Jim Ramsey stood before an Oklahoma City judge last December a few days before Christmas, nervously awaiting his sentence on nine felony counts, yet another face in an anonymous parade of drug defendants.
The 35-year-old had been charged with drunk driving, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, breaking and entering, and escaping from police custody, among other counts stemming from a string of arrests in 2003 and 2004. Years in prison loomed if the judge decided to be harsh.
But Ramsey was no ordinary drug criminal. He was a former cop and the recipient of the Oklahoma City Police Department's highest citation for bravery, awarded for his role in rescuing two women trapped on a precarious 7th-floor ledge of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after the bomb went off on April 19, 1995.
For Ramsey, the road from decorated police hero to convicted drug felon ran straight through the smoking ruins of the Murrah building, with stops along the way for gambling, drinking and divorce. Yet, spectacular as his descent was, Ramsey's case was far from unique: Scores of other Oklahoma City police officers, firefighters and emergency workers followed similar routes.
Officer Ramsey was one of the first responders on April 19, 1995, at the scene of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Given the terrible scene he encountered, it is perhaps understandable if his experience there had an effect on him.
Not only was the scene a horrific one; reports persist of links not just to native-grown American extremists, but to foreign terrorists as well. A report put out by the office of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher had this to say:
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the
House International Relations Committee
The Oklahoma City Bombing: Was There A Foreign Connection?
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R - CA)
On Wednesday, April 19, 1995, at approximately 9:02 AM, a bomb exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people, including 19 children, and injuring countless others. Within days, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were in custody as the prime suspects and were eventually convicted of the crime. Undoubtedly, McVeigh and Nichols were responsible for this violent domestic terrorist attack, and, with the conviction of these murderers, justice was served. However, from the time of the bombing until today, questions persist as to whether others were involved. Especially alarming has been speculation that there might have been a foreign connection.
Within our jurisdictional, legal and resource limits, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has conducted an intensive investigation into whether there was a foreign connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. The effort focused primarily on two theories that seemed to be based on factual evidence that, if verified, would indicate a foreign participation in the bombing.
PART I: Possible Middle Eastern Connections
There is serious, yet in some cases circumstantial, evidence that suggests a possible Middle Eastern connection to the Oklahoma City bombing (named "OKBOMB" by federal investigators):
For example, of all the cities in the world, convicted terrorist Ramzi Yousef and Terry Nichols were in Cebu City in the Philippines at the same time three months before the Oklahoma City bombing. Yousef was the perpetrator of the first World Trade Center attack as well as the mastermind behind the planning of other high-profile attacks on Americans. Furthermore, Ramzi Yousef's phone records, from the months before he detonated the first World Trade Center bomb in early 1993, show calls placed to the Filipina neighbor and close friend of Terry Nichols' in-laws in Queens, New York. The opportunity for interaction between American terrorist, Nichols, and al-Qaeda terrorist, Yousef, is evident.
There is no doubt, however, that Nichols and Yousef were both in Cebu City in December and January prior to the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Yousef, having successfully escaped America after exploding a bomb in the World Trade Center in February 1993, had been living in Manila with Murad and Khan. They were working on their next two part plan, Project Bojinka: a conspiracy to place bombs on twelve American airliners which would explode over the Pacific Ocean, potentially killing hundreds of Americans, and to overtake the cockpits of American airliners and crash them into buildings such as the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Possible connections to Islamic extremists in the Middle East, and a pre-9/11 plot to hijack airliners and crash them into buildings....
From the beginning of a recent speech by Congressman Rohrabacher in Congress:
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 18, 2007, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Speaker, I come to the floor tonight with a heavy heart. The nature of the allegations I make speaks poorly of this administration. In my heart of hearts, I have always wanted this administration to succeed, but the issue at hand is of such magnitude that the American people need to know what is being done and what precedents are being set.
In my tenure as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, both as chairman and ranking member of an investigative subcommittee, I have witnessed firsthand behavior by the Bush administration which I find deeply troubling.
The disdain and uncooperative nature that this administration has shown toward Congress, including Republican Members, is so egregious that I can no longer assume that it is simply bureaucratic incompetence or isolated mistakes. Rather, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress' rightful and constitutional duties.
In his speech, Congressman Rohrabacher goes on to address this very matter.
The following things jump out at me, in no particular order:
1) Congressman Rohrabacher is a Republican. Why is he so critical of the Bush Administration?
2) Congressman Rohrabacher wrote in the report of a pre-9/11 plot "to overtake the cockpits of American airliners and crash them into buildings such as the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia." Yet, as I pointed out in a previous post, Condoleezza Rice assured us that she didn't "think anybody could have predicted" that Islamic terrorists would "try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." In fact, in that post, we showed how America's intelligence community had a dozen examples of Islamic terrorists planning that very thing -- prior to 9/11.
3) I have connected Congressman Rohrabacher to money from Albanian organized crime; this Albanian organized crime is, in turn, well-connected to the very Islamic extremists that Rohrabacher fingers in his report. In a paranoid sort of way, I could understand if Rohrabacher were trying to cover up a connection between the Oklahoma City bombing and Islamic terrorists, but his attempt to expose such a connection just seems all the more credible.
We now continue with another excerpt from farther down in Jim Ramsey: Tragedy haunts the heroes:
Officials of both the Oklahoma City Police and Fire Departments, hoping to avoid stigmatizing their employees, said they collected no data on adverse aftereffects among rescue workers.
Many other measures, however, indicate that the fallout from the Oklahoma City bombing was severe.
Project Heartland, a five-year counseling program set up to help Oklahomans affected by the bombing, provided services to 363 first responders, according to the program's final report. The Fire Department chaplain said he conducted nearly 80 suicide interventions among firefighters.
A police officer and an assistant prosecutor committed suicide.
The police officer who committed suicide was none other than Sergeant Terrance Yeakey, who may have been the first police officer on the scene of the bombing that morning. In fact, Sergeant Yeakey was a friend of Officer Ramsey -- they responded together.
Sergeant Yeakey's manner of suicide is interesting as well. It is difficult to find authoritative government or media accounts with the details of his death, but (depending on the reports you do find) it seems that a little over a year after the Oklahoma City bombing, Sergeant Yeakey -- a big, muscular man -- beat himself up, slashed his wrists and throat, possibly dragged himself behind a car, and then, leaving his vehicle a bloody mess, walked about a mile and half over rough terrain before shooting himself in the back of the head -- without leaving any powder burns on his head, of course.
So Sergeant Terrance Yeakey of the OKPD, an experienced police officer and first on the scene of the bombing, committed suicide, and Timothy McVeigh, the culprit, was finally executed. The case has been solved: domestic terrorism.
That, as they say, is that, and who can challenge it?
After all, dead men tell no tales.
With this post, I begin a new label: OKBOMB.