OKC Cover-Up Exploding
FBI Whistleblower Blasts FBI Perjury
By James P.
scientist lied about key physical evidence found at the Oklahoma City bombing,
including some materials that were alleged to have been used to make the bomb,
an FBI whistle blower testified in the murder trial of Terry Nichols. FBI
forensic scientist Steve Burmeister lied twice, Frederic Whitehurst told
Burmeister, whom Whitehurst had trained, had
testified in the federal trial of Timothy McVeigh and both the federal and
state trials of Nichols that ammonium nitrate crystals found on bombing debris
had been embedded by the force of the blast and that the crystals came from the
kind of fertilizer believed used in the bombing.
Both statements were false, Whitehurst testified
May 19. There was insufficient evidence to support either of Burmeister’s
conclusions about the bomb that federal investigators claimed destroyed the
Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, he said.
“He is my student and I trust him like a brother,”
Whitehurst said of Burmeister. “But he lied under oath.”
The case is expected to go to the jury soon.
Whitehurst began questioning Burmeister’s veracity
after examining transcripts of his testimony at the federal trials of Nichols
and Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in 2001. Burmeister testified substantially
the same at the current state trial of Nichols.
Whitehurst exposed shoddy work at the FBI’s
laboratory in Washington during the mid-1990s, which led to extensive changes.
The inspector general at the Justice Department
investigated the lab for 18 months and accused the facility of flawed
scientific work and inaccurate, pro-prosecution testimony in major cases,
including the Oklahoma City bombing. The lab had no comment.
The Associated Press reported a year ago that Burmeister
himself told the inspector general that shoddy work and contamination problems
had tainted the bombing evidence, then recanted the allegation a few months
before testifying in the McVeigh trial.
Whitehurst’s testimony concentrated on a shredded
piece of plywood authorities believe came from the cargo container of the Ryder
rental truck that delivered the ammonium-nitrate-and-fuel-oil bomb. The
plywood, recovered two days after the bombing from a parking lot across the
street from the federal building, is the only direct evidence of the explosion.
Burmeister began referring to the crystals as
embedded after meeting with federal prosecutors, Whitehurst said.
“They were not embedded in that surface,”
Whitehurst said. “They were simply adhering to the surface.”
Nichols, 49, could face the death penalty if
convicted on 161 state counts of first-degree murder. He is already serving a
life sentence on federal charges in the deaths of eight federal law enforcement
officers. The state charges cover the other 160 victims and one victim’s fetus.