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Judge orders trial in allegedly missing Oklahoma City bombing video case

 Monday, Sept. 9 2013

 A Utah attorney is seeking security tapes from the the bombing scene as part of his unofficial inquiry into the explosion that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. Jesse Trentadu already received more than two dozen tapes from security cameras on the buildings around the Federal Building, but he claims the FBI edited portions of them.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake attorney who contends the FBI is hiding surveillance video associated with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing might see his case go trial.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups denied the government's motion to dismiss the case Monday and ordered both sides to prepare for a bench trial. He scheduled a status hearing for Nov. 21, at which a trial date will be set.

"This is a significant ruling," said Jesse Trentadue, who has spent years trying to get the tapes. "There's no doubt that evidence exists. The question then becomes why can't you find it. The obvious answer is you don't want to find it."

At issue is whether the FBI adequately responded to Trentadue's Freedom of Information Act request for footage of Timothy McVeigh parking a truckload of explosives at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

Specifically, he is after surveillance tape of the federal building and neighboring buildings as well as dashcam video from the Oklahoma state trooper who stopped McVeigh 90 minutes after the explosion that killed 168 people.

The FBI has released 30 videotapes and 200 documents in response to Trentadue's FOIA request.

Trentadue began looking into the bombing after his brother died in a federal detention center in Oklahoma. He believes federal agents mistook Kenneth Trentadue, a convicted bank robber, for a bombing suspect and beat him to death during an August 1995 interrogation. His official cause of death was listed as suicide.

Trenatdue claims the video will reveal a second bombing suspect who resembles but is not his brother.

Waddoups has chastised U.S. Department of Justice several times for not producing the tapes since Trentadue sued in 2008.

The FBI has submitted several declarations from its top records manager to show the agency has searched electronic databases and evidence warehouses without success. But Waddoups said the declarations lack credibility because they do not include firsthand knowledge or details about who, when, where or how the searches were done.

In his ruling, Waddoups wrote that he finds "genuine" dispute as to whether the FBI has adequately looked for the tapes, even according to its own ethical standards.

"This is even more pronounced given the public importance of the videotapes and related documentation," he wrote.

Posts: 8,748
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You Can't Point A Finger At Saudi Arabia, And Not Have 5 Fingers Pointing Back To The U.S.
By Jon Gold (about the author)

January 23, 2015 at 11:14:02
From flickr.com/photos/32834977@N03/3085073927/: Mecca
(image by Al Jazeera English)

For this article, I'm going to skip the partnerships between the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and the Pakistani ISI during the Afghanistan/Russia War to support the Mujahideen against the Soviet Union. Instead, I'm going to move past that time, and into the 90's where a lot of interesting things took place.

First, we'll take a look at what was called "Vulgar Betrayal" In 1996, "the most significant US government investigation into terrorist financing before 9/11, is launched. This investigation grows out of investigations Chicago FBI agent Robert Wright had begun in 1993, and Wright appears to be the driving force behind Vulgar Betrayal. He later will say, "I named the case Vulgar Betrayal because of the many gross betrayals many Arab terrorists and their supporters" committed against the US, but the name will later prove to be bitterly ironic for him. Over a dozen FBI agents are assigned it and a grand jury is empanelled to hear evidence." On August 3rd, 1999, "Chicago FBI agent Robert Wright is abruptly removed from the Vulgar Betrayal investigation into terrorism financing. The entire investigation apparently winds down without his involvement, and will shut down altogether in 2000. A New York Post article will state, "[T]he official reason was a fear that Wright's work would disrupt FBI intelligence-gathering. My sources find this dubious: After years of monitoring these individuals, the bureau had likely learned all it could." [But] conversations with FBI personnel indicate that HE WAS TOLD INFORMALLY THAT HIS WORK WAS TOO EMBARRASSING TO THE SAUDIS (emphasis mine). In support of this is the fact that Wright was shut down as he seemed to be closing in on Yassin al-Qadi."

In the late 1990's, George Tenet will develop direct, private channels to Saudi leaders. George Tenet, appointed as CIA director in 1997, develops close personal relationships with top Saudi officials, ESPECIALLY PRINCE BANDAR (emphasis mine), the Saudi ambassador to the US. Tenet develops a habit of meeting with Bandar at his home near Washington about once a month. But CIA officers handling Saudi issues complain that Tenet doesn't tell them what he discusses with Bandar. Often they are only able to learn about Tenet's deals with the Saudis later and through Saudi contacts, not from their own boss. Tenet also makes one of his closest aides the chief of the CIA station in Saudi Arabia. This aide often communicates directly with Tenet, avoiding the usual chain of command. APPARENTLY, AS A FAVOR TO THE SAUDIS, CIA ANALYSTS ARE DISCOURAGED FROM WRITING REPORTS RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SAUDI RELATIONSHIP TO ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS (emphasis mine).

