These were the words that jumped out at me as I read the following two Baltimore Sun articles about Baltimore native, David Hoffman. If this is all you had read about it you're likely to think, "Just another screwball." The reporter, Michael James, has certainly done his part to make you think that way. Is it really responsible journalism, or is it not more like blatant news suppression for him to leave out the salient fact that Mary Caitrin Mahoney, gunned down execution-style in a police-styled "botched robbery" in which at least two gunmen entered the Georgetown Starbucks after it was closed and locked for the night, was a Democratic Party activiist who had been a White House intern a few years before Monica Lewinsky?
Noting this monumental omission, it occurred to me that none of the national wire services, networks, news magazines, or columnists has even reported on the Starbucks murders, not to mention the fact that the victim who was shot five times versus the other two victims who were each shot once in the head had been a Clinton White House intern. I could be wrong. Perhaps it has been nationally noted, but even so, it would have been with no more than an inconsequential bump and run. One might contrast it with the saturation reporting we have had of the truly unfortunate dragging murder of the black man by those vicious, but hardly representative, killers out in Texas.
The rare, but sketchy, information on the Oklahoma City bombing is an added bonus in this posting:
OKC CONSPIRACY-BOOK AUTHOR ACCUSED OF TAMPERING WITH INVESTIGATION
Author: atomicbk firstname.lastname@example.org
At Atomic Books we stock the book mentioned in the following BALTIMORE SUN article, for those interested.
OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING AND THE POLITICS OF TERROR
It’s no longer a secret. Federal agencies know far more about the Oklahoma City bombing then they’re willing to admit. Detailed evidence about the U.S. Government’s unholy alliance with the terrorist underworld--and of a sting operation that led to the Oklahoma City bombing--will no doubt shock many people. Reporter David Hoffman’s definitive, two-year investigation leads to a number of revelations, including: * A web of connections linking Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to a neo-Nazi operation and a Middle Eastern terrorist cell. * At least two federal informants told their government handlers about the bombing before it occurred--a fact proven by the government’s own documents supplied in this book. * Testimony of explosives experts, military personnel, and retired federal agents indicates that the Oklahoma City bombing could not have been accomplished solely with a truck-bomb made of fertilizer. Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key, the primary force behind a county Grand Jury formed to uncover vital aspects of the bombing concealed in the trials of McVeigh and Nichols provides the Forward. (1998, 490pp, 6x9) $18.95
SUBHEAD: BALTO. NATIVE INDICTED FOR JURY TAMPERING
This story was forwarded to you from www.sunspot.net, Maryland's Online Community.
By Michael James
Baltimore native David Hoffman wrote a book called "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror." Now he's involved in the politics of turmoil.
"I've become the subject of a political prosecution," the 38-year-old author said in a phone interview yesterday from Colorado. "This is a classic case of killing the messenger."
Hoffman said he will turn himself over to Oklahoma City authorities today to answer charges of tampering with a county grand jury that recently met in Oklahoma to investigate the fatal 1995 explosion. The charges have put the little-known writer into the national spotlight.
The grand jury alleges he tried to influence panel members by sending them notes and a copy of his book, which alleges a government cover-up in the bombing. Hoffman also claims government "agent provocateurs" may have aided in the fatal conspiracy by planting military explosives inside the federal building. The same grand jury hearing evidence in the bombing indicted Hoffman.
"It's a much more complex case than the government is letting on," said Hoffman, a 1978 graduate of Pikesville Senior High School who runs an alternative San Francisco-based newspaper, the Haight-Ashbury Free Press. "A lot of people are upset with me because I've been in their face about this issue."
Hoffman is charged with two counts of jury tampering and faces up to two years in jail if convicted. Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy, one of the many people Hoffman alleges is involved in a government conspiracy, couldn't be reached to comment about the grand jury's charges.
Among the allegations Hoffman makes in his book is that the FBI conspired to murder a police officer -- whose death was officially ruled a suicide -- because the officer knew too much about the bombing.
He also claims he discovered links between the U.S. government and Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, who he said have conspired to bring former Iraqi soldiers into the United States.
Hoffman claims the government either had advance warning about the bombing and did nothing about it or was directly involved in its execution. The reason, he said, is that rogue elements of the U.S. intelligence establishment have an interest in quashing all forms of political dissidence, including that presented by the so-called patriot militia movement.
