I attended the execution of Tim McVeigh and I had no doubt it was the right thing to do… with one slight caveat.
My one hesitation related to finding out who John Doe no. 2 was or is. McVeigh took that secret with him to the grave.
For a long time, we thought it was somebody out of the anti-government militia, black helicopter, ultra far-out wing of American politics. But new evidence suggests that more investigation is warranted into the notion that John Doe no. 2 was a foreigner.
An Iraqi man identified by a reporter in Oklahoma City as a likely suspect is now reportedly on the FBI's terror watch list, being sought by the very government agency that insisted at McVeigh's trial that there was no John Doe no. 2, that it was all a mistake.
That was then. This is now.
We now also have CIA Director George Tenet saying:
"There is no doubt that there have been [Iraqi] contacts and linkages to the Al Qaeda organization. As to where we are on Sept. 11, the jury is out. It would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of state sponsorship, whether Iranian or Iraqi. We'll see where the evidence takes us."
Where the evidence takes us may be to Mohammad Atta's meeting in Prague, the Czech Republic, with an Iraqi intelligence agent. Or it may lead us to the mysterious stranger seen by numerous witnesses with Tim McVeigh, just before the Murrah Building bombing.
So now we've got some pretzel logic for the U.S. government to get itself out of: If the prosecutors in the McVeigh case said there was no John Doe no. 2, and if the latest evidence suggests more investigation is needed to determine that, which notion should rule inside our government?
The latter, of course. Even if the federal prosecutors bet their careers there was no such person at John Doe no. 2, and even if that idea prevailed at the trial among the jurors who condemned Tim McVeigh... that was then and this is now.
We need to know if the person seen with McVeigh was an Iraqi agent who manipulated the Oklahoma City bombing. We need to know if he was involved in planning out the events of Sept. 11.
A good part of the world says America needs a good reason to attack Iraq — a better one than we've already put out there.
John Doe no. 2's activities on 4/19 and 9/11 would be that reason. The stakes now are way higher than the conviction of Tim McVeigh.
That's My Word.
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