NEW SETTLER: What is his background, Judi? How old is he? How long with the FBI? His church affiliation? What do you know about him?
JUDI: Not much. He appears to be in his 50's -- he looks like one of the attaches. He's a very scary guy. He's sneery and sarcastic. Most of them maintain a decor. Not this guy.
We asked him his background, and he said he'd been employed by the FBI for twenty-five years, and twenty-four of them, he'd worked in the San Francisco office.
We said: "How long have you been on the terrorist squad?" And he said: "Since before its inception."
Which I would have to presume means that he was involved in some of the Black Panther things, because that was within this time frame. So I presume this man has been a COINTELPRO agent -- back when they still called it COINTELPRO.
JUDI: COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program is what it stands for) was J. Edgar Hoover's program to, in his words, "disrupt, misdirect, isolate and neutralize" progressive movements in this country. The techniques of COINTELPRO included the use of agent provocateurs, fake documents, disinformation (false rumors), threats, harassment, framings and assassinations of political organizers. It got so out of hand in the 1970s in cases like the Black Panthers and AIM, that the US Congress eventually declared COINTELPRO unconstitutional, and ordered the FBI to stop using it.
kind of impresses me as a rogue element. Most of them were very controlled and very in control of themselves. Doyle was sneering and sarcastic. He really had a different kind of demeanor than the other FBI agents we've deposed so far.
He's not the head of the terrorist squad, but he is their bomb expert. He's what they call a "Certified Bomb Instructor," which means he's taken this three-week course in the Redstone Academy in Huntsville, Alabama, where you learn to make bombs as well as to respond to bombings. It allows him to be an instructor as well as a respondent. Every year, you have to take a refresher course to maintain your status as a Certified Bomb Technician. He's also the teacher of Bomb School. -- We'll get to Bomb School in a little while.
Anyway, he was
among the first respondents, and he took over. He began to direct the response to the bombing. They gridded off the scene and collected evidence within the different grids. Doyle did the gridding and assigned the people to collect the evidence. He directed the response to the bombing, so essentially he became the supervisor at the bomb scene, and he directed both Oakland police as well as the FBI. Pretty soon, he told the ATF to get lost, and they didn't have much to do with the response.
The FBI says they never heard of us before the bombing (and all this other crap that I don't believe for a minute), but according to the Oakland police, literally within minutes of the bombing, the FBI came up to them and said: "We know these people. They're terrorists. These are the type of people who would be carrying a bomb."
This is Sgt. Sitterud, an Oakland police homicide officer who said this. He was the homicide detective assigned to be in charge of this case from Oakland. During his deposition, he testified to us that the FBI corralled him before he even got a look at the car. He doesn't remember which FBI agent, but he said (and this is an exact quote): "He told us that these were the type of people who would be involved in carrying a bomb. He told us that these people, in fact, qualify as 'terrorists'."
And in his police log, according to notes that he wrote at the time, Sgt. Sitterud arrives at the bombing about 15 minutes after the bomb exploded. Ten minutes later -- that would be 25 minutes after the explosion -- he writes in his log: "the victims are radical activists, Earth First! leaders associated with power lines downings, threats to nuclear plants, suspected of Santa Cruz power line sabotage.. "
On and On, this whole list of crimes. Within a half hour of the bombing, the FBI, who claims they never heard of us, have already briefed the Oakland police and prejudiced them as to who we are. We asked Sgt. Sitterud, "How did that effect you?" And he testifies: "It made me think they were carrying the bomb."
How did you get access to all this information Judi? -- To the right to deposition the cast at the site?
JUDI: We sued the FBI and the Oakland police for false arrest, illegal search and seizure, and denial of equal protection, and civil rights violations: specifically, conspiracy to violate our First Amendment rights. -- This is the COINTELPRO charge: We've said: Not only did they false-arrest us, but the reason that they falsely arrested us was in order to discredit us as organizers, in order to sabotage Redwood Summer and to disrupt Earth First! And we've stayed in court with these charges. And that's not easy. It's not easy to sue the FBI. They have a lot of immunities.
At any rate, Frank Doyle comes over to the car -- there's a picture of that -- and the police's own photos show that the frame was bent right under the driver's seat: the driver's seat was collapsed to the ground, there was a large hole in the driver's seat -- according to Lt. Sims of the Oakland police: "you could see right through to the street below."
You have not talked about the large hole in your buttocks, Judi. There could be no more vivid proof that the bomb had been carefully placed under the driver's seat, not tossed nonchalantly in the back, hidden under guitar cases and clothes, as the FBI contended.
JUDI: Right. I was impaled on a spring! When the bomb exploded, it exploded right under me. It ripped a hole right through the seat, right into me. And now I've seen all this stuff: I've seen the bomb, the bomb parts; I've seen the car; I've seen the blown-up seat -- it's smithereens! But if you put the pieces back together, there is a hole right in the middle.
When the bomb exploded right through the seat, one of the springs in the seat exploded, and I was impaled on the seat. That's what broke my back.
My back, to this day, is broken and dislocated.; there is a ninety degree turn. Most people's backbones curl around under their butt, and that's what you sit on. Mine does a ninety degree turn and sticks out, so I don't have anything to sit on. I have to sit on an orthopedic pillow or on soft surface. I have to shift all the time. The hole in my butt that went right through to my bone, took a year to heal. And that was from the spring that I was impaled on.
And I can't think of another wound more significant in locating where a bomb was placed. What on earth was the FBI's excuse?
JUDI: What indeed! There was no damage to my back. It's so clear looking at the pictures.
In order to sue
the FBI (because they have this thing called "qualified immunity", which means if they make a mistake in the course of their duties -- even if they accidentally shoot you in the head in the course of their duty -- as long as it is a mistake, you can't sue them for it) you have to show that they consciously, knowingly and maliciously did something. And we have managed to stay in court with these charges, because the photos we have of the crime scene show how very clear it was that this bomb was hidden under the car seat.
Frank Doyle looked at this car and he said: "The bomb was on the back seat floor board, therefore, they must have seen it, and therefore they knew it was there."
He's quoted in the search warrant issued after we were arrested They sign out a search warrant in which they give the details as to why they should be allowed to search our house for the bomb parts.
At the scene they removed the front seat from the car. -- Frank Doyle says he doesn't "recall" them removing the front seat, but we've got the pictures.
When they removed the front seat, there was a huge hole at the clear epicenter, right smack under my seat. But this hole narrows on its ends and extends up to where the accelerator and the brake are, and it also extends back towards the back seat. And you could see a little bit of hole in the back seat floorboard, you certainly could, but you could also see the front seat was collapsed into the floor and that it was all black from the explosion. The back of the front seat was bent outwards, from the front -- rather than bent forwards as if the bomb had been in the back.
And the back seat itself is pristine. It's amazing. It's untouched. It doesn't have any bomb residue on it. It's not damaged. But Frank Doyle said that the bomb was in the back seat. And in the face of his statements ("These people are terrorists! We've caught these big terrorists!") every single FBI agent and Oakland police officer at that scene -- even though they could see with their own eyes that he was lying -- went along with Frank Doyle.
Albion Monitor January 13, 1997 (http://www.monitor.net/monitor)