For more analysis of how the media have covered the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, read The Real Story of the Oklahoma City Bombing by Roger Aronoff.
Interview with Jayna Davis, author of The Third Terrorist, by Roger Aronoff
The “Take AIM” show on BlogTalkRadio, Thursday, April 22, 2010
ROGER ARONOFF: Good morning, and welcome to “Take AIM,” Accuracy in Media’s weekly talk show on Blog Talk Radio. AIM is America’s original media watchdog, and every week we point out biased coverage and bring you the stories the mainstream media ignore. We encourage you to visit our website at AIM.org and sign up to receive our daily E-mail so you can keep track of what the media are up to. I’m Roger Aronoff, a media analyst with AIM, and we’ve got a great show, timely show for us-for you today. We’re going to get right into it. We have Jayna Davis with us. Jayna, welcome to “Take AIM.”
JAYNA DAVIS: It’s wonderful to be with you.
ARONOFF: Thank you. Let me give a little background on Jayna. Jayna has worked in broadcast news since 1986-no longer, but she worked in Texas, California, and Oklahoma. Between 1993 and 1997 she worked at KFOR TV in Oklahoma City, which was an NBC affiliate, as an investigative reporter and covered the story of the Murrah Federal Building bombing from the first moments. In 2001 she founded Journalists Committee for Justice, Inc., a non-profit organization that has carried on the investigation of the bombing. She’s received many awards over the years, including Best Investigative Reporter from the Oklahoma Associated Press in 1994, and the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters in ’95. She’s done lots of TV appearances, and in 2004 she wrote this masterpiece of a book, The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing. So this is, of course, very timely, because this week marked the fifteenth anniversary of that bombing, and, so tell us where you were that morning, and what you were doing. Let’s do some background, but we’re going to get into a lot of different subjects here this morning.
DAVIS: Well at the time I was an investigative reporter for Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate, KFOR TV, and just by virtue of proximity I was one of the first news correspondents to report the death and destruction of April 19th, 1995. In fact CNN took our live broadcasts within fifteen, twenty minutes of the bombing, and I was one of the reporters on the scene. So I’ve been following this from its inception, from the moment of detonation, and I spent the next nine years documenting, very copiously, a Middle Eastern connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing. And I laid out that research in my book, The Third Terrorist, and it outlines details of sworn affidavits from very credible witnesses who link the convicted bombers, Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols, to an Iraqi hit squad of former soldiers who served in Saddam Hussein’s army, the Republican Guard, during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. They immigrated to the United States after Operation Desert Storm as false defectors. In the fall of 1994, about six months before the Murrah Building attack, these Iraqi servicemen suddenly showed up in an Oklahoma City property management company and began working for a Palestinian real estate mogul, who, according to my research, and the federal court record, this man was suspected of ties to the terrorist organization known as the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now these 22 witnesses, that I gathered and collated all their copiously presented evidence and testimony, they positively identified eight specific Iraqi soldiers aiding and abetting Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the months, the weeks, the days, and the final hours leading up to that deadly moment of 9:02 AM on April 19th, 1995. The most incriminating testimony centers around just one man, who not only fit the FBI’s physical description in the official arrest warrant for the infamous John Doe Two, McVeigh’s elusive accomplice, who was never captured, but according to Federal law enforcement officers this man, an Iraqi soldier known as Hussein Hashem al-Hussaini, was a dead ringer for the third profile sketch that was issued for John Doe Two. Now witnesses identified Hussein al-Hussaini in the company of McVeigh. He was, prior to the bombing, at a local bar; he was seated in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck that carried the bomb the morning of April 19th; he was seen by a witness stepping out of that truck at ground zero, right in front of the federal complex; he was seen speeding away from downtown seconds after the blast in a brown Chevrolet pickup. Now that brown truck, as you’ll remember, was the only getaway vehicle which was aggressively pursued by law enforcement in an official-this was an official all-points bulletin issued by the FBI specifically for Middle Eastern suspects fleeing the bombing building. And al-Hussaini has no alibi for the morning of April 19th, and to this day the Department of Justice, despite repeated requests from the media, national and local media, as well as Congress, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe’s office, former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office, and so forth, they have refused to go officially on the record and clear Hussein Hashem al-Hussaini of complicity in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building fifteen years ago. Why? I can’t answer that question. I would only have to speculate. But the Department of Justice did go on the record and clear hundreds of men, officially, that were collared and questioned because they bore a slight resemblance to the sketch of John Doe Two. But in the case of this Iraqi soldier, who multiple witnesses can place at the scene of the crime in an overt act, in the commission of the crime, they will not officially clear him. Because they would have to give him a government-issued alibi. He has no provable alibi for the critical hours of April 19th, 1995.
