-Caveat Lector-

Revealing the truth about OKC


Geoff Metcalf interviews bombing investigator Charles Key

SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2001

Editor's note: Charles Key, a former Oklahoma
legislator, is in charge of likely the most
comprehensive independent investigation of the
Oklahoma City bombing tragedy ever undertaken. As
chairman of the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation
Committee, Key is putting the finishing touches on
the panel's final report  a 500-page document that
includes revelations and eyewitness testimony that
have not been reported anywhere else. Much of the
data starkly contradict the official government
explanation of the bombing. WorldNetDaily writer
and talk-show host Geoff Metcalf recently
interviewed Key about his eye-opening findings.

By Geoff Metcalf

Question: When do you expect to release the final
report of the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation

Answer: All the recent developments and just the enormity
of the case have caused us to get bogged down.  We're working
on it as you and I speak and are hoping that it goes to press this

Q: This has been a work in progress for some time, but
just recently we had four FBI agents on "60 Minutes II"
say they are not surprised that evidence was ignored.
Notwithstanding the protestation of Attorney General Ashcroft and
others, it looks like there are still things continuing to unfold after
all this time.

A: Yes, they are. There is so much more to this case,
and I hope  I sure hate to sound like a conspiracy
theorist  but I hope this isn't some form of damage
control. There are big issues with the Oklahoma City
bombing, particularly with the FBI and the Justice
Department, how they handled this case and how they have been
operating for quite some time even in relation to many other well-known
cases and not so well-known cases. They are what need to be investigated.

Q: I've been meaning to ask you something for some time. I
remember when we first spoke. I think it was shortly after Brig.
Gen. Ben Partin joined me on the air and presented an overwhelmingly
compelling case that the Ryder truck bomb just could not have done
the job that was done. This has become kind of an avocation for
you. What sucked you in to devote so much energy on this?

A: It's not something that you can really foresee. I couldn't foresee
that I would still be involved in this six years later, that it would
have taken me down this path and I would have experienced all
the things I have experienced. But that's the way it is. The bottom
line is, I care about the truth, and as idealistic as that sounds,
that's as simple as it is.

Q: I remember when it happened, we had people who went down
to Oklahoma City and watched things unfold.
There were a number of things that were just really hinky.
First you have Ben Partin's analysis. Then there are the
contemporaneous reports that were coming out from
witnesses that day. Did any of that stuff ever make it into court in
the Tim McVeigh trial?

A: There is a little bit of witness testimony that got into either Tim
McVeigh's or Terry Nichols' trial. As a matter of fact, just recently
the New York Times was the first to report about one of these "lead
sheets," one of the documents from these recent FBI files called a
"lead sheet." That person's testimony was heard in the Nichols trial.
As the story goes, an attempt was made to discredit him. He's one
of the many witnesses that are as credible as anybody you would
ever want to find, and his testimony was ignored. That's very common
in this case.

Q: One of these FBI agents said one of the things that
got him cooking was some of the stuff he worked on. He
was personally involved in collecting evidence, and the evidence just
sort of went away.

A: I hope that guy is real honest and sincere about this. I
know there are good people in the FBI like there are anywhere else.
On the other hand, we have experienced situations where an FBI
agent looks at a witness right in the eyes after he tells his story
and says he's going to report the information a different way.
An agent and this witness had an exchange three times,
and the witness comes back and says, "No. That's not
what I said." He tells his story again, and the agent says,
"Well, I'm going to report it this way." The witness says,
"No. That's not the way it happened." The third time, the
agent says, "Well, I'm just going to write it down that way
anyway." That's the kind of things we're dealing with, not
just in the Oklahoma City bombing case but with the FBI
and the Justice Department. And it has to be fixed. It
hasn't been addressed, and it's a mechanism that is in
place that goes beyond whatever administration happens
to take over every four years. It's a problem with the
institution. My information is the FBI hasn't even been audited
in almost 50 years.

Q: I've heard the same allegation. Do you think Tim McVeigh is
going to roll a seven on June 11?

