THE JOHN DOE TIMES
Vol. III, No. 18
16 February 1997

    IN THIS ISSUE:

  • **WASHINGTON WEEKLY ON THE OKC COVERUP COLLAPSE & THE MEDIA'S FAILURE TO NOTICE.
  • **ALSO: FBI VISITS OKC WITNESS ELEVEN TIMES BEFORE HE CHANGES STORY TO THEIR LIKING-- THE "RUBBER HOSE" METHOD OF FACT-GATHERING.
  • AND: FEDS GIVE UP LAST WITNESS WHO PLACED McVEIGH IN DOWNTOWN OKC ON 19 APRIL 1995.
  • DID TRUCK DRIVE ITSELF TO MURRAH BUILDING AND COMMIT SUICIDE?

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The John Doe Times is an on-line, electronic newsletter published by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Constitutional Militia) and friends. We are a proud and active member of the "Right Wing Media Cabal", Internet Division.

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If a Coverup Tree Falls in the Federal Forest, and the Networks Don't Notice, Does It Make A Sound?

John Cash's dynamite story on Carol Howe, simultaneously published here and in the McCurtain Gazette last Tuesday, was not picked up by the Asociated Press, either in Oklahoma or nationally. No network made it an item on their evening news, no talking head clucked over it on Sunday.

It may be of some interest that this story is getting more press attention outside the country than within. A German news crew, for example, is arriving tomorrow (Monday, 17 February) in OKC to begin filming a piece on Andreas Strassmeir and the bombing conspiracy. Andreas may yet end up on the bottom of the tiger cage at the Berlin Zoo, somewhat worse for wear.

The motives of the Oklahoma Associated Press for not running the story (indeed, for ignoring virtually all of the McCurtain Gazette's revealing stories on the bombing) is hard to understand (if not highly suspect) from a news organization's point of view. It may be petty personal jealousy, it may be simple stupidity. Yet, given the vigorous attempts on the part of the Clinton and Keating administrations to suppress this story, can we now count the Oklahoma City Associated Press operation as their handmaiden in coverup?

The "secret command post" for the bombing sting (which Carol Howe was taken to immediately after the massacre by the ATF) was in the AP's old offices in the basement of a building owned, we are told, by the Daily Oklahoman (or "Joke-la-homan" as OKC aficionados call it).

Now I don't think the AP or the Daily Oklahoman had anything to do with the bombing "sting", but one wonders if, at this late date of 20 months since that evil day, the Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma AP are reluctant to admit that a little bitty newspaper from the southeastern corner had the skill and courage to report a story-- perhaps the most important American news story of the last quarter of the 20th Century-- that was under their own noses the entire time. "There is none so blind as he who will not see."

At any rate, when this story finally comes out as all stories do, it will be the Daily Oklahoman, the Oklahoma AP, the networks and the "mainline newspapers" who will be shamefacedly staring at their shoes. For then it will be apparent to all that when the little government Public Information Officer said, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...The great and powerful Oz has spoken!", that they obeyed and looked away. Ashamed they will be, and none more deservedly so than the Oklahoma AP and the Daily Oklahoman. For it was THEIR backyard, THEIR "beat" and more to the point-- THEIR friends and neighbors whose murderers were left to go free by the deliberate inaction of two culpable administrations. Shame on them, indeed.

-- Mike Vanderboegh,

Editor, The John Doe Times

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WASHINGTON WEEKLY ON OKC "MEDIA CABAL"
   
   From: Washington Weekly 
Subject: Oklahoma City Coverup Exposed 
 
               OKLAHOMA CITY COVERUP EXPOSED
        But The Mainstream Media Are Still In Denial
 
                      By Edward Zehr
 
 A paid informant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and  Firearms
 (BATF) has revealed to an Oklahoma newspaper that she reported to
 the agency late in 1994 that three federal buildings, two of them
 in  Tulsa and the other in Oklahoma City, were being discussed as
 potential targets for bombing by members of  an  extremist  group
 located  in  Elohim  City,  Oklahoma.  The story has been largely
 ignored by the mainstream media, although NBC News on February  7
 carried  a  somewhat  different  version  of the revelations that
 later  appeared  in  the  McCurtain  Daily  Gazette,  ambiguously
 suggesting  that  although  Howe  gave the government information
 regarding "alleged threats" prior to the bombing,  there  is  "no
 evidence" that she reported "specific threats" against the Murrah
 Building until two days after the bombing.
 
