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The Timothy Mcveigh Bombing History Essay

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Any terrorist acts are horrible, they have nothing but devastating effects in all ways, shapes, and forms. When acts of terrorism are successfully carried out, they have achieved their ultimate goals. Their goals are simple really, to strike fear into any and all people, to send a message, and to destroy property and more importantly, the lives of the very people they affect. More recently, there has been a different, modernized type of terrorism has evolved in the way it is performed or delivered. Technology and modern advancements in explosives have driven terrorism to heights that are hard to believe. It is important to understand the chain of events that led up to this horrible tragedy. It is also very important to understand the devastating effects that modern technology, explosives, and absolute randomness can play in future terrorist events such as this. An act like this that was completely random and unexpected without warning makes it all the deadlier.

On April 19, 1995 - Timothy McVeigh, the infamous, Oklahoma City Bomber drove a rented Rider truck filled with explosives to the front of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. It was 9:00 am when McVeigh parked the rented truck outside the building and around 9:02 am a massive explosion collapsed the north half of the Murrah Building. This was known as the largest terrorist attack other than 9/11. The bombing ended up killing 168 people total, 850 people total people were injured, and 19 of the 168 were children.

The rental Ryder truck McVeigh had rented was identified by its wrecked rear axle, also the FBI traced the VIN, they traced contacted the rental place helped the FBI make a sketch of the man who rented it and on that same day the manager Lea McGown of the Dreamland Hotel identified "Robert Kling". Being a fake name they had no other evidence to whom this man actually was. But luckily a couple of hours later, after the bombing, a highway patrolman had pulled over McVeigh on I-35 in Noble County, the officer noticed his car had no license plate. He was driving near Perry, Oklahoma, the officer found a loaded firearm in McVeigh's car, he was then arrested and sent to jail. Fortunately McVeigh remained in jail and was later identified as the target of the nationwide manhunt.

On the first day of court in the Timothy McVeigh Trial, Prosecutor Joseph Hartzler began his opening statement by reminding the jury of all the losses in the horrible bombing: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, April 19th, 1995, was a beautiful day in Oklahoma City, at least it started out as a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Flowers were blooming. It was springtime in Oklahoma City. Sometime after six o'clock that morning, Kevin Garrett's mother woke him up to get him ready for the day. He was only 16 months old. He was a toddler; and as some of you know that have experience with toddlers, he had a keen eye for mischief. He would often pull on the cord of her curling iron in the morning, pulling it off the counter top until it fell down, often till it fell down on him. That morning, she picked him up and wrestled with him on her bed before she got him dressed. She remembers this morning because that was the last morning of his life…" (Linder, Douglas)

On August 10, 1995, McVeigh was federally indicted on 11 counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives, and eight counts of first-degree murder. Michael Fortier came forward with a truthful testimony that helped a federal grand jury indict both McVeigh and Nichols with conspiracy charges. Michael Fortier, McVeigh's old army buddy, knew of the bombing plot and did not tell the authorities to prevent the horrible attack. Nearly 2 months later, Attorney General Janet Reno and the government authorized that prosecutors seek the death penalty for McVeigh. February 20, 1996 the court had the case transferred from Oklahoma City to the US District Court in Denver, Colorado. They wished to have the U.S. District judge, Richard Matsch take over the case because Oklahoma coverage had "demonized" McVeigh and Nichols. While in court now in Denver, McVeigh instructed his lawyers to use a necessity defense arguing that McVeigh's actions of the bombing in Oklahoma was justifiable reaction to what McVeigh believed were the crimes of the U.S. Government at Waco, Texas. Also as a part of his defense, McVeigh's lawyers showed the argumentative video to the jury called: "Waco: The Big Lie", in which it was a 51 day shoot out of the Branch Davidian complex that resulted in the death of 76 Branch Davidian members.

