Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Arizona Bomb Trial — Ties to OKC Bombing

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For nearly three decades, Dennis Mahon (left) has served as one of the premier poster boys for violent racism in America. He has held top leadership positions in the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resistance (WAR), and has hobnobbed with many of the most notorious neo-Nazis and hate mongers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. He has led cross-burning rallies, operated a “Dial-a-Racist” hotline in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and twice run for Mayor of Tulsa as an avowed racist. He has publicly called for violent revolution and overthrow of the U.S. government, and advocated violence against Jews, blacks, and other “non-Aryans.”

Dennis Mahon and his identical twin brother, Daniel, are now on trial in Phoenix, Arizona, for a 2004 bombing that injured a black city official and his secretary in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. The 61-year-old white supremacist twins were arrested at their parents’ home near Rockford, Illinois, in June 2009.

The federal grand jury indictment charges that “Dennis Mahon and Daniel Mahon did knowingly and unlawfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree together to maliciously damage and destroy by means of fire and explosives, buildings and other real property used in interstate and foreign commerce.” The indictment states further:

Dennis Mahon participated in the construction of a bomb, disguised in a cardboard box made to appear as a parcel package, that was delivered to the City of Scottsdale Civic Center Library. The label on the box was addressed to Donald Logan, Office of Diversity & Dialogue. The bomb did in fact explode on February 26, 2004 when Donald Logan opened the box. Donald Logan and Renita Linyard suffered personal injuries as [a] result of the explosion.

The Mahon brothers pled not guilty to the charges. Their trial, which began in Phoenix in federal court on January 10, has been something of a sensational sexual sideshow, with the Mahons’ defense team declaring the government’s actions “outrageous” in using a voluptuous “trailer park Mata Hari” informant to provoke and entrap the Mahons. The defense has shown the jury two provocative photos of Rebecca Williams, an informant for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), that Williams gave to Dennis Mahon. The photos of Williams, a 41-year-old former exotic dancer, and a video of her massaging a naked Dennis Mahon (who was covered by only a towel), are central to the defense argument of entrapment. One of the photos, reported the Associated Press, “showed her in a leather jacket, fishnet stockings and a thong that completely exposed her buttocks, along with a note that said, ‘Thought you’d love the butt shot.’ The other showed her in a bikini top with a grenade hanging between her breasts as Williams posed in front of a pickup and a swastika.”

Williams said that the ATF paid her $100 for in-person contact with the brothers, on top of $300 every month for their phone conversations. Over the course of nearly five years, she received a total of $45,000 from the ATF, including reimbursements for her expenses. She says the ATF promised her $100,000 upon the Mahons’ convictions.

Williams made audio recordings of a number of in-person and telephone conversations with Dennis Mahon, some of which were played for the jury. He reportedly “showed her how to make bombs and bragged about bombing a Jewish community center, an Internal Revenue Service building, an immigration facility, and an abortion clinic.”

Mahon also talked to her about the Scottsdale bombing of Don Logan. He told her that he didn’t do it but convinced white police officers to do it.

Mahon’s defense attorney argued that Mahon “often makes exaggerated self-aggrandizing claims” that aren’t true and that his claims of criminal activity were simply the braggadocio of an alcoholic aimed at impressing a woman with whom he was infatuated.

Prosecutors said Williams never kissed or had sex with either brother and that her flirtations did not constitute entrapment. The trial is expected to extend possibly into March.

Good Chance He’s Guilty

If the Mahon brothers end up being convicted for the Scottsdale bombing, it will constitute a triumph something akin to convicting Charles Manson for jaywalking.

In the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, federal investigators early on considered Mahon a top suspect as one of the “John Doe” accomplices to Timothy McVeigh in that attack, which killed nearly 170 persons and injured hundreds of others. The New American magazine’s own extensive investigation amassed convincing evidence that Mahon was one of the “others unknown” mentioned as co-conspirators in the federal indictment against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. However, very soon after the bombing, it became clear that the Clinton administration’s Justice Department was directing the FBI and other federal investigators away from Mahon and his close friend, Andreas “Andy” Strassmeir, a German army officer who was in the United States illegally on an expired visa and was serving as the “security officer” at a rural Aryan encampment near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border known as “Elohim City.”