 Reporter J.D. Cash, writing in the February 11 McCurtain (County,
 Oklahoma)  Daily  Gazette,  is  unequivocal in asserting that the
 government had prior warning of the attack, however:
 
    "During a series of clandestine interviews, Howe told the
    McCurtain Daily Gazette that the BATF knew as far back
    as the fall of 1994 that the Murrah Federal Building and
    two other Oklahoma federal buildings had been targeted for
    destruction by residents of and frequent visitors to an
    eastern Oklahoma religious cult known as Elohim City."
 
 Mike Vanderboegh, who edits the John Doe Times, a newsletter that
 covers  current  developments in the Oklahoma City bombing story,
 has alleged that ABC News  had  a  more  detailed  story  on  the
 government's prior knowledge of the bombing ready to run, only to
 have it spiked  by  the  network's  management.  Once  more,  the
 American  mainstream media have given convincing demonstration of
 their inability to deal objectively and openly with a politically
 sensitive story of vital interest to the public.
 
 Lolling about on  Air  Force  One  shortly  after  the  election,
 President  Clinton  told  reporters  who  accompanied  him on the
 flight that the Oklahoma bombing had been "a turning point in his
 political fortunes." The militias, who played no part whatever in
 the bombing, but like Richard  Jewell,  had  much  of  the  blame
 affixed  to  them  through  the  deft  use  of  innuendo  by  the
 mainstream press,  found  themselves  lumped  together  with  the
 bombers  under  the designation "Right-wingers" as the designated
 villains of the piece. "It broke a spell in the  country  as  the
 people  began  searching  for  our  common  ground  again,"  said
 Clinton, with  self- serving unctuousness.
 
 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,  the  Washington  bureau  chief  of  the
 London   Telegraph,   whose  keen  observation  of  the  American
 political scene is unparalleled, since  the  time  of  Alexis  de
 Toqueville anyway, put it all in perspective:
 
     "Clinton seized the moment. He blamed Right-wing   radio
     talk shows for sowing distrust of government institutions
     and for creating a climate of "hate" that fostered recourse
     to violence. He did not name the Republicans as
     co-conspirators; he did not have to. The US media made the
     connection for him.
 
     "Tim McVeigh was the military expression of the  Gingrich
     agenda, opined the commentators. Republicans had failed to
     understand that rhetoric has consequences, and now look
     what had happened."
 
 The Republicans were utterly cowed by the audacity  of  Clinton's
 attack,  unable  to articulate a defense. Those few who attempted
 to remind the public that it had all started with the savagery of
 the  government  assault  on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco
 were  quickly  shouted  down  by  an   intensely   partisan   and
 tendentious mainstream press.
 
 "It worked like magic  for  Clinton,"  Evans-Pritchard  observed.
 "With control  over the Justice Department and the FBI - which he
 has politicized to an extraordinary degree - he has been able  to
 shape perception of the bombing."
 
 The British journalist expressed doubt, however,  in  an  article
 appearing  in  the  London  Telegraph  last  November,  that  the
 government would be able to "keep the  lid  on  this  case"  much
 longer.  A  number  of local newspapers have reported allegations
 that federal authorities have  failed  to  pursue  all  of  those
 suspected of involvement in the bombing, in order to protect some
 who were informants. And in  October  the  Canadian  Broadcasting
 Company  ran  a  documentary  that  put  the story in an entirely
 different perspective. To trace the story to its origins,  it  is
 necessary  to  go  back  a dozen years or so to the group of self
 described "racialists" who live in  a  small  settlement  in  the
 Ozark mountains of Eastern Oklahoma which they call Elohim City.
 
