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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 04:28 AM

24 Years Ago Today; Terror in OKC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing


The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building two days after the bombing, viewed from across the adjacent parking lot

The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist truck bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States on April 19, 1995. Perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing happened at 9:02 am and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed one-third of the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state, federal, and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing, and substantial donations were received from across the country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activated 11 of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, consisting of 665 rescue workers who assisted in rescue and recovery operations. Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States, and remains the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in the country's history.

Within 90 minutes of the explosion, McVeigh was stopped by Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Charlie Hanger for driving without a license plate and arrested for illegal weapons possession. Forensic evidence quickly linked McVeigh and Nichols to the attack; Nichols was arrested, and within days, both were charged. Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices. McVeigh, a veteran of the Gulf War and a U.S. militia movement sympathizer, had detonated a Ryder rental truck full of explosives parked in front of the building. His co-conspirator, Nichols, had assisted with the bomb's preparation. Motivated by his dislike for the U.S. federal government and unhappy about its handling of the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992 and the Waco siege in 1993, McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

The official investigation, known as "OKBOMB", saw FBI agents conduct 28,000 interviews, amass 3.5 short tons (3,200 kg) of evidence, and collected nearly one billion pieces of information. The bombers were tried and convicted in 1997. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison in 2004. Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols; Michael was sentenced to 12 years in prison for failing to warn the United States government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

As a result of the bombing, the U.S. Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which tightened the standards for habeas corpus in the United States, as well as legislation designed to increase the protection around federal buildings to deter future terrorist attacks. On April 19, 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing. Remembrance services are held every year on April 19, at the time of the explosion.

<snip>

Bombing

Map showing the layout of downtown Oklahoma City near the bombed building. The map uses simple shapes to identify some notable nearby buildings and roads. A large circle covers half the map, illustrating the extent of damage from the bomb. A red path shows the path McVeigh took to get to the building with the Ryder truck, and a blue line shows his escape on foot.

McVeigh's original plan had been to detonate the bomb at 11:00 am, but at dawn on April 19, 1995, he decided instead to destroy the building at 9:00 am. As he drove toward the Murrah Federal Building in the Ryder truck, McVeigh carried with him an envelope containing pages from The Turner Diaries a fictional account of white supremacists who ignite a revolution by blowing up the FBI headquarters at 9:15 one morning using a truck bomb. McVeigh wore a printed T-shirt with the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Sic semper tyrannis ("Thus always to tyrants", according to legend what Brutus said as he assassinated Julius Caesar, also shouted by John Wilkes Booth immediately after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln) and "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" (from Thomas Jefferson). He also carried an envelope full of revolutionary materials that included a bumper sticker with the Thomas Jefferson slogan, "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Underneath, McVeigh had written, "Maybe now, there will be liberty!" with a hand-copied quote by John Locke asserting that a man has a right to kill someone who takes away his liberty.

McVeigh entered Oklahoma City at 8:50 am. At 8:57 am, the Regency Towers Apartments' lobby security camera that had recorded Nichols's pickup truck three days earlier recorded the Ryder truck heading towards the Murrah Federal Building. At the same moment, McVeigh lit the five-minute fuse. Three minutes later, still a block away, he lit the two-minute fuse. He parked the Ryder truck in a drop-off zone situated under the building's day-care center, exited and locked the truck, and as he headed to his getaway vehicle, dropped the keys to the truck a few blocks away.


An overhead view shows the Alfred P. Murrah building, half of it destroyed from the bomb's blast. Near the building are various rescue vehicles and cranes. Some damage is visible to nearby buildings.

At 9:02 a.m. (14:02 UTC), the Ryder truck, containing over 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel mixture, detonated in front of the north side of the nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 168 people were killed and hundreds more injured. One third of the building was destroyed by the explosion, which created a 30-foot-wide (9.1 m), 8-foot-deep (2.4 m) crater on NW 5th Street next to the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 4-block radius, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. The broken glass alone accounted for 5% of the death total and 69% of the injuries outside the Murrah Federal Building. The blast destroyed or burned 86 cars around the site. The destruction of the buildings left several hundred people homeless and shut down a number of offices in downtown Oklahoma City. The explosion was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage.

The effects of the blast were equivalent to over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of TNT, and could be heard and felt up to 55 miles (89 km) away.[68] Seismometers at the Omniplex Science Museum in Oklahoma City, 4.3 miles (6.9 km) away, and in Norman, Oklahoma, 16.1 miles (25.9 km) away, recorded the blast as measuring approximately 3.0 on the Richter magnitude scale.

<snip>

Casualties
An estimated 646 people were inside the building when the bomb exploded. By the end of the day, 14 adults and 6 children were confirmed dead, and over 100 injured. The toll eventually reached 168 confirmed dead, not including an unmatched left leg that could have belonged to an unidentified 169th victim or could have belonged to any one of eight victims who had been buried without a left leg. Most of the deaths resulted from the collapse of the building, rather than the bomb blast itself. Those killed included 163 who were in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, one person in the Athenian Building, one woman in a parking lot across the street, a man and woman in the Oklahoma Water Resources building, and a rescue worker struck on the head by debris.

