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(The following statement with attachments was issued by Texas freshman Congresman Steve Stockman regarding a mysterious fax message his office received just as a bomb exploded at an Oklahoma City federal building. Also attached is a memorandum Stockman sent to Attorney General Janet Reno a month before the bombing inquiring about possible planned raids on "citizen's militias." In the memo, Stockman questioned the advisability and legality of the possible planned raids, suggesting that "a bloody fiasco like Waco" could result. A final attachment consists of a statement by an FBI spokesman that the Congressman's office acted properly in their handling of the fax.)
I am extremely concerned about the media reports of the last 24 hours. The facts are not being reported accurately. Here are the facts:
On the day of the Oklahoma City bombing someone sent our office an anonymous fax which appeared to relate to that tragedy. Our office - not aware of the bombing or the meaning of the fax - set it aside. Our office - like the offices of most public officials, receives every imaginable kind of mail from the public. This fax was no different.
After my staff heard news reports of the tragedy - the fax was retrieved and I was made aware of it. I immediately instructed my staff to turn the fax over to the FBI. My office did so within minutes.
There has been some confusion in the media over when my office received this fax and when we turned it over to the FBI. There has been no confusion in my office - we turned it over right away.
The FBI (Justice Department) has issued a statement confirming what I have said all along and confirming the chronology I have given.
This should end this discussion once and for all.
Once again, I want to express my wife's and my deepest sympathy to the people of Oklahoma City. They have endured a tragedy of monumental proportions. This is a national disaster and our focus should be on those people and on their families. Our attention now must be on bringing those responsible to swift and certain punishment. The people of Oklahoma are in our prayers.
ATTACHED STATEMENT OF FBI INSPECTOR JOHN E. COLLINGWOOD
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
April 24, 1995
Honorable Steve Stockman
U.S. House of Representatives
Dear Congressman Stockman:
I want to thank you and your staff for the information you provided to the FBI, via facsimile, immediately after the Oklahoma City bombing. My office received your facsimile document, which reflects that you sent the communication at 11:57 a.m. on April 19, 1995, to the FBI Office of Public and Congressional Affairs.
Again, thank you for your action and assistance.
John E. Collingwood
Inspector in Charge
Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
TEXT OF FAX RECEIVED BY OFFICE OF CONG. STOCKMAN AT OR BEFORE TIME OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY EXPLOSION:
[Note: This is the text of a handwritten message received by Cong. Stockman's office the morning of April 19th. The first line is the standard time stamp generated by most fax machines indicating the origin and time of the fax.]
04/19/1995 08:59 16169660742 WOLVERINE PAGE 1
Bldg 7 to 10 floors only military people on scene -
Bomb threat received Last week
perpetrator unknown at this time
ATTACHED STATEMENT OF JEFF FISHER:
Statement by Jeff Fisher, Chief of Staff to Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas.
I am still overwhelmed by the bombing last week in Oklahoma City.
This kind of terroristic activity is disgusting and I hope and pray that the people responsible will be brought to justice. My prayers are for the victims of this tragedy, and the families who have been touched by this awful act of terrorism.
Let me first say, that Congressman Stockman has done everything possible to ensure that justice is served and the truth about the people who are responsible for this is brought to light. We want to clarify misinformation, there have bee some erroneous reports by the media. We are here to set the record straight.
At about 10:30 a.m., our office first saw televised reports of the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City. This was our first knowledge of the event. Our office received no information prior to the bombing.
After we saw the news reports about the bombing, on of my employees came and told be that we had received a fax at about the same time as the bombing. As the fax was so cryptic and wasn't directed to anyone in particular, the employee had thrown it away. However, because of the magnitude of the disaster and the possibility that the fax might be connected to the bombing, I asked Kimberly Pyle, the staffer who had thrown the fax away, to send it the Federal Bureau of Investigations at once. Pyle immediately called the Congressional Affairs branch of the FBI, spoke with Special Agent Les Wiser, and faxed the "mystery" fax over to the investigations department of the FBI. This all took place shortly after the bombing occurred.
At approximately 12:15 p.m., I called special agent Les Wiser myself, to make sure that our office had done all we needed to do concerning the fax. He confirmed that he had spoken with Kim Pyle, and had received the "mystery" fax with the name and phone number of the person who sent the fax. It is my understanding that Wiser did not think that the fax was of any importance, for he did not contact my office again.
It is my understanding that the National Rifle Association received a copy of the fax from a third member of my staff on Thursday, a full 24 hours after the FBI was initially contacted by our office.
I believe the staffer acted in good faith, nonetheless, this was done without my knowledge. Again, it is my desire that the people responsible for this massacre are brought to justice. The FBI has not contacted our office since then and we hope it has been some help in their investigation. Again, Congressman Stockman absolutely condemns the deplorable behavior of these terrorists and want the truth brought to light.
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4309
ATTACHED MEMORANDUM TO ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO - 3/22/95:
March 22, 1995
United States Attorney General
The Honorable Janet Reno
10th Street and Constitution Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Reno:
It has come to my attention through a number of reliable sources that an impending raid, by several Federal agencies, against the "citizen's militias" groups, is scheduled for March 25 or 26 at 4:00 A.M. A paramilitary style attack against Americans who pose no risk to others, even if violations of criminal law might be imputed to them, would run the risk of an irreparable breach between the Federal government and the public, especially if it turned out to be an ill considered, poorly planned, but bloody fiasco like Waco.
While information is scarce, it is known that Joint Task Force Six, with headquarters at Fort Bliss, Texas, is co-ordinating the military training, including the use of tanks and other armored vehicles, for certain Federal Law Enforcement agencies in possible violation of the Posse Comitatus Law, 18 U.S.C. 1385. Any possible impending military action against American citizens might be forestalled by, among other things, simply asking for a complete explanation of all training activities of JTF-6 for the last three years, including the individuals, agencies, who authorized the training, what military equipment was used, what apparent purpose was served by the training, and copies of all legal opinions as the legality of such training.
I will be eagerly awaiting your response to these questions.
Member of Congress
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