A: No, I don't. If anybody deserves to get the death
penalty, it's someone who participates in the murder of
168 people. On the other hand, if the system doesn't
work the way it's supposed to work for even the worst
of criminals, then it's no good for the rest of us. It has to
work the same and, in this case, they have violated their own
rules, regulations and laws. It's an outrage.

Q: Beyond the long litany of apparent discrepancies between
what the government is contending and the facts that have
developed and are included in your forthcoming book, what
was the biggest surprise to you?

A: I've been asked that a lot of times, and it's really a
tough one because it is hard to put your finger on just one
thing. I just have to enumerate two or three things. One
of the things I have always been interested in from when I
was in the legislature is juries, grand juries, courtroom
procedures and things like that.
As I have seen in this case and over time, juries have been
attacked, and eyewitnesses have been attacked.
And now you hear, "Well, you can't depend on eye
witnesses' testimony." You know, that's really not true.
Sure there are studies that say eyewitnesses sometimes
can't be depended upon.

Q: That's why you talk to a whole bunch of eyewitnesses
to get a consensus.

A: Right. But what some are trying to do is say, "Therefore,
no eyewitness testimony is trustworthy or valid." And that
doesn't add up. If we ever do away with eyewitness testimony,
we might as well throw the whole system out, the baby with
the bathwater. That really disturbs me.
Here's what a lot of people don't know: In a preliminary
hearing in El Reno, Okla., just about a week after the
bombing  and that's after they had taken Tim McVeigh
into custody  they held what is called the probable
cause hearing, in which the government laid out it's case
on why they should hold over and charge Timothy
McVeigh with the charges they ultimately charged him
with. About 95 percent of their case was based on
eyewitness testimony  eyewitnesses who saw not just
McVeigh but somebody else with him. That's what their
case was based upon. Then what happened within the
year or so, they start saying, "There are not any John
Does. Those eye witnesses can't be depended upon."
What does that say about their case if that's really true?
And it's not, of course. Eyewitnesses can be trusted.
It's the fact they wanted to make the John Does go away.

Q: Arguably, because one of them may have been an FBI agent!

A: That's exactly the reason. That's exactly the reason.
The truth will convict the guilty parties. Period. Case closed!

Q: Before we get into a lot of the specifics that continue
to raise eyebrows, let me just throw some names at you
and get you to comment  Congressman Istook and
Lana Tree.

A: Interesting story about how they came to the bomb
site. Congressman Istook apparently mistook a deputy
reserve sheriff who had a hat on that looked like a
highway patrolmen  one of those "Smokey" hats  and
made some comments to him. He then realized he was
talking maybe to the wrong person and quickly walked away.

Q: What was it he said?

A: He made the comment that they had knowledge about
this for quite some time, that it was a radical Islamic
terrorist organization that was going to strike here in
Oklahoma City.

Q: It has been a point of discussion that none of the ATF
office workers happened to be in the office that day. That
kind of suggests something beyond coincidence.

A: Yes. There were two that were there. They were ATF
employees, compliance officers, and they actually officed
in the DEA office. They didn't office in the regular ATF office
because they weren't field agents. We know those two people
were there. There are three others that are in question. One
of those was Alex McCauley of the famous five-story falling
elevator story, which has been debunked, not only by private
elevator technicians, but even GSA federal government technicians
say it didn't happen.

Q: Also weren't the kids of the ATF agents who normally would
have been in the day care center in the building not there that day?

A: That's what we've heard, and we've heard from pretty
good sources, but we haven't been able to tie it down
with affidavits and other real hard information.

Q: Wait a minute! It's been six years, for crying out loud.
How hard can something like that be to corroborate?

A: We've had to say there is a cut-off point. We've been
trying to say that and do that for months now on this
case, but we could work on this for another one or two
years easily. There is so much material here, so much
information and people to go talk to and information to
track down. It's a huge case, and a lot of people just
don't want to talk. A lot of people don't want to go on
the record, and they're hard to track down. It takes so
much time, and you have to make a living while you do
something like this.

