gov. Frank Keating appointee.

Keating is also opposed to a grand jury. He has basically called anybody who has any kind of question a conspiracy nut.

Q. It's so frustrating to me that people can't see that there are questions that are not being answered.

R. We haven't gotten into all of it, but it gets worse. The situation of the grand jury being not perfectly run, or stacked makes it look like they are going to thwart any opportunity to have the right questions asked, or the right information come out. It appears also to gag witnesses and to seal away documents. Let me mention one other grand jury member before I get into that area.

There's another grand juror who has been announced, who is quoted, even in the selection process, that he considers the grand jury to be a waste of time and pointless.

Q. And he still was put on?

R. If you have a juror like that put on, who has already made up his mind, and then a juror who is an appointee of Keating as a foreman, It's not a very good selection process. Of course the judge and the prosecutors are aligned with Macy.

I think they pretty well selected who they thought would give them the best results.

Macy has jurisdiction over a number of county and city government agencies here that have been accused of forewarning, foreknowledge and cover-up, such as the fire department, the police department and the county bomb squad. Macy needs to be asked about what he knows about these things. It is conflict of interest.

Q. This grand jury testimony, it is a wonderful thing, we can do this as part of our system, but it is secret, and once you are subpoenaed and you go in there, you can't talk about what you said, and you are gagged. This thing could backfire on the people.

R. If they hear everybody's testimony in secret, and don't want to talk about it, and if we have a stacked grand jury and a possibly corrupt county prosecutor here, two things can happen.

The grand jurors may not hand down any indictment, or if they do, the DA may say, "Well, I reviewed them."

Of course they are sealed at the time, so nobody knows what they really are, and he says, "I reviewed them, and I refuse to prosecute because they don't have any validity."

The end result of either one of those worst-case scenarios is that the American people will be told, "Well, we examined the evidence, and we didn't find anything substantial there, so all of you conspiracy people can go home." In fact, however, there is a lot of hard evidence that they may just deliberately cover up.

Q. In a way, you really hope to be wrong about all of this.

R. I' not wrong about the warning signs that we have so far. But I hope I am wrong about where, ultimately it ends up. If we, by public criticism and suggestion, are able to get this back on track, the American justice system is such that the grand jury can provide a tremendous capability here to get at the truth.

You know, grand juries are supposed to be different than trials and regular legal processes. They are supposed to take their time, sift through all of the evidence, call not only expert witnesses, eyewitnesses, but also very good hearsay witnesses. And based on the hearsay witness testimony, call additional witnesses.

We have had the benefit of hearing the trial already, and we are going to have the Nichols trial come up. This grand jury has the advantage of being able to learn from both of those trials.

So if the prosecutor and the witnesses and the grand jurors take to heart what we talk about here, and try to do it right, we still have hope. But I want to say in advance what the problems are, and point out what this grand jury should be looking into. If these problems aren't rectified, and they don't look into these matters, we can show that the system was broken, and then we will have to go to other means.

I am not sure whether it is more publicity, congressional hearings itc, and it is better to complain about it now than after the fact, because if it is after the fact, they will just say, sour grapes, and ignore you.

Q. Didn't they also announce that there are certain witnesses that they are really not interested in hearing?

R. It appears that the grand jury is not going to call any significant hearsay witnesses, and there's an awful lot of hearsay witnesses who are important. There's no indication they are going to call witnesses relating to the Middle Eastern involvement, either Middle Eastern John Does seen at the scene or evidence of forewarning to the FBI from the Israelis and other people of a Middle Eastern attack on the federal building.

No FBI witnesses, expert witnesses, are being called, even though my efforts have been to try to get them to be called, after all this was the largest investigation ever in the United States, involving more FBI agents, more money, more time, than any other investigation ever. And we ought to get our taxpayer dollars' worth out of this.

There are four key FBI agents who need to be called to testify and share the results of their investigation. The inspector for the FBI, on the Oklahoma City task force, is Danny Dieffenbough. He went and interviewed Gen. Ben Partin last summer.

Q. We need to explain to people who may not know who Gen. Ben Partin is.

R. Gen Partin is well known now for his analysis of the Oklahoma city bomb forensics, and his conclusions are such that it's very unlikely that a single truck bomb, particularly an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil truck bomb, could have done the damage. He believes that in addition to the truck bomb there were charges placed within the building and a very sophisticated truck bomb probably had to be used as well.

The FBI interviewed him, and their leading inspector, Dieffenbough, who had thousands of FBI agents collecting evidence. They should be called to testify before this county grand jury.

Q. If the grand jury was to call you now, and you went in and testified as you are testifying right now, and gave them your documents, those documents could be sealed and that would be the last we should all hear of it.

R. They have already handed down at least 10-12 subpoenas, I don't know who all of them are yet, they have not been announced, but one of them was Dennis Mahon, a white supremacist in Tulsa who has made a lot of public statements, and know Darol Howe, and is connected to Elohim City.

