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Aberration in the Heartland of the Real: The Secret Lives of Timothy McVeigh Paperback – April 19, 2016
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About the Author
Wendy S. Painting, PhD, is a professor of U.S. history at Empire State College and works as a freelance investigative researcher. Her extensive and seminal investigatory research into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and Timothy McVeigh distinguishes her as a leading national expert on both subjects. She coauthored and coproduced the 2011 documentary film,A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995. She lives in Rochester, New York.
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And just when you think she might take this all too far, Painting stops, leaving her readers to finally decide which truths they grab hold of, which truths are dead ends or diversions and let go of, and which final conclusions they will wake up tomorrow operating with, all because she lets them decide. All too often authors let their egos take too much control and end up preaching at their readers, telling them what they should think, forcing conclusions onto them as if they were half-wits unable to draw their own conclusions. Painting does not do this, and that alone makes her book stand as one that should be widely read.
One warning with this review: Aberration in the Heartland of the Real is a long book, 545 pages long. It also comes with a mountain of sourcing information, pushing it out to 703 pages. I’ve often given up finishing books this long because of my own readerly weakness, laziness, or an author’s refusal or laziness to take the time to organize the narrative effectively. It seems that the longer the book is, the higher the risks of losing readers. Painting does not shy away from this challenge, and she obviously put in the effort required to maintain its energy all the way to the final page. I did have to step away occasionally to let information settle and process, but that results from my failings as a reader, my wanting to push on without making sense of what I was reading.
And if nothing I’ve said has convinced you of this books many merits, let me close by saying one thing that always convinces me I’ve read a definite gem is the feelings of dread I experience as I approach the end, and the sense of loss once I realize my reading’s finished. For me, that’s a convincing sign I’ve read something well written, very important, and highly valuable.
It is a meticulous crawl over every square centimeter of the OKBomb aquarium.
Further, it is exceptional in that it is entirely devoid of speculation, idle, informed, or otherwise.
We who watched the drama of Waco develop, the winds of demonization whipped up to a crescendo of flaming retribution, found the echo in the Greek chorus of wailing and gnashing of teeth and the gotcha beartrap of Cotton Mather v. Timothy McVeigh.
The kimono suffered initial wardrobe malfunction with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories.
Twenty years on, Painting has expanded the canvas in every direction and increased the resolution.
The reader will find the greatest clarity possible of the major anomalies which give the lie to the official version, McVeigh was the sole witch duly burned, case closed.
McVeigh seemed to move in a world of informants. The premier federal agency of investigation investigated very little, spending its efforts in witness intimidation—or elimination—evidence tampering, suppression, destruction, distortion.
Louis Jolyon West the core figure of post-Gottlieb manipulation permeates the Timothy tapestry in person and surrogate.
The prosecution concealed so much throughout, and obtained judicial sanction of restriction of investigation, as to provoke the reader to wonder why the lady doth protest too much.
Eyewitness accounts of others unkown—often directing the action—were systematically sanitized.
Videotapes were confiscated, fed into the memory hole, never to have existed.
Andreas Karl Strassmeir of German military intelligence, another of the too obvious agents provocateur, is allowed to do the Saudi exit after the deluge.
The author considers all the available templates thus far applied, favoring none.
Glimpses, the flashcards of a parallax view of yet another terror event, include a witness to possible preplacement of charges.
Bomb squad personnel on-scene prior to the event.
The sighting of a second Ryder truck, a second John Doe Number Two, a possible Nichols-Youssef meeting.
The persistent habit of witnesses to a wider web dying.
And throughout the author soldiers on, gathering data, checking sources, adding documents, interviewing more witnesses and peripherals—
--and steadfastly refusing to speculate.
This work is invaluable—fearlessly providing every possible pixel; volunteering none.
In the view of this reviewer:
The thrust of the event is as a counterstroke to Waco. The Waco-OKBomb twin star is a special form of the strategy of tension, what Eric Wilson describes as “the spectacle of the false flag”.
Not discussed is the improbability that the alleged explosive device caused the damage presented, nor the bizarre haste in sealing the site and destroying the evidence.
In Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe, former UK foreign secretary the late Robin Cook deems terror events the work of intelligence agencies.
Surely OKBomb, which as Evans-Pritchard pointed out, got Clinton eleven points and re-election, inspired Putin’s false flag bombing of Moscow apartments which vaulted him to permanent power, a cynical gambit stipulated by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshstinsky, Blowing Up Russia.
Waco-OKBomb demonized opposition to imperial government, the recidivist monarchism of the Beltway Borg, allowed irreversible inroads into the protection of the Fourth Amendment, began the characterization of freedom activists as domestic terrorists.
The context of the official fable of one troubled individual’s solo act is familiar to students of the assassinations in which impossible ballistics are accomplished by the deus ex machina of a demon.
While the academic’s seven-hundred-page panoply of the event in context is devoid of any j’accuse, it will be as placidly received as Ravel’s Bolero.
For even in the highly-detailed travel brochure written in objective voice, the chain-linked ruins in the Heartland are one more rest stop on the highway to Hell.
I wholeheartedly recommend Aberration as the most complete extant map of the terra cognita of Oklahoma City and its designated demon.