Monday, April 19, 2010

Esquire: Letters of Tim McVeigh were Cheerful, Articulate | NowPublic News Coverage

Esquire: Letters of Tim McVeigh were Cheerful, Articulate | NowPublic News Coverage


Esquire Magazine journalist Phil Bacharach revisits his time interviewing Oklahoma Federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh, and the packet of letters he received from the terrorist in 1996.

McVeigh, in person, and in his letters,  appears intelligent, charming, cheerful,  articulate,  and without any sense of remorse:  

26 NOV 96
Phil,
After reading your most recent article, I am tempted to use it as a springboard to start correcting some of those "myths" that you mention. In the interest of brevity (and fearing the wrath of my attorneys), however, I will stick to a single issue.
I commend you for your excellent recall and your absolute fairness. (Now I know why you can't get a job at The Washington Post.) Your notes on one point, though, are slightly inaccurate. You quote me as saying that the FBI are "wizards at PR." What I actually said is that they are wizards of propaganda--which Webster's defenes as "information or ideas methodically spread to promote or injure a cause." This is where I drew the parallel between the FBI's efforts in my case, and those at Waco.
Bacharach tells of his surprise at the way McVeigh greeted him with a warm smile and a boyish laugh, a polite handshake, and joked about Oklahoma media and New York winters.   He looked forward to watching Seinfeld episodes,  joked about being moved to a better section of the prison, which had lots of cable TV stations ("so many movies, so little time") ,  and fussed over what negative things the media might say about him, that would mar his image.  

  When Terry Nichols was brought into the prison, he cheerfully informs the journalist, like a businessman talking about one of his associates ("Oh,  Terry Nichols arrived today.").  In short,  anyone who imagined a dark, brooding, half-insane character,  can let go of that illusion altogether.  

Indeed, this is a young man who went to his death,  by all reports,  happily.  He had the personality of a soldier, with the congenial aloofness and business-like attitude to "what had to be done".  He clucked over the media making so much of "The Turner Diaries", and to all intents and purposes,  it is difficult to find anything -  other than his crime  -  which is in any way "off"  about him.  

On the Delaware Criminal Justice Council Terrorism Research page,  it is stated clearly that "terrorism is not an irrational act....it is a political act, with political targets, and the terrorist is not acting from personal desires or ambitions".  This ought to be clear to anyone who really probes terrorism.  It is an act of war.  

However, it differs greatly from traditional warfare,  because those who are killed do not matter, in the sense of being enemies.  Their must be casualties in order to make known the power and the determination of the terrorist.  


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