Paul Craig Roberts
A Coverup That Won’t Stay Covered
Thu Dec 4 01:52:27 2003
A Coverup That Won’t Stay Covered
by Paul Craig Roberts
CNN recently reported that "the Justice Department is re-examining its
investigation into the 1995 death of a federal prisoner that the victim’s family
alleges was murder at the hands of the government."
The victim was Kenneth Michael Trentadue.
At 7 AM on August 21, 1995, officials from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s
office arrived at the new Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center for the body of
a man recently picked up for parole violation who allegedly was a suicide by
hanging. The astonished state officials saw a body with scalp split to the skull
in three places, throat slashed, and a body completely covered in blood, bruises
As law requires, the officials asked to see the cell in which the alleged
suicide occurred. Federal officials pulled rank and refused on the grounds that
a federal investigation was underway.
A federal investigation was not underway.
The state officials told the prison officials that the body’s condition required
FBI notice and protection of the cell as an undisturbed crime scene. Associate
Warden Max Flowers, however, ordered the cell to be cleaned before any
investigation could be done. Flowers claimed that medical staff informed him
that Trentadue was HIV-positive and that it was urgent to remove the infectious
Trentadue was not HIV-positive.
Dr. Fred B. Jordan, the Chief Medical Examiner of the state of Oklahoma, was
stunned at the destruction of evidence by federal authorities and at the way
federal officials blocked his office from carrying out required duties. In a
memo to the file dated December 20, 1995, Dr. Jordan described his frustration
over being stonewalled by top Department of Justice officials in Washington. He
recorded that he confided to the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma City that
"I felt Mr. Trentadue had been abused and tortured."
Two years later Dr. Jordan said on a Fox News Interview (July 3, 1997):
"I think it’s very likely he [Kenneth Trentadue] was murdered. I’m not able to
prove it. I have temporarily classified the death as undetermined. You see a
body covered with blood, removed from the room as Mr. Trentadue was, soaked in
blood, covered with bruises, and you try to gain access to the scene and the
government of the United States says no, you can’t.
"They [the federal government] continued to prohibit us from having access to
the scene of his death, which is unheard of, until about five months later. When
we went in [the cell] and luminoled, it lit up like a candle because blood was
still present on the walls of the room after four or five months. But at that
point we have no crime scene, so there are still questions about the death of
Kenneth Trentadue that will never be answered because of the actions of the U.S.
Dr. Jordan’s effort to do his job brought him under great pressure and
harassment from federal authorities. Realizing his peril, on August 25, 1997,
Dr. Jordan wrote to IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson: "The requirements of
my job as chief Medical Examiner for the State of Oklahoma are currently
bringing me into an uncomfortable juxtaposition with the United States
Department of Justice. In order to protect myself from retribution, I would like
information as to how to request a protective audit from your agency. By this, I
simply mean a standard audit in order to avoid having your agency used to harass
me as I proceed with my inquiries into a death that directly relates to the
Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City."
In a hand written memo to his file dated October 22, 1997, of a telephone
conversation with U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D, ND), Dr. Jordan recorded:
"confirmed my feelings that the investigation was crippled, the decedent was at
the least beaten, we haven’t found the truth and probably won’t, reiterated my
lack of trust in the Fed. gov’t and the Dept of Justice in particular."
Unable to secure from Dr. Jordan a ruling that Trentadue’s injuries were
self-inflicted, the DOJ sought the cooperation of Dr. Bill Gormley, Armed Forces
Institute of Pathology. Dr. Gormley came to the same conclusion as Dr. Jordan
and came under the same pressures. In a memo to file dated May 30, 1997, Kevin
Rowland, Chief Investigator in the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office records a
telephone call he had from Dr. Gormley: "The basic purposes for his call was to
1-find out what they [DOJ] are up to because he was very suspicious, and 2-ask
if I might be able to explain why they only wanted certain testimony from him,
since he told them that we had already given them the truth. He was troubled
that they only seemed interested in him saying it might be possible these
injuries are self-inflicted."
Senator Orrin Hatch (R, UT) threatened the DOJ with Senate Judiciary Hearings on
the case. However, FBI documents (Dec. 5, 1997 and Jan. 28, 1998) indicate that
FBI agents succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of Senator Don Nickles
(R, OK) and using him to prevent Hatch’s investigation.
Federal harassment of, and accusations against, Dr. Jordan built to the point
that on March 12, 1998, the Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma, Patrick T.