"The government feels it has got to stop political dissidence," he said. "It will do anything to reinforce the image to the American public that the militia movement is dangerous."
Hoffman is the only person indicted by the Oklahoma County grand jury, which for the past 18 months has reinvestigated the bombing that killed 168 people. The panel concluded there was no wider conspiracy in the case.
The charges aren't stopping Hoffman from planning his next major project, an investigation into the July 6, 1997, killings at a Georgetown Starbucks coffee shop that claimed the lives of Mary Caitrin Mahoney, a Baltimore native, and two others. The 25-year-old woman was shot repeatedly, and the case remains unsolved.
Hoffman says he believes there is a White House connection to the killings and plans to call the book "Murdergate: The Presidency and the Politics of Murder." Mahoney, he said, went to Baltimore's McDonogh School, as he once did.
"I went there for nine years and decided to get out,"
CONSPIRACY-BOOK AUTHOR ACCUSED OF TAMPERING WITH INVESTIGATION
By Michael James
A former Baltimore man who wrote a book alleging a government conspiracy in the Oklahoma City bombing turned himself over to authorities yesterday to face charges that he tampered with a grand jury investigating the explosion.
David M. Hoffman, 38, surrendered at 10 a.m. at the Oklahoma County Jail in Oklahoma City. As he was taken inside by sheriff's deputies, he declared that he is "a lowly reporter" being persecuted for telling the truth about a government cover-up.
County prosecutors say that Hoffman mailed his book, "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror," and an intimidating letter to the home of a man serving on a grand jury formed 18 months ago to re-investigate the bombing case. The grand jury concluded that there was no elaborate web of conspiracy in the bombing.
But the panel did hand up one indictment: Hoffman's. He is charged with two counts of grand jury tampering and faces a year in prison on each count if convicted.
The letter in question, which was unsigned but which investigators later determined to have been written by Hoffman, said, "Do not let them tell you what do do, and do not take your cues from them. If you do, you will be making a grave mistake, and shortchanging the people of this nation," according to a court affidavit.
Hoffman, a 1978 graduate of Pikesville Senior High School, was released from jail yesterday afternoon. His lawyer, Michael Johnston, couldn't be reached for comment.
In a previous interview, Hoffman said the letter was intended to be "inspirational" and to let the grand jury panel know that its members should "do what is in [their] hearts."
Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Suzanne L. Gump said prosecutors found the note to be troubling because Hoffman has a stalking conviction, stemming from a Oklahoma woman who dated him and and later refused to see him.
Hoffman said that he is serving a deferred sentence on the stalking charge, which landed him in jail for five days. Further information on the case wasn't available yesterday.
The April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. Hoffman's book alleges that government "agent provocateurs" knew about the bombing plot well before it was carried out and may have planted military explosives in the building.
He claimed that government officials allowed the building to be bombed in their zeal to bring discredit to neo-Nazis and the patriot militia movement.
"The government can't tell the public what really happened in that case because if they did, people would be rioting in the streets," Hoffman said. "My book is the most thorough one out there about the biggest terrorist attack on American soil."
The grand jury allegedly targeted by Hoffman was formed in Oklahoma City. It followed up on the original investigation that led to the federal convictions in 1997 of Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols in U.S. District Court in Denver. Federal prosecutors claimed the two men acted on their own.
Members of the Oklahoma County grand jury said they could find no evidence that the government had any advance notice of the bombing or that there were any other people involved.
Hoffman sent a copy of his book to county grand juror Frank Simms on Sept. 21. Before opening it, Simms called prosecutors to let them know that a suspicious package had been sent to his home without a return address, according to an affidavit.
Investigators later opened the package and found Hoffman's book inside, along with a small note that said, "If you don't want this, please give it to Vicki Ann," referring to another county grand juror serving on the panel, the affidavit said.
As he was being lead inside the jail, Hoffman accused Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy of persecuting him. Macy "has put 53 people on death row, some of whom he knew to be innocent," Hoffman said. "Now he's trying to prosecute a lowly reporter for speaking the truth about a crime he was charged to investigate but failed to do so."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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February 24, 1999
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