McVeigh argued that his motives for the bombing came mainly from the conflict in Waco, Texas. And also he argued that his motives were also fueled by the Government intervening with gun control laws, in which McVeigh believed that it was a violation to the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. McVeigh mainly argued that nothing did more to infuriate him than the attack of the Davidian Complex which was lead by a religious cult by David Koresh in Waco, Texas. The dispute was between this religious cult and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms or known as BATF. Many armed BATF agents tried to execute a legal warrant, at the compound, to search for illegal weapons. The raid took place at the Mount Carmel compound of the Davidians on February 28, 1993, it ended horribly. Six Davidians and four agents were killed in the gun fight. It ended up being a 51 day stand off, resulting in shoot outs which ultimately caused the deaths of these men. McVeigh argued that the actions executed by the Federal Government infuriated him that he traveled to Texas in March to sell bumper stickers with slogans written upon them such as: "Fear the Government that Fears Your Gun." At the time of the Waco, Texas incident, McVeigh was watching television at Terry Nichols farm in Michigan. McVeigh watched as the FBI launched their attacks on the heavily fortified Davidian Compound, tanks punctured holes in the walls, and agents fired CS gas inside to subdue the criminals. The incident became a raging inferno when pyrotechnic devices were fired into the building, when it was all finally over, 74 men, women, and children were found dead inside. McVeigh became belligerent questioning the American Government, and came to the conclusion that they were evil and he decided to take direct action for this.

Many FBI reports, collect that McVeigh's began to be involved in criminal activities from 1994 and on. McVeigh was suspected to be involved in many bank robberies with the gang from, Elohim, mainly operating in the Midwest. The series of bank robberies were to fund many projects that involved anti-government violence. McVeigh was found to have been examining banks to plot out the bank robberies. McVeigh is also suspected to have been the get away driver during these robberies. It is also rumored that Michael Fortier helped McVeigh steal random items from an Arizona National Guard armory.

"For Timothy McVeigh, April 19 stood out as a date with multiple historical meanings.  It was, probably foremost to the former visitor to Waco, the date in 1995 that the federal government launched its attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, with the horrific loss of life that resulted.  McVeigh also knew April 19 to be the date in 1775 that the Battle of Lexington occurred, marking the beginning of the armed uprising by colonialists against British control. In his newly bought getaway car, McVeigh included a bumper sticker that he expected, and probably wanted, authorities to find. The bumper sticker read: "When the Government fears the people, There is Liberty. When people Fear the Government, There is tyranny." This being the quote of Revolutionary War Patriot Samuel Adams. But also below this slogan, McVeigh scribbled his own words: "Maybe now, there will be liberty!"" - (Linder, Douglas)

McVeigh needed to store the materials he had collected for his bomb, he rented a storage unit on September 22 in Herington, Kansas. A week later, Terry Nichols bought a ton of ammonium nitrate, an ingredient that is need for the construction of the bomb. Ammonium nitrates is commonly used in agricultural fertilizer, they bought the fertilizer from a cooperative farm McPherson, Kansas.

October 1994 was a busy month for McVeigh and his co-conspirators. McVeigh and Terry Nichols bought more fertilizer ingredient from the same farm. On October 3rd, McVeigh and Nichols were thought to have stolen several supplies of dynamite and blasting caps from a quarry in Marion, Kansas. Soon after that McVeigh purchased $3000 worth of nitro methane, which is a racing fuel that was needed for the construction of the bomb. McVeigh had disguised himself in a biker outfit and bought the fuel from a Dallas track. In between the assembly and production of the bomb, McVeigh visited Oklahoma City to inspect the Murrah Building, the target of his bomb. He calculated his own position at the time the bomb should explode. McVeigh also decided to visit Kingman, Arizona two different times in October. In Kingman, Arizona he rented another storage locker and, with the Michael Fortier watching, McVeigh tested the explosive mixture which they had made and chosen for the bomb going to be used on the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh tried to coerce Fortier to help McVeigh in the actual bombing, but he refused, and asked, "What about all the people?" McVeigh informed Fortier to think of the victims as "star ship troopers in Star Wars" which, they are individually innocent, "are guilty because they work for the evil empire. Fortier overcame the pressure and persuasive efforts McVeigh pushed down upon him, he made it clear that he had no desire, what so ever, to be in Oklahoma City on the day that this all went down.

