Five days in September

Five days in September

By Holland Van den Nieuwenhof

Posted: October 15, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The recent spate of foiled terror plots in this country have given this author an uncomfortable feeling of dread, for we have been down this road before. I am referring specifically to a trio of bomb plots that serve to remind the American people that we are eternally unsafe, and bound under the ever-tightening screws of National Security that we shall never be without.

On September 19, 2009 Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan citizen and legal resident of the U.S., was arrested in Denver by the FBI for planning and preparing a series of bomb attacks on the New York City subway system. The FBI was intensely concerned about a trip that Zazi had made back to NYC, where he had recently resided, on September 10 when President Barack Obama was also visiting that city. Also arrested were Zazi’s father and the Imam of a mosque they attended.

On September 23, 2009 a twenty-nine year old American, Michael C. Finton, was arrested for attempting to detonate what he thought was a one-ton truck bomb outside the Federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois. Finton also used the name Talib Islam and idolized his pen pal John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban." Finton had been provided fake explosive materiel by an undercover FBI agent who posed as an al-Qaeda operative. After retreating to a safe distance, Finton twice dialed his cell phone, which he believed would initiate the blast, before being arrested by his "accomplice," an FBI agent.

The following day nineteen-year old Hosam Maher Hussein Smadi, a Jordanian national, was arrested after parking what he thought was an explosive-laden truck in the parking garage of the sixty-story Fountain Place skyscraper in Dallas, Texas. Smadi had also been provided with a fake bomb by undercover FBI agents posing as an al-Qaeda sleeper cell.

I stated that we have been down this road before. An Arab terrorist parking a truck bomb in the parking garage of a landmark skyscraper. An American loner with a twisted world view leaving a truck bomb outside of a Federal Building. Another Arab terrorist cell attempting a series of devastating attacks in New York City that also threatens the President. Sound familiar? It should. The World Trade Center bombing in 1993. The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. 9/11. As Mark Twain said, history tends to rhyme rather than repeat. These recent scares smack of outright plagiarism.

These cases stirred the author to address these events in writing because of the similarity of them to the still unresolved questions concerning the Oklahoma City bombing. The prospect of the FBI allowing what they believe to be fake bombs to be planted by terrorism suspects scares anyone who has been involved in the ongoing independent investigation of what happened on April 19, 1995.

Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key was in the forefront of many survivors, eyewitnesses and rescuers who questioned the government’s version of events. Mr. Key has stated in public that he was informed by a U.S. Senate staffer that the OKC bombing was the result of a "sting" gone bad, that the bomb was never supposed to go off and kill 169 people, including nineteen children. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and FBI was supposed to sweep in at the last minute and save the day. The bomb was never supposed to go off. That statement cannot be substantiated because of the nature of its disclosure, but it can be confirmed to some extent by the statements of another person involved in the government investigation.

Final Report was issued three weeks before 9/11. It is the summation of findings by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee up until that date. Those findings continue, and some will be discussed further on. On page 535 begins the phone transcript of a conversation between a federal official directly involved in the investigation and a survivor who participated in rescue efforts. Both people’s identities remain anonymous to the public at this time, but they are known to the author through his association with the independent investigation. The actual tape recording is secure and awaits scrutiny by a Congressional investigation, an invitation thus far unanswered.

The gist of the conversation is the federal official trying to convince the inquiring survivor to halt efforts to find out what really happened. The following is quoted directly from the transcript.

Federal Official: "I believe that number two, John Doe number two, was a Federal agent working undercover. And I believe that he helped McVeigh steal the goods and helped buy the equipment, and I believe that he helped McVeigh make the bomb..."

And a few sentences later, "Yes, they stood out in front of the building, yes, they followed him directly to the building. Yes, they watched him get out of the building, get out of the truck. Yes, they watched him drive off. That’s not, that was their plan. I don’t believe they ever planned to apprehend him anywhere near the building. I believe that John Doe number two was a Federal witness. His job was to render the device safe."

Survivor: "Okay, so why didn’t they just come out and explain that to everybody?"

