Sunday, April 19, 2015

When Terrorism Was a Crime, Not an Excuse for Permanent War

I remember when the news hit our office.  Somebody said it must have been the ay-rabs, but that struck me as ridiculous.  New York, of course. Miami, no shit.  Even Chicago or LA, sure.  But Oklahoma City?  Was there an Arab terrorist on the planet in April 1995 who could find Oklahoma City on a map?

Plus the target of a federal building. Out west, where the anti-government militias roam.

White militia fuckers, I said.  Has to be.

FBI, ATF and every spare federal lawman in the country descended on Oklahoma and in a matter of days they found the motherfuckers. Arrested them, charged them, tried them and executed one and imprisoned the other for life.

American law enforcement. American justice.  No U.S. military troops or civilians were harmed in the making of that victory.


Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday at the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing to remember the 168 men, women and children killed when a truck stuffed with tons of explosives blew up at a downtown federal building.

Former President Bill Clinton was among the dignitaries who addressed the crowd outside the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

"Oklahoma City, you had to choose to redeem your terrible losses by having to begin again," said Clinton, who was in his first term in office at the time of the attack, one of the deadliest of its kind ever staged on U.S. soil.

The museum, built over the spot where the destroyed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood, includes a permanent display of 168 empty chairs, one for each person who died.

On Sunday morning, the seats were adorned with flowers, teddy bears and other mementos. The name of each victim was read aloud by relatives, coworkers and survivors.

“It was 60 minutes of terror,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “But our finest hour has lasted 20 years. This city has progressed in a manner that none of us could have foreseen.”

The bombing was carried out on April 19, 1995, by Timothy McVeigh, an anti-government militant who was eventually convicted on federal charges and executed. His accomplice Terry Nichols received multiple life prison sentences for his part in the bombing, which also injured hundreds.

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