The Verdict - McVeigh was found guilty on all 11 counts of the federal indictment, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and eight counts of first degree murder. He was found guilty of the charges on June 2, 1997, McVeigh showed no emotion as the verdict was read. On June 13, 1997 - the jury, consisting of seven men and five women, recommended that McVeigh receive the death penalty. They eventually decided that McVeigh should be put to death by legal injection. The U.S. Department of Justice brought federal charges upon McVeigh for casing the deaths of eight federal officers leading to a possible death, more definite, penalty for McVeigh. He was not charged with the other 160 people that were killed by his bomb in federal court, these deaths fell under the jurisdiction of the state of Oklahoma. "After McVeigh's conviction and sentencing, the state of Oklahoma did not file murder charges against McVeigh for the other 160 deaths, as he had already been sentenced to death in the federal trial." - (Wikipedia) On September 9, 1997, Terry Nichols', the suspected bomber, attorneys felt that they were duped by federal prosecutors into disclosing their legal strategies and they wanted a federal appeals court to void the death penalty against Nichols. "On September 23, 1998, the convicted Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh wanted an appeals court to overturn his conviction on the grounds that one of the jurors's said that "we all know what the verdict should be." - (Mayhem.net)

On the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a three judge panel decided that toward the earlier part of the month of September that there was no misconduct when a juror apparently decided McVeigh's guilt before his trial was over. The panel that decided this said the comment were ambiguous. "McVeigh's lawyer, took a different approach an and asked the court to rehear arguments that his conviction and death sentence should be overturned on the grounds that the remark may have influenced other jurors." - (Wikipedia)

"On December 18, 1997 - Convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh told The Dallas Morning News in a letter that he expects his appeals to fail. "Because of the intense public pressure and demand for my blood, I do not see an appeals court ruling in my favor." McVeigh wrote: "I have no fear of execution. If anything, death by execution is much more predictable than normal life or combat -- because I at least know when and how I'm checking out." - (Mayhem.net)

"Terry Nichols, the co-conspirator, was found guilty of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and of eight counts of involuntary manslaughter on December 23, 1997. Nichols was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, after the fact that the judge branded him a "proven enemy of the Constitution." - (Wikipedia)

On May 27, 1998, Michael Fortier was sentenced to prison for 12 years for failing to warn the authorities of the bombing plot, for lying to FBI agents when he was questioned after the bombing, and transporting stolen weapons. During McVeigh's trial Fortier was a key prosecution witness, and on March 8, 1999 the Supreme Court rejected McVeigh's appeal for a new trial. The claimed that his previous trial had been improperly tainted by a juror who prejudged McVeigh's guilt and also by news reports he had confessed to his lawyers. Timothy McVeigh practically lost all hope and decided to end his appeals on December 13, 2000. Also, McVeigh asked to have his execution date set within the next 120 days, he offered no explanation for his decision. He also requested to drop all appeals and get an exact and sooner execution date which would be given by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch in Colorado on December 28, 2000. McVeigh was in Terre Haute, Indiana and he participated in the Denver hearing via closed circuit television from the maximum security prison where he was on death row.

In March, 2000, McVeigh decided participate with the CBS show "Sixty Minutes". This was the first time the American public got to hear directly from McVeigh, prison officials finally allowed Ed Bradley to interview McVeigh in the prison. McVeigh still has some last ditch appeals to think about, and in his interview on CBS' "Sixty Minutes" he offered his thoughts about politics, that interview ended up being over thirty minutes, mainly about the Gulf War, and also what he perceived to be unfair during his trial a couple years prior to then. And again McVeigh showed no remorse over what he had done with his bomb in Oklahoma City. He still blamed the U.S. government for teaching, through its aggressive foreign policy and application of the death penalty, the lesson that "violence is an acceptable option." - (Linder, Douglas)

"Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh died on June 11, 2001 at 7:14 a.m. with his eyes open after receiving a lethal drug of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride from federal prison authorities. McVeigh did not make an oral statement but a copy of the 1875 poem "Invictus", by William Ernest Henley. The execution was broadcast from Terre Haute to Oklahoma City were 232 survivors and victims' relatives watched the encrypted feed." - (Wikipedia)


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