The tapes come from various security cameras posted near the Murrah Building. It has taken a federal Freedom of Information Act request and years of effort for Trentadue to obtain the tapes. They show the events transpiring around the time of the OKC bombing, but they are all mysteriously blank before 9:02 a.m., which is just prior to the explosion of the 4,000-pound truck bomb in front of the building.
“The real story is what’s missing,” said Trentadue. “Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence.”
Government officials tried to explain away the consistent gap in footage by claiming the cameras “had run out of tape” or “the tape was being replaced.” This is just too convenient for all the cameras to simultaneously fail to record the exact moment that would have revealed more information about who carried out this horrific act that killed 168 people and injured many more.
“The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” he said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”
There are even more tapes and documents related to the bombing that Trentadue is seeking from the FBI and CIA. A clue to how vital it is for the federal government to make sure that the blank in the video is never filled in can be deduced from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s response to Trentatdue’s further FOIA request for 26 pertinent CIA documents. The agency reviewed the documents in light of the request and claimed that releasing them “could cause grave damage to our national security.”
This highlights how hard it has been to pry any information out of government hands, and why it is so important. “It’s taken a lawsuit and years to get the tapes,” Trentadue said. “The more important thing they show is what they don’t show. These cameras would have shown the various roads and approaches to the Murrah Building.”
A view of these roads and approaches would have likely revealed how many persons were involved with the truck bomb and shown them making their escape. It can be suspected that the infamous John Doe No. 2 — seen by witnesses as an accomplice of convicted and executed OKC bomber Timothy McVeigh — would have been shown in tapes of the area around the Murrah Building.
A television news video posted on YouTube in September 2008 speaks of the same kind of surveillance tapes as Trentadue has obtained. The news report features an anonymous source who saw some of the unedited tapes in federal custody. The source’s information confirms Trentadue’s suspicion that the gaps in the video recordings would yield important information about the multiple bombers who were involved.
Trentadue’s interest in the bombing is personal. His brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was being held in the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in August 1995 for a parole violation. Kenneth Trentadue was never a suspect in the bombing, but he was likely mistaken for a similar-looking associate of Timothy McVeigh, Richard Guthrie. Kenneth died while being held in the Transfer Center, and federal officials ruled his death a suicide. But when the Trentadue family received Kenneth’s body, it was obvious that he had been beaten, tortured, and strangled.
Despite crime scene evidence being intentionally destroyed and incredible roadblocks being put in the family’s path as they sought to investigate Kenneth’s death, they finally won some degree of satisfaction. In 2001, the family emerged victorious from a U.S. District Court with a $1.1 million judgment against the U.S. government for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Jesse Trentadue has since been on a crusade to uncover the truth of the Oklahoma City bombing and to expose the government’s cover up of all those who were involved, whether they may be John Doe No. 2, Richard Guthrie, or whoever else. The Associated Press reported on September 27 that Trentadue has provided copies of the tapes to The Oklahoman newspaper, which has “agreed to provide copies to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.” The Oklahoman also “provided copies to The Associated Press.”
The New American has covered the OKC bombing from day one. William F. Jasper’s most recent report, “New Court Decisions in OKC Bombing,” was posted online on October 15, 2008. The story features links to other articles Jasper has written that give much more in-depth information about persons of interest in the case, including German national Andreas Karl Strassmeir and federal undercover informant Carol Howe.
Jasper’s groundbreaking investigative journalism contains explosive evidence that helps explain why the federal government would want to cover up those crucial moments before 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 2005.
Photo: AP Images