Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2007

Timothy McVeigh Speaks

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:58 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Stephen Jones, the lead attorney representing Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, has donated his defense papers to the University of Texas:

Timothy McVeigh sometimes laughed, joked around and appeared to show little remorse as he described for his attorneys his 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, recently discovered defense documents show. Asked in one defense interview whether he was single, he said: “Yes. Any bachelorettes out there?” Another time, he “roared with laughter,” according to the documents. He also said he hoped he would be acquitted and that his trial would embarrass the federal government.

The defense documents were donated to the University of Texas by his lead trial attorney, Stephen Jones of Enid. They include a 246-page transcript of McVeigh’s confidential statement made to Jones in September 1995. The existence of the documents came to light recently.

He once griped that prison guards withheld his Playboy magazine “for two days straight,” the documents show. “Tim was especially anxious to see it because it contains a story about him,” an attorney wrote. “Tim said that the … story in Playboy ‘made me look manly.’

McVeigh showed little or no remorse:

“His attorneys noted in one document he expressed no remorse. His attorneys wrote: “He stated that his conscious mind knew that the people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing had families, that the children killed had mothers, and he fully realizes the consequences of his actions, but he was able to ‘turn it off’ in order to perform his mission. “He stated that the normal emotions and feelings were there inside him, but he was able to cover them up in order to carry out the bombing.”

He is quoted in another defense document, though, as saying, “I know it’s terrible to lose a child, especially (for) a mother. … I empathize with pain. It’s not that I’m callous. Everyone has feelings.”

I can’t imagine a more difficult case or client than these defense counsel faced with McVeigh:

“The documents show McVeigh considered pleading guilty if it would “save” his co-conspirator, Terry Nichols. He was told it would not. He also considered an insanity defense that would claim “McVeigh did not believe it was wrong because he believed he was at war, a war initiated by the government.”

In one of the first interviews, in May 1995, he told his attorneys that he already had received fan mail, including one marriage proposal and $10 in cash.

He told his attorneys he did not know his target, the Murrah Building, had a day care center but that probably would not have deterred him. He said he told friends, Michael and Lori Fortier, that he was aware children may be among the victims.”

McVeigh’s goal was to wake up Americans to the danger posed by their government:

McVeigh also told his attorneys he was disappointed in the reaction to the attack, that he had not woken up Americans.

He gave his attorneys a cartoon of a flock of chickens armed with pitchforks and clubs. The flock is stopped at the door of a farmer’s house. The lead chicken said: “Again? Why is it that the revolution always gets this far and then everyone just chickens out?”

McVeigh wrote underneath the cartoon, “Reflections of my life ….”

This link to McVeigh’s confidential statement made to his attorney paints McVeigh as a remorseless terrorist. (He describes the bombing beginning at page 188.) He justified his acts because the government “drew first blood” in the Waco/Branch Davidian incident, and he was particularly upset that the FBI raised its flag at the compound while there were “charred babies” still inside.

McVeigh also maintained that his only assistance came from Terry Nichols, although defense counsel Jones doubted that. McVeigh failed a lie detector test on that point but he stated that if there had been more conspirators, there would have also been more bombings.

— DRJ

42 Responses to “Timothy McVeigh Speaks”

  1. Waco was a cover for spontaneous joy in evildoing.

    As he was about to be sentenced, the court asked McVeigh if he would like to speak. He couldn’t even quote from his own heart:

    He rose and said, “I wish to use the words of Justice Brandeis dissenting in Olmstead to speak for me. He wrote, ‘Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.’”

    steve (4d2de8)

  2. ““Tim said that the … story in Playboy ‘made me look manly.’“

    Obviously still a sick and deluded little monster – obviously animals cannot in any way, shape or form, be considered manly.