Federal Official: "Public doesn’t have to know that. When it comes to the national security and things like this, the public does not know. The public is not required to know."

And later, when the survivor asks why this information was not provided sooner,

Federal Official: "Well, I didn’t know that you’d be able to get this far with it. By going this far with it, let me explain something to you. Your actions have consequences..."

This conversation, revealed in more detail in Final Report, is a chilling look into the mind set of those tasked with protecting us from harm. The author can confirm that this federal official was directly involved in managing the OKC investigation. Given that this unnamed federal official is only providing information to substantiate a cover-up of the actual events, the scenario that the OKC bombing was the result of an undercover operation gone out of control is borne out by other evidence.

It is an undisputed fact that the supposed target of the attack, the office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) which was located in the Murrah building, was empty the morning of April 19. Not one agent was at his desk at nine AM on a Tuesday morning, not one person to answer the phones. The Oklahoma City office of the FBI at that time was located at 50 Penn Place. Thirty minutes before the bombing, they deserted their office and ordered the occupants of the rest of the building to do likewise. This is confirmed by numerous witnesses and a radio station in the building that went to "dead air" after the evacuation.

The BATF never shows up for work, the FBI office evacuates. Several witnesses recall that the OKC bomb squad was scouring the grounds of the Murrah building two hours before the bombing. Obviously something had gone wrong. Shortly after nine A.M., multiple blasts eviscerate the Alfred P. Murrah building, killing nearly two hundred. And the cover-up ensues.

And now the FBI is exercising the same tactics. Supposedly these recent bomb scares have been handled competently, as far as the public needs to know, or "doesn’t need to know," but without a thorough public investigation and punishment of those Federal officials involved in the alleged mistakes on April 19, 1995, the public has no reason for confidence in the fidelity or ability of the FBI to manage terrorism stings without dire consequences.

And so this article could end on an editorializing note, admonishing the FBI for its incompetence and asking for greater oversight, openness, accountability and other reformist measures.

But this author will continue to peel back layers. For those of you who are satisfied with the limited hang-out and plausible deniability, there is no reason for you to read on. For those of you who have learned the hard way, like the author, that the criminal behavior of our government is more the result of psychopathy rather than incompetence, I shall continue.

The "sting gone bad" theory to explain the tragedy of Oklahoma City does not address other anomalies about the official story. The evidence for internal explosions, not the result of the truck bomb, has been detailed in many accounts by other authors and researchers. The presence of further explosives has been confirmed to the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee (OKBIC) by a trained bomb detection police officer who was at the scene. This officer describes finding fulminate of mercury bombs coupled to the main natural gas pipe running through the Murrah building. These canisters bore military specification (mil-spec) numbers. Their timers had been set to detonate a few minutes after the initial blasts, thus obliterating the rescuers and any remaining survivors. This police officer knew exactly what he was looking at because the previous week, along with bomb detection teams from other central Oklahoma counties, he had been participated in a training course on these devices. Thankfully these devices did not detonate, for unknown reasons.

As detailed in Final Report, two U.S. Army nurses reported to the OKBIC that while stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. the week prior to the bombing, they received a call at their office from a staff member of the office of Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. The nature of the call was an inquiry into the triage procedures for victims of explosive air blast.

In January of 2007, convicted OKC bombing conspirator Terry Nichols released a deposition from federal prison stating that Timothy McVeigh had told him that he was an undercover federal agent. Nichols also testified that McVeigh reported to Larry Potts, assistant director of the FBI at the time of the bombing. Nichols, who has nothing to gain by these statements since he is imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole, goes on to state:

"Crucial parts of this terrorist act remain hidden from the American people, especially the identities of the ‘Others Unknown’ who collaborated with McVeigh in the bombing."

In February of 2007 a tape shot by prospective film maker Bill Bean was released to the world, a video that shows Timothy McVeigh in U.S. Army uniform training at a Camp Grafton, North Dakota in August of 1993. This is two years after McVeigh left the military for good and after McVeigh had been interviewed outside the siege at Waco spouting anti-government rhetoric. The footage of McVeigh in uniform at an army base also corresponds with a "black hole" in the FBI’s time line of McVeigh’s life. Audio and video analysis by the University of Utah confirms that the man portrayed in the video was Timothy McVeigh.

