By: William Grigg
During a March 20 hearing in Salt Lake City, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups described as “astounding” the FBI’s claim that critical video of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing had simply gone “missing” – an assertion that buttresses attorney Jesse Trentadue’s belief that the Bureau has spared no effort to cover up critical facts about the atrocity.
Trentadue, whose brother Kenney was murdered by federal agents in Oklahoma shortly after the 1995 terrorist attack, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for surveillance video of Timothy McVeigh parking the truck bomb outside the Murrah Federal Building, and dashcam video of his arrest by a state trooper 90 minutes after the explosion. The FBI claims that these indispensable pieces of evidence regarding what was at the time the worst terrorist act in U.S. history have simply vanished in the tenebrous depths of an official warehouse, much like the Ark of the Covenant was at the end of the first Indiana Jones film. The attorney filed his first FOIA request in December 2006, and the Bureau has done its formidable best to ignore, mislead, misdirect, and otherwise obstruct efforts to produce the records, as it is required to by law.
“The FBI has submitted several declarations from its top records manager to show the agency has searched electronic databases and evidence warehouses without success,” reports the Deseret News of Salt Lake City. “But Waddoups said the declarations lack credibility because they do not include firsthand knowledge or details about who, when, where or how the searches were conducted.”
Attorney Kathryn Wyer, representing the criminal clique that wittily calls itself the Department of Justice, produced the novel complaint that compelling the FBI to comply with its legal duty to find the video evidence – as opposed to conducting cursory database searches and then dismissing the matter – would be tantamount to issuing a “search warrant.” This objection, which emits the pungent odor of bad conscience and the rank aroma of desperation, is absurd: The purpose of a search warrant is to protect the privacy rights of individual citizens from government invasion, not the reverse.
What is the Bureau trying to hide? After roughly a decade and a half of investigating the murder of his brother, Jesse Trentadue is convinced that the Bureau is trying to conceal its criminal complicity in the OKC bombing – either by way of culpable negligence in a blown “sting” operation, or as a full partner in a “false flag” operation intended to frame the “radical right” as a domestic terrorist enemy.
Kenneth Trentadue, known to friends and family as Kenney, was one of countless Vietnam veterans who became addicted to drugs. In the service of his addiction, Kenney became involved in strong-arm robberies. This led to a prison term, which he served stoically and without incident.
Following his release in 1988, Kenney married a woman named Karmen and found employment as a construction worker. He also wound up as the charge of a petty authoritarian parole officer who insisted that in addition to illicit drugs, Kenney refrain from alcohol – despite the fact that Kenney was not an alcoholic and had no intoxication-related offenses on his record. Annoyed by this unwarranted and presumptuous restriction, Kenney simply stopped checking in with his parole officer, focusing instead on providing for his family — and enjoying the occasional adult beverage, in moderation. This resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for a parole violation.
Shortly after the April 19, 1995 OKC bombing, Kenney was detained in San Diego as he re-entered the U.S. from Mexico. His wife Carmen had family down in Mexico, and Kenney had made a quick trip to visit them down south. Kenney was stopped by a border guard who ran a background check on him. He was bundled onto a plane bound for Oklahoma City.
Kenney was arrested on June 10, 1995. He was 44 years old, in good health, and – apart from the hardships inflict on him by his parole officer – enjoying a second chance for a good life. His wife was expecting a child, who was born while Kenney was in federal custody.
Just a couple of weeks later, federal indictments were handed down against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholas — as well as “others unknown” — for their role in the Oklahoma City Bombing. This occurred on August 10. Kenney arrived at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Facility — just a few miles from the courtroom where McVeigh and Nicholas had been indicted — on August 18. Three days later, he was dead, supposedly of suicide.
On August 21, 1995, guards “found” Kenney’s body hanging from a bedsheet in his cell.
A few hours after this “discovery,” Kenney’s mother Wilma received a call from acting warden Marie Cutler informing her of the supposed suicide. The call was both perfunctory and pushy: Cutler informed Kenney’s mother that the body was to be cremated very soon. Shocked as she was to hear that her youngest son was dead, Mrs. Trentadue had the presence of mind to demand that nothing of the sort would be done without the permission of Kenney’s wife. Cutler was nonplussed to learn that Kenney was the married father of a newborn son; she had been told he was single.