Q: They count on that. I have always thought it was a
little beyond weird that the government would try to sell
that a Ryder truck with a fertilizer bomb did what happened
when contrasted with what Gen. Partin showed me. And
not just me, every member of Congress at that time got
a copy of Ben Partin's report. What is your reaction to Gen. Partin?

A: I think Gen. Partin is a very honorable man. He is an
expert's expert, as he was described to me way back in
the beginning. I still believe that today. He has the credentials
and experience that outshine everybody else out there. We
have five other experts that we have gone to. They have real
good credentials and background also, and they are in this
report we are releasing. We've got some very, very solid
documentation from experts and other proof that that
ammonium nitrate bomb could not have done the damage by

Q: What is the official government line on the necessity for
raising the building as quickly as they did. Basically, they were
destroying evidence.

A: They don't really have to give an official line about a
lot of things, and they don't. In this case, the only
explanation that we and the people have heard along the
way is that they had to take that building down to "allow
the emotional healing to begin." So, what do we have
now down here in Oklahoma City? We've got a beautiful
memorial that people come and see every day from all over
the place. And you've got signs, almost like flashing neon
signs -- not literally of course -- saying, "This Way to the Bomb
Site." That kind of flies in the face of the need for tearing down
that building so quickly and trying to bring "emotional healing."

Q: Rather, they keep picking at the scab with all the signs
directing people to where the tragedy occurred.

A: Yeah. It's a beautiful site, but you should never destroy a
crime scene like that. There are a lot of big problems with that.
For example, the FBI claimed the crater  which is an important
piece of evidence, especially in determining how big a bomb was
used was 32 feet wide in diameter.

Q: What was the real deal?

A: The reality is it was between 16 and 18 feet in diameter.
We've proved that and clearly show that in our report. When
they had this FEMA-sponsored group of American Society of
Civil Engineers come in and do their report, they wouldn't let
them get any closer than 200 feet. And they fed them information,
including the 32-foot crater. They said then it was 28 to 32 feet.
They fed them the information to produce this report. They
didn't let them come on and do a hands-on inspection.

Q: What ever happened to all the contemporaneous videotape
that KFOR and others collected the day of the tragedy. I can
still remember hearing someone muttering, "There's still another
bomb inside."

A: That's a big, big issue. In fact, there is a Freedom of Information
Act lawsuit that is engaged in Oklahoma City right now in federal
court, and has been for about a year, trying to get tapes to be released.

Q: What do the FBI and Justice Department say and do?

A: They don't give any substantive reasons why they
shouldn't release them. That's the main reason it's gone
on for 12 months and now is set to go to trial in June,
unless the judge all of a sudden decides to give the
government a summary judgment as they continue to ask
for. There have been at least 22 tapes that have been
identified. They have not yet had to specify what tapes they
have in their possession, but we know what a lot of those are
and where they come from. One of them is from the Alfred P.
Murrah Building, right at the front of it.

Q: I remember hearing some of the reports the day after the
event, and I distinctly remember one guy screaming, "There's
still another bomb inside."

A: We've got all kinds of documentation on other bombs
in the building and even some being taken out. There is
one aspect of this probably a lot of people have heard.
There was an expert, a terrorism expert that was brought
into a television studio miles away from the bomb site to sit
down and talk at the news desk with two anchors about how
they were really glad they had just pulled this one bomb out
of there and that they were dismantling it as they spoke.
He said that by dismantling it, it was going to help them
discover who these people were that did it and help them
find them and catch them.

Q: Charles, in the wake of stuff like that, how in the
world can they still claim, despite the abundance of data
refuting it, that that one truck bomb did all the damage?

A: I think part of the reason for that and for how they get
away with this kind of thing is it was such a climactic thing
that happened. It was a traumatic experience, and they
did all of this right at the height of the emotional trauma.
Plus, when you talk about scientific-type issues like the
crater, the bomb, the ammonium nitrate bomb  I mean,
how many of us would really know whether or not an
ammonium nitrate bomb could do something like that?

