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This Day in History, 1995: Oklahoma City Bombing

Ten years ago today, a massive explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. The bomb, contained in a Ryder truck parked outside the front of the building, went off at 9:02 a.m. as people were preparing for the workday. Among the victims of America's worst incident of domestic terrorism were 19 children who were in the daycare center on the first floor of the building.

Timothy McVeigh was arrested for the bombing and convicted in June 1997. On June 11, 2001, McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the first federal death penalty to be carried out since 1963.

May his victims rest in peace.

Comments

Then let's hope that the New Scientist article is correct..

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7269&feedId=online-news_rss20

But that's just my opinion...
Not to open up a debate, but just FYI, I'm personally opposed to the death penalty.

However, I did not cry any tears for McVeigh.
I'm not a big fan of the death penalty, in fact I will say I flat out don't like it. But 2 of my major issues were not here.

1) we knew McVeigh did it, he admitted guilt.

2) in many cases people on death row have had very poor legal council, in this case he had a first rate defence team.

I still don't like the state having the power to put people to death.
Let's not forget the reason they did it, though: two years earlier, on this day, the BATF and the FBI massacred over 80 people in cold blood, in Waco TX. McVeigh's and Nichols's revenge against those agencies may have been misdirected, and certainly few if any of their victims had any personal culpability for what happened at Mt Carmel, but while remembering the dead of OKC, murdered by two criminals who have been caught and punished, let's spare some time for the dead of Mt Carmel, who were murdered by the government of the USA, and for whom no justice has been done.
Zev, I usually try to keep the political aspects of events out of my "This Day in History" postings. You can spare all the time you want for the dead of Mt Carmel, but I choose not to, except perhaps for the innocent children, who were abused by Koresh and his adult followers. I also take issue with your blanket statement that the Branch Davidians were murdered by the government of the USA. And I'm surprised you would say anything that could come across as defending McVeigh, who was an avid reader of the anti-Semitic and racist tract "The Turner Diaries."
The massacre at Mt Carmel is no more or less political than the one in OKC.

There is no evidence at all of any child abuse at Mt Carmel, apart from Koresh's marriages, some of which were to girls younger than the legal age in Texas (no, I don't know how young the youngest was, but if they were of an age that would not have raised our great-grandparets' eyebrows then I cannot be outraged).

McVeigh was a criminal who received the appropriate penalty for his crime. I don't see how his choice of reading material is relevant. He was certainly not a good person; nor was John Brown. The fact remains that he was outraged by a terrible crime, and perhaps if more people had been outraged by it, if something had been done about it in the two years after it happened, he might not have taken their revenge into his own hands.

Well, apparently our opinions on this topic differ. Let's leave it at that.
I can't remember the two sources where I saw this now, but last week I read about information coming out (thanks to declassified sources) that said the bombing may have also been the end result of an FBI sting gone bad.

An FBI informant (whose name I forget now, but they mentioned it in the article) had been working with McVeigh and Nichols, both of whom had been watched both by the FBI and the BATF for several months by April of '95. It was the informant who managed to get the explosive materials with the help of the FBI, which he then passed on to the two soon-to-be bombers. The idea was that the FBI would then swoop down on McVeigh and Nichols, but for reasons unclear ("unclear" being the way the reports put it) the sting never happened, and the Murrah Federal Building was destroyed.

I'm interested to see if anything more comes out of this.
Michael,
Sorry to start up a debate.
I enjoy reading your Day in History, didn't mean to start up anything with my little shot of venom.
Steve
Everyone gets one first post. :-)

Seriously, though, I found the article fascinating, and I completely understand the perspective of hoping that McVeigh suffered. And, if you want to think about it from the other side, this article gives people like me even more ammunition to argue against the death penalty! :-)

The problem with "This Day in History" is that the closer the events are to the present, the more it is likely to raise opinions. Which is good, but I prefer it when people explicitly state their opinions as such. And even I do some opining, especially when I post about an event I remember from childhood and give my personal notes on it.
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