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The Noble Lie continues

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The Noble Lie Continues

“A myth or untruth told by the Elite to preserve social harmony and the position of that Elite”

By Holland Van den Nieuwenhof

   As the writer and producer for the newly-released A Noble Lie, a documentary exposing the official lie behind the Oklahoma City bombing, I was more than interested in a recent Newsweek article that chronicles the undercover activities of John Matthews.  Matthews, disillusioned by the illegal activities and plots of violence within the circle of Right Wing extremists that he ran with, became an FBI informant and reported on their activities for years.  I was intrigued at the prospect of a mainstream account of the FBI’s undercover activities against domestic terror threats in the Nineties and PATCON in particular.  PATCON, short for Patriot Conspiracy, was a very hush-hush (“PATCON will get you killed”) FBI undercover operation directed against Right Wing groups across the nation like the Texas Reserve Militia and the Civilian Military Assistance group, referred to as the CMA.  PATCON-targeted groups were implicated in stealing military hardware from bases and plotting assassinations and bombings. 

   Revelations about the Oklahoma City bombing by journalists, researchers and whistleblowers, as detailed in A Noble Lie, indicate that the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the ATF, were involved in an undercover sting operation that culminated disastrously with the bombing, and the subsequent cover-up.  The Oklahoma City bombing may have had its genesis in PATCON. 

   Frankly I was surprised that a mainstream rag like Newsweek would investigate PATCON, given the magazine’s past examples of complicity in government cover-ups and subservience to corporate interests.  I was tipped off to the upcoming article by Jesse Trentadue, an attorney from Salt Lake City, Utah and interview subject in our film, whose brother Kenneth Trentadue (warning: graphic photos) was tortured and murdered in federal custody weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing.  It was later determined that Kenneth had been killed in a case of mistaken identity, that the FBI thought he was John Doe Number 2, one of the alleged accomplices to Tim McVeigh, the convicted perpetrator. 

   “My Life as a White Supremacist,” put out through Newsweek’s online organ, The Daily Beast, was a far cry from a true expose of the FBI’s undercover activities against the Far Right in the Nineties.  While an interesting story of paid undercover operative John Matthews in his adrenaline-fueled escapades with haters and wanna-be terrorists, it neglects to even mention the name of the operation he was working for: PATCON. 

   Along comes the Sipsey Street Irregulars, a blog edited by Mike Vanderboegh, former editor of the John Doe Times.  Sipsey Street has demonstrated the rising power of independent media, by collaborating with a small number of journalists and blogs to push the ATF’s Gunwalker scandal into the mediaspace and prompting some very harsh Congressional inquiries, and calls for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.  Gunwalker is name given by Vanderboegh to the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, whereby thousands of guns were allowed by ATF agents to be purchased in the U.S. by Mexican drug cartel operatives and taken into Mexico, to be used in the deadly drug wars that have claimed tens of thousands of lives so far.  It is estimated that at least 200 Mexican soldiers and citizens have been killed by Gunwalker weapons, and two American law enforcement officers. 

   Attorney General Eric Holder, who authorized and Fast and Furious, refused to take responsibility for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by a Gunwalker weapon.  Previously Holder, as Assistant Attorney General under Janet Reno, had been in charge of the Trentadue Mission, the Justice Department’s attempts to cover up evidence in the murder of Kenneth Trentadue.

   In the SSI article written by Vanderboegh, he reveals what was gutted from the original article by Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief at Newsweek.  The leaked original shows that undercover informant John Matthews reported seeing Tim McVeigh with bombing suspect Andreas Strassmeier before the bombing.  Strassmeier was a German citizen and “former” intelligence officer who made the tour of the White Supremacist movement in the early Nineties and then settled down in a separatist community in Eastern Oklahoma called Elohim City.  Tim McVeigh is known to have made several phone calls and visits to Elohim City, despite FBI protests to the contrary.  And Strassmeier was living with several members of the Aryan Republican Army, also implicated in the bombing, but their roles ignored by the FBI.

   Leaked FBI teletypes obtained by Jesse Trentadue show that Andy Strassmeier was acting as an undercover informant for the government under the cloak of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was providing information on extremist groups to the FBI.  So it is very curious that Newsweek chose to cut out all references to McVeigh, Strassmeier and PATCON. 

   Tina Brown’s Newsweek also excised the portion of the article detailing the harrowing journey of Jesse Trentadue in his quest to find out the truth of his brother’s murder, which led to startling revelations about the OKC bombing. The Justice Department certainly did not want Newsweek to expose its readership to the court-proven cover-up that was perpetrated in the torture and murder of an innocent man, and the flood of documents pertaining to the bombing, that Trentadue continues to expose through Freedom of Information Act battles with the FBI and CIA.  Jesse is currently suing the FBI over the videotapes on or around the stricken Murrah building that would show exactly who perpetrated the deed, and how it was done.  The FBI claims that they cannot find these tapes, the most important pieces of evidence in the OKC bombing.

   The fact that a mainstream media machine like Newsweek still feels it is necessary to bow to the wishes of the Justice Department over its true role in the OKC bombing demonstrates why the independent media is so relevant today. 

   A Noble Lie is the first full-length documentary examining the Oklahoma City bombing in the light of new and suppressed evidence that shows the official story to be a lie, from top to bottom.  Released the same week as the censored Newsweek story broke, in an uncanny sense of timing and relevance that has defined its making, the film highlights the exact information that Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown deemed too sensitive for our eyes. 

   A Noble Lie demonstrates that McVeigh, Strassmeier and other suspects were operating under the careful eye of the FBI and ATF, and that Strassmeier was seen by a witness in the doomed Murrah Federal Building with bomb materiel. The film shows the exact documents relating to Strassmeier’s infiltration of the Texas Reserve Militia, and reported to the FBI by John Matthews, that were cut from the original Newsweek article. 

   From the beginning of the making of this film, we have been committed to presenting the real history of the bombing, to ask the questions that need to be asked for the sake of the victims, and for the sake of freedom in this country.  The ongoing Gunwalker scandal demonstrates the capacity of the Justice Department to tolerate outrageous crimes in order to pursue a political end.  Operation Fast and Furious has already killed more people than the Oklahoma City bombing, and is receiving front page headlines across America.  Did Operation PATCON kill 168 people in Oklahoma City, including nineteen children?


Holland Van den Nieuwenhof is a native Oklahoman and writer and producer for A Noble Lie.



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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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