Sometimes You Have To Give A Little

Much Ado About Timothy McVeigh:

Some Of My Contributions To the Washington Post Message Boards


Counter

This particular page is comprised of my posts to the message boards on the Washington Post site. I have had some extremely interesting and intellectual talks, but for the sake of other posters' privacy, I am only going to post my own pieces. So, get ready to be embroiled in nakedly candid mini-essays:

This first post concerns itself with capital punishment in general and Timothy McVeigh in particular:

In my opinion, nobody deserves to die, particularly from a psychological nightmare that's intended to strip the condemned man or woman of any sense of hope or redemption. i don't hate Timothy McVeigh. i despise what he did and still cry when i see pictures of the disaster, but this happens to be a man who, for reasons on which i can only speculate, should have and could have been helped from a much younger age. At the risk of writing more "psychobabble" i have enough experience to know that his parents were so busy verbally bashing each other around that they barely noticed their three children. McVeigh says he's always been depressed. He should have been put on antidepressants---they do work if administered the right way.

The war didn't help, nor did returning to New York state to live with his father and work as a security guard. There were so many red flags popping up that the only way i can describe the neglect he sufferd is to do point out that hardly anyone remembered him from his youth. McVeigh was one of many boys and men who fall through the cracks in the system. i hope i'm not being redundant---i think i talked about this before.

A major breakthrough for Tim:

There has been one bright spot in all this and that was McVeigh admitting remorse for the families of those who died in the blast. Someone will probably respond with something like, "He only said that to get a stay of execution." Who cares about the motive? At least he said it.

In this post, I'm responding to a woman who found my sardonic humour less than entertaining. I had told her she was living in a fantasy world if she thought that McVeigh would get another trial and be acquitted:

First, i'm sorry i was so sarcastic to you. i've posted some inappropriate messages this week---things kind of got haywire. i can promise you that it's not my nature to be a wise-ass. Most of the time i'm quite shy and retiring. i agree about the horrors of living in prison.

i posted, earlier today, that McVeigh is having "a hellish time on death row." i wrote that, through a personal source who's on the same death row unit as McVeigh, that he's very depressed, isn't eating and he's sweltering in the stuffy cell. He gave his fan away when he thought he was being executed on May 16th. He spends 23 hours a day in the cramped quarters and when he does get out into a fenced area for exercise, there's nobody there but the guard. Nobody really wants to die on a regular basis. There are times and incidences when a person feels the only way out is death, but that doesn't last forever. Do you know if he would be able to get his remaining appeals re-instated?

Oh, i wish like hell that he'd get a new trial. Those white supremacists---i abhore them, but they aren't going away--robbed a bank to get money for the bombing. (The getaway car, Ryder truck rental, as well as ingredients for the bomb). i just read, several days ago, a site that's quie radical and it's members want "out and out revolt," that indeed, the bank robbery was carried through. Jennifer McVeigh apparently laundered some of the money and yet, McVeigh's the one on death row. i'm sure he dropped his appeals and wanted a date for his execution because he was really hurting and thought death would be a welcome release. Now he's not sure and i would hate it if they went ahead with the lethal injection on June 11th, because it means that McVeigh will unwillingly be put to death. Again, i'm sorry for my incredibly stupid post.

We got into a discussion about the bumbling FBI and this was my contribution to the cause:

Thank you for your response. Yes, the FBI has been given an egg facial, that's for certain. i hope that McVeigh will get a stay. It's too much to expect the death penalty will be overturned, however. As my father told me two days ago, that back in December when McVeigh waived his remaining appeals and asked for an execution date, it was somewhere in the distance. Now that the date for his death is looming fast and furious, he's begun to think that dying isn't such a great idea. It was okay as an abstract---but now, it's pretty scary for him.

i didn't know that there was a memorial erected after the Waco disaster and i'm glad to hear that.

How I came to the conclusion that I had Tim all figured out. Whether I am right or wrong, I know something for certain and that is: He had his own motives:

i believe i've figured out why McVeigh bombed the federal building. As a soldier, he developed the mindset of striking the enemy and if it meant innocent people were killed, he was ordered to kill first and ask questions later.