ARONOFF: So have you been able to trace back to, because we remember in the first days that there was this all-points bulletin and we were seeing this sketch, and there was, seemingly, clearly a Middle East connection, but that sort of quickly went away. Are you, were you able to get in and diagnose or analyze what happened and how that, that sort of was pulled back, so to speak?
DAVIS: Yes. Yes-I can actually tell you the timing, and you can draw your own conclusions. On June 7th of 1995 KFOR TV broke our first story featuring witnesses that identified this Iraqi immigrant with Tim McVeigh in the days before the bombing at a local bar. Two days later, on June 9th of 1995, we had done a story on a witness downtown that could place him in the getaway vehicle, the brown truck, speeding away. From there we kept putting broadcast after broadcast after broadcast of more witnesses that could tie a group of Iraqi soldiers to the bombing. Now. I met with the FBI in May of 1995. Shared all my evidence. Within four days of that meeting and turning over surveillance video tape of these Iraqi soldiers at this local property management company, where they worked, after I turned that over, within four days the FBI held a national press conference and said John Doe Two may be a case of mistaken identity. But they were speaking out of both sides of their mouth. They parsed their words very carefully. Janet Reno stated, ‘We have not officially ruled out the suspect.’ So while the press assumed the search was over, the national manhunt, they left the door open that if anything were to come up, they could always step aside and explain why they pulled the search for John Doe Two; they pulled the plug on the tipline. I believe that’s because when I handed my surveillance tape of those Iraqi soldiers, they knew who John Doe Two was, and President Clinton was not about to arrest a foreign suspect in which the United States of America would cry out for a military response to take out Saddam Hussein.
ARONOFF: Now do you think it was that, or that it went against his narrative that he picked up on — that right-wing, hate-radio, Rush Limbaugh — as he just reiterated this past Friday, that this atmosphere being created, that he thought that he-if he held that up, that it would benefit him politically. I mean, do you-
DAVIS: Right. Well, I think the two motives are inseparable; I think they go hand-in-glove.
DAVIS: He actually had a political boost and a bonus as a result of no foreign connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. He was able to capitalize on the rhetoric of the day. And actually he propagated that rhetoric. He actually lit the fuse, okay, and he fueled the flames of demagoguery. He’s the reason why everybody turned toward, in the political correctness run amok of the day, I was one of the first victims. I was branded a racist, okay? I’m an NBC affiliate reporter, I was from the mainstream media, but I was branded a racist, and politically incorrect, because I was pursuing legitimate leads and evidence that led to foreign involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing. So by virtue of securing his White House bid by blaming right-wing rhetoric for inciting Timothy McVeigh, Bill Clinton was able to seal the case. That was it. It was domestic, home-grown terrorism. And now, fifteen years later, he comes out with the temerity and absolute audacity to try to compare these Tea Party conservatives with a bloodthirsty terrorist. I mean, nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t think anybody really realizes that Tim McVeigh himself, shattered the mold of himself as an angry white male who vented his hostility through-first he published letters to local newspaper editors. Then, soon after, he graduates across the threshold to wholesale mass murder. So Bill Clinton says, ‘If Tim McVeigh could do it, so could the Tea Party movement.