October 12, 2002 by James Patterson
Indiana congressman Dan Burton, as chairman of the House of
Representatives Committee on Government Reform, continues to push for an
explanation of allegations that foreigners were involved in the 1995
Oklahoma City bombing.
During the past week, the congressional probe Burton
initiated has spread on two fronts:
Burton sent a subpoena to the Secretary of the Navy seeking video and still
camera shots of the Oklahoma City federal building on the day of the
bombing. He has reason to suspect that the Office of Naval Intelligence or
the Defense Intelligence Agency may have in their archives a photograph of
John Doe 2 and convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh getting out of the Ryder
truck before it blew up outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
• Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., complained to FBI Director
Robert Mueller that the FBI and Justice Department were ignoring requests
from Specter's staff to answer questions about allegations that Iraqi
nationals may have been involved in the April 19, 1995, blast.
"The more, the merrier," said Burton when told of
Specter's letter. "I think there ought to be senators as well as House
members looking at this. We're checking everything out. We have sent a
letter to the Navy to get a copy of that video that was supposedly seen by
the policeman in Oklahoma City that showed John Doe No. 2 getting out of the
Claims that there was a John Doe 2 continue to linger over
the Oklahoma City attack seven years later, and for good reason. The FBI
issued an all-points bulletin immediately after the 9:02 a.m. bombing for
"Middle Eastern-male subject or subjects" seen fleeing the scene
in a brown Chevy pickup with tinted windows and a bug shield. Less than six
hours later, the APB was canceled without explanation.
The day after the bombing, FBI released sketches of John Doe
1, who turned out to be McVeigh, and John Doe 2, prompting more than 10,000
tips. After McVeigh's arrest, the FBI abruptly dropped the pursuit of Middle
Easterners saying the witnesses who saw them with McVeigh were confused.
The Government Reform Committee's Oct. 2, 2002, subpoena to
the Office of Naval Intelligence was prompted by the committee's interview
of a former police officer who was in on the initial law enforcement
briefing involving the FBI. The Star has obtained a copy of that subpoena.
It asks for, among other things:
• All records relating to video or still photographic
surveillance cameras in or around the Murrah Building on April 19, 1995,
including, but not limited to, copies of any videos or photographs taken
from such cameras.
• All other records relating to any involvement of the
U.S. Navy in investigating the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma
City on April 19, 1995.
• A list of all meetings held at the Washington Navy Yard
in April, May or June 1995 for the purpose of reviewing evidence related to
the bombing of the Murrah Building.
• A list of the names and current contact information for
any individuals who attended any such meetings.
For his part, Sen. Specter wrote to Director Mueller on Oct.
4: "As you are probably aware, these allegations, as well as
allegations concerning the potential involvement of al-Qaida terrorists in
the 1995 bombing and a possible Iraqi connection to the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing, have been receiving greater attention in the national media.
"It is my understanding that my staff has contacted
both the FBI and Justice Department requesting a briefing on the issues
raised by these allegations and these requests have been rebuffed. It is
also my understanding that such a briefing was offered to former CIA
Director Robert J. Woolsey, Jr., but that he declined the FBI's offer."
Perhaps Woolsey shunned the FBI because he already knows the
official line, and he's skeptical. In the Sept. 5, 2002, Wall Street Journal
article "The Iraq Connection," Woolsey called Jayna Davis, the
Oklahoma City reporter who has dogged the Iraqi connection,
"brave," and said when her story is finally told, the nation would
owe her "a debt of gratitude."
Congress deserves the administration's fullest cooperation
as this investigation proceeds.