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Governor decries explosive violence

By Paul English

April 20, 1995

"Obviously, no amateur did this, and whoever did it was an animal," Gov. Frank Keating said Wednesday after talking with President Clinton and Bob Ricks of the FBI.

Keating said the bombing of the federal building in downtown Oklahoma City was "a terrible, terrible commentary on one person's violence against another. "

He said Clinton called him at the state's emergency preparedness operations center "and assured his willingness to provide whatever federal law enforcement support is necessary to find out who is responsible. "

Asked who was responsible for the bombing, former FBI-agent Keating said, "Well, obviously, someone who knows a lot about explosives was responsible because this was a very substantial device or devices. "

Keating downplayed the possibility the bombing could be related to the second anniversary of the firestorm at Waco, Texas, which killed David Koresch and many members of his sect.

"The (British Broadcasting Co.) asked that, as well as one of the stations in New York, and I said you need to take out your map and note that Waco's a long way from Oklahoma City," he said.

He said Clinton questioned whether the bombing was domestic or international.

"To us in Oklahoma, it's irrelevant whether it's domestic or international," Keating said. "We have suffered a grievous loss.

Our innocent fellow citizens have been maimed and killed, and we are justifiably outraged and saddened. "

Keating was asked how a bombing could be prevented at the state Capitol where people, before Wednesday's bombing, entered the building without going through metal detectors.

"That's one thing that President Clinton and I talked about. He said it's the challenge of a truly free society where people can come and go at will, to protect and prevent against these kinds of incidents," he said.

"It's very difficult to be 100 percent safe because of the fact that people in America don't have transit passes and don't have travel documents and don't have mandatory ID's, and we don't have metal detectors and armed guards everywhere you go.

"That is something that the American people justifiably want and demand, to be free and to be able to travel freely. "

Keating said "Prudent and careful protective efforts obviously should be examined as an aftermath of this tragedy. "


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