Crawley, wrote to the US Department of Justice:
"The real tragedy in this case appears to be the perversion of law through
chicanery and the misuse of public trust under the guise of some aberrant form
of federalism. In a succession of either illegal, negligent, or just plain
stupid acts, your clients [FBI, DOJ, Bureau of Prisons] succeeded in derailing
the medical examiner’s investigation and, thereby, may have obstructed justice
in this case. As more and more information is revealed in this case, primarily
through the efforts of Jesse Trentadue [lawyer brother of victim], it appears
that your clients, and perhaps others within the Department of Justice, have
been abusing the powers of their respective offices. If this is true, all
Americans should be very frightened of your clients and the DOJ."
Despite the protection of the Oklahoma Attorney General, sufficient pressure was
brought against Dr. Jordan to cause him to abandon his position. On November 28,
2000, at the civil trial brought by Jesse Trentadue against the United States,
Dr. Jordan was asked: "You didn’t find any evidence of beating or torture, did
you?" He answered: "No, there is no evidence to substantiate beating or
Despite Dr. Jordan’s changed testimony, the presiding federal judge in the
Trentadue civil suit saw enough evidence that much was amiss to award the
Trentadue family $1.1 million for suffering harassment and intentional
infliction of emotional distress by the federal government. But as all evidence
of homicide in the case was destroyed, whether intentionally or negligently, or
withheld by the DOJ, the charge of murder could not be proven.
Whatever the deal with the DOJ, apparently it only covered Dr. Jordan’s
testimony in the Trentadue civil trial. Two years later on December 11, 2002,
under oath in a subsequent deposition in a libel case brought by a FBI agent
against a magazine that covered the story, Dr. Jordan said: "Because of the
extensive bruising of the body, the cut throat, and the general appearance of
the body, we felt that the death should be investigated as a homicide." In
answer to a question whether he was harassed by the federal government, Dr.
Jordan answered: "I don’t think there’s any question I was harassed by the
Department of Justice from the very beginning of this, the 21st of August when
we were denied access to do a job we’d been summoned to do."
A believer in the system, Jesse Trentadue has not given up. He has brought a
Freedom of Information Act suit against the DOJ. Trentadue’s suit, rather than a
rediscovery of integrity by the DOJ, probably explains the recent CNN report
that the DOJ is reopening the case. By reopening a criminal investigation, the
DOJ does not have to release the documents demanded by Trentadue’s civil suit.
It has always been a puzzle why a man picked up on a parole violation would be
murdered in his cell by federal agents. Recently an explanation has turned up.
Kenneth Trentadue might have been a victim of mistaken identity. Misidentified
as the missing John Doe, Tim McVeigh’s alleged accomplice in the Oklahoma City
bombing, he might have been beaten and tortured in an effort to obtain a
confession. The autopsy report shows Trentadue with a highly elevated caffeine
level, amounts certainly not available to a person held in isolation.
High doses of caffeine are used to increase pain under torture.
In trying to find the truth, Jesse Trentadue is a brave man. In the last of a
five-part series on the Trentadue case in the McCurtain Daily Gazette, J.D. Cash
reports that FBI agents, desperate to silence the Trentadue family, have been
conducting a criminal investigation into Jesse Trentadue for several years. Mr.
Cash writes: "Contained in an internal FBI investigation report obtained by this
newspaper, a FBI agent discusses legal strategies to use against one of their
most vocal and effective critics: ‘by listing Jesse Trentadue as subject in
another investigation, that would place him as a target of one of our
investigations and this would also prohibit Jesse Trentadue from testifying
before the Federal Grand Jury.’"
Law and order conservatives, who believe that the only wrong ever done by the
criminal justice system is to under-punish the guilty, have much to learn from
the Trentadue case.
For more information on the case and for photos of the brutally beaten body of
Kenneth Trentadue, visit www.McCurtain.com and www.deathrowspeaks.info/torture.html.
December 3, 2003
Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for
Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford
University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former
associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of
the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
Supreme Court Takes Up Family Privacy Issue in Vince Foster
Wed Dec 3 18:42:05 2003
Supreme Court Takes Up Family Privacy Issue in Vince Foster Case
Wednesday December 03, 2003 3:36pm
ittle Rock (AP) - The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over whether
decade-old photos of the body of Clinton-era White House counsel Vince Foster
should be released.
A Bush administration lawyer argued that releasing the ten photographs would set
precedent for the Internet posting of autopsy photographs of U.S. soldiers
killed overseas and public access to other private records.