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. You’ve got to look at the background of Tim McVeigh and his motivations. It wasn’t tax policies, it wasn’t a burgeoning federal deficit that motivated this man. He was a decorated Bradley gunner. He openly expressed, during his service in Operation Desert Storm, to an army buddy, he said this. Quote: “I want to become a mercenary for the Middle East, because they pay the best.” And when he returned from the Persian Gulf war, back in 1991, he failed the cut to the Elite Special Forces. Now what my research showed is you have a combat war hero. He suffered a blow to his ego and he never recovered. Here he is, an awkward teenager from upstate New York, he joins the military because he spent a childhood of being ordinary. He was labeled “Anonymous.” Nobody remembered Tim McVeigh. He did nothing remarkable. But he was an expert marksman. So he joins the military, he finally gets some stature-he has quite an ego here-but he actually reveals a warped sense of empathy-get this-for Osama bin Laden; the first World Trade Center mastermind, Ramzi Yousef; Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. While he was incarcerated-a lot of people don’t remember this-McVeigh was penning personal essays that were published across the country. They received little fanfare. He unveiled, himself, that he had deep-seated sympathies for Middle Eastern terrorists. That’s what fueled his anti-government zealotry, not tax policies! He unabashedly expressed regret for killing two Iraqi enemy combatants during the Persian Gulf War, and he was earned-he earned the Bronze Star for that. But he regretted that. And he put that in writing. That’s what motivated Tim McVeigh: He was a mercenary. Straight out of his own mouth. He was a soldier of fortune. And what my investigation revealed is that I relegated, through the evidence, his status as, quote, “Mastermind,” and he was the “Master Super Bomber.” No. Not according to the evidence. He was a mule. He was a button poof-pusher. In the lexicon of the intelligence community Tim McVeigh was nothing more than a lily-white delivery boy. A “lily-white” is someone who has no ostensible ties to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations and no criminal record, and therefore they can operate below the law enforcement radar screen. He was a handpicked dupe! He was set up to take the fall and save his Islamic collaborators from prosecution, and Bill Clinton’s FBI ensured just that.
ARONOFF: So I want to come back to that, but let’s sort of wrap up one more part of it. You talked about, from the first World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef. So what’s the link from the first World Trade Center [bombing], Oklahoma City, to 9/11? You make any-
ARONOFF: -on that?
DAVIS: Well, in the first World Trade Center, we had a Ryder truck. We all remember it was a Ryder truck, it was parked in the garage, it was filled with ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil. That was exactly the components of the bomb that destroyed the Murrah Building. But the main connection here is, the nexus is, one key player, the mastermind: Ramzi Yousef. He was believed to have had a hand in both terrorist attacks, including the bomb planning for the Murrah Building attack. Back in 1995-96, when I was working at KFOR TV, I assisted the McVeigh defense team on uncovering critical evidence which indicated Terry Nichols might have received bomb-making expertise directly from Iraqi intelligence based in the Philippines. You’ll remember Terry Nichols is this small-time Kansas farmer of modest means. He takes these expensive and repeated and unexplained trips to the Philippines, ostensibly to get a Filipina mail-order bride. But he kept returning there without her, okay, and his own ex-wife, Lana Padilla, said this was just a cover story. He was constantly going down there without his Filipino bride, okay? Now, what we were able to uncover, and what the court record-the sealed court record in the bombing case reveals-is that in 1994, December of ’94, Terry Nichols was in Cebu City at the same time as the mastermind of the World Trade Center attack, Ramzi Yousef. Now we looked for evidence if these two men crossed paths and according to the sworn statement of a co-founder of the Muslim terrorist group known as Abu Sayyaf-which is, for simplicity, it’s just a spin-off chapter of al Qaeda-Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yousef actually met, personally, to discuss, specifically, bomb-making. Now I don’t know if you remember this or not, this was a bombshell discovery, Richard Clarke, President Clinton’s former terrorism advisor, he disclosed in his book Against All Enemies back in 2004 that the FBI could, quote, “Never disprove the theory that Terry Nichols and the al Qaeda mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack, Ramzi Yousef, actually collaborated together.” Clarke stated, quote, “We do know that Nichols’ bombs did not work before his Philippine stay, and were deadly when he returned.” End quote.