    Dana (4a94e8)

  3. This is terrible. Stephen Jones has no right to reveal his former client’s confidences. He was a total doofus in defending him, too. Starting with the stupid motion to move the trial to Denver. Maybe he’s trying to excuse why he sold his client down the river.

    nk (c87736)

  4. You know what I recall seeing in Playboy? Vaginas. And isn’t Playboy for kids and metrosexuals, anyway?

    I think that’s appropriate. Who murders babies with a bomb? Not the manly. The Branch Davidian thing was a huge tragedy, and it’s fair to point out what the government did, but why not just build a gigantic memorial next to the interstate in Waco? Did McVeigh think that deliberately killing all those people would further his argument that he’s better than a government that largely killed by callous accident?

    I’ve always suspected there is far more to the OKC bombing than this. McVeigh and Nichols not only were helped by others, but they may not even know why they attacked this target. There are probably people walking free today chuckling about their involvement in this crime.

    If McVeigh were remorseful, he would tell us about them. Of course, McVeigh would do this again. This guy would have crashed a plane into the WTC. This is why I’m partially happy about Meth, because it seems to attract and reduce a lot of these anti government militia-hick types.

    Jem (9e390b)

  5. Before he was executed, McVeigh apparently released Jones from attorney-client privilege:

    “Jones, an Enid, Oklahoma attorney media-tagged as “a competent country lawyer,” states that his job was “to defend a man who claims he is guilty . . . when a considerable body of evidence suggests that he is not guilty.” This would be his greatest challenge of all. It is only after McVeigh himself removed Jones from the restrictions of lawyer-client privilege that Jones can finally tell all in a book that will open eyes, even among those who keep their heads buried under government ground.”

    I don’t know about the reliability of the linked website but I suspect it is correct that McVeigh released Jones since Jones did write a book about the case.

    DRJ (09f144)

  6. The problem Timothy McVeigh has is that on one hand, perhaps the idea that the government is too powerful has merit. Maybe it even has to be overthrown. I don’t think we are anywhere near that point, but it’s happened in the past and may in the future. Who knows?

    Here’s the rub, though. If overthrown, it has to be replaced by something. And what’s to replace it? Men whose first major blow in the new revolutionary war is blowing up a civilian building with women and children in it? That’s an improvement on the status quo?

    Further, that’s a strategy which will inspire a people to rise up and join him in his fight against the dreaded federal government? Killing average citizens and their children?

    Cockamanie doesn’t begin to describe it. This was nothing more than an excuse for these evil men to act out their hatred.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  7. NK makes a great point: How in the hell is this not barred by Legal Ethics? And Jones wanted to make money off this material by claiming it was worth a lot of money and therefore a huge charity gift.

    Stephen Jones claims that McVeigh waived confidentiality by attacking Jones in a book: American Terrorist (or something like that). Somehow that waived confidentiality.

    Jones holds that McVeigh lied from start to execution about the rest of his conspirators, and when evidence appeared pointing to such people, McVeigh kept changing his story.

    Jones thought McVeigh was a patsy who was too stupid and inept to pull this off, and I believe there is even evidence that a suicide bomber was in the truck when it exploded, as far fetched as that sounds. Apparently Jones believes there are connections to Middle Eastern Islamists, but the government resisted the possibility.

    I do wonder about that. Perhaps some jihadist just gave a crazy american a hand, perhaps more, perhaps far less.

    Jem (9e390b)

  8. “NK makes a great point: How in the hell is this not barred by Legal Ethics?”

    DRJ makes a better point.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  9. McVeigh’s anti-government raison d’être is close to irrelevant. I think we learned nothing from him, as we learned nothing from John Wilkes Booth, who also showed absolutely no remorse.

    One difference: Booth reportedly castrated himself out of shame for sleeping with a prostitute and ” to better resist sin.” McVeigh strutted his “manliness.” Hatters, both.

    steve (6d6e85)

  10. Jem,

    I think Jones was correct and there may have been more conspirators. I assume Jones wanted to use that information to get a better deal for McVeigh but McVeigh wouldn’t go along – either because there wasn’t anyone else or McVeigh didn’t want to give them up.