The victims, including three pregnant women, ranged in age from three months to 73 years. Of the dead, 108 worked for the Federal government: Drug Enforcement Administration (5); Secret Service (6); Department of Housing and Urban Development (35); Department of Agriculture (7); Customs Office (2); Department of Transportation/Federal Highway (11); General Services Administration (2); and the Social Security Administration (40).[96] Eight of the federal government victims were federal law enforcement agents. Of those law enforcement agents four were members of the U.S. Secret Service, two were members of the U.S. Customs Service, one was a member of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and one was a member of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Six of the victims were U.S. military personnel; two members of the U.S. Army, two members of the U.S. Air Force, two members of the U.S. Marine Corps. The rest of the victims were civilians, including 19 children, of whom 15 were in the America's Kids Day Care Center. The bodies of the 168 victims were identified at a temporary morgue set up at the scene. A team of 24 identified the victims using full-body X-rays, dental examinations, fingerprinting, blood tests, and DNA testing. More than 680 people were injured. The majority of the injuries were abrasions, severe burns, and bone fractures.

McVeigh's later response to the range of casualties was: "I didn't define the rules of engagement in this conflict. The rules, if not written down, are defined by the aggressor. It was brutal, no holds barred. Women and kids were killed at Waco and Ruby Ridge. You put back in [the government's] faces exactly what they're giving out.

<snip>

Oklahoma City National Memorial


Panoramic view of the memorial, as seen from the base of the reflecting pool. From left to right are the memorial chairs, Gate of Time and Reflecting Pool, the Survivor Tree, and the Journal Record Building.

For two years after the bombing the only memorials to the victims were plush toys, crucifixes, letters, and other personal items left by thousands of people at a security fence surrounding the site of the building. Many suggestions for suitable memorials were sent to Oklahoma City, but an official memorial planning committee was not set up until early 1996, when the Murrah Federal Building Memorial Task Force, composed of 350 members, was set up to formulate plans for a memorial to commemorate the victims of the bombing. On July 1, 1997 the winning design was chosen unanimously by a 15-member panel from 624 submissions. The memorial was designed at a cost of $29 million, which was raised by public and private funds. The national memorial is part of the National Park System as an affiliated area and was designed by Oklahoma City architects Hans and Torrey Butzer and Sven Berg. It was dedicated by President Clinton on April 19, 2000, exactly five years after the bombing. Within the first year, it had 700,000 visitors.

The memorial includes a reflecting pool flanked by two large gates, one inscribed with the time 9:01, the other with 9:03, the pool representing the moment of the blast. On the south end of the memorial is a field of symbolic bronze and stone chairs one for each person lost, arranged according to what floor of the building they were on. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims' families. The seats of the children killed are smaller than those of the adults lost. On the opposite side is the "survivor tree", part of the building's original landscaping that survived the blast and fires that followed it. The memorial left part of the foundation of the building intact, allowing visitors to see the scale of the destruction. Part of the chain link fence put in place around the site of the blast, which had attracted over 800,000 personal items of commemoration later collected by the Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation, is now on the western edge of the memorial. North of the memorial is the Journal Record Building, which now houses the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, an affiliate of the National Park Service. The building also contains the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, a law enforcement training center.

</snip>



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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply 24 Years Ago Today; Terror in OKC (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Apr 2019 OP
Lucky Luciano Apr 2019 #1
rsdsharp Apr 2019 #11
malaise Apr 2019 #2
Dennis Donovan Apr 2019 #3
malaise Apr 2019 #4
bobbieinok Apr 2019 #5
bobbieinok Apr 2019 #6
Blue_Tires Apr 2019 #10
bobbieinok Apr 2019 #7
moondust Apr 2019 #8
Boomerproud Apr 2019 #9
Niagara Apr 2019 #12

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 04:40 AM

1. ...and fuck the Waco and ruby ridge trumpers as well!

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Response to Lucky Luciano (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:29 AM

11. I wonder if Trumpers' opinions about Barr would change

if they realized he was the AG during Ruby Ridge? Most of them think it happened while Clinton was President, and Reno was AG.

If you tell them it occurred in 1992 , many will respond: "Right. Clinton was elected in '92, so he was in charge along with that bitch Reno!" When you gently tell them that it occurred more than two months BEFORE the election, and in any event Clinton didn't take office until January 20, 1993, they become confused.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:08 AM

2. I will never forget that day

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:11 AM

3. I won't either. I was at work when my SO called...

...she was a reporter and the news broke over the teletype (early '95, the internet was not as accessible as it would become shortly afterwards). I went home and watched coverage on CNN for the rest of the day. The damage from the truck bomb was almost impossible to fathom.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:18 AM

4. We were on Easter break so I was at home

watching CNN.
The most vicious terrorists in the USA have been white supremacists.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:01 AM

5. I knew people whose meeting there had been cancelled, of an OKC church that lost several members

The national media was infuriating, asking if the OKC fire chief was competent to handle the disaster!!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:07 AM

6. Initial news reports blamed a Muslim resident of OKC!!

That kneejerk reaction was built into media even before 9/11

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Response to bobbieinok (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:08 AM

10. Yes, I was glued to NBC news all day

and even as a mostly apolitical high schooler, I remembered that got a big "WTF?" from me...

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:10 AM

7. Ashcroft had death row interview with McVeigh AND refused to tell what he learned!!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:48 AM

8. 18 months before Fox News launched.

Has anyone ever asked Murdoch, Limbaugh, Drudge, Breitbart, etc., about their "feelings" toward McVeigh, David Koresh, Randy Weaver, etc.?

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:56 AM

9. Rightwingers never bring it up.

A day of shame and tragedy.