As everyone knows, the Palistinians have been waging war to reclaim their territory. This post likens their situation with McVeigh's---they employ acts of terrorism with bombs bursting everywhere. Is it okay if adults, children and babies are killed in Tel Aviv? Do we only care about "our own kind"? There seems to be some pretty major inconsistencies here:

i'm surprised that nobody has likened McVeigh's motives to that of soldiers in Tel Aviv killing with impunity. i read the following text from the news headlines for today:

A suspected Palestinian suicide bomber killed at least 16 other people and wounded more than 60 at a Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday night in the worst attack against Israelis since a Palestinian uprising erupted last September, police reported.

McVeigh was at war with the government and since it's pretty obvious that he has some serious emotional problems, he reacted the way any defender of the people would, by taking out as many citizens as possible. Don't take this as my justifying McVeigh's crime--i most assuredly would never do that. i'm merely pointing out how things appeared in his troubled eyes.

Lest everyone think that I don't care about the people killed in McVeigh's bombing, I posted this. It's not impossible to feel compassion for both sides of a terrible situation:

My heart goes out to the victims too. i wish it hadn't happened. i'm totally against his affinity for white supremacist groups. That's an element of McVeigh that i will never accept any Aryan idiots. We all have different opinions and allies----even though he thought that Affermative Action hurt his ability to get a well-paying job. That's nonsense and when, six years ago, i discovered that he patterned his bombing after material he gleaned in that racist piece of crap, "The Turner Diaries. That was when i thought of him as the scum of the earth. But you don't have to agree with everything about someone's beliefs and opinions.

Someone wrote that McVeigh had a really good deal in prison, which spurred me on to let both her and everyone else on the message board have their eyes opened as far as institutionalization is concerned:

He has a dismal life on death row. Okay, he has a television, but, speaking from experience, if you watch a great deal of it, your brain becomes lazy and concentration is poor. He's in a 6 foot by 10-foot cell. He's given away all his belongings, including a fan which helped in the stifling cage in which he's imprisoned.

And as far as the meals go, it doesn't appear that McVeigh is eating much, or not at all. He's six foot two inches tall and weighs only 157 pounds. The fact that he once believed that death would be a release from pain and would mean that he wouldn't have to spend the rest of his life in prison. Institutional life is terrible, mind-numbing and leads you nowhere. Life ceases to progress and you eventully lose hope.

I want it known now that I do not approve of McVeigh's ties to those despicable white supremacists. I completely disagree with him on this point and would never even entertain fleeting thoughts of adopting their credo. As far as I'm concerned, racism keeps us in the mindset of the pre-civil war south:

i wish it hadn't happened. i'm totally against his affinity for white supremacist groups. That's an element of McVeigh that i will never accept any Aryan idiots. We all have different opinions and allies----even though he thought that Affermative Action hurt his ability to get a well-paying job. That's nonsense and when, six years ago, i discovered that he patterned his bombing after material he gleaned in that racist piece of crap, "The Turner Diaries. That was when i thought of him as the scum of the earth. But you don't have to agree with everything about someone's beliefs and opinions.

I haven't always possessed positive thoughts about Tim McVeigh, as the following post will attest:

i spent the first two years after the bombing being absolutely livid with McVeigh--hell i wanted to off him myself, but i'm not the murdering type. But as time went on, i began to see things differently and i realized that every story has two sides. i have mentioned this on this forum before, quite recently, actually, that if someone had noticed how depressed and obsessive compulsive he was many years ago when he started falling apart, then perhaps none of this would have transpired. i feel compassion for anyone locked in an institution. i've been there---most of the past twenty years were spent in the nuthouse (okay, give it to me--i can take it).

Timothy McVeigh needs therapy and some antidepressants. It is never too late, but i guess the folks who run the federal prison don't feel he's worthy of any kind of help. He even has trouble getting medication for his stomach pains.