ARONOFF: I just want to point out to our listeners, a couple of people who have studied Jayna’s work and endorsed it wholeheartedly. One is Jim Woolsey, former CIA Director under Bill Clinton, and David Schippers, who was the former Chief Investigative Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, a Democrat and-represented the Democrats during the impeachment hearings. And he wrote the foreword for her book and you know, these are people who have looked into this and totally stand behind how solid this reporting is. It’s just a fantastic piece of investigative work and the book is called The Third Terrorist. Now what about Waco? Because now we hear this week on these tapes we’ll get into in a minute that he claims Waco was the motivating factor rather than, as you just were saying, as a mercenary for the Middle Easterners.
DAVIS: Well, let me-let me explain to you how Tim McVeigh responded to me specifically-
DAVIS: -and his attorney Stephen Jones told me that he was never going to allow-he dug his heels in, he even fired Jones when Jones pursued the Middle Eastern connection to the bombing. Okay? Let me explain this to you, that there was a lot of tension between attorney and client in this. And any time Jones tried to show McVeigh as a mule or a button-pusher in a much larger conspiracy, controlled by-under the umbrella of Iran, Iraq, or al Qaeda elements-McVeigh would dig his heels in. Now I had several appearances on Fox News in 2001 and 2002. And every time I would appeared on the news, Timothy McVeigh would get word that I was assigning the actual sponsorship of the bombing to Osama bin Laden, Iran, and Iraq, according to the evidence-well, he didn’t like that much because he actually fired off letters to Fox News refuting what I would say. He wasn’t going to be anything less than the Super Bomber. When you listen to the MSNBC tapes of his recorded interviews with the authors of his authorized biography, he is trying to control how history remembers him. He sets himself up as the Mastermind, an emotionless executioner. He’s the author of his own fate. He would not tolerate having had-taking orders from anybody else, because that would relegate him down. But he gave himself away in his own personal essays in which he actually defended the right of Saddam Hussein to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. He would quote Ramzi Yousef constantly in his, in his essays and his writings. I mean, he, he defended, and he was upset, in an interview, face-to-face, with Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes, when he was asked this key question: “Why do you so distrust the government?” And the first words out of McVeigh’s mouth was not “Look what they did at Waco,” which you would expect, right? Instead he says, ‘Look what they did in Sudan. Look at what they did in Afghanistan. Well, let’s roll the clock back a little bit. Do you remember the African Embassy bombings? Do you remember we retaliated? We sent in Tomahawk cruise missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan because we were going right after Osama bin Laden.’ So the first words out of an American terrorist’s mouth-disgruntled, angry white male, upset over Waco!-when he’s asked why he distrusts the government, he says, ‘Look what we did to Osama bin Laden.’
DAVIS: That was dishonorable to the soldier that once donned our uniform. Do you see what I’m saying?
DAVIS: Tim McVeigh wants to control and, effectively in the compliant media’s eyes, he is, absolutely, the quintessential angry white male.
ARONOFF: Let me explain what you, when you referred to the MSNBC tapes. This week, Rachel Maddow ran a two-hour documentary that featured forty-five hours of audio tape done by, I believe it’s, Lou Michel, who was the co-author of the book American Terrorist, the authorized biography of McVeigh, and they said this was the first time these tapes were heard. So during her promotion for this, of course, Rachel Maddow went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and other shows, and basically tried drawing this link between what happened in Oklahoma City and the climate today created by the Tea Party movement. So, with that, let’s talk about these tapes. I mean, what did you see, what do you know about this, about Lou Michel, and this book, and, what didn’t we hear of the forty-five hours of tape?
DAVIS: Basically, you’ve got the thrust and the core of what Tim McVeigh revealed.