 ELOHIM CITY
 
 These  people  are  adherents  of  a  religious  sect  known   as
 "Christian  Identity" which teaches that white northern Europeans
 are God's  chosen  people,  although  they  deny  that  they  are
 "racists", or even "white separatists." The distinction is a fine
 one, to be sure. The movement's  spiritual  leader  is  an  aging
 Canadian  named  Robert  G.   Millar,  who  was once a  Mennonite
 pacifist.  Millar settled in the location near Muldrow,  Oklahoma
 24  years  ago  with a small group of followers. Now the 71-year-
 old leader is known as  "Grandpa"  to  his  flock  of  80  or  so
 adherents, many of whom are related to him by birth or marriage.
 
 Millar told the CBC  journalist  who  interviewed  him  that  his
 followers  are trained in the use of firearms when they reach the
 age of 13 or 14. Local police who visited the site several  years
 ago to serve legal papers were greeted by armed teenagers,
 
 Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press observes that,   "People
 seeking  the company of like-minded zealots travel between Elohim
 City and other extremist encampments, including the Hayden  Lake,
 Idaho,  compound  of Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler and the
 Pennsylvania farm of Aryan Nations leader Mark Thomas."
 
 RICHARD SNELL AND THE CSA
 
 Thomas, who was recently arrested in connection with a series  of
 bank robberies, is a pivotal figure in the Aryan Republican Army,
 an armed, militant (some would say terrorist)  organization.  But
 the  Oklahoma  sect's connection with militant extremists began a
 good deal earlier. During the early 1980s, a  man  named  Richard
 Snell  made  frequent  trips  to  Elohim  City accompanied by his
 followers.  Snell was a  key  figure  in  a  group  of   Arkansas
 extremists  known as the CSA (The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm
 of the Lord). Their goal was the violent overthrow of the federal
 government.  In  the  words  of  the  script  writer  of  the CBC
 documentary, "Millar taught them about God, they  taught   Millar
 about guns."
 
 According to the CBC, in 1983 Snell and an  associate  named  Jim
 Ellison  came  up with several schemes to punish the nation which
 they perceived to have strayed from the pathway of righteousness.
 One  of  their  plans  was  "to  blow  up the Murrah  Building in
 Oklahoma City, the same building that would be destroyed 13 years
 later."
 
 Kerry Noble, a follower of Millar and second in  command  of  the
 CSA,  is shown in the documentary saying, "I still look at things
 like this and realize how close we were,   and,  you  know,  that
 this  could  have  been  me  having done this...It was one of the
 targets that we had talked about  at  CSA  in  '83.  The  day  it
 happened,  as  soon  as I heard it on the news, I said, the right
 wing's done [it], they finally took that step."
 
 Noble explained that the Murrah Building had been considered as a
 target  because  it was in a low security area and housed so many
 government agencies. He said the plotters thought that  it  would
 have more effect on the country "than if you did a building, say,
 in New York City or  something."
 
 Jim Ellison, who was subsequently charged with sedition, admitted
 during his trial that he had "scoped out" the Murrah building and
 several others for Snell and one of his "associates." The did not
 have  a  chance  to act on this information, though, for on April
 19, 1985 (note the date) they were  besieged  by  federal  agents
 and,  after  holding  them  off  for a time, surrendered and were
 taken into custody. Kerry Noble  was  imprisoned  for  26  months
 after being convicted on weapons charges.
 
 Richard Snell was later arrested for the murder of a  pawnbroker,
 whom  he  mistakenly  thought  to be Jewish, and of a black state
 trooper. He was convicted of murder and sentenced  to  death.  He
 continued  his  campaign  against the federal government from his
 cell  on  death  row  in  an  Arkansas  prison,  even  editing  a
 newsletter.  In  March  of  1995  the  State  of  Arkansas set an
 execution date for Snell  --  April  19.  This  was  particularly
 infuriating  to  Snell's supporters, who associated the date with
 the Waco atrocity.  Possibly this is what motivated  Tim  McVeigh
 to  choose  the false birth date of April 19 on the fake driver's
 license which he used in the Oklahoma bombing.
 