In 1996, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia allegedly collaborated on illegal weapons deliveries to Bosnian Muslims. The Washington Post reports that the Saudi Arabian government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to channel weapons to the Muslim Bosnians, and that the US government KNEW ABOUT IT AND ASSISTED IT (emphasis mine). An anonymous Saudi official who took part in the effort will say that the US role "was more than just turning a blind eye to what was going on." It was consent combined with stealth cooperation." American knowledge began under [President George] Bush and became much greater under [President] Clinton." The Bosnian program was modeled on Saudi and US cooperation to fund the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

After June 25th 1996, CIA Agents are told not to track militants in Saudi Arabia. In the wake of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government continues to stonewall about their knowledge of radical militants in the country. Official inquiries about bin Laden go unanswered and the Saudis give no help to a US probe about the bombing. BUT OFTEN THE U.S. DOES NOT EVEN ASK THE SAUDIS QUESTIONS FOR FEAR OF UPSETTING THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT (emphasis mine). Former US officials will later claim that even after the bombing, the CIA instructed officials at its Saudi station not to collect information on Islamic extremists in Saudi Arabia. It is not known how long this policy will continue, but there is evidence it continues until 9/11. In August 2001, former CIA agent Robert Baer will attempt to give the CIA a list of hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, BUT THE CIA WILL SHOW NO INTEREST IN IT (emphasis mine). Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers will reportedly come from Saudi Arabia.

In Early 2000, the Treasury Department is blocked from freezing assets of Al-Qaeda financiers in Saudi Arabia. Treasury Department official Richard Newcomb has been to Saudi Arabia with other US officials in an attempt to pressure the Saudis to crack down on financing al-Qaeda, but no action has resulted. He had threatened to freeze the assets of certain individuals and groups funding al-Qaeda if not action is taken, and now he starts to act on that threat. As head of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, he submits names for sanctions. But imposing sanctions requires approval from an interagency committee, AND THE PERMISSION TO GO AHEAD IS NEVER GIVEN (emphasis mine). CIA and FBI officials are "lukewarm to the idea, worried that sanctions would chill what little cooperation they had with their Saudi counterparts." But the State Department puts up the most opposition. One official will later recall, "The State Department always thought we had much bigger fish to fry."

After George W. Bush came into office, his administration tells U.S. intelligence to "back off" from investigating Bin Laden financing and Saudi connections. The BBC later reports, "After the elections, [US intelligence] agencies [are] told to 'back off' investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that anger[s] agents." This follows previous orders to abandon an investigation of bin Laden relatives in 1996, and difficulties in investigating Saudi royalty. An unnamed "top-level CIA operative" says there is a "major policy shift" at the National Security Agency at this time. Bin Laden could still be investigated, BUT AGENTS COULD NOT LOOK TOO CLOSELY AT HOW HE GOT HIS MONEY (emphasis mine).

Between February and March 2001, the Bush Administration shuts down surveillance of Saudi Arabians." The Defense Intelligence Agency began a project to monitor Saudi Arabian targets in the 1990s. The project, called Monarch Passage, was originally intended to track Saudi assistance to Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, but is expanded to become a comprehensive communications spying program against Saudi businessmen and members of the royal family. However, it is shut down in the early days of the Bush administration. THIS IS PART OF A LARGER U.S. POLICY CHANGE THAT MAKES SAUDI LINKS TO TERRORISM OFF LIMITS TO U.S. INVESTIGATORS (emphasis mine)."

Sometime in mid July 2001, FBI Agent John O'Neill rails against the White House over Saudi Obstructionism. FBI counterterrorism expert John O'Neill privately discusses White House obstruction in his bin Laden investigation. O'Neill says, "THE MAIN OBSTACLES TO INVESTIGATE ISLAMIC TERRORISM WERE U.S> OIL CORPORATE INTEREST AND THE ROLE PLAYED BY SAUDI ARABIA IN IT (emphasis mine)." He adds, "All the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia." O'Neill also believes the White House is obstructing his investigation of bin Laden because they are still keeping the idea of a pipeline deal with the Taliban open."

Right now there is a push to get the 28 redacted pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 released. You can read about it at http://www.28pages.org. I am all for transparency. I have fought for the release of these pages going on a decade. This practice of protecting and collaborating with Saudi Arabia has continued LONG AFTER 9/11 (emphasis mine).

If we want the full truth about the situation with Saudi Arabia, NO ONE must be allowed to point a finger at Saudi Arabia for their connections to terrorism, knowing full well how we have enabled them and even collaborated with them, without having 5 fingers pointing back to the United States.

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