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Author Says Investigators Blew Chances to Prevent OK Bombing

Andrew Gumbel is a Los Angeles-based journalist and writer and a longtime foreign correspondent for British newspapers. He is a co-author of the book: “Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed–and Why It Still Matters.”
 
By Andrew Gumbel
Huffington Post

Ever since Timothy McVeigh’s execution, four months to the day before 9/11, a certain conventional wisdom has taken hold that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was the work of just two disenchanted guys from the heartland who did something colossally heartless and stupid, got caught and paid the price.

But that tells only part of a much more complicated and troubling story. In our new book Oklahoma City: What The Investigation Missed–And Why It Still Matters (William Morrow; April 24, 2012), Roger Charles and I show that a fractious, over-timid federal law enforcement community blew chances to prevent the bombing and failed to follow several promising leads pointing to the broader involvement of the radical far right.

Their failings were remarkably similar to those that emerged in the wake of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington: the threat was underestimated, law enforcement agencies fought each other instead of pooling vital information, and the country’s institutions were ultimately more  interested in protecting themselves than in unearthing the truth.

To read the full column click here.


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