DAVIS: It was, it was scant details on specifics. Lou Michel and the other author did not cross-examine Tim McVeigh when they doubted what he said. And let me give you a prime example. When Tim McVeigh, of course, his infamous arrest was when he was speeding down Interstate 35, heading north to Perry, Oklahoma right after the blast, and an Oklahoma highway patrolman just happens to pull him over. Well, that’s because he had no license plate. Tim McVeigh said he purposely did that because, see, he was leaving bread crumbs for federal authorities to eventually find him. Tim McVeigh, according to the account of the highway patrolman that pulled him over, looked back at his vehicle when he stepped out during the arrest and when the patrolman said, ‘Hey, did you know I stopped you because you don’t have a license plate,’ Tim McVeigh looked back in utter shock and amazement. Well, it’s copiously documented in my book. I believe that KFOR TV, and through my investigation, we were able to recover the plate that was once on Tim McVeigh’s car, and it was swinging by one bolt and it was found at an industrial park straight off a service road on his northern trek out of town on I-35. And the plate itself had been taken out of all law enforcement databases. We had to go to a private investigator and trace the tape-the plate. The plate had been stolen two weeks before the Oklahoma City bombing. Two weeks before. And it was placed on McVeigh’s car; it had one bolt. I believe the man seen in McVeigh’s car with him, when he was escaping the Murrah Building in his Mercury Marquis, I believe he jumped out and said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna tighten up your, your plate, you take off,’ and he took it off.
DAVIS: Because it was just tossed by the wayside. And the witness that was standing at the Journal Record parking lot, directly north of the Murrah Building, and watching Tim McVeigh speed away, he saw a second man in the car. And that same witness said this plate, which was hanging by one bolt, had the numbers 118, 119, or 116. That’s in the FBI record of his interview. When I got that plate, six months later, the numbers on that plate were 811. If it was swinging, and it went backwards, it would look like 118. It had been taken out of all the databases. We had to go to another database. And usually, when you have a plate that’s stolen, it’s not taken out of the national crime computer until it is recovered, okay? It was actually owned by a grocery store manager in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and I called the gentleman. And he said, it was on my daughter’s car, at a Fort, Fort Smith apartment complex, and it was just stolen. They just woke up one day and it was gone. And then after I called him, I called him back a couple weeks later, he said the FBI came by his house, visited him, and forbade him from talking to KFOR TV again. And he was scared to talk to me and he never talked to me again. Now, excuse me, but Tim McVeigh was the master, and author, of his own fate, so he purposely took that plate off? It just doesn’t jibe with the facts.
ARONOFF: So what role did Lou Michel-how did they come into this picture, and what do you think their motive was in writing this book, and how do they fit into this picture?
DAVIS: Well, I think they had a bestseller. They thought they had a bestseller: They were talking to an American terrorist, they had unlimited access, and they took everything he said unquestioningly-
ARONOFF: No political motivation?
DAVIS: -there was no cross-examination-
ARONOFF: No political motiv-
DAVIS: I don’t know, I don’t know.
DAVIS: I couldn’t even speculate on it.