Q. Carol Howe is the BATF informant that notified everybody in Oklahoma City, that there was going to be a bombing of the Murrah building. She was a paid informant, and now she is in trouble. The feds are trying to hush her up.

R. When you say Carol Howe was a BATF informant, I would like to add she's and FBI informant, and was so before the bombing.

Dennis Mahon, out in Tulsa, was subpoenaed and they asked for all tapes, notes and records. They want them. Now why is that important? First, of all, the judge and the prosecutor, once they get them, can seal them away. And they also can gag his testimony. That can occur to any other witness who is called, such as myself, or anyone else, They can get all your notes and records, and if it is your original, if you don't have any copies, they can have them forever, and they can gag your testimony -- I mean you can't talk about what you testified. That's why I am talking now.

Q. If you are gagged, your copies do not mean anything.

R. That's right, and that's why I am trying to air this now, With respect to Carol Howe, she was a paid informant, and she met with the FBI and the BATF prior to the bombing, not just after but before.

I might point out, even if the bombing had nothing to do with Oklahoma City, nevertheless it is an example of them having forewarning, foreknowledge, and it is consistent with the evidence we have that they (federal agents) were deployed around the federal building and yet did not alert anyone inside the building. That's why it is significant.

But let me explain what is happening to Carol Howe -- explain why it is relevant to his grand jury. As you remember, during the trial, Judge Richard Matsch publicly ruled her testimony irrelevant.

Privately he ruled that her testimony, along with a lot of other testimony, was not in the interest of national security, and therefore sealed her records and did not allow her testimony to go forward.

Jay Davis of channel 4 in Oklahoma city, had a lot of testimony about Middle Eastern involvement. She was not allowed to testify either. National security reasons were cited there as well. It's never been reported by the press, but it happened, and the press knew it.

Carol Howe is now being tried for some type of conspiracy charge to blow up federal buildings. Her attorney Carl Brewster is saying that she was not doing that, and the materials they found in her house was evidence she had been collecting as a BATF informant in the Oklahoma City case.

Q. And they are going to disavow her now.

R. Last week they started having hearings for her trial which is in about a month. During those proceedings a number of things happened. First of all, the judge in the case now has gagged everybody, gagged the attorneys, gagged Carol Howe, gagged everyone. They are not to discuss the case in any shape or form.

Q. Must be a very important case.

R. this shows you where the cover-up begins and how it affects the Oklahoma grand jury. What we couldn't learn at the federal trial, we were trying to learn at the county grand jury. We hoped that she could be subpoenaed.

The U.S. attorney now, in this case against carol Howe, has filed a notion before the court, asking that the court not only gag any testimony she has about the Oklahoma city bombing, but also that they rule this irrelevant and not allow it to be even permitted into her case, period.

Q. This is typical of so many people who have appeared as guests on this show. The government uses them, and then when they don't like what they got for paying for their information, they try to throw then in the slammer for some reason.

R. During the preliminary hearing Pete Rickel of the FBI from Tulsa was asked to testify, asked a question, and during his testimony he indicated that Rev. Robert Millar, the spiritual leader at Elohim City, who has worked with a lot of skinheads and Christian Identity people who Carol Howe had been reporting on, had Millar himself been providing information regularly to the FBI since 1994.

Q. Wow. That's going to shake a lot of people up.

R. It's interesting how the head of the FBI here has claimed that Millar wasn't a paid informant, he just was cooperative in giving them information. I think it's a ridiculous spin.

Q. This came out under cross examination by the attorney.

R. Yes.

Q. And so Millar was a paid FBI informant since 1994?

R. Right. Well, think about it. In Elohim City we have Andreas Strassmeier, we have Millar, we have Carol Howe, who all three - at least two of the three for sure -- are paid informants of our government.

And Strassmeier could have been paid not only by our government but by the German government. But suffice it to say, that is the situation at Elohim City.

Q. Also the Oklahoma grand jury, if they were being run by an honest foreman, would be able to call all these people in, and say, you are infiltrating people, you are entrapping people, they could ask some very tough and embarrassing questions of those agents, couldn't they?

R. Let me give you another ominous warning sign here, about how this grand jury is not being run properly. First of all, there is no hearsay witness, no expert witnesses, a time limit, and a lot of things like that. Also it appears that Macy and his office pre-screened the witnesses, as to who they are, and what their stories will be. And they have control over what questions get asked and don't get asked in that grand jury.

Q. That's what Heidelberg objected to. He was a member of the original grand jury.

R. That's right. We are repeating the same mistakes of the federal grand jury all over again.

To give an example of the stacked deck for pre-screened witnesses, Gen. Partin has not been subpoenaed yet, but Macy through an intermediary, contacted Partin and wants him to come to town so he can pre-screen him.

I want to point out what I see here as a trick that Charles Key is willingly or unwillingly falling into here is, to run the grand jury as if it were a trial.

You got time limits, you limit the type of witnesses, you don't have hearsay witnesses, and you screen everybody. That's not the way you get to the bottom of something.

It's the perfect recipe for a cover-up.