    DRJ (09f144)

  11. I can’t give a link, but IIRC there was a writer who claimed that there was a possible connection to Saddam Hussein through a fringe group in Eastern OK or TX (details get fuzzy from age), that McVeigh hung with occassionally. And then, there is the search for an unknown accomplice (with drawing) whose description matched none of McViegh’s or Nichols associates.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  12. AD,

    Here’s a Salon.com link to the investigations by Jayna Davis, the Oklahoma reporter who broke the story of possible links between a possible Iraqi cell, a second man known as John Doe #2, and McVeigh. And here’s a link to Stephen Jones’ opening statement in McVeigh’s trial where he talks about the second man, John Doe #2.

    DRJ (09f144)

  13. I still wonder how it is that third rate scumbag child killers sit on death row year after year, but he fried fast. It also seemed like he agreed to fry to save his buddy, but then ignoring double jeapardy protections, Nichols was slammed anyway.

    McVeigh though doesn’t fit the bill of a terrorist. He did not attack civilians for political purposes, he attacked a federal outpost, one that controlled the massacre at Waco, and in iteself was a legitimate target for an attack by a counter-counter-revolutionary. Tim saw himself as going after a government that had turned tyrant, and if one was to go after a tyrannical govt, there would be no more legitimate target than a federal bldg.

    Not that I am agreeing with him (std disclaimers apply), but he just doesn’t fit the terrorist mold.

    Smarty (7a2278)

  14. PS

    It is fantastic that this is available, and I hope it is widely read. I am reading it, and what it tells me is that there is but a fine line between disgust at the govt (which most of us feel) and making an impact. He did make an impact, and I am sure that some of you can attest to how this has given the federal govt a taste of the “fear of the people” that our founders always intended for them to have, even if they never would have anticipated THIS.

    Smarty (7a2278)

  15. “Tim saw himself as going after a government that had turned tyrant, and if one was to go after a tyrannical govt, there would be no more legitimate target than a federal bldg.

    “Not that I am agreeing with him (std disclaimers apply), but he just doesn’t fit the terrorist mold.”

    You seem mighty fond of “Tim”, Smarty.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  16. “I still wonder how it is that third rate scumbag child killers sit on death row year after year, but he fried fast.”

    Well, he was a first-rate child killer, now wasn’t he?
     

    Res ipsa loquitur:

    “He did make an impact, and I am sure that some of you can attest to how this has given the federal govt a taste of the “fear of the people” that our founders always intended for them to have…”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  17. I am not fond of Tim, because I do not know that he was in fact innocent, but there were a lot of things wrong with the way his case was handled. The perp walk on CNN every two minutes for days on end hopelessly tainting any identification being one of them.

    nk (c87736)

  18. Understanding McVeigh

    My theory of McVeigh’s behavior is that he was a person with one tool, a hammer, and therefore saw all problems as nails.

    Going back to 1992, gun control was on the march nationwide, Bill Clinton was about to be elected president, and gun prices were going crazy from panic buying. The talk among gunnies was of the ‘from my cold dead hands’ variety, but the Ruby Ridge incident of August 1992 and the Waco escalation of early 1993 converted what was a theorhetical discussion into a cold hard reality. The Feds were willing to kill, and in large numbers to enforce the NFA laws. And the new 1993 Democratic leaders in D.C. were promising to expand the scope of Federal gun control beyond NFA onto so-called ‘assault weapons’ as the camels nose of a rumored five year plan to a defacto elimination of legal private firearms ownership.

