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Did Feds Have Foreknowledge? Deputies Say Congressman Knew

  • Two deputy sheriffs say that the federal government had foreknowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing. The congressman they name says it's not true.
By Fred Blahut

Two Oklahoma County reserve deputy sheriffs, on duty at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma city immediately following the bombing in April 1995, claim under oath that the federal government had prior knowledge of the event.

On January 15, in downtown Oklahoma City, state Rep. Charles Key (R) held a press conference at which Deputies David Kochendorfer and Don Hammons said that they understood Rep. Ernest J. Istook Jr. (R-Okla.) To indicate that the federal government had foreknowledge of the blast. "We blew it," they quoted the congressman as saying".

"The statements given today [Jan. 15] at the news conference of state Rep. Charles Key are wrong.' Istook said in an official statement. "I have no knowledge that any government entity knew in advance that the Murrah Building would be bombed, and I've never said any differently."

The press conference, carried live on KTOK-AM-1000, was reported in the Tulsa World, but was conspicuous by its absence in the Daily Oklahoman.

Hoppy Heidelberg, a disgruntled member of the original, federal grand jury, said at the time that it appeared the government had something to hide. On January 19, Heidelberg told The SPOTLIGHT that the Oklahoman was represented at the press conference, but no story was forthcoming.

According to Heidelberg, the Oklahoman is an ally of county District Attorney Bob Macy, who tried to prevent the impaneling of the current county grand jury.

"It happened," Jerry Bohnen, news director at KTOK, told The SPOTLIGHT, when informed that there had been little national news coverage of what appears to be a major crack in the government's claims that the blast came as a surprise.

Bohnen interviewed the deputies and reports that Kochendorfer said the congressman was talking to him on the day of the blast. Istook reportedly said, "Yeah, we knew this was going to happen. We blew it."

At the same time, the other deputy, Hammons, was escorting come of the congressman's aides around the building site. Hammons says one of the aides told him the congressman had told her that the government knew about the coming bombing on April 9, 10 days before the incident.

Kochendorfer told the reporters that Istook said, additionally, "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.'

When Kochendorfer identified himself as being with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, the congressman reportedly said, "Oh! I thought you were with the highway patrol," and immediately left the vicinity.

"Why do they [the federal government] refuse to admit that foreknowledge and why do they refuse to continue to look for them [alleged other perpetrators]?" Key asked. "Why has it been so difficult to get to the questions? Why have we been fought every step of the way in an unprecedented manner?"

He ended the conference by asking for 'truth to be allowed to get through. That all we want,' key said.