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Baseless Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy Theory


Quick Take

A viral meme has revived an old, baseless conspiracy theory claiming that Hillary Clinton is linked to the Oklahoma City bombing.


Full Story

An old conspiracy theory from the 1990s has gotten a 21st Century update — it’s now spreading on Facebook as a meme.

The theory suggests that then-first lady Hillary Clinton was involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In all, 168 people died after anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh detonated a homemade bomb that was inside of a rented truck that he parked outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

The claim, which has been around since the bombing happened, has now been distilled into a meme with a picture of the aftermath of the blast that says: “Reminder: This building in Oklahoma City was blown up and destroyed just 4 days before Hillary Clinton was to be indicted in the Whitewater scandal. All documents lost!”

But there is no evidence to support that claim.

It’s true that Bill and Hillary Clinton were investigated in the 1990s for their involvement in a failed real estate development project known as Whitewater, but there’s no indication that Hillary Clinton was going to be indicted four days before the bombing happened. In fact, she was interviewed as part of the Whitewater investigation three days after the bombing occurred.

After the bombing, the couple who had invested in Whitewater with the Clintons, Jim and Susan McDougal, were indicted and convicted on charges for financial transactions that weren’t related to the development deal, but were uncovered during the course of the investigation.

Those charges were filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas, near where the Whitewater property was located.

Government officials denied that any documents related to the Whitewater investigation were located in the Oklahoma City building that was bombed, according to a 1995 Washington Post article about such conspiracy theories.

According to a state government report issued in the aftermath of the bombing, the Murrah building had regional offices for the General Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Social Security Administration, the General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office), Army recruitment, the Veterans Administration, U.S. Customs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Defense, Marine Corps recruiting, the Department of Agriculture, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It also had a credit union and a daycare center, where 19 children died in the explosion.

There was no mention in that report of the Department of Justice having offices in the Murrah building.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on the social media network.

Sources

Kovaleski, Serge. “OKLAHOMA BOMBING CONSPIRACY THEORIES RIPPLE ACROSS THE NATION.” Washington Post. 9 Jul 1995.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Oklahoma City Bombing. FBI.gov. Accessed 4 Mar 2019.

Final Report of the Independent Counsel in Re Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association. GPO. 5 Jan 2001.

U.S. Senate. Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters. Final Report. 17 Jun 1996.

The Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management. After Action Report. Accessed 4 Mar 2019.
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"Reminder: This building in Oklahoma City was blown up and destroyed just 4 days before Hillary Clinton was to be indicted in the Whitewater scandal. All documents lost!"
Wednesday, February 13, 2019