Q: That's why you turn to experts like Ben Partin who
do know. His detailed statistical data analysis is compelling.
It makes it very clear how that building was brought down.

A: Yeah, and when you look at a handful of others like
that, it becomes even more compelling. These are people
who have worked for NASA, people who have had all
kinds of experience and background working with
ammonium nitrate bombs, for example, in mining
applications. You know there are also examples of other
terrorist acts where ammonium nitrate bombs have been
used, like in Bogata, Colombia. Then you've got the
Kobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the World Trade
Center  all good examples to look at and make comparisons.

Q: WorldNetDaily is reporting that your forthcoming report
contains "information never reported in any other forum." Like what?

A: We talked to an individual about his experience at
the site as a rescue worker assisting some other law
enforcement agents taking TOW missiles out of the
building in crates and also other boxes full of what he
believes were explosives like C-4 and similar types of
things immediately after the bombing. He said he was
directed to take them up to some government vans,
and they were whisked away to some unknown location.

Q: Is this stuff that was allegedly squirreled away in the ATF office?

A: It wasn't actually in the office. It was down in one of
the lowest level rooms of what people called the
basement but wasn't really a basement because it was a
split-level from north to south. Some people considered
that first floor a basement. There was a room that is
believed to be an ATF room in which they stored a lot of
things. They actually had two rooms back there. They
were directed to take this arsenal out of there and take
them up to some vans. They were not to remember things
that they saw and did. This person talks about a couple
of ATF agents who were standing there talking as these
individuals carried this stuff out in groups of two. They
made comments about when they got paged and what
actually took place and what rumor or story was
circulating about who did this and about how it
happened. They used some terminology like "renegade
agent." There are a number of other interesting bits of
information that nobody has ever heard of.

Q: Hurry up and finish it so I can read it, will you?

A: OK. Believe me  we're working day and night. I
apologize to everyone out there who has been waiting for
it, but it is a monumental task. I don't have a big crew of people.
It's been me a lot of times, and I've got one or two other people
to help me along the way.

Q: The Operation Dipole Mite that the ATF was
conducting in 1994  it was funded by the National
Security Agency. One of their own special agents, Harry
Everheart, was confirmed to have called the Treasury
Department within 20 minutes after the bombing and
reported that it was an ANFO truck bomb. What do you
think about the fact the ATF was conducting it's own
explosions with ANFO and C-4 vehicle bombs less than
12 months before the building went off? Do you think
that's a coincidence?

A: No, I don't. As a matter of fact, I've got information
that was given to me by a government official  whom I
won't name at this time  who told me that his information
was that the genesis of the Oklahoma City bombing ...
You wanted some new information. This is not in the
report because I cannot source this. It's just something
somebody I trust very much told me. The genesis of the
Oklahoma City bombing began right after Waco as a public
relations stunt so that they would redeem themselves and
look good because of the way Waco turned out and because
they were so concerned about almost being axed from the
federal tree.

Q: Whoops! If this was supposed to be their do-over ...

A: Here are some other facts that we know. Carol
Howe, the ATF informant in eastern Oklahoma,
provided lots of information to the ATF office in Tulsa
enough so that they were preparing to do a raid on
certain individuals that were residents of the Elohim City
community. I don't know that all of the people in that
community were violent or part of the Oklahoma City
bombing, but some certainly were, in my opinion. And
we don't know how many of those were informants and
agents for the government. But some of them were saying
we need to take our war against the government to a higher
level and blow up government buildings, assassinate politicians
and start mass shootings.

Q: Is this just street talk, or is there any kind of paper trail
on this stuff?

