It is now three years since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, seven miles west of my desk, was turned into a smoldering mass of twisted metal and splintered rock, killing 168 people and the delusion that the country's midsection is somehow safe from terrorism, and the story, first mentioned here in Vent #1, is still a long way from completion.

Two culprits are behind bars, Terry Nichols for conspiracy, Timothy McVeigh for the actual deed. A grand jury continues to hear evidence, or at least rumors, that others, including the alleged "John Doe #2", were involved, and that the pertinent Federal agencies knew about the bombing in advance. So far, nothing resembling an actual fact has been reported from the grand jury, which adds further to the suspicion that its prime mover, state Representative Charles Key (R-Cardassia Prime), is doing this mainly to boost his name recognition among his constituents in the "Jesus gave me this rifle" crowd.

Meanwhile, somewhere closer to comic opera, stories continue to circulate that Governor Frank Keating, who actually managed not to embarrass himself in front of the national media during the first few fevered days of bombing coverage, might be planning a run for a national office, a possibility which should alarm any Republican strategists who think their party deserves something more than an inferior Dan Quayle clone. Keating's recent op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, in which he attempts to blame the killings at that Jonesboro, Arkansas school on South Park and Marilyn Manson, is a rambling, incoherent mixture of half-truths, non-truths, and utter BS; even cultural elitists of the William Bennett stripe are likely to wonder if the Gov hasn't truly lost his mind. As I told you before, it's not that he's lost his mind — it's that he's sold his soul.

The Vent

#97
19 April 1998

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