This evidence suggests that McVeigh was not the target of an federal operation before the bombing, but part of it. This evidence suggests that the "sting gone bad" theory is a limited hang-out, that is, a secondary cover story advanced in the face of the original cover story collapsing despite the cooperation of the mainstream media.

The "sting gone bad" theory does not explain these anomalies nor many others, which are not the focus of this article. And perhaps, the author speculates, the September 2009 terror scares are not as straightforward as they appear.

In the New York case, Najibullah Zazi was arrested after surrendering himself to questioning to the Denver FBI office. According to news accounts, Zazi had made a recent trip to Pakistan, where he had possibly met and trained with al-Qaeda terrorists. He returned to the States to go on a shopping spree at various beauty supply stores for ingredients for TACP, a common and cheap form of explosive that is a signature mark of Middle Eastern terrorists. After being surveilled and tracked by the FBI, Zazi made a trip to New York City on September 10. President Obama was due to be in NYC the next day for 9/11 memorial services. He was stopped and searched by NYPD police during this trip. He was so upset by this that he called the police twice to complain about racial profiling. He later surrendered himself for questioning to the Denver FBI and was arrested along with his father and an Imam known to the family in New York City. Although charged with conspiracy, there were no explosives found among his possessions and property.

That Zazi would call the police twice, thus attracting even more attention to himself, and later surrender himself voluntarily is not behavior that the author associates with al-Qaeda terrorists. That no explosives were found and that he was willing to talk to the authorities makes one wonder if he was truly intent on attacking the mass transit system of New York City with backpack bombs, as the FBI alleges.

Four days after Zazi’s arrest, Michael C. Finton was arrested after parking what he thought was a truck bomb at the Federal Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois. His "accomplice" was an FBI agent, who affected the arrest after Finton tried to detonate the fake bomb twice by dialing his cell phone, which he believed would initiate the blast. Finton is a white American male, a prison convert to Islam. He was known by some associates for his anti-American rhetoric, and as he turned his words into action he told friends that he it was possible he was being "set up." Finton had been courted by his FBI "accomplice," for over two years and this agent is the one who had provided the fake bomb materiel.

This author wonders to what extent this FBI agent played in convincing Finton to try to set off a truck bomb, and if Finton would have dared commit this act without encouragement and materiel supplied by the FBI.

The next day, Hosam Smadi was arrested after parking what he thought was a truck bomb in the parking garage of the monolithic Fountain Place, in Dallas, TX. Fountain Place is one of the distinctive features of the Dallas skyline and houses a law firm partnered with Rudy Giuliani. Smadi was a Jordanian national who was described by neighbors in Italy, Texas as friendly and westernized. After posting messages on internet forums suspected of terrorist ties, Smadi was contacted by undercover FBI agents posing as an al-Qaeda sleeper cell. This "cell" supplied the fake bomb materiel that Smadi tried to bring down Fountain Place with.

Once again, one wonders if the influence of the FBI "sleeper cell" played a determining influence on nineteen year-old Smadi’s decision to commit terror. Smadi, who had suffered the loss of his mother as a young teenager in Jordan, lived alone and may have been particularly prone to the influence of parental models.

So we have in one week in September 2009: an Afghan terror cell that tries to commit a series of attacks in New York City that also threatens the President, a disaffected American loner who attempts to bomb a Federal building and an Arab who tries to collapse a skyscraper by parking a truck bomb in the parking garage.

Are these events of September 2009 the theatrical reproductions of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the terror attacks of September 11, 2001? The focus on terror attacks on this country started in 1993 and culminated eight years later on 9/11. It has now been eight years since 9/11. What would be the purpose of these acts of terror theater?

That the specter of terror is used for political expediency has been documented time and time again. The Bush administration shamelessly exploited fears by raising terror alerts at politically sensitive times and no one can forget the infamous bin Laden video that was televised in the days prior to the presidential election of 2004.

