McVeigh Justifies Bombing in EssayJR ROSS , Associated Press
May. 28, 1998 8:34 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Timothy McVeigh, in a 1,200-word essay written on death row, says the Oklahoma City bombing was ``morally equivalent'' to U.S. military actions against foreign governments.
In a copyright essay in the June issue of the alternative magazine Media Bypass, McVeigh condemns U.S. foreign policy as hypocritical, especially toward Iraq, and says the United States has ``set the standard when it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction.''
``Whether you wish to admit it or not, when you approve, morally, of the bombing of foreign targets by the U.S. military, you are approving of acts morally equivalent to the bombing in Oklahoma City,'' McVeigh wrote. ``The only difference is that this nation is not going to see any foreign casualties appear on the cover of Newsweek magazine.''
McVeigh criticized the U.S. government for referring to any day care center in an Iraqi government building as ``a shield'' while saying a day care center was in the Murrah Federal Building for ``family convenience.''
``Think about it,'' McVeigh wrote.
``Actually, there is a difference here,'' he said in a parenthetical aside. ``The administration has admitted to knowledge of the presence of children in or near Iraqi government buildings, yet they still proceed with their plans to bomb _ saying they cannot be held responsible if children die. There is no such proof, however, that knowledge of the presence of children existed in relation to the Oklahoma City bombing.''
He then asks: ``Who are the true barbarians?''
McVeigh has been sentenced to death for building and setting off the April 19, 1995, bomb that killed 168 people, including 19 children who were in the federal building's day care center.
Rob Nigh, McVeigh's attorney in Tulsa, Okla., said he could not confirm that McVeigh wrote the essay, citing attorney-client privilege.
But Luis Winn, executive assistant to the warden, said McVeigh was shown a faxed copy of the article Thursday and told him he wrote it.
Rich Azar of Media Bypass said the handwritten essay, dated March 1998, arrived unsolicited with markings from the maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colo., where McVeigh is on death row.
``It came as a jolt out of the blue,'' Azar said Thursday.
Azar said the magazine confirmed the essay's authenticity by mail with McVeigh, and by comparing it with a known sample of McVeigh's handwriting from U.S. military records the magazine obtained during a 1996 interview with McVeigh.
In a preface, McVeigh explains why he chose the magazine: ``... Frankly, I realize that it is quite provocative _ and I doubt that any mainstream media would touch it.''
He adds that it was not written with ``malevolent intent.''
Media Bypass, a magazine with ties to right-wing militias, gained national attention when it published an interview with a grand juror in the bombing case.
The juror, Hoppy Heidelberg, criticized prosecutors for failing to present evidence of a larger conspiracy. He was later dismissed. His interview led defense attorneys to file for a mistrial, which was denied.