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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique "McVeigh" 1-15-2022

Remember Timothy McVeigh? If not, to refresh your memory, he was the ex-Army soldier who on the morning of April 19, 1995 parked a rented Ryder truck filled with weaponized mixture of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, got out, locked the door, and lit all the timed fuses.

Within minutes McVeigh had committed the worst act of homegrown terrorism in American history. When the dust settled, 168 persons were dead including 19 children while injuring 500 or so additional victims.

There is little doubt that as he drove in his getaway car he could hear the explosion. We can only wonder what thoughts were in his head, what fantasy of justice he envisioned. There is little doubt he considered himself an American patriot and hero for protecting our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of what was apparently a warped and depraved vision of happiness.

McVeigh was by all accounts in a state of self-induced paranoia over his fears the Government was about to take away his Second Amendment rights guaranteeing his right “to keep and bear arms.” His deadly actions, no more than those of an ammo sexual gun toting nut case acting out his most fervent and feverish fantasies of false and lethal patriotism.

A reader and admirer of the works of William Pierce, McVeigh’s political thinking was earlier highly influenced by Pierce’s 1978 work “The Turner Diaries”, an anti-government, neo-Nazi book that includes approval and praise for the truck bombing of the Washington, DC headquarters of the FBI.

Upon leaving the Army, out of work and I imagine with time on his hands, McVeigh drove to Waco, Texas to watch the standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians. The events served to re-enforce and inflame his still growing hatred for the Federal Government.

After the events at Waco, McVeigh reunited with his old army pals Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier, started selling guns for cash at fairs and began hanging around with various right wing militia groups.

Approximately one year later, it was hardly a coincidence that the day of the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City took place on the second anniversary of the burning inferno engulfing the Branch Davidians’ compound in Waco.

On the day of the bombing, McVeigh’s flight to freedom was short-lived. Approximately 90 minutes after the blast in Oklahoma City had occurred, officers stopped McVeigh for a minor traffic violation. Upon searching his vehicle, they found McVeigh was carrying an unregistered hand gun. Shortly thereafter, Captain America McVeigh was being held in a local jail cell.

When the FBI began to look for him they didn’t have to go very far. Two days after the bombing, to their no doubt convenience and surprise, McVeigh was still behind bars. He was duly taken into federal custody. Soon thereafter, Nichols turned himself in to authorities while Fortier would eventually cut a plea deal in exchange for testifying against McVeigh.

The trial began in April of 1997, lasted about a month with the jury deliberating for three days before convicting McVeigh of 11 counts of murder, conspiracy, and using a weapon of mass destruction.

On June 11th, 2001, he was executed by lethal injection. For his last meal, he had ice cream. When given the chance to give a brief “last words” he declined. Later, authorities found in his cell a copied by hand version of the poem “Invictus” by William Ernst Henley with the famous last lines:

“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

Sadly, as did I, you will find many parallels to the insurrection that led up to and took place on January 6, 2021. But here’s one you may not have caught that puzzled me. I would have though McVeigh would have faced a federal domestic terrorist law or two. The reason he didn’t is he couldn’t. Why? Because at the time there was no such law on the books.

Foreign terrorists? Not a problem, plenty of those on the books. But a law or statute directly making domestic terrorism a crime in and of itself? There was none back then, and get this, there still isn’t one now.

The closest we have come to making domestic terrorism an individual, stand-alone crime in the United States is found in Section 802 of the USA Patriot Act that expanded the definition of terrorism to include “domestic” as opposed to international terrorism.

Under Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act, a person commits the crime of domestic terrorism if within the U.S. they engage in activity that involves acts dangerous to human life that violate the laws of the United States or any state and appear to be intended: (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

Notice how the crime of domestic terrorism is based on the violation of another law already in existence in the United States. Oh, and as for a codified definition of a domestic terrorist? Yeah, that isn’t in there either.

You think maybe we ought to change that or something? For? Against? Let me know.

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