 Kerry Noble is convinced that McVeigh was  influenced  by  Snell.
 Asked  if  he  thought  it   a coincidence that the ARA chose the
 Murrah building as a target, Noble replied, "No,  I  don't  think
 it's  any  coincidence. When you bring that into account with the
 declaration of war that we made,  the  pressure  that  the  older
 leaders  of the groups are putting on the younger followers to do
 something  in  a  major  way  before  they  die  -  no,  it's  no
 coincidence."
 
 Millar, who visited Snell frequently in prison was  non-committal
 when  asked  whether  he  thought  it  possible  that McVeigh was
 inspired by Snell's execution to blow  up  the  Murrah  Building.
 although  he  conceded  that  it  was  quite  a  coincidence  and
 expressed hope that the truth would come out at the trial.
 
 WHO FINANCED THE BOMBING?
 
 An Oklahoma grand jury concluded in its  final  report  that  the
 bombing of the federal building had been financed with a theft of
 guns in Arkansas on November 5,  1994,  yet  federal  authorities
 have concluded that the components of the bomb used in the attack
 had already been purchased at the time of the robbery.  McVeigh's
 attorney  has  witnesses who place him hundreds of miles from the
 scene of the theft at the time it occurred. How then were McVeigh
 and  Nichols  able  to  support themselves during their extensive
 travels in 1994 and 1995? Both of them made trips back and  forth
 across  the  country  during  the  year prior to the bombing, and
 Nichols traveled several times to the Philippines with  his  wife
 during that time. Yet the two men were employed only sporadically
 and the profits from their gun show business were not adequate to
 finance their travels. A possible answer is suggested by the fact
 that McVeigh's whereabouts are unknown for several days preceding
 and  following 11 of the 12 robberies committed by the ARA during
 this period.
 
 A possible clue was provided by Terry Nichols former wife,   Lana
 Padilla,  who told federal investigators that she found more than
 $60,000 in silver bullion in a Las Vegas storage locker rented by
 her  ex-husband,  together with several masks and wigs. She later
 told them that she had also discovered a bag  containing  $20,000
 hidden in her utensil cabinet.
 
 THE ELOHIM CITY CONNECTION
 
 Bank robber Kevin McCarthy referred to Elohim City  in  testimony
 he gave at the trial of Peter Langan, the leader of the ARA gang,
 and Millar has confirmed that  McCarthy lived there prior to  the
 Oklahoma  bombing and that Stedeford, another member of the gang,
 had also visited there from time to time.  According  to  Millar,
 both  McCarthy and Stedeford were closely associated with Andreas
 Strassmeir, who is thought by some observers to have been a  BATF
 informant,  and  Michael  Brescia,  who  has  been  identified by
 several witnesses as John Doe II.
 
 The McCurtain Gazette has interviewed witnesses who claim to have
 seen  Strassmeir  and  Brescia  with McVeigh on various occasions
 right up to the period several days before the bombing. Two women
 from Herington, Kansas who identified Brescia as John Doe II told
 the FBI that Strassmeir, McVeigh, and Brescia were  old  friends.
 This has been denied by Strassmeir's attorney Kirk Lyons. Brescia
 has declined to comment on this or  any  other  allegations  made
 against him.
 
 Although  McVeigh  denies  having  visited   Elohim   City,   law
 enforcement  authorities  have  told  the  McCurtain Gazette that
 their intelligence reports have placed him there on a  number  of
 occasions.  There  is  also a record of McVeigh getting a traffic
 ticket just a few miles from the entrance of Elohim City on  Oct.
 12,  1993.   McVeigh is believed to have participated in military
 maneuvers directed by Strassmeir at Elohim  City  on   Sept.  12,
 1994.  About  70  people  are  said  to  have  taken  part in the
 exercise. The Oklahoma grand jury that investigated  the  bombing
 determined  that  the plot had been hatched on the following day.
 Records show that McVeigh was checked in to a nearby motel at the
 time.  Telephone  records show that on Sept. 24 somebody made the
 first of a series of calls  for  the  purpose  of  acquiring  the
 components  of  a  bomb. The call was made from the home of Terry
 Nichols in Kansas where McVeigh was visiting at the time.
 
