Magic Bullet Meets McVeigh
November 22, 2002
By Maureen Farrell
the DU 4th Quarter Fundraising Drive!
Yes, it's that time of year again -
when we beg for money to keep Democratic Underground
online. Unfortunately the site doesn't run by
magic - it costs money. And without money, there's
no DU. So please take a moment right now
"The broad mass of a nation," wrote Adolf Hitler, "will more
easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." In that
regard, Americans are no different than Germans.
In our lifetimes, we've been told several big lies; held
afloat by a subset of ridiculous smaller ones. For years,
people believed Lee Harvey Oswald was Kennedy's lone assassin,
based upon the patently absurd magic bullet theory used to
substantiate that claim. Initially, newspapers and citizens
indignantly supported President Johnson's plans for an escalation
in the Vietnam War, following a phony attack by phantom submarines
in the Gulf of Tonkin. And a single kook is believed to have
brought down the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City,
using one Ryder truck, despite news reports and eyewitness
accounts suggesting otherwise.
Atop the most recent pile of lies, of course, rest claims
the government was unaware terrorists would use airplanes
as weapons, even though G8 Summit organizers took precautions
to protect President Bush from such an attack in July, 2001.
And as literature from this year's Chicago-based Homeland
Security Conference confirms, "On the morning of September
11th 2001, [John] Fulton and his team at the CIA were running
a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response
issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building."
How do we sort through the lies?
As always, the most credible witnesses are those with nothing
to gain through deceit. Sept.11 widow Julia Sweeney, for example,
refused to take the $1.7 million "government buyout" after
her husband Brian's plane crashed into the World Trade Center,
so she would be free to take legal action. "This is the only
way that I can get answers that I want," she told Phil Donahue.
"There have been many things swept under the carpet. And I
think it's a shame in a government that you trust - I think
it's a shame, the things that they choose to tell you and
the things they choose not to tell you."
Pundits also pick and chose what to tell. During a recent
Crossfire appearance, Frank Gaffney questioned the
official story regarding the Oklahoma City bombing. The audience
laughed nervously, and Paul Begala likened it to O.J.'s search
for the "real killers." But Gaffney's right. The official
story is flawed.
Citing the investigative work of Jayna Davis, Gaffney addressed
the difficulties she's encountered getting others to take
her work seriously. A former television reporter with KFOR
in Oklahoma City, Davis was one of the first to arrive at
the scene of the 1995 bombing, and one of the first to realize
something was amiss. Since then, she's deciphered 80 pages
of affidavits from more than 20 eyewitnesses, while sifting
through more than 2,000 supporting documents that suggest,
among other things, that Timothy McVeigh did not act alone.
Davis cites reports McVeigh had an alleged dark-haired accomplice,
identified as "John Doe No. 2." But since all 12 surveillance
cameras were confiscated, this claim remains unproven.
Live television reports from Oklahoma City substantiate other
claims, however, indicating that there were multiple bombs
in the Murrah Federal Building, and at least two explosions.
(These news reports can be viewed 17 minutes into Alex Jones'
"911: The Road to Tyranny" online video, halfway down the
page at http://www.infowars.com/videos.html). But while Alex
Jones takes a highly sensationalistic and conspiratorial "the
government did it" New World Orderly stance, Frank Gaffney
takes a more practical approach. He appears to be interested
in manipulating questions to coincide with his desire to topple
In a recent column in the Rev. Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington
Times, Gaffney asserted that "there is evidence of Iraqi
involvement in at least one and perhaps all three of most
deadly terrorist attacks in the United States to date" and
reported that Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter "has
recently promised an investigation into the matter." (Specter,
you may recall, was also the Warren Commission member who
authored the "single bullet theory" to prove Oswald acted
By all means, we should get to the truth regarding what happened
in Oklahoma in 1995. But if we reopen the case, we should
do so in search of the truth, not in search of propaganda
designed to make us feel better about killing innocents and
taking over Iraq's oil reserves. Links between Al Qaeda and
Saddam Hussein have yet to be proven, no matter how hard Bush,
Inc. and Frank Gaffney have tried. The temptation to stretch
the truth may extend to Oklahoma City as well.
Though we should recognize and consider Jayna Davis' work,
we should also be mindful that investigations have unearthed
substantial evidence regarding America's other big lies, too.
Nigel Turner, for example, compiled enough information and
evidence to fill six hours worth of videotape in his powerful
documentary series, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, which
(surprise surprise) contains compelling arguments against
the magic bullet theory. So, while you're at it, Sen. Specter,
why not see if you can unlock the JFK evidence the government
refuses to let us see until 2039?
Come to think of it, we can also make certain that the families
of September 11 victims need not, as Stephen Push recently
told NPR, remain "optimistically cautious" regarding an independent
investigation into the attacks, but can be fully confident
our government and our leaders will do everything possible
to unearth the unvarnished truth. Unfortunately, Push has
acknowledged that he's uncomfortable that President Bush gets
to pick the chairman of the investigative panel, but nevertheless
relieved Sen. John McCain would choose one of the members.
Who to trust, indeed.
But as Sen. Specter and Frank Gaffney lobby for the Oklahoma
City case to be reopened, why stop there? Let's investigate
all the big lies. As they say, the truth will set us free.