The War on Murtha

Congressman's theatrics about Iraq spark a new fracas out in the lobby

When Finley-Graham finished that part of her testimony, U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage engaged in the following colloquy with Brewster:

Burrage: "With that McVeigh trial going on, I don't want anything getting out of here that would compromise that trial in any way."

Brewster: "What do you mean by 'compromise'? Do you mean shared with McVeigh's lawyers?"

Burrage: "Yes, or something that would come up—you know, we have got evidence that the BATF took a trip with somebody that said buildings were going to be blown up in Oklahoma City before it was blown up or something of that nature, and try to connect it to McVeigh in some way or something."

Brewster: "That would be up to their representation of the client in some regard, Your Honor. If you are asking me not to share any documentation from these files with those lawyers, then I won't."

Howe never got to testify in the McVeigh trial and only in a limited manner in the Nichols trial and wasn't allowed to tell the jury she was a federal contract informant.

This new information all comes thanks to the work of Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who is suing the FBI, after charging that its agents killed his brother Kenneth in an Oklahoma prison after the bombing. Because Kenneth Trentadue bore some resemblance to the John Doe poster, his brother believes he was murdered by FBI agents during an interrogation in which they sought to get him to confess to having been part of the bomb plot.

All in all, this information would appear to suggest that the federal government did indeed know about the far-right extremist plan to blow up something in Oklahoma City before it happened. It successfully kept discussion of the subject out of the trials, and it denied McVeigh's lawyers important information in preparing their defense. This adds credence to the work of J.D. Cash, a reporter for the McCurtain (Oklahoma) Daily Gazette, who has unearthed bit by bit the details of a government cover-up and possible malfeasance.

Additional reporting: Michael Roston

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