Looking through the list of pirated movies last night, I stumbled across a new documentary about the Oklahoma City Bombing. With time to kill I hit play. While I remember so much about that period of time in the Sooner State, I wasn't ready for the bold implications toward our own government.

I was nearing the end of my sixth-grade year - Ms. Phelan's class - why she is the only teacher I can remember from my childhood, I don't know, but this event is memorable for every Oklahoma kid, probably.

In past talks with the few classmates who still talk together, we remember overhearing rumblings of a bombing in Oklahoma City that morning among the teachers, aides, and staff. That same afternoon, they rolled the classic 90s school TV racks into the classroom, and we watched the coverage for one hour each day for the rest of the school year as our social studies period.

Between that hour each weekday in the classroom and our collective parents staying pretty well glued to the round-the-clock coverage at home, it's safe to say that most Oklahomans that were around during that time likely feel like they know the whole story... but we don't.

HBO's new documentary, 'An American Bombing.'

At least, I realized I didn't when I watched HBO's new documentary - An American Bombing. It rolls through so much more information than the general public was privy to, and it leaves far more questions than answers to this country's worst case of home-grown domestic terrorism.

We've all learned how the inspiration for this attack was found in the shameful government actions at Waco and Ruby Ridge, but the story goes a lot further down the rabbit hole. This whole movement of crazy white supremacist militias can be traced back to a failed policy of President Jimmy Carter that was continued through President Reagan.


HBO frames the story of farmers who were pushed into bankruptcy by the federal government and turned radical and violent, and these were the types of groups that not only inspired McVeigh and Nichols but funded them as well - but they weren't the only ones.

Who was John Doe #2?

While most probably remember the story as this - the government investigators quickly tracked down Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols - there's a reminder of efforts made to track down a person of interest referred to as John Doe #2.


This was the familiar sketch and likeness given to investigators by the man who rented McVeigh the rental truck.

You probably remember the official story, too. The FBI cleared John Doe #2 - reporting that he was simply just an enlisted Army soldier at Fort Riley, Kansas who happened to rent a truck the day before McVeigh, totally unrelated... but the documentary insists that while that's the official story, that's not the case at all.

Still to this day, victims, survivors and eyewitnesses are on the record that John Doe #2 was with McVeigh in downtown OKC on more than one occasion. Tagging along to scope out the building prior to the attack, and riding with and walking away from the rental truck with him on the morning the bomb went off... so why wasn't this information tracked down by federal investigators?

'Don't let great get in the way of good enough.'

That's an aggravating sentence, isn't it? It means that you shouldn't strive for the best outcome when you can skimp by with an acceptable one. That's the insinuation of the job the FBI and Department of Justice did. They settled for one head where many were growing.

The documentary paints this picture...

Investigators gave up on the search for John Doe #2 for fear they might lose the case aimed at Timothy McVeigh. Not to insinuate at all that McVeigh was innocent in any of this, but he wasn't alone and the government may have known it. Charging additional persons for this crime, in the sense of shared responsibility, might reduce the punishment for each individual.

Long story short - there could be one or many people who were directly responsible for this attack who are still walking free among us.


How much of that is true?

There's really no way to reconcile all of this new information without the federal government, FBI and DOJ making all of the information public.

Of course, as with any documentary, it's made in a way to guide your thought process in whatever way the filmmaker wants you to think.

Either view you retain after watching it is probably biased, which side you choose is up to you. It's an interesting theory that is sure to make good conversation in your own circle of friends, definitely worth a watch.

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