DAVIS: I can speculate on the motivation of the Republicans who had custody of my evidence since 1995 and ’96, and I updated as much as ’98, that showed that the man, the Iraqi soldier, who was identified by multiple witnesses as executing the bombing with Tim McVeigh, that he himself had foreknowledge of the dire events that would occur at his place of employment. He went on to work at Boston Logan International Airport. I’m sure everybody remembers that’s where two of the four flights took off on 9/11, and two of those flights slammed into the World Trade Center. What my investigation shows is confidential psychiatric records of an Iraqi soldier, identified as John Doe Two, Hussein al-Hussaini, that in November 10th of 1997, this man started experiencing panic attacks so extreme, and so overpowering, that he checked himself in to a psychiatric hospital in Boston. And he told his therapist specifically he was worried about his airport job at Boston Logan because, quote, “If something happens there, I’ll be a suspect,” end quote. Now I was asking myself, is this a bizarre coincidence, or is this signs of-maybe he had foreknowledge of 9/11? So I took it a step further. And at the time that Hussain al-Hussaini makes this shocking statement, four years before 9/11, he was residing with two former Iraqi Gulf War veterans, who, of all things, provided food catering services to the commercial airlines at Boston Logan. And we all know, right after 9/11, federal law enforcement speculated-you remember those box cutters? That they were able to overpower the flight crews? Well, that’s how they suspected those box cutters were planted aboard the doomed flights: with food services workers who had unlimited access. Now, that information was sitting in the coffers of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, and it was updated constantly. They had all the affidavits, they had all the information; I was constantly told by the Director of that Task Force, Yossef Bodansky, that eventually the Republicans wanted to do a Congressional inquiry. Okay? Hence-fast-forward-nothing happens, 9/11 occurs, I hear the words “Boston Logan,” it rings a familiar bell to me, I’ve heard it before. I go digging through file drawers, and I find it. Right there, in the confidential psychiatric file of the man identified by multiple witnesses as John Doe Two: he knew something was going to happen at Boston Logan International Airport. That was in the possession of several prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill who did nothing with my evidence. So, you have to understand, there’s finger-pointing on both sides of the aisle.
DAVIS: In Washington . . . politics always trump the truth, okay? And that was a scandal that nobody wanted to deal with. I was always told nobody on both sides on the aisle has a sense of humor about Oklahoma City, and nobody wants to exhume the bodies of April 19th, 1995.
ARONOFF: Can you stay with us a few extra minutes?
ARONOFF: Okay, great, because eventually, in, what, 2006, when Dana Rohrabacher was Chairman of that committee-
ARONOFF: -they did release a report finally, right? I mean, a little late, but-
DAVIS: Yes, they did. Yes, they did.
ARONOFF: And, and what was the main finding of that?
DAVIS: That they really didn’t know what they were doing!
DAVIS: But I can tell you something that was incredible that came out of the mouth of Terry Nichols that confirmed my investigation. It’s a cliffhanger.
ARONOFF: What’s that?
DAVIS: Well, actually, Dana Rohrabacher was granted a face-to-face interview with Terry Nichols. And during that jailhouse interview, at the Super-Max prison in Colorado, he, Dana Rohrabacher, said, ‘I’m doing a Congressional inquiry into foreign complicity in the bombing,’ and he just bluntly, bluntly put forth my book, The Third Terrorist. He says, ‘We have in this book multiple sworn witness statements placing Tim McVeigh in the company of Iraqi soldiers during the most critical stages of the bomb plot.’ And you would expect Nichols just to shake his head and say, ‘I know nothing about it.’ That’s not what he did. He bluntly stated, quote, “The Jayna Davis theory could be correct.” End quote.
DAVIS: He acknowledged hearing about Arabs in Oklahoma City who were meeting with McVeigh. He stated that McVeigh mentioned Middle Easterners quite often, on a number of occasions. But he never disclosed details of those encounters, and you’ve got to understand, Nichols purposely distanced himself from any direct contact with Middle Eastern suspects. He, he vowed, staunchly, that he never met them when he was with McVeigh. Because McVeigh kept the whole operation compartmentalized, and he was never privy to his discussions and interactions with Iraqi collaborators. However, herein lies the contradiction: While Nichols confirmed to some extent you have a Middle Eastern connection to the bombing, with Tim McVeigh in Oklahoma City around Arab suspects, he denies he had any first-hand knowledge.
DAVIS: But we all know, the out-the evidence I just outlined, that he was meeting, in the Phillippines, with Ramzi Yousef to learn the macabre art of bomb-making. Okay? But he denied that. Completely. He said, ‘No, I had nothing to do with that.’ However, he did say
that the Jayna Davis information-theory, he used the word “theory”-could be correct.
ARONOFF: Want to get into another angle on this story in the last few minutes, which is the news media. Now there’s so many things we could look at, but one of the most interesting stories is The New York Times and their role. And tell us what, you know, they did with your TV station, and lawsuits, and-give us a quick version of that whole story.