 Eleven days before the bombing Strassmeir,  Brescia  and  McVeigh
 were  seen  together  at  Lady  Godiva's, a strip club located in
 Tulsa, by several of the women who worked  there.  A  video  tape
 that  was  made  in  the dressing room of the club that night was
 shown in the CBC documentary. One of the dancers who  appears  in
 the  tape  mentioned  that  a  customer had told her that "You're
 going to remember me on April 19, '95; you're going  to  remember
 me for the rest of your life."
 
 Witnesses identified the customer as McVeigh. One  of  the  women
 who  worked at the club said, after being interviewed by the FBI,
 that she might have to testify at McVeigh's trial.
 
 CAROL HOWE
 
 Carol E. Howe is a 26-year-old former actress  and  beauty  queen
 who  has won awards for steeplechase competition and hunting. She
 was an honors student in high school and college.  More  recently
 she  has  worked  as  an infiltrator of extremist groups and paid
 informant for the BATF, as has been  revealed  by  the  McCurtain
 Gazette and confirmed by the Justice Department.
 
 The newspaper conducted a series  of  interviews  with  Ms.  Howe
 after  learning her identity in early December and contacting her
 on Christmas Eve. During the course of the  interviews  she  told
 them  of  the  white supremacist ARA at Elohim City that had made
 plans to blow up a government building  and  had  selected  three
 potential  targets  in  Oklahoma.  She  also  described "in great
 detail" the work she did for Special Agent Angela Finley  of  the
 Tulsa  office  of   the  BATF. The agency has confirmed that Howe
 worked for them. In more than  70  reports  she  filed  with  the
 agency,  Howe revealed that two of the subjects from Elohim City,
 Strassmeir and a  man  named  Dennis  Mahon,  a  former  Oklahoma
 Klansman, had been casing the targeted buildings. Howe went along
 on one of the three trips the pair made to Oklahoma City for this
 purpose .
 
 According  to  Evans-Pritchard,  Howe  revealed  in  her  monthly
 informant's  reports that the subjects she had under surveillance
 had set a target date of April 19th of 1995 for the  attack.  She
 submitted  these  reports  to Angela Finley before the April 19th
 bombing, not afterward,  as  erroneously  reported  by  NBC.  The
 McCurtain  Gazette is unequivocal in reporting what "Howe says is
 the indisputable truth-- that the government had 'detailed  prior
 knowledge'  of  the plot to bomb the building, but somehow failed
 to stop it."
 
 Within hours of the bombing, Howe was taken to  the  basement  of
 the   old   Pepco  building  in  downtown  Oklahoma  City  for  a
 debriefing. She was able to identify John Doe I and John  Doe  II
 immediately  from  sketches provided by federal agents. According
 to Evans-Pritchard, she identified Brescia as John  Doe  II,  but
 John  Doe  I  was  not  McVeigh as has been commonly assumed. The
 British journalist told Jim Quinn in a radio  interview  that  he
 knows  the identity of John Doe I, but is reluctant to divulge it
 at present.
 
 In the same interview, Evans-Pritchard dropped a bombshell of his
 own.  Although  the  government  claims  to  have  witnesses  who
 identify McVeigh as the person who  came  to  the  Ryder  agency,
 under  the  alias of  Robert Kling, to rent the truck used in the
 bombing, he could not have been  there.  McVeigh's  defense  team
 have a video tape taken from a surveillance camera that shows him
 sitting in a McDonald's in Junction City, eating a hamburger,  at
 the  time  the  truck  was  rented.  This  might  explain why the
 description of John Doe I circulated by the FBI referred to a man
 with  "pock-marked  skin,  fairly  stocky" who stood about 5'10",
 whereas McVeigh is about 6' 3" tall, thin as a rail (160 lbs) and
 has a smooth complexion.
 