That the Obama administration would resort to the same tactics is no surprise to those of us who have long discounted the trivial differences among the two political parties that dominate national politics. These recent scares undoubtedly will be used as ammunition for arguments to re-authorize portions of the unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act, which come up for review in December of this year. The use of an Afghan patsy in these scares serves as subtle prod for supporting the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, which President Obama is facing criticism for from those within his political base who have not sold their ideals for political expediency. Remember that President Obama came into office on the promise of peace, and rolling back the unconstitutional precedents for which he rightfully criticized his predecessor. Now his administration has an excuse to continue the Global War on Terror, continue to occupy Iraq and to cement the domestic spying apparatus that we were all told was temporary.

But more than that, were the September 2009 terror scares a program to initiate the American public for the next great leap forward in warmongering and domestic tyranny? Does the fact that the most infamous of the recent terror attacks in this country have been recreated over the course of five days give a hint, or provide a conditioning tool to prepare America for what is next? The American people’s responses to these attacks has been fear. And when people are afraid they cling to their leaders and lash out at outsiders. That the attacks in this country have only increased in ferocity and body counts with each succession can only mean that the next one will likewise be bigger than the last. And that means our conditioned response of fear and unquestioning obedience will likewise be greater.

The author became politically aware in the early 1990's, and he remembers well the political climate of the times. There was widespread discontent with the status quo political system that was struggling for legitimacy. The release of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK in 1990 reminded many of us that our system was based upon murder and corruption. The successful third-party candidacy of Ross Perot in 1992 was a wake-up call to the establishment that many people were upset with business as usual.

And for many, the encroaching power of the Federal government was seen as a threat to our heritage of liberty enjoyed by obedience to the Constitution. The Dallas Morning News reported on April 30, 1995, "A Gallup poll conducted last week found that 39 percent of Americans believe that the federal government is so large and powerful that it poses ‘an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.’" To confirm that shocking number, USA Today commissioned a poll that found that 52 percent of Americans agreed with that statement.

The Oklahoma City bombing changed all of that. Once the official narrative was issued, that a disgruntled American upset with the federal government was the culprit, anti-government sentiment was seen akin to baby-killing. The modern era of domestic spying was ushered in with the Antiterror and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, an assault on the Constitution that had been rejected by congress before the bombing. The sins of Waco and Ruby Ridge were forgiven.

Those who look upon the political landscape today are struck by the similarities. There is widespread discontent today with government and Wall Street malfeasance. The Tea Party movement, the 9/12 movement, the States’ rights movement and leftists left out in the cold by Obama’s betrayal of his campaign promises are echoing the rhetoric of the prophets of the Nineties. The two-party paradigm is breaking down. There is paltry support for the various wars we are fighting from both sides of the political aisle. Add to this the continued downward spiral of the economy, despite the "jobless recovery."

"War is the health of the State," as Randolph Bourne said. Perhaps a new war is needed. A war on the discontent of America.

The MIAC (Missouri Information Analysis Center ) report issued earlier this year portrayed constitutionalists, tax reformers, third-party supporters and gun-owners as potential domestic terrorists. Media pundits are portraying those who demonstrate their rights at town hall meetings and on Pennsylvania Avenue and in Pittsburgh as extremists. As threats, not as Americans standing up for their rights.

Another large-scale terror attack in this country would serve the political interests of the elite in this country. Domestic dissent would be quelled, corporate chicanery would go unnoticed and further carte blanche for endless war would be granted. The Left would be howl with glee at the suppression of political autonomy and the Right would slobber at the prospect of more wars to fight. And those of us stuck in the middle will pay for it.

Let’s hope that the author is engaging in needless speculation. But prepare for the worst.

Holland Van den Nieuwenhof is an Oklahoma native and volunteers his time as a researcher for the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation and hosts a weekly talk show on the Rule of Law Radio Network.

Good read


Another excellent posting

Thank you, Danse.

"Leader follows leader from bad to worse, as though by a malign law of nature. One ruler, evil or stupid or violent, breeds another more evil or stupid or violent."Liz McAlister