His good name

Former FBI honcho Oliver "Buck" Revell fights against conspiracy buffs who accuse him of mass murder

The lawsuit isn't Revell's only legal salvo against his critics. In December, he settled a lawsuit against the tiny California publisher Feral House Inc., which agreed to destroy thousands of copies of The Oklahoma City Bombing and The Politics of Terror. The tome by David Hoffman rehashed the Lockerbie accusations and also alleged "by innuendo" that Revell conspired in the Oklahoma City bombing.

To implicate Revell in the Lockerbie disaster, the conspiracy buffs take liberties with actual events. They charge the top FBI agent ignored the famous "Helsinki" warning, when two weeks before the Lockerbie bombing, an anonymous caller warned U.S. Embassy officials in Finland that a U.S.-bound flight originating from Germany would be bombed.

State Department officials eventually deemed that warning a hoax and never notified the FBI, according to Revell's lawsuit. But the article accuses Revell of heeding the Helsinki warning to save his son Christopher, a military officer stationed in Germany who was booked on the fatal flight to come home for Christmas. Revell bitterly denies the charge, which the lawsuit deems a "well-refuted canard."

Oliver "Buck" Revell is suing a conspiracy theorist and the Columbia School of Journalism.
Mark Graham
Oliver "Buck" Revell is suing a conspiracy theorist and the Columbia School of Journalism.

He says his son's wife changed the flight before Thanksgiving, three weeks prior to the warning. His daughter-in-law has also spoken out. On an Amazon.com reader comments page for Revell's book, Rae Revell left a statement late last year to "set the record straight about...speculation that his father 'saved [Christopher's] life' and not others.'"

"Chris had more leave-time than he had first thought and asked me to get him a direct flight from Frankfort to Washington, D.C., so he could spend more time at home," she said. "I can assure you it wasn't anticipated terrorism that was motivating him to return early."

Meanwhile, Revell admits he's used to accusations of nefarious misdeeds. Perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche once called him "the most dangerous man in America," says Revell, an Oklahoma native who heads the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and is president of Law Enforcement Television Network, which offers training videos to police agencies.

What does he think of such critics? Having made it to the FBI's top professional slot (only the position of director, a political post, is higher), he insists there are few secret plots afoot in government. "There's very few conspiracies," he says, "and none of them are successful. One of them was Watergate, and I took part in investigating that."

He sees an "Oliver Stoning of America" made even more pervasive by the global reach of the Internet. Yet Lidov's allegations cause him to fear for his safety and that of his family. "I've had anti-government groups trying to find my location, using my name and false ID to rob banks in the Northwest and Midwest," he says. "The more false propaganda that's out there, the more it gives individuals of the Timothy McVeigh ilk a reason."

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