Today is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, "it was the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation's history." Nineteen of the one hundred and sixty eight people murdered were children. Hundreds more were injured. Timothy McVeigh, the main perpetrator, had managed, perhaps deliberately, to detonate the bomb right under the day care center in the building, ensuring that the youngest lives would be lost.
Many assumed that the perpetrators were Middle Eastern terrorists. McVeigh was an American, an ex-Army officer, and a white male. He believed in right-wing politics and was a pro-Aryan racist. He sympathized with the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. He travelled to Waco during the siege to protest the government's oppression of the cult.
Ann Coulter has made clear that she wishes that McVeigh had bombed the New York Times Building with all of the editors and reporters inside it:
John Hawkins: You've caught a lot of heat for a couple of quotes you made... IYou also said in an interview with the New York Observer, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." Do you stand by those quotes or do you think that perhaps you should have phrased them differently?
Ann Coulter:... RE: McVeigh quote. Of course I regret it. I should have added, "after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters."
The hate that the right wing spews, and the threat they pose to the lives of others, continues. However, we do not honor the memories of the victims by continually and systematically removing the civil rights and liberties of the living.
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year in a 5 to 4 vote that people may be subjected to strip searches for any violation, including being pulled over for speeding. In defense of this massive disregard for the Fourth Amendment, Justice Kennedy was quoted by the New York Times:
Justice Kennedy responded that “people detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals.” He noted that Timothy McVeigh, later put to death for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was first arrested for driving without a license plate. “One of the terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks was stopped and ticketed for speeding just two days before hijacking Flight 93,” Justice Kennedy added.
It it true that as McVeigh fled the scene of his crime, Officer Charles Hanger pulled McVeigh over and arrested him for driving without a license and carrying a concealed weapon. I challenge anyone to tell me how examining McVeigh naked and making him pull his cheeks apart so the police could look in his anus would have given a quicker indication that he had just set off a bomb. He was pulled over for good reason, the state caught him for his crimes without violating anything in the Constitution or its amendments, and McVeigh was executed in 2001 for his heinous act.
I truly wish those who would strip of us of all of our civil liberties would stop using the ghosts of crime victims to scare the rest of us. It is dishonest, irrational, and extremely disrespectful to both the dead and their surviving loved ones.
Oklahoma City Bombing victims, Rest in Peace.