DAVIS: Okay. When I was a news reporter at KFOR TV in ’95, my news director, Melissa Klinzing, and Brad Edwards, another consumer reporter, an investigative reporter, were working day and night following the trail of John Doe Two. And we were breaking stories, really groundbreaking stories, at least once a month with new details and new witnesses — when July 1996, The New York Times came in and purchased the station. And at the time, the man identified as John Doe Two, Hussain al-Hussaini, had filed a libel lawsuit against KFOR TV and me personally. So I was informed by station management that all of the tapes, and all of the witness affidavits I had gathered in my investigation, were still owned by the former owners of the station, not The New York Times, because they didn’t purchase the liability to the lawsuit. That said, when I left, I took all my investigative dossier, and all my witness statements, and I promised to keep these witnesses anonymous until there was a legitimate law enforcement investigation. That was under the First Amendment: I had to protect my sources. The New York Times, when I left, I gave my tapes and everything into the safekeeping of the attorneys. New York Times turned around, filed a Class-A Misdemeanor of me-against me, accused me of theft, and then tried to get the tapes back. They ultimately lost. I was-the judge ultimately ruled that I had to be the safekeeper of the tapes, and that The New York Times did not purchase those tapes, did not own those tapes because I had an agreement with the witnesses: Their testimonies would not be released until they were guaranteed safety and there was a legitimate law enforcement inquiry into their testimonies. So the-The New York Times was able to stop my investigation, but they weren’t able to possess the witness interviews.
ARONOFF: Now do you have any evidence that this is the reason that they bought this station, was to suppress this story, and if so, do you know anything about how that came down? Were-
ARONOFF: -were they-
DAVIS: All I know is the first order of business. I was told by the new acting news director, because the other one left, that there was going to be no more stories on John Doe Two, okay?
DAVIS: Immediately it was shut down, and I soon thereafter tendered my resignation, within about eight months, and they, they turned around and slapped me with that lawsuit. So I can tell you that the timing is uncanny. I know they have since sold the station. I know that they weren’t making any money off the station. They made more money on their on their newspaper publication in one, in one day than they did in one year on all their broadcast properties. And there were other people bidding to buy the station at the time, but The New York Times had the highest bid. Do I have any-I have no knowledge that they came in to shut down my reporting. But effectively, that’s what happened.
DAVIS: Because otherwise, the news director would have remained, and we would have continued to be a thorn in the side of the Clinton Administration, and we would never have stopped.
ARONOFF: And there’s another CBS story, too. You presented everything to CBS, and what happened there?
DAVIS: There was a 60 Minutes II reporter and the producer that flew to Oklahoma City and met with me personally in May of 2001. Keep in mind the timeline: this is five months before 9/11. And they were proposing a story about-back in 1997, I went to the FBI. I offered them all my witness statements, thousands of pages of corroborative evidence, the entire file. They refused to take it. They flatly turned me away. So, in ’99, when I returned, they finally took custody of the evidence, but it was passed up the line to the legal department to be reviewed for exculpatory evidence to give to the defense teams-because remember the trials were still going on-but they disappeared. They vanished. They never made it to the defense teams. Okay? And that, that-herein lies a possible crime. Okay? Because it has never been investigated since. You cannot withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense teams. So 60 Minutes was going to go at it at that angle, okay? I even faxed to them a confidential Prior Warning. I was the only reporter in the country that had it. It was from the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, and it stated-February 27, 1995 is the dateline-it stated, quote, “There will be an Iran-sponsored Islamic attack on Congress and the White House.” So when that Prior Warning was disseminated to all the federal law enforcement agencies, they immediately beefed up security in Washington, D.C.-do you remember when they blocked off Pennsylvania Avenue?