Not only were prison officials indecently eager to cremate Kenney’s body, they were also frantic to sanitize the “suicide-proof” cell. Doing so before the medical examiner had a chance to inspect the scene was a criminal offense — but it was done anyway.
The floors and walls of the cell were mopped and scrubbed; the bed sheet with which Kenney had supposedly hung himself was “lost” or destroyed; most of his clothing ended up in the possession of an FBI agent who – in the finest tradition of that incurably corrupt and tactically incompetent bureaucracy — let that vital physical evidence putrefy in the trunk of his car.
There was a wealth of physical evidence produced by the untimely death of Kenney Trentadue, and within a few hours of the event most of it had been “lost” or destroyed through the coordinated efforts of the FBI and prison officials.
When Kenney’s mother Wilma and older brother Jesse were finally allowed to see the body, they did so in the obnoxious company of Michael Hood, regional counsel for the Bureau of Prisons. As Jesse later recalled the conversation, the appropriately named Hood issued an ineptly veiled warning: “The Bureau of Prisons, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office — we’re one big Justice Department.”
A plainer rendering might be: Don’t get any ideas about challenging the Official Line, because nobody in the federal government will offer any help.
Left alone with Kenney’s body, his mother and brother set to the awful task of scraping away several layers of post-mortem makeup. They found his body decorated with contusions and other evidence of a severe beating, administered by both fists and batons. His head had been repeatedly lacerated, and his throat appeared to have been cut.
“My brother had been so badly beaten that I personally saw several mourners leave the viewing to vomit in the parking lot!” Jesse, a trial attorney, wrote in an August 30, 1995 letter to the Bureau of Prisons that was incandescent with justified outrage. “Anyone seeing my brother’s battered body with his bruised and lacerated forehead, throat cut, and blue-black knuckles would not have concluded that his death was either easy or a ‘suicide’! ”
“I will always be grateful to my brother for his love of life, great heart and strength,” wrote Jesse. “Had my brother been less of a man, your guards would have been able to kill him without inflicting so much injury to his body. Had that occurred, Kenney’s family would forever be guilt-ridden over his death. Each of us would have lived with the pain of thinking that Kenneth took his own life and that we had somehow failed him. By making the fight he did for his life, Ken has saved us that pain, and God bless for having done so!”
Jesse wasn’t the only one who found the official story facially implausible. On August 22, Kevin Rowland, chief examiner for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office, filed a complaint with the FBI describing Kenney’s death as “murder.”The state’s chief Medical Examiner, Fred Jordan, refused to classify the death as a suicide, labeling the cause of Trendtadue’s death “unknown.”
The Bureau of Prisons convened a board of inquiry, and — in keeping with Michael Hood’s promise — immediately slammed down the portcullis: The attorney heading the probe classified its findings as “attorney work product, a move intended to foreclose discovery of the material in future court actions.
While corrupt cover-ups are commonplace, Jesse found it strange that federal functionaries were so anxious to conceal the circumstances of Kenney’s death. He was, after all, a reformed ex-con whose only offense was a trivial parole violation. With a wife and newborn son waiting for him, Kenney had no reason to kill himself. In phone calls to his family during the days before his death, Kenney hadn’t displayed any symptoms of suicidal depression. The evidence inscribed in his body by his assailants demonstrated that Kenney had been beaten and tortured to death. Why?
Shortly after he fired off his letter to the BOP, Jesse received an anonymous phone call providing him with an explanation:
“Look, your brother was murdered by the FBI. There was an interrogation that went wrong…. He fit a profile.”
Kenney was the victim of a monumentally improbable case of mistaken identity. He was a near-physical match for one of the “Others Unknown” suspected of involvement in the OKC Bombing: Richard Lee Guthrie.
As portrayed in the terse language of an all-points bulletin, Guthrie — aka “John Doe #2,” — was a ringer for Kenney Trentadue. He was 5’9″ and weighed a solid 180-190 lbs, brown-haired, with a dragon tattoo on his left forearm. Most importantly, Guthrie was a bank robber, as Kenney had been before going to prison. More specifically, Guthrie robbed banks on behalf of the Aryan Republican Army, which conducted some 22 bank heists in the early 1990s and netted about $250,000 to fund domestic terrorism.
