Keeping McVeigh Dead
By James T. Phillips
22 May 2001
Timothy McVeigh is dead, although he hasn't
yet died by a state-administered drug overdose. The Federal
has delayed the scheduled execution of the child-killing
veteran of the Gulf War because of a "clerical" error.
McVeigh continues to be outside society, looking in on the
justice system that has already killed him.
reprieve granted McVeigh by Attorney General John Ashcroft
will only postpone the inevitable killing of
the killer. New documents have been discovered, allowing
McVeigh's lawyers more television face-time, but the government
of the United States will be determined in its effort to
serve up justice, pre-cooked and pre-wrapped, to the newly
created media market of McVictims.
The story of the misfit,
the loner without a life who blew up the Murrah building
in 1995, has been
told and sold for
over six years. An angry young man, with the help of a
few friends, designed and constructed a 7000-pound bomb that,
upon detonation, killed 168 innocent men, women and children.
The explosion in the heartland of America also injured
He did it, he admitted it and, regardless of whatever potential
facts to the contrary might now be discovered, he has to
stay dead. Many of the relatives and friends of the Murrah
168 demand vengeance, closure, death. The dead innocents
have become a fast-news product in the franchising of McVictims.
American media serves up a steady diet of McVictims telling
stories of grief and sorrow, tinged with anger and hatred.
They want McVeigh to stay dead in his prison cell until he
can be killed a second time in the execution chamber. They
believe that interviews with, and books about McVeigh are
as explosive as the bomb he helped create. The authors of "American
Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing" have
been criticized for offering an "undeserved forum",
and Wal-Mart stores refuse to carry the book on their shelves.
McVictims and McVeigh will soon get what they want: death.
The media will be able to gorge on the few extra weeks
or months of selling the spectacle of a semi-public execution.
Ratings and readership will increase as the image of a
McVeigh flits by on a video monitor, watched by hundreds
of McVictims and imagined by millions of other consumers.
McVeigh was a participant in an abhorrent crime, an assault
on innocent civilians who became "collateral damage" in
his one-man war against the United States of America. Or,
so we are told and sold by a government that cannot produce
previously discovered evidence, a court which makes judgments
without witnesses and a media less interested in facts than
fortune. 38 years ago, Jack Ruby ended any opportunity to
learn the truth about Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy. "Grassy knoll" is
the phrase that many Americans think of when remembering
how quickly the United States government happened upon the
lone gunman theory in 1963. "John Doe #2" is what
grabs the attention of a few people in 2001. Scores of eyewitnesses
were able to see a certain John Doe #2 assisting Tim McVeigh
in perpetrating the bombing of the Murrah building. Unfortunately,
blind justice is practiced in American courtrooms. And if
government officials don’t want to see John Doe #2,
well then, he just doesn’t exist (not one of the eyewitnesses
were called to testify during the McVeigh trial). Soon enough,
Timothy McVeigh will be silenced by his government, and the
facts about his participation in the bombing in Oklahoma
City will be lost forever.
168 people died in Oklahoma City
on April 19, 1995. They were the ultimate victims murdered
by Timothy McVeigh, Terry
Nichols and whoever else was involved in the bombing of
the Murrah building. The fortunate people who were able to
out from under the rubble are the true survivors of that
blast. Those who lost a family member have also suffered,
and have expressed their sorrow in various ways, privately
and publicly. And, millions of Americans have come to understand
the heartache and sorrow felt by the victims, survivors,
relatives and friends.
However, if Timothy McVeigh is allowed
to stay dead, and quickly killed again, the true story of
that tragic day will
never be known. Justice will be denied, vengeance satisfied
and the American people will all become McVictims.© The
News Insider 2001James T. Phillips is a freelance journalist
who has reported on the conflicts in Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia
and Kosovo. Currently, Phillips edits the web publication
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