DAVIS: And you couldn’t drive by anymore? It was because of this Prior Warning. Now, the terrorists looked at it and thought, ‘Well, we’re not going to get through,’ so they went to softer targets in America’s heartland. So on March 3rd of 1995, the Director of the Congressional Task Force, Yossef Bodansky, issued an updated warning. He says, ‘The terrorists are now planning to strike at the heart of the U.S.’ Twelve cities were put on the potential target list. Oklahoma City topped the list. But the most important nugget of information in that Prior Warning-they didn’t have enough information to stop the bomb, but here’s what corroborates, independently, what I found in the wake of the Murrah Building blast, and that is, this Prior Warning stated-and the ink was dry on this six weeks before the attack on the Murrah Building-that the Middle Eastern terrorists had recruited two lily-whites to carry out the bombing of an American federal building. And as I stated earlier, those are people that have no known ties to Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Okay? And no rap sheet or criminal history that would draw the attention of law enforcement. So-
DAVIS: -that was, that was what was given to 60 Minutes. And they were going to do a story on it. But that story was shelved by, I believe, from the information I have, by Mary Mapes, who was the CBS reporter that was embroiled in the scandal-
DAVIS: -over the military records-
ARONOFF: Bush National Guard, right.
DAVIS: National Guard. Right. But it was shelved, and nobody went forward on it. It was spiked.
ARONOFF: Yes. This-so, we’re going to have to wrap it here, but I’ll just-just give us your kind of final thoughts. I mean, where do we go from here? Is this, is this story just sort of lost in space? Is this ever going to possibly become the truthful narrative about what happened? Or, or is the media and the government going to continue to ignore all this information you have brought forth? And what are you doing these days? And, and then, where can they get your book? And then we’re going to have to wrap it up-
DAVIS: Well, you can get my book on Amazon.com-
ARONOFF: Okay. The Third Terrorist.
DAVIS: -you can go to Jaynadavis.com. J-A-Y-N-A Davis.com. But here’s where I think it, it lies: It’s going to have to be the peasants with the pitchforks. These people are going to have to rise up, just like the Tea Party movement is angry about Washington policies that affect their pocketbooks and the future of their children and the national deficit, they’re going to have to rise up and demand that this record is corrected. But otherwise, the people that continue to threaten the liberal left, they’re going to stoke the flames of demagoguery, they’re going to continue to label anybody who carries a placard or raises a voice of dissent in a peaceful protest as a “Tim McVeigh wannabe.” And until the third terrorist, and this evidence embodied in my book, is actually proven, prosecuted, and validated in a courtroom setting, the label of “Tim McVeigh wannabe” is going to continue to be attached to God-fearing Americans who dare to step forward and question and hold to account their elected officials. So what I’m saying is this: I’ve, I’ve done my part. I’m still in the fight. If somebody calls up and says, “Hey, Jayna, can you, can you defend our honor here, can you defend it there?” it’s going to have to take a collective movement. And my belief is, the best way to get this into a courtroom, and to finally seek justice for the slain of April 19th, 1995, is to pressure the District Attorney of Oklahoma County, who single-handedly holds the legal power to go out and arrest these Arab suspects and put them on trial. He does not need the permission of the federal government. He can act single-handedly, either put it before a grand jury and issue an indictment, or he can just issue arrest warrants based on the evidence and talk to the witnesses. And I wrote a letter to David Prater, the District Attorney, registered letter, two months ago, knowing this anniversary was coming up. And I offered the assistance of David Schippers, the seasoned litigator, who was responsible for prosecuting the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, who is intimately familiar with my evidence. He agreed to work side-by-side with him to put together a prosecution’s case. It is time this is heard in a court of law. These men that have committed wholesale mass murder are walking free. One of those men had specific prior knowledge of 9/11. What does that Iraqi soldier now know about the next attack within our borders. Nobody’s even questioned him.
ARONOFF: Mm-hmm. We’re going to have to leave it there. This has been Jayna Davis, the author of The Third Terrorist, and go to Jayna-J-A-Y-N-A Davis.com and you can learn a lot about it, and read the book, and we’re going to write this up and this interview will be on our website. You can forward it to lots of people. And, Jayna, thank you so much for being with us.
DAVIS: It’s been wonderful to talk to you.
DAVIS: Thank you.