Joseph FarahOpen letter to John AshcroftMon Oct 16, 2006 23:39
Open letter to John Ashcroft
Posted: May 28, 2001
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Dear Mr. Attorney General:
I knew you would disappoint me when I agreed to support your nomination as attorney general. Politicians always disappoint me. But I had no idea it would be so soon.
Your press conference last Thursday was an abomination.
You insist on executing Timothy McVeigh, come hell or high water, June 11 – as if there is some magic in that date. You say we have to do that because all the evidence has now been turned over to his defense team. You say there is nothing in the new evidence that could possibly have affected the outcome of the trial.
You suggest we can just trust you on all that.
Well, pardon me, Mr. Attorney General, but many of us in America don't trust politicians to do the right thing – especially when the agencies over which they preside have been obstructing justice and obfuscating the truth for years.
I strongly suggest you not become a party to that process – lest you wind up with as much respect as your predecessor.
Let's suppose the convicted Oklahoma City bomber's defense team doesn't see it the same way you do. Are they just out of luck and out of time? If I was part of that defense team, I would be moving for a mistrial. In fact, I can see no other way to serve justice in this case but through a retrial with all the facts on the table.
You are not the judge, jury and executioner in this case. You are merely the attorney general. You are exceeding your authority in this case.
You claim the documents previously withheld from the McVeigh defense and the American people represent "less than 1 percent" of the hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence in the case. Big deal. Cases are not won or lost on the basis of the physical weight of the evidence. They are won and lost on the evidence itself.
Have you had time to personally review the 3,000 pages of new evidence in this case? If so, I would seriously question how you are performing your other duties. If not, you have assigned these duties to underlings – underlings who, I suggest, may well have been involved in the way this case was mishandled from the beginning.
"No documents created any doubt about his guilt, let alone established his innocence," you said.
Oh, gee, well, golly. Those are nice words. But, let's face it: You don't know squat about this case. You haven't examined the facts. You don't know about the mountains of evidence your own FBI has refused to examine – or examined and failed to act upon.
Don't make the mistake of trusting those who erred in the past to come clean now.
Maybe you think you are just doing the right thing "politically" by getting rid of McVeigh. Maybe you think it will be the popular thing to do. Well, sir, it may be. But try doing the courageous thing. Try doing the right thing. Try to find all the culprits in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
Some of them are getting away with murder.
You say you've got the word of FBI Director Louis Freeh that the agency "has completed its search and produced every relevant document in its possession." I'm sure Freeh is saying that. I'm sure Freeh is eager to see McVeigh take the rap for this most heinous crime. I'm sure Freeh wants to put all this behind him. But Freeh has bungled this case. Freeh should not be allowed to come within a country mile of the review process.
Freeh should be under investigation for his negligence.
Did you ask anyone at the FBI why they turned away people like reporter Jayna Davis who tried to provide evidence in the case? She was told they couldn't accept it because it would have to be disclosed to the defense. It sure sounds like the FBI made up its mind about McVeigh's guilt – and McVeigh's guilt alone – before they ever got started investigating. In other words, it sounds like the Justice Department found the patsy it was looking for and never searched for the accomplices.
I'm going to conclude by asking you a few questions I have been chanting like a mantra of late. I hope you can answer them. If you can't, you ought to do everything in your power to facilitate a mistrial and retrial of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
* What was the role of Andy Strassmeir in the bombing? Strassmeir was closely associated with McVeigh in the underworld of neo-Nazi activity and terrorist plans, according to witnesses, including a government informant. Why was he never questioned in the case while some 20,000 other people were? Strassmeir's father is Gunther Strassmeir, Helmut Kohl's secretary of state, a man known as the "architect of German reunification." The younger Strassmeir received military intelligence training at Bundeswehr Academy in Hanover. He's now back in Germany, reportedly living with his parents.
* The Murrah Building was the local home of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Why is it that – coincidentally – most of the ATF's employees didn't show up for work the morning of the bombing? Every ATF member survived the attack. It's a stretch to believe someone wasn't tipped off about the bombing.
* Why were the reports about a planned bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma on April 19, 1995, by ATF informant Carol Howe ignored? Why have the links she drew between Strassmeir and McVeigh been discredited?
* Why did the FBI report on the day of the bombing that two other explosive devices were found in the building? What happened to those "sophisticated devices" that were larger than the one that went off?
* And how did the truck bomb create a pattern of devastation unexplainable from its position in front of the building?
* How does the government explain other witnesses who report seeing bomb-squad activity at the Murrah building an hour or more before the blast?
After all, the object is not just to find someone guilty of a crime in our country. The object is to punish all of the criminals. Your Justice Department hasn't done that – not even close. The most devastating terrorist crime in the history of our nation, with 168 killed, deserves much more serious criminal justice work than this.
Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is "Taking America Back." He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.
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