 Ms. Howe's story is supported by  recently  discovered  documents
 that  the  government  is  required  by  law  to turn over to the
 McVeigh defense team during the discovery process, but failed  to
 do  so.   Last  month,  in  response  to  a  request by McVeigh's
 attorneys, the prosecution told Judge Richard Match that they had
 no  information  linking Strassmeir to the bombings. The judge is
 reported to have been outraged by the deception, telling  one  of
 the  prosecutors,  "You lie to me one more time and you'll be off
 this case!" He then ordered the government to turn over copies of
 all  pertinent  documents to the defense. Consequently, McVeigh's
 lawyers now have copies of all of the monthly reports  that  Howe
 filed  with  the  BATF.  Presumably, this is what prompted NBC to
 air their version of the story.
 
 In addition to details regarding Mahon's and Strassmeir's alleged
 surveillance  of the targeted buildings, the intelligence reports
 describe statements they are alleged to  have  made  about  their
 plans to bomb federal installations.
 
 The McCurtain Gazette further reveals that, "Howe  was  routinely
 polygraphed  by the government during the time she was making her
 monthly reports to  the  BATF.  The  government's  own  documents
 indicate  she  passed,  'showing  no deception on her part in any
 polygraph examination.' "
 
 In a story that ran last  July,  the  same  newspaper  quoted  "a
 high-level,  anonymous source in the intelligence division of the
 FBI who described Strassmeir as an 'intelligence  asset'  of  the
 BATF."
 
 The Gazette says that "a former government undercover agent" told
 them,  "It  is typical for agencies such as the CIA, FBI and BATF
 to place multiple 'moles' inside a place  like  Elohim  City  and
 play  one  resource off the other, without either one knowing the
 identity of the other."
 
 Dennis Mahon claims that Howe is the one who  advocated  most  of
 the  violent  acts  at Elohim City. Depicting himself as the fall
 guy in the affair, he told the press, "They want to drag me  into
 this  thing  and  I barely remember even meeting Tim McVeigh.  It
 was Strassmeir who was meeting with McVeigh, not me."
  
 THE MEDIA COVERUP
 
 Meanwhile, the mainstream press continue to  spin  the  story  to
 government  specifications.  A recent piece by the AP's Steven K.
 Paulson repeats the  statement  by  "government  officials"  that
 "they  never received specific threats about the Alfred P. Murrah
 building before the bombing," and devotes much space  to  Mahon's
 denials  of  the  allegations  made  by  Howe (which are outlined
 rather  sparsely).   The  following  excerpt  should  suffice  to
 indicate  just  how  far behind the power curve the AP is on this
 story:
 
    "The only apparent public link between McVeigh and Mahon's
    white-supremacist group is a telephone call made by someone
    using McVeigh's long-distance calling card two weeks before
    the bombing."
 
 A quick survey of the "Three Blind Mice," who  provide  the  news
 coverage  for  70  percent  of  the  population, reveals that ABC
 apparently spiked the  story.  Referring  to  a  segment  on  the
 Oklahoma   bombing  that  recently  ran  on  "20/20",  Jim  Quinn
 commented that, "There was a tremendous amount of pressure put on
 ABC  not  to  run  that report, and, according to Reed [Irvine at
 Accuracy In the Media], it came from the highest  levels  of  the
 Justice Department."
 
 Presumably one story on such a taboo topic is about  all  we  can
 expect  a  network to hazard. The single network that carried the
 Carol Howe  story,  NBC,  apparently  decided  to  settle  for  a
 "limited  hangout."  (That  is  the  journalist's  equivalent  of
 copping to a lesser charge). The government knew  all  about  the
 plot,  but  no matter, they learned of it too late to do anything
 about it. It will be interesting to see how NBC handles  this  if
 the intelligence reports are made public in McVeigh's trial. Will
 their statement be "no longer operative,"  or  will  they  simply
 mumble  that  "mistakes  were  made?"  As  for the other network,
 Evans-Pritchard observed that,  "As  far  as  CBS  is  concerned,
 they're so far out to lunch, they don't know what they're doing."
 