    With no legal consequences befalling the Feds involved in Ruby Ridge or Waco and passage of the AW ban in 1994, McVeigh decided to force war on the government and begin planning his attack according to the book “American Monster”. While McVeigh was plotting his attack other gunnies were buying weapons, a few stumbling around trying to form ‘militias’ while most were plunging furiously into political reaction. The stomping the Democrats took in the 1994 election was the answer to the fears of the nations gunnies and proof that normal political processes are the solution to national controversies. But that idiot McVeigh stayed fixed on his course of violent terrorism, seemingly oblivious to the changing circumstances of America.

    That’s why I say McVeigh only had one tool in his toobox, he was so fixated on bombs and violence that reasonable alternatives were unacceptable to him. That’s my best guess anyway.

    Brad (a82ce1)

  19. Christoph, don’t you have something intelligent to say on the subject?

    His “child killing” is besides the point.

    Our founding fathers envisioned a day when people would need to violently push back against the US government. That the feds put a daycare in the same building as the ATF is besides the point. Other than a frontal attack on the White House, there could have been no more appropriate target for Tim, provided that his goal was to violently push back a tyrannical gov’t.

    Smarty (7a2278)

  20. Smarty, you should be beaten.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  21. Let me rephrase. I personally will not harm you. I don’t have the means anyway. But you are a disgusting piece of shit.

    Clear?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. Our founding fathers envisioned a day when people would need to violently push back against the US government. That the feds put a daycare in the same building as the ATF is besides the point. Other than a frontal attack on the White House, there could have been no more appropriate target for Tim, provided that his goal was to violently push back a tyrannical gov’t.

    Comment by Smarty — 12/30/2007 @ 7:31 pm

    Um.
    Just so I’m clear on this. Are you talking from Timothy McVeigh’s supposed point of view (we can’t totally know it no matter how much we’ve read), or is this your own? Because it sounds as though you support the “appropriateness” of McVeigh’s target as well as a “need” for a “violent push back.” Or am I misunderstanding your comment?

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  23. There was an idiot named G. Gordon Liddy on the radio who was spouting the same nonsense as Smarty after Ruby Ridge. He had sense enough to shut up after Waco, though. He realized that advocating violence against the government is not only not protected by the First Amendment but it can also get you killed.

    nk (c87736)

  24. Wish I could be here for Smarty’s reply when/if it comes but it should be interesting. He did say “std disclaimers apply” but his last two posts look pretty ambiguous, to say the least.

    Maybe the Feds got to his house and arrested him before he had a chance to post again. /jk/

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  25. Our founding fathers envisioned a day when people would need to violently push back against the US government.

    That nightmare happened in the Civil War and it killed more Americans than any other war we’ve been in. Our founding fathers evisioned no such thing. They envisioned a free people, secure in their freedom, who would change their government through peaceful means. John Wilkes Booth would have been a real hero if he had killed Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee five years earlier.

    nk (c87736)

  26. Smarty is “Mr. Obvious.” If he is for real, and not a leftist masquerading as something else, he is a racist — and has violated the rule on maintaining a consistent identity. I have banned him, and should have done so long ago.

    Patterico (699c28)

  27. I suppose I’m just stirring the pot but…

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    What do you suppose Tom meant by this?

    Amused Observer (873f81)

  28. I suspect he meant patriots risking their lives to overcome tyrants. Not, in a democracy (the leader having been chosen by the people), killing government employees at work.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  29. I suspect he meant patriots risking their lives to overcome tyrants.

    Clearly he meant overcoming tyrants by spilling their blood. A fuller version of the quote:

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

    Pablo (99243e)

  30. Obviously Jefferson meant by spilling tyrants’ blood. However, the U.S. did not have a tyrant in power at the time and McVeigh never spilled tyrants’ blood. He did manage to kill 19 young children in a day care, and 149 others.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  31. Thanks, Pablo. I keep trying to convince my European friends that America is a revolutionary society and this quote will help.

    nk (c87736)

  32. Christoph, I suggest you google Richard M. Rogers or Lon Horiuchi. The rebel McVeigh was executed for his murders, but the blood-spilling tyrants which provoked McVeigh were given immunity.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel061301.shtmll

    Brad (a82ce1)

  33. A tyrant isn’t an allegedly errant police officer who is subsequently charged with manslaughter. That is no basis for bombing federal buildings and day care centers. Brad, this conversation (your side of it) is so stupid it’s almost contemptible.

