Uncovering A Justice Department Cover-Up

[See also The Trentadue Case: A Coverup That Won't Stay Covered, December 02, 2003 ]

In 1995, Kenneth Trentadue was murdered by federal agents in a federal prison in Oklahoma City. A cover-up immediately went into effect. Federal authorities claimed Trentadue, who was being held in a suicide-proof cell, had committed suicide by hanging himself, but the state coroner would not buy the story.

Prison authorities tried to get family consent to cremate the body. But Trentadue had been picked up on a minor parole violation, and the story of suicide by a happily married man delighted with his two-month-old son raised red flags to the family.

When the Trentadue family received Kenneth's body and heavy makeup was scraped away, the evidence (available in photos on the Internet) clearly shows a person who had been tortured and beaten. His throat was slashed, and he may have been garroted. There are bruises, burns and cuts from the soles of Trentadue's feet to his head, wounds that obviously were not self-inflicted.

As the state coroner noted at the time, every investigative rule was broken by the federal prison. The coroner was not allowed into the cell, and the cell was scrubbed down prior to investigation.

The federal cover-up was completely transparent. A U.S. senator made inquiries, but the U.S. Department of Justice (sic), knowing that it would not be held accountable, stuck to its fabricated story.

That was a mistake. Trentadue's brother, Jesse, is an attorney. He believes that federal officials, like everyone else, must be held accountable for their crimes. He has been battling the Justice (sic) Department and the FBI for a decade.

Jesse Trentadue has amassed evidence that his brother was mistaken for Tim McVeigh's alleged accomplice in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Federal agents, believing that they had Richard Lee Guthrie in their hands, went too far in attempting to force him to talk.

Jesse Trentadue learned that the FBI had informants planted with two groups on which McVeigh may have relied: a white supremacist paramilitary training compound at Elohim City in Oklahoma and the Mid-West Bank Robbery Gang. The implication is that the FBI had advance notice of McVeigh's plans and may have been conducting a sting operation that went awry.

The FBI has documents that name the informants. Teletypes from then-FBI Director Louis Freeh dated Jan. 4, 1996, and Aug. 23, 1996, confirm that the FBI had informants imbedded with the Mid-West Bank Robbery Gang and in Elohim City. In these documents, Freeh reports to various FBI field offices that the Elohim City informant (possibly explosives expert and German national Andreas Carl Strassmeir) "allegedly has had a lengthy relationship with Timothy McVeigh" and "that McVeigh had placed a telephone call to Elohim City on 4/5/95, a day that he was believed to have been attempting to recruit a second conspirator to assist in the OKBOMB attack."

The FBI denied to federal judge Dale Kimball that any such documents existed. But someone had leaked them to Trentadue, and he put them before the judge along with an affidavit of their genuineness. Caught red-handed lying to a federal judge, the FBI was ordered to produce all documents Trentadue demanded. Kimball gave the FBI until June 15, 2005, to deliver the incriminating records. Needless to say, the FBI doesn't want to deliver and is attempting every possible dodge to escape obeying the judge's order.

In his effort to uncover the DOJ's cover-up of his brother's murder, Jesse Trentadue may have uncovered evidence of the FBI's failure to prevent the bombing of the Murrah Building. It is bad enough that the murder of Kenneth Trentadue is covered over with many layers of DOJ perjury and the withholding and destruction of evidence.

Evidence that the FBI was aware of McVeigh's plan to bomb the Murrah Building and failed to prevent the deed would be an additional heavy blow to the prestige of federal law enforcement.  

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan Administration official, is the author of The Supply-Side Revolution and, with Lawrence M. Stratton, of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

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