 Nice going, mainstream media  --  keep  up  the  good  work.  And
 whatever you do, don't allow yourselves to be distracted by those
 gadflies in the "Right Wing Media Cabal." While you carry on with
 the coverup, they'll just go on eating your lunch.
 
   Published in the Feb. 17, 1997 issue of The Washington Weekly
   Copyright 1997 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com)

=================================================================

FBI VISITS WITNESS 11 TIMES BEFORE HE CHANGES HIS STORY TO THEIR LIKING.

"FACT-FINDING" BY THE RUBBER HOSE METHOD.

*****************************************

By STEVEN K. PAULSON

Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled there is no evidence a key witness in the Oklahoma City bombing trial was coached, even though he met with investigators 11 times before changing his story.

Defense lawyers objected to the testimony of auto dealer Thomas Manning, charging he changed his story to help convict bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh.

Manning sold McVeigh a car five days before the April 19, 1995, bombing, which killed 168 people and injured more than 500. Manning told investigators that McVeigh briefly stepped outside at a time he allegedly made two phone calls linking him to the crime.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch ruled Friday there was no reason to believe prosecutors coached Manning.

The day Manning and McVeigh met, investigators say two phone calls were made from a pay phone near Manning's Junction City, Kan., business. Both calls were traced to a telephone card found in the home of Terry Nichols, who is also charged in the bombing.

The first call was to Nichols' home. The second was made two minutes later to a Junction City business that rented out the truck used in the bombing.

In 11 interviews with investigators, Manning never mentioned McVeigh being absent, defense lawyers said.

Then, in November 1995 and October 1996, Manning recalled McVeigh was briefly absent while they were finalizing the purchase of the car.

The defense claimed the change indicated Manning had been coached into altering his story. In his ruling, Matsch stated that Manning denied prosecutors did anything wrong to elicit testimony.

AP-NY-02-15-97 0443EST

===========================================================

DUNLAP DROPPED AS WITNESS!

FEDS ABANDON LAST WITNESS THEY HAD WHO PLACED McVEIGH IN DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY!

DID TRUCK DRIVE ITSELF TO OKC AND COMMIT SUICIDE?

DENVER (Reuter) - Prosecutors in the Oklahoma City bombing case will be able to put a key witness on the stand over defense objections, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch ruled Friday.

Timothy McVeigh and former army buddy Terry Nichols have been charged in the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building that claimed the lives of 168 people. The two will be tried separately, with McVeigh's trial beginning on March 31 and Nichols to be tried at an undetermined date later.

A pre-trial hearing will be held next week, but the defendants will not appear when witnesses who might be able to identify them are expected to be present, according to court filings Friday.

Defense lawyers had objected to the testimony of Thomas Manning, manager of a tire store where McVeigh bought a car four days before the bombing and which he was driving when arrested, because Manning remembered 18 months later that McVeigh left the store for several minutes.

Prosecutors argue that in the interval, McVeigh telephoned Nichols and the rental truck agency where he allegedly rented the Ryder truck used in the bombing.

Defense attorneys suggested Manning's new information may have been the result of prompting by prosecutors, but the judge said there was no evidence to support that claim.

Prosecutors also withdrew from their witness list the only person believed to be able to place McVeigh in front of the Murrah building just before the bombing, a defense spokeswoman said.

The witness who was dropped, William Dunlap, told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that he saw a white male get out of a Ryder truck parked in front of the federal building on the day of the bombing.

But he also said that while the person he saw looked similar to McVeigh, he could not tell if it was McVeigh.

Dunlap was the only person listed in a recent government filing that placed McVeigh so close to the building the day of the bombing.

Government prosecutor Larry Mackey declined to comment on specific witnesses, but confirmed the goverment recently shortened its witness list. A spokeswoman in the office of McVeigh's attorneys said Dunlap had been dropped.

21:51 02-14-97

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