    And my ex girlfriend’s brother was an FBI agent at Waco, now a Special Agent in Charge at a field office. He also worked counterterrorism stateside and in Iraq and SWAT roles elsewhere, plus he’s a great dad. He’s a tyrant? And, if he is, he’s just an FBI-guy, hardly the leadership of the United States.

    Waco — dealing with a radical religious sect which had taken up arms against the government and slaughtered several agents who were executing a warrant — justifies killing men, women, and children as they go to work?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  34. McVeigh was rightfully executed for his crimes. Stop trying to create strawmen by putting words into my mouth. You won’t escape the truth so easily.

    It is so fitting that you excuse the shoot first and ask questions later misbehavior of the ATF at Waco, you boot-licking toady. Now listen up, you fool.

    The fact is the leadership of the United States as represented by the U.S. Department of Justice asserted that FBI agent Lon Horiuchi was immune from murder charges. An assertion that all Federal agents are immune from any state law so long as an agent was just following orders!r

    Brad (a82ce1)

  35. Federal agents have to be immune from state charges when following lawful orders. There are so many situations where this would be true. Further, it’s fully in keeping with the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. constitution.

    EVEN IF an FBI agent committed willful, actual murder totally in disregard of their duty this still doesn’t justify blowing up a federal building and killing the innocent people inside. As far as Ruby Ridge goes, I’m not a fan of what transpired and never have been, but it’s not justification for mass murder in Oklahoma City.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  36. Thank god the Federal Court did not agree with your madness.

    The majority opinion, written by
    Kozinski, affirms that a federal law-enforcement badge does not place its
    holder above the law. And the beauty of our federal system is that no matter
    who steps over the line, someone is watching:

    “We have grown accustomed to relying on the federal
    government to protect our liberties against the excesses of
    state law enforcement. Federal Prosecutors may bring
    criminal charges against state police who violate the rights of
    citizens. Those citizens may also seek redress by bringing
    private suits in court. While state prosecutions of federal
    officers are less common, they provide an avenue of redress
    on the flip side of the federalism coin. When federal officers
    violate the Constitution, either through malice or excessive
    zeal, they can be held accountable for violating the state’s
    criminal laws.” ›

    Brad (a82ce1)

  37. Okay, Brad, maybe you’re right.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  38. I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the debate.

    McVeigh was an idiot and insane and saw tyranny where there really wasn’t one, since it seems that our democratic processes were working well by evicting so many democrats in 1994 just as they evicted republicans in 2006. So there was no true justification for revolution, in my opinion.

    But if there were such a justification… would that justify blowing up a “legitimate target”?

    It seems to me that the other key point is that the Federal Building was not a legitimate target. It was a huge office building of 9-5ers who generally did not make any decisions about policy and a daycare to boot. A legit target would be something else entirely, for example the political leader who refuses to leave office after definitively losing a fair election (and I know of no such americans).

    I hate to even bother trying to get in McVeigh’s head, since he was wrong about the world and wrong in how to deal with it, but our government is supposed to fear violence from the people. Jefferson was speaking about that. I don’t think that means that law enforcement should be threatened in Oklahoma, but politicians should peacefully transfer power to the elected. And they do.

    Just pointing out that the idea of revolution is not 100% wrong. Just 99.999% wrong. Sorry if I offend, I truly believe the employees killed in that building were servants of the people and died heros.