Guthrie was in federal custody at the time of Kenney’s arrest – a fact that was lost somewhere in the trackless wasteland of the federal bureaucracy.
Like Kenney, Guthrie would later be the victim of an anomalous prison suicide: His body was “found” by a guard hanging from a bedsheet in his cell in 1996. Just before his death, Guthrie had told the Los Angeles Times that he was writing a memoir that would, among other things, describe connections between the ARA and the OKC bombing.
Nor was Guthrie the only other inmate connected to the Trentadue case to end up dangling from the ceiling of his cell. Alden Gillis Baker, an inmate at the OKC Transfer Center, told Jesse that he had overheard an “altercation” involving “a lot of physical violence” the night Kenney was killed; that was followed by “faint moaning” and the sound of bedsheets being torn. Baker repeated that account in a subsequent deposition that was rejected by a judge. In 2000, Baker was also “found” hanged to death by a guard in a California federal prison.
For more than a decade, as he pursued the truth about his brother’s death with irrepressible tenacity, Jesse Trentadue experienced first-hand the concentrated, malicious corruption of the Regime that rules us. He witnessed what he describes as an “epidemic of government corruption” — “Perjury, subornation of perjury, threats to witnesses [including Fred Jordan, the Oklahoma medical examiner, who was intimidated into changing his conclusions about Kenney's death], fabrication of evidence, and a sh*t-pile of other acts of obstruction of justice…. The government obtained an order preventing me from reporting those crimes to either federal prosecutors or the Senate Judiciary Committee while at the same time it was trying to indict me and my attorneys with the perjured testimony of a secret FBI informant.”
The bogus perjury charge, Jess Trentadue explained was based on an accusation “that I had paid people to perjure themselves. Look, I don’t have the money to pay for perjury; I’m a trial attorney who’s doing the investigation into Kenney’s death on my own time and at my own expense. And even if I wanted to buy witnesses, I couldn’t outbid the Feds.” That charge was laughed out of court.
Apart from the self-defense reflex of corrupt officials, the cover-up made no sense to Jesse — until 2004, when he received — from a sympathetic source at the FBI — two redacted documents proving that the FBI had been aware of a connection between the OKC bombing and the Aryan Republican Army, a connection that ran through a bizarre white supremacist commune in Oklahoma called Elohim City. That tip primed a Freedom of Information Act Request that brought forth more than 250 pages of documents — all of them heavily censored — confirming that the FBI and other federal agencies (including the ATF, which had planted Carol Howe at Elohim City) had abundant and detailed advance intelligence of the bombing.
Elohim City was not merely a racist redoubt: As with any similar gathering of white supremacists, federal informants were thick on the ground in that commune. In addition to the above-mentioned Carol Howe, the late Robert Millar, the patriarch of that particular kibbutz, was on the federal payroll.
An enigmatic German national named Andreas Strassmeir, who was the group’s head of security, has long been suspected of being an intelligence asset for both Washington and his own national government. A hyper-violent Klan activist named Dennis Mahon, also spent time at Elohim City, was likewise doing snitch duty. At least one other individual there was taking notes and passing them along to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a self-appointed “watchdog” group headed by self-promoting fraud and sexual degenerate Morris Dees.
At least two ARA members were “part-time” residents of Elohim City, and there is reason to believe that Timothy McVeigh — who called the commune just shortly before the OKC bombing — had hooked up with the ARA to carry out at least some of their robberies.
In 2007, shortly after filing his FOIA request for the OKC bombing videos, Jesse Trentadue contacted by Terry Nichols — who is serving a life sentence for his role in the bombing, and cannot be tried again on capital charges. With Trentadue’s assistance, Nichols filed a deposition in a Salt Lake City federal court. Not only did he implicate the ARA in the bombing plot, he claimed that McVeigh — who allegedly had been recruited while in the Army to carry out undercover missions — had been working under the supervision of Larry Potts, the shame-encrusted FBI official who presided over the murderous attack on the Randy Weaver family and the annihilation of the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, Texas.
In April 2008, Jesse won two significant victories in federal court. A federal judge in Oklahoma, ruling that the FBI had intentionally inflicted severe mental suffering on the Trentadue family, awarded the victims nearly one million dollars in damages. A few days later, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Ted Stewart ordered the “Justice” department to hand over its long-suppressed report on Kenney’s death.