A: These were all in government documents. I'm sitting
here looking at them as we talk. They began to put
together a raid. Then the ATF found out about five
weeks before the bombing that the FBI had an informant
involved. A highway patrolman said, "You know that the
FBI has their own informant in there, don't you?" Well of
course they didn't know that. The right hand didn't know
what the left hand was doing.
They immediately had a series of meetings with the head
of the ATF in Tulsa, with the U.S. attorney in Tulsa, who
said they had to have a meeting with the head of the FBI
in Oklahoma City, Bob Ricks, from Waco fame. Then
we find out later, because of trial documents, that that
raid was called off, probably by the FBI  the bigger kid
on the block. The FBI probably told the ATF to back
off, we have our own thing going on here. Furthermore,
we know because of this case that there was a heightened
alert, that the FBI had put the fire department, the Oklahoma
County Bomb Squad and other law enforcement on alert.
Apparently, they thought they could pull this off right in Oklahoma
City and stop it.

Q: Have you been harassed, followed, suffered break-ins,
anything like that?

A: Some of those things, yes. I don't know if I've been
followed. I'm not sure I'm sharp enough to pick up those
folks that do that kind of thing for a living. My
harassments came publicly, because I knew instinctively
that if I was going to get involved in this I needed to
become very public with my involvement. Therefore, I
got attacked publicly, and it was very intense. I think only
people that were out here in Oklahoma City that were
really paying attention can really understand and relate
just how serious the attacks were.

Q: How serious were they?

A: At one point, the attorney general of the state, Drew
Edmunson, tried to charge me and two other people with
violations of a law that were totally erroneous, and they
knew that. It was all for publicity, and it was right in the
middle of our petition gathering 45-day period. It was all
for show and to try to slow us down.

Q: What about Gov. Frank Keating?

A: Frank Keating was very critical. He is a very slick guy,
sharp-tongued, likes to have it both ways. He likes to say
there cannot be any way that there is any truth to any of
these things about the Oklahoma City bombing, but in the
same breath he'll say, "But I don't really know everything
about the bombing, so maybe there is something."

Q: What about this ubiquitous Strassmeir character?
There were entire Web pages devoted to this guy at one point.

A: There is no question in my mind that Strassmeir either
worked for our government or with the knowledge of some
of the intelligence or law-enforcement agencies of our
government. No question in my mind. And if you read Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard's book, and I suggest people get it through
WorldNetDaily. It's probably the best book out there on the
Oklahoma City bombing.
Pritchard has Strassmeir do everything except come flat
out and admit that it was a sting operation that went
wrong and that he clearly was an inside player.

Q: Where is Strassmeir now?

A: The information is that he is still over in Germany living
with his parents. His father was a cabinet member in
Helmut Kohl's administration, something similar to a
secretary of state, as I understand it. His background
in the German military is pretty impressive also.

Q: The contract on a Ryder truck like the one allegedly
used in the bombing states it's rated maximum weight is
3,800 pounds. The size of the ANFO bomb kept going
up and up as time passed to 4,000 pounds to the latest
claims of 7,000 pounds. The truck couldn't have handled

A: This book that has come out about McVeigh's alleged
confessions and statements and revelations is very
questionable in my opinion.

Q: What is the reaction to the mysterious geometric
growth of the size of the bomb over time?

A: The story that McVeigh allegedly tells is about the
bomb being 7,000 pounds, that he forced Terry Nichols
to help him build it out at Geary Lake. Whether it's 4,000
or 7,000, the government has claimed it was a
4,380-pound bomb. Most people don't understand the
ammonium nitrate, the diesel fuel, methane fumes, but
experts will tell you you've got a potentially very, very
serious problem with all those fumes in close quarters like
that. So when you really consider that aspect of it, not to
mention driving all of those many many miles to
Oklahoma City and that bomb maintaining its integrity
which is another thing experts question  how could this
really be pulled off?

Q: The fuse stories are kinda hinky, too.

A: Yes. McVeigh allegedly claims he had two fuses, a
two and a half minute and a five minute fuse, and that he
sets the five minute fuse off and about two and half
minutes later he sets the other one. Come on. You're
driving through downtown, and what happens if you get
stuck at a light, or you get stuck by traffic or something
like that? The whole story is pretty ridiculous when you
think it through and turn to experts and ask their opinions
of all this.

Q: Bottom line is that dog don't hunt?

A: Doesn't hunt.
Geoff Metcalf is a talk-show host for TalkNetDaily

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