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Friday, October 14, 2005

CNN Segment Raises Most of the Right Questions About OU Bomber and a Couple of New Ones, Too

Before anybody else emails or calls, I did talk at length this afternoon during the taping about the search warrant being sealed, but for some reason that part of the interview ended up on the cutting room floor when the segment was broadcast tonight.

Ditto the most important point about the proximity to a packed stadium making Hinrichs' death an extreme outlier among the approximately 30,000 suicides that happen each year in this country. That means the conventional factors that account for most suicides can't explain the Hinrichs death.

Otherwise, I thought CNN did a solid job of presenting the most critical issues and the solidly factual basis for questioning the official explanation that Hinrichs was a disturbed loner with mental problems who meant only to kill himself.

The Joe John segment that preceded the interview in which I appeared seemed calculated mainly to present bloggers in the worst possible light and to give University of Oklahoma President David Boren yet another opportunity to claim, without offering one iota of evidence in support, that Hinrichs had no terrorist links.

Which brings us to what may be a significant development coming out of the CNN segment. Pat D'Amuro, former FBI Assistant Director and now CNN security analyst, was in the New York studio with Aaron Brown tonight, described an agreement when the FBI was reorganized a few years back that all explosions would be presumed to be terrorist acts until proven otherwise.

But in this case the presumption virtually from the outset has been that it was not a terrorist act, so Boren, who was Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee when he retired from politics in 1994, needs to come clean about why the FBI's policy of presuming a terrorist link was junked so quickly in the Hinrichs investigation.

Also significant: At the end, D' Amuro made it clear that he "is not saying this wasn't a terrorist act." So far, his former colleagues in the FBI in Oklahoma are insisting they have no evidence that it was a terrorist act, but others in the law enforcement community are beginning to strain at having to toe such an obviously flawed official line.

I'm going to ask the CNN folks for a copy of the original unedited tape of the interview so that I can post it here and allow everybody to hear the entire conversation. I doubt that CNN will make the unedited version available, but we'll see.

In the meantime, thanks to all who emailed and called with suggestions. Maybe this story isn't going to die just yet. If Hinrichs wasn't a lone suicide, the lives of thousands of people could depend on this story not going away.