“The Justice [sic] Department’s lawyers at the hearing were muttering about how they needed `extensions,’ and the judge wasn’t having any of it,” Jesse Trentadue told Pro Libertate in an April 2008 interview. “When Judge Stewart reminded them that the 10th Circuit Court had just ruled that Jesse had a right to see the documents, and imposed a deadline of April 10th, “the Justice [sic!] Department lawyers said that they needed `permission from their superiors’ to produce the documents — which really didn’t sit well with the judge,” Jesse continues. “He gave them until May 1 to turn over the documents or be hit with a contempt citation.”
This would mean “that arrest warrants would be issued, and federal Marshals sent to arrest the non-cooperating officials” — although, in the insuperably improbable event that the Marshals were sent to collect the miscreants, they would be treated with much greater delicacy than Kenney had been.
Through no desire of his own, Jesse Trentadue has become something of an expert about the federal prison system. He has come to the rueful conclusion that torture is commonplace within the U.S. gulag – particularly when the victim is a political dissident or similarly inconvenient detainee.
“[Torture is] very common, I think,” Trentadue concludes. “And if you look at what was done to Kenney back in 1995, it was the same kind of thing that was done years later at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. It could be said that they used my brother as practice for Iraq. But that kind of thing happens in our system here all the time, I’m convinced.”
“There must be something really ugly in that set of documents,” Jesse points out. “The Feds have done everything they could for nearly a decade and a half to keep me from getting them.”
Does he believe Nichols’ claim that the OKC bombing was a federally staged event? ‘
“That’s Mr. Nichols’ account, and he has no reason I can think of to lie,” Jesse told me. “He tried to get [former Attorney General] John Ashcroft to look into his testimony, but he wasn’t interested. And David Paul Hammer, who was McVeigh’s cellmate [on death row prior to McVeigh's execution] has filed a deposition describing how McVeigh confirmed the same story — that McVeigh was a government-run undercover operative, that he was involved in the ARA’s bank robberies, and that the Elohim City group was riddled with federal informants.”
At least three people, including Kenney, were killed through staged prison “suicides” to cover up something “really ugly” about Federal foreknowledge of, and participation in, the OKC bombing plot. Kenney was tortured to death. This wasn’t done because the Feds wanted to know something Kenney (mistakenly identified as Guthrie) knew; it was done because the Feds assumed he could tell the truth about OKC, and wanted to shut him up permanently.
Trentadue’s tenacious investigation has pried loose many critical revelations hinting that the “really ugly” truth the Feds seek to conceal is a multi-decade covert operation called “PATCON” intended to infiltrate the so-called “radical right” for the purpose of staging false flag operations.
“PATCON is an acronym for `Patriot Conspiracy,’ a Clinton-Reno-Holder, FBI and ATF undercover operation,” Trentadue wrote late last year. “PATCON was designed to infiltrate and incite the milita and evangelical Christians to violence so that the Department of Justice could crush them. Ruby Ridge was a PATCON operation. Waco was a PATCON operation. And so, too, I believe was the Oklahoma City Bombing.”
The “Holder” to whom Trentadue refers is Eric Holder, the incumbent Attorney General who at the time of Kenney’s murder was a Deputy Attorney General to Janet Reno. E-mails and memos pried loose by Trentadue demonstrate that that Holder’s job was “to cover up my brother’s murder, basically to stop all inquiry.” This prefigured the obstructionist tactics employed by Holder in covering up Operation Fast and Furious, another of the Federal Government’s countless false flag/provocation operations.
Since he began his investigation of his brother’s murder, Trentadue – who has somehow maintained a legal practice in Salt Lake City – has endured a constant onslaught of threats, harassment, and abuse from the Feds, some of it targeting his parents and family. This has been coupled with a determined campaign to prevent disclosure of information the FBI and Justice Department are legally required to provide – such as the identity of the FBI Agents who tortured Kenney to death.
Judge Waddoups has given the FBI a June 15 deadline to provide the OKC bombing videos, or a satisfactory explanation for their absence. On previous performance it’s a near-certainty that the Bureau will do neither.
(Jesse Trentadue was recently interviewed by Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig von Mises Institute; go here to listen to that revealing and infuriating interview.)
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