FBI Under Fire

Liz De La Torre

As if it wasn’t enough for the families of the 168 victims, 19 children, and injured to endure the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, now they are forced to deal with new anguish that has the FBI at the central point of investigation. Taped recordings have surfaced following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which shows people running from buildings and tumbling wreckage. However, the silent recordings, taken from several companies and buildings in close proximity to the Murrah building, appear blank at moments just before 9:02 a.m. when a truck carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb exploded, questioning if the FBI had any information or involvement that they are withholding from the public.

With the FBI handing attorney Jesse Trentadue 20 recordings from security cameras in various locations, he claims that the FBI had enough time to edit something if they saw fit. He also says that, like shady police work, editing is not farfetched. Moreover, Trentadue’s speculation comes after his brother, Kenneth, a convicted bank robber who police mistook for a bombing accomplice, was beaten to death during police interrogation.

Despite Trentadue’s persistence (and potential bias), the FBI claims that they have not modified the tapes in any way. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson insists: “The FBI made no edits or redactions in the processing of these videos. The tapes are typical security cameras; the view switches camera to camera every few seconds.”

Still, Trentadue remains unconvinced, “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. The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02. 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.” In fact, the FBI’s resistance to release these tapes sooner has led Trentadue and others to believe that others were implicated in the conspiracy.

While the issue of whether the FBI edited the tapes or not remains unresolved, it is clear that this inquiry into the FBI has people casting doubts on police.

For now, Trentadue has set the case to rest by giving the tapes to the newspaper, The Oklahoman, who will, in turn, produce copies for the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.