    Another Drew, there was “Elohim City” which you can fun about 30 miles northwest of Fort Smith in the Ozark hills if you look on Google Earth (it’s not labeled, but you can tell there’s a strange little town that isn’t recognized as a town by Google and is poorly connected by a tiny road). That’s where the other conspirator supposedly met up with McVeigh. The feds discounted the idea, though an informant (who is a nazi crazy herself) claimed to have seen McVeigh at the compound and McVeigh got a ticket about a dozen miles away.

    I don’t know why the government refused to act on the conspiracy ideas. I hope they were protecting an asset or something important like that. Considering that these bastards actually did murder a bunch of feds, I somehow doubt the feds were deliberately covering up whoever they thought was responsible. Conspiracy theories give us comfort that lone idiots can’t kills hundreds of people… but the truth is we are not as safe from idiots as we want to be.

    Jem (9e390b)

  39. Thank You Pablo for putting Jefferson’s words in more complete context. Clearly Jefferson meant that from time to time, to preserve liberty, the people would be required to “push” back against a government seduced by too much power.

    One does not have to condone McVeigh’s actions to have sympathy for his motivations. Perception colors all, the slaughter of innocents in both Waco and Oklahoma was horrific.

    Christoph appears to be basically invoking the Good German defense regarding federal officers. While his girlfriends brother may indeed be a
    good father I’m not really sure how relevent that is to the discussion here. It is not improbable that many a german youth has fond memories of his daddy regardless of his father’s role in Nazi Germany.

    Acting with premeditation and murdering innocents, regardless of his motivations, McVeigh
    got what was coming to him. A difference more of degree than kind, Lon Horiuchi did not.

    Amused Observer (873f81)

  40. Random thoughts/responses…
    Thanks to everyone who picked up the possible conspiracy connection. This was a street that, at the time, it seems a lot of people just didn’t want to travel. Perhaps with the passage of time, a more thorough look will be attempted (would love to browse through the old Iraqi files we captured to see if Tim’s name comes up);

    Christoph, thanks for climbing down from your high-horse. But a point: You might live in a Democracy, but here in the USA, we live in a Republic. There is a difference.

    Though McVeigh was responsible for the deaths of many children, he is not a “child killer” in the classical sense. The children were not his target, but could be considered “collateral damage”. Otherwise, every soldier/sailor/airman/marine who wastes a target which contains children, would be a child-killer, too. We must remember that in his mind, McVeigh was on a military mission. We might not agree with his mission and/or tactics, but he was not your garden variety street thug who kills children as a result of a drive-by).

    John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln on April 14th, five days after Lee surrendered. If the shooting had occurred six days earlier, it would have been just another war death (legally speaking – though I somehow doubt that Booth would have been accorded the privileges of a POW). It still is accepted practice to target the leader of an opposing country during hostilities.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  41. “There was an idiot named G. Gordon Liddy on the radio who was spouting the same nonsense as Smarty after Ruby Ridge. He had sense enough to shut up after Waco, though. He realized that advocating violence against the government is not only not protected by the First Amendment but it can also get you killed.”

    So if you are afraid to speak your mind in calling the government a tyranny because they may come kill you, that is a good thing? That sounds like further evidence that a state of tyranny exists.

    RE the legitimate target argument, the federal building housed the regional ATF and FBI and Marshall’s service. It served as “command and control” for the Waco operation. Some people argue that the only legit target for revolution is the US military, or the pres himself, but that is bogus. The ATF/FBI etc are an acting domestic army for the executive branch.

    That they were “acting under orders” actually make it more convincing that tyranny existed in the case of Ruby Ridge, not less. Orders came from DC to shoot any adult target. That is conspiracy to commit murder from the top. Throw in Waco and you have a pattern.

    RE: Waco

    Christoph, you are not even in-line with the cover-up story. The Feds opened fire FIRST at Waco. They were spraying machine gun fire into windows, even as people inside were calling 911 to find a befuddled County Sheriff on the other end of the phone. The Sheriff tried to call the FBI, but the FBI COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER HAD HIS RADIO TURNED OFF.

    Martin (d3fe32)


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