If you dismiss McVeigh as an evil, cold-blooded mass murderer without looking at the number of people born in the late 1960's, then you are being one-dimensional. There's something about this man---i cannot articulate it well without causing an avalanche---that makes me believe that his life could turn around if someone would give a damn about him. As a child and a teenager, he was so eager to please that it became a trap. i have a website on McVeigh and the death penalty and, needless to say, not many agree with what i have to say. i'm sorry if i scare you, but it's really upsetting me that Ashcroft is going to put the kibosh on anymore appeals for McVeigh. Maybe i spend too much time obsessing over this stuff, but since my current manuscript is a fictionalized version of the tragedy, i'm finding myself reading anything i can get my hands on regarding McVeigh and the concept of capital punishment. But it can really get to a person.

A possible explanation of how McVeigh arrived at the frighening conclusion that the Alfred P. Murrah building had to be bombed:

i believe i've figured out why McVeigh bombed the federal building. As a soldier, he developed the mindset of striking the enemy and if it meant innocent people were killed, he was ordered to kill first and ask questions later.

McVeigh was at war with the government and since it's pretty obvious that he has some serious emotional problems, he reacted the way any defender of the people would, by taking out as many citizens as possible. Don't take this as my justifying McVeigh's crime--i most assuredly would never do that. i'm merely pointing out how things appeared in his troubled eyes.

He first joined the army in order to "see the world" and because he felt he'd led a "sheltered life." He hadn't bargained for the Gulf war, which exploded all over national tv. McVeigh really wanted to be one of the Green Berets, but after returning home following the war's end, he wasn't fit enough to pass the training. This fueled his rage even more.

The army teaches discipline, toughness, ability to take orders and how to get the most from the hard, grueling boot camp, where only the strong and determined are able to withstand. i've read that McVeigh acted somewhat strangly while in the army---his obsession with guns spooked his fellow soldiers. Maybe Oklahoma City wouldn't have happened if someone in the service had noted his depression and his unstable nature. Perhaps nobody in the armed forces gets psychiatric care.

The argument surrounding America's rather lax gun possession laws and the third amendment (at least I think it's the third) which ensures that people can legally own a gun for protection, unlike my country of Canada. I feel that the US needs to heed the Brady Bill and get Charlton Heston out of the National Rifle Association before he has everyone armed to the teeth:

i realize that gun ownership is a touchy topic and every once in awhile one of us opens up that squirming can of worms and all hell breaks loose. i've noticed that there's no flaming here, which is a welcome breath of fresh air from the notorious and jungle-like Usenet groups. Yes, the posts from people here are well thought out, articulate and thorough--another plus over Usenet's profanity-spouting maelstrom.

My post regarding McVeigh's emotional problems received some response. We cannot discount the fact that he was so obsessive cumpulsive and despondant that the man was the proverbial ticking time bomb. (Perhaps "bomb" isn't an appropriate word for the forum):

Mika, i believe that McVeigh was traumatized by the Gulf War--he made reference to the first man he'd ever killed. "One moment he had a head and the next he didn't." The second killing of an enemy didn't produce as much guilt and pain. He hated one-on-one killings, where he gets a good look at his human target before blowing him away.

McVeigh's waging a war of his own and appears to think that both Waco and Oklahoma City were under seige. Waco, to him, housed the "good guys," while government officials at the doomed federal building symbolized the enemy, that which must be destroyed before they do the same to him. Bombing was easier on McVeigh's psyche, because he didn't have to look at any one of his victims. It's like being a bomber pilot in WWII. Guns from the plane killed thousands, perhaps millions, but the plane's navigator never had to be anywhere near the victims to see the "whites of their eyes."

So in that sense, you are right about about the government. McVeigh is a glaring example of how a country like the US thinks of owning a gun as blase of ordering fish for dinner. If it weren't for that insipid Charlton Heston, perhaps the NRA would embody more of the groundbreaking Brady Law---that's assuming Heston's replacement was a sane, with a guilty conscience.

...Back to my home page

...Back to my home page

Hosting by WebRing.