FBI and ATF records show that federal authorities were aware prior to the bombing that Strassmeir was training the residents of Elohim City in the use of firearms, explosives, insurrection, and guerrilla warfare. They were sufficiently alarmed by activities at the rural settlement that they conducted aerial video and photographic reconnaissance of Elohim City and recruited a young Tulsa woman, Carol Howe, for the dangerous task of infiltrating the enclave as an undercover confidential informant. Federal officials also were well aware that precisely 10 years previously, on April 19, 1985, FBI and ATF agents raided an Elohim City-related compound nearby in Arkansas to foil an earlier plot to blow up the same Oklahoma City federal building. The leader of that plot was polygamist James Ellison, who is married to one of the granddaughters of the “Reverend” Robert Millar, the founder, patriarch, and spiritual leader of Elohim City.

Dennis Mahon was a frequent visitor to Elohim City and had set up a travel trailer there for his extended stays. In addition to Strassmeir, Mahon also was close friends with members of the Aryan Republican Army (ARA), also known as the Midwest Bank Robbers. The federal indictment of several of the ARA robbers says: “In or about November 1994, the defendants MARK WILLIAM THOMAS and SCOTT ANTHONY STEDEFORD met with defendant KEVIN MCCARTHY in Elohim City, Oklahoma.” Indeed, many of the robbers lived there for extended periods.

A signature of the ARA robbers was to leave a fake bomb at the banks they robbed, thus the FBI task force set up to capture them was designated BOMBROB. At Elohim City the robbers had access to at least two experienced bomb makers who could teach them how to make real bombs: Dennis Mahon and Andy Strassmeir. The ARA declared in their own propaganda video that “Federal buildings may have to be bombed, and civilian loss of life is regrettable but expected.”

Federal documents show that Carol Howe warned prior to the OKC bombing that Strassmeir and Mahon were planning to blow up federal buildings and that she had gone with the two of them on a surveillance run to Oklahoma City. A report by FBI special agent James Blanchard and ATF special agent Angie Finley on April 21, 1995, two days after the bombing, states:

MEHAUN [sic] has talked with CAROL about targeting federal installations for destruction through bombings, such as the IRS Federal Building, the Tulsa Federal Building and the Oklahoma Federal Building.

The same report notes that Mahon and Strassmeir had taken “three trips to Oklahoma City in November, 1994, December, 1994, and February, 1995” and that Howe had accompanied them on one of the trips. Another ATF lead sheet filed by special agent Finley states, among other things: “Mahon has detonated explosives at E/C [Elohim City]”; “E/C is preparing for war against U.S. government”; “Robert Millar stated that he would be wiling [sic] to hide anyone who needed a place to stay at E/C.”

In an August 30, 1994 report based on informant Carol Howe’s intelligence, ATF agent Angela Finley wrote:

Mahon has made numerous statements regarding the conversion of firearms into fully automatic weapons … and the manufacture and use of explosive devices.... Mahon and his organization are preparing for a race war and war with the government in the near future and it is believed that they are rapidly stockpiling weapons.

The ATF’s informant Carol Howe reported seeing Timothy McVeigh at Elohim City, as did several former Elohim City residents interviewed by this reporter, including Dennis Mahon. FBI informant John Shults told the FBI he had seen Mahon and McVeigh together at Elohim City. Several other witnesses interviewed by this reporter and other journalists reported seeing, meeting, and conversing with McVeigh and Strassmeir together in Kansas and Oklahoma. McVeigh’s telephone card records, which the prosecution used against him, showed that he called Elohim City at least twice. One of the calls was made only two minutes after McVeigh had placed the call to rent the Ryder truck used for the truck bomb. According to Robert Millar’s daughter-in-law Joan Millar, McVeigh asked her to “Tell Andy I’ll be coming through.” The day before the bombing, McVeigh called Kirk Lyons, Andy Strassmeir’s attorney (and attorney for the KKK and Aryan Nations), asking for Andy.

ATF and FBI records obtained by this writer, by J.D. Cash of the McCurtain Gazette, and by other journalists document that federal agencies were well aware of the Mahon-Strassmeir-ARA-Elohim City connections. “It is suspected that members of Elohim City are involved either directly or indirectly through conspiracy,” federal agents wrote just days after the Murrah Building bombing. The New American has reported extensively on these connections.