The government and Foster's relatives are fighting the release of the
photographs sought by California attorney Allan Favish who says he suspects
Foster was murdered. Favish said medical records pertaining to Foster's wounds
appeared to have been doctored, but Millett argued that the investigations into
his death were extremely thorough and found no evidence of murder.
Foster was a native of Hope. Investigators concluded his 1993 death was a
Searched news for Vince Foster Photos. Results 1 - 7 of about 37
Searched the web for APFN "Vince Foster ". Results 1 - 10 of about 248.
Vince Foster's death: An FBI cover-up?
Independent researcher discusses investigations, current legal action
By Zoh Hieronimus
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com
The death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent
Foster, although over seven years past, continues to
generate heated controversy. The sheer number of
websites and published articles on the subject testify
to the belief of many that foul play may have been
involved. Researcher Hugh Turley recently
co-authored a book with crime-scene witness Patrick
Knowlton and his attorney, John Clarke, entitled
"Failure of the Public Trust." The book presents
documented evidence supporting the trio's belief in
an FBI cover-up surrounding Foster's death.
Zoh Hieronimus interviewed Turley on her syndicated
radio show. The Zoh Show can be heard weekdays
from 12 to 3 p.m. Eastern time.
Question: Why have you, Patrick Knowlton and John
Clarke all stayed the course when so many think that the
truth about Vincent Foster's death will never be told?
Answer: It is being told and it's important because what
we are really fighting for is pretty simple -- honest
government. I think that is something we all deserve and
we can all seek and share -- whether we are Republicans
or Democrats. That's what the battle is all about.
It centers around Patrick Knowlton because he is the key
witness in the case. He was at Fort Marcy Park the day
that Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster's body
was found and he witnessed the fact that Mr. Foster's car
was not at the park. Officially, we have been told that he
drove there and committed suicide. But the facts don't
support that when you look at the evidence and we've
compiled a lot of it at our website,
www.FBIcoverup.com. There are a lot of documents
there that we filed in court.
Q: Do you have any new information?
A: Recently, we've gotten a lot of new documents from
the government through a Freedom Of Information Act
suit by Accuracy In The Media. John Clarke was
representing them in this suit. We've attained about 1,400
more pages of documents from the government. Many of
them are redacted but a lot of them aren't. Information
continues to trickle out. We're just going to keep putting
it up at our website and publishing it and sharing it with
the American people.
Q: Could you give us a quick summary of the highlights
of what your team found versus what the Fiske and the
Starr reports contain?
A: We've been told incorrectly by the American press
and our officials that there have been numerous
investigations of Foster's death when, in reality, every
investigation that has been done was conducted by the
FBI. The initial Park Police investigation was a joint
investigation with the FBI; the FBI reinvestigated with
Mr. Fiske and again with Mr. Starr. The Senate did hold
some hearings but they limited their inquiry into the Park
Police investigation and not the death investigation itself.
Also, there were a lot of problems with forensic evidence
of the case. Witnesses at the scene saw a wound in Mr.
Foster's neck. Starr, in his report, said that the crime
scene photographs don't support this. Unfortunately,
there's evidence that the crime-scene photographs
disappeared, especially the important initial ones that
were taken by the first police officer at the scene. Mr.
Foster could not have fired the gun. The evidence shows
that the gunpowder in his hands doesn't support the fact
that he could have held the gun and pulled the trigger at
the same time. None of the 26 witnesses who were at the
scene saw the official entrance or exit wounds in Mr.
Foster's body that we've been told are there. There was
tampering with the body at the crime scene. People
moved the body to conceal the neck wound -- and they
also replaced an automatic pistol in Mr. Foster's hand
with a black revolver which, by the way, has never been
identified by any member of the family as being Mr.
Foster's. Some of them have changed their stories over
the years; by and large, it's been an unidentifiable gun.
And there's been obstruction of justice in the case,
primarily around witness Patrick Knowlton.
Q: Would you explain what happened to Patrick?
A: Patrick Knowlton is a key witness in the case. He
came forward to tell what he saw. The FBI interviewed
him. They falsified their reports of what he saw and,
when he complained, he was subpoenaed by
[Independent Counsel] Kenneth Starr to testify before
the White Water grand jury. At that poi
Vince Foster's Death: An FBI Cover-Up? WorldNetDaily:, Thu Dec 4 02:13
Re: Supreme Court Takes Up Family Privacy Issue in Vince Fo Aubrac, Thu Dec 4 03:04
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