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General Benton K. Partin. A retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, Partin had responsibility for the design and testing of almost every non-nuclear weapon device used in the Air Force, including precision-guided weapons designed to destroy hardened targets like the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Partin has exhaustively researched the bombing and the resulting pattern of damage.
In a letter dated May 17, 1995, hand-delivered to each member of the Congress and Senate, Partin stated:
When I first saw the pictures of the truck-bomb's asymmetrical damage to the Federal Building, my immediate reaction was that the pattern of damage would have been technically impossible without supplementing demolition charges at some of the reinforcing concrete column bases…. For a simplistic blast truck-bomb, of the size and composition reported, to be able to reach out on the order of 60 feet and collapse a reinforced column base the size of column A-7 is beyond credulity.
Another man who knows a thing or two about bombs is Samuel Cohen, inventor of the Neutron Bomb
. Cohen began his career on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, where he was charged with studying the effects of the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During his 40 year career, Cohen worked with every application of nuclear weapons design and testing.
Cohen stated his position in a letter to Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key:
It would have been absolutely impossible and against the laws of nature for a truck full of fertilizer and fuel oil… no matter how much was used… to bring the building down.
Dr. Roger Raubach doesn't believe the government
. Raubach, who did his Ph.D. in physical chemistry and served on the research faculty at Stanford University, says, "General Partin's assessment is absolutely correct. I don't care if they pulled up a semi-trailer truck with 20 tons of ammonium nitrate; it wouldn't do the damage we saw there."
Sam Gronning, a licensed, professional blaster in Casper, Wyoming with 30 years experience in explosives
"The Partin letter states in very precise technical terms what everyone in this business knows
: No truck-bomb of ANFO out in the open is going to cause the kind of damage we had there in Oklahoma City. In 30 years of blasting, using everything from 100 percent nitrogel to ANFO, I've not seen anything to support that story."
Gronning said, "I set off a 5,000 lb ANFO charge. I was standing 1,000 feet from it, and all it did was muss my hair, take out the mud in the creek that we were trying to get rid of, and it shattered a few leaves off the trees around it. It didn't cause any collateral damage to any of the deeply set trees that were within 20 feet of it."
As a publication from the Atlas Powder company states:
U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 9-1910 states it thusly:
…agricultural fertilizer prills when made into ANFO had very poor explosive characteristics
. They would not detonate efficiently because of their high density, lack of porosity and heavy inert coatings of anti-setting agents.… The ability of an oiled prill to be detonated depends greatly upon the density of the prill. Dense prills, such as agricultural grade, often are not detonable at all; or if initiated, perform at a very low rate of detonation and may die out in the bore hole performing no useful work.
The grade of ammonium nitrate used in the manufacture of binary explosives is required to be at least 99 percent pure, contain not more than 1.15 percent of moisture, and have maximum ether-soluble, water-insoluble acidity, sulfate, and chloride contents of 0.10, 0.18, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.50 percent, respectively.
"ANFO is easy to make if you know how to do it," adds Jeffrey Dean, Executive Director of the International Society of Explosives Engineers
, "but it takes years of experience to work with safely." According to Dean, "It is almost impossible for amateurs to properly mix the ammonium nitrate with the fuel oil. Clumps of ANFO would inevitably fail to detonate."
"My knowledge comes from practical handling of explosives," added Gronning
. "And my belief is that 4800 lbs of ANFO wouldn't have scuffed the paint on the building!"
The FBI also changed the size of the bomb numerous times. They originally claimed that it weighed 1,200 pounds, upgraded that figure to 2,000 pounds, then to 4,000 pounds, and finally, they issued a press release stating that the bomb weighed 4800 pounds.
Senior FBI chemist Frederick Whitehurst
conducted a test on McVeigh's clothing but found no residue there, or in McVeigh's car either.
Whitehurst came forward with allegations that the FBI has been slanting results of its forensic tests for years. Collected in a 30-page memorandum, Whitehurst criticized FBI laboratory personnel for incompetence. As a Justice Department memorandum states: "Dr. Whitehurst contends that the Explosives Unit and the Chemistry and Toxicology Unit inappropriately structure their conclusions to favor the prosecution."
According to the Wall Street Journal
, "[Whitehurst's] accusations of bias and even manufacturing evidence have called into question several high-profile government cases, including the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings."
Whitehurst's allegations were further elaborated on in a highly revealing report issued by the DoJ Inspector General's Office, which concluded that "[SSA David] Williams repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis
and that were not explained in the body of the report."
Indeed. It appears Williams reached his conclusions based, not on empirical evidence, but on the fact that Terry Nichols allegedly purchased large quantities of ANFO. As the OIG (Office of Inspector General) report states:
Without the evidence of these purchases, Williams admitted he would have been unable to conclude that ANFO was used. Indeed, Williams stated that based on the post-blast scene alone it could have been dynamite….
Williams claimed "that the initiator for the booster(s) was either a detonator from a Primadet Delay system or sensitized detonating cord." Yet as the OIG report states, "No evidence of a Primadet system or sensitized detonating cord was found at the crime scene."