FBI records show that McVeigh’s sister, Jennifer McVeigh, told the FBI Tim had told her he was involved in bank robberies and showed her money he said was from a bank robbery. In one of his letters to Jennifer, McVeigh justified robbing banks as “sort of a Robin Hood thing.”

The ATF/FBI records show federal agencies were aware that Dennis Mahon had previously detonated a 500-pound ANFO bomb, whereas, on the record, McVeigh and Nichols had detonated only small bottle bombs. Robert Sanders, a retired 24-year veteran of the ATF and former assistant director of the agency, told The New American that in view of the extraordinarily detailed high-value intelligence provided by Howe, the failure of the federal OKBOMB — the name of the investigation into the OKC bombing — investigators to follow through on her information on such an important matter was beyond extraordinary; he had never seen anything like it.

Noting that according to the ATF files Mahon had blown up a truck with a 500-pound ANFO bomb, Sanders said: “That is a big bomb. How many people in this country have ever done that? Not many, I can guarantee you. The ATF and FBI would definitely want to question him about that, especially after Oklahoma City. But there’s no evidence that they ever did.” This was all the more stunning, Sanders pointed out, since the ATF’s own records showed Howe repeatedly passed polygraph tests and her ATF supervisor had evaluated her as “truthful” and “reliable.”

No Stone Unturned?

President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno vowed to a shocked and grieving nation that they would “leave no stone unturned” in the effort to bring to justice all those involved in the deadly Oklahoma City bombing.

“We believe we conducted an exhaustive investigation that pursued every possible lead and ran it to ground,” said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan in a 2003 Associated Press story. “We are confident that those who committed the crime have been brought to justice and that there are no other accomplices out there.” “Every lead, regardless of its credibility, was thoroughly investigated to its conclusions,” Kortan insisted. “While conspiracy stories continue to circulate, no evidence that other individuals were involved in the bombing was corroborated by the investigation.”

Exhaustive investigation? Pursued every possible lead? No other accomplices? The Clinton administration and its shills in the media repeatedly cited a statistical litany as proof to justify their claims regarding the supposed thoroughness of the OKC investigation: a global search involving more than 2,000 federal agents clocking more than one million investigative hours; more than 20,000 witnesses interviewed; more than a billion documents generated; and over 43,000 tips checked.

It all sounds very impressive — as it is meant to. And yet, incredibly, amidst all this furious motion and intense “investigation,” Dennis Mahon, Andy Strassmeir, and the Elohim City ARA bank robbers — who should have been top suspects — were not even included among the tens of thousands of leads and witnesses interviewed! Months after the bombing, after this magazine and other alternative media caused an uproar over Strassmeir, he was allowed to flee back to Germany; the FBI then interviewed him briefly by telephone! It became obvious to all who were following the details that Strassmeir and Mahon were being shielded. Why? Why were federal investigators canvassing the globe — and ignoring the prime suspects and witnesses in their back yard?

Some FBI and ATF investigators and officials interviewed by The New American were outraged at the obstructions and diversions from higher-ups in the administration to prevent making the obvious connections of BOMBROB to OKBOMB. Danny Defenbaugh was the FBI agent in charge of the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation, OKBOMB. In 2003, when John Solomon of the Associated Press showed Defenbaugh, then retired, key documents from the FBI’s BOMBROB files showing the ARA-Elohim City connections to McVeigh, Defenbaugh claimed to have never seen them and said they might have changed the outcome of his OKBOMB probe. In fact, he said, “If I were still in the bureau, the investigation would be reopened.” Defenbaugh said his investigative team “shouldn’t have been cut out. We should have been kept in on all the items of the robbery investigation until it was resolved as connected or not connected to Oklahoma City.”

Perhaps agent Defenbaugh and his OKBOMB team should have been reading The New American magazine and our website, where many of these BOMBROB documents and other ATF/FBI documents were posted years before — instead of dismissing all such related information as crazy “conspiracy theory.” If he had done so, Dennis Mahon and other criminal co-conspirators connected to the Oklahoma City bombing might have been placed behind bars long ago.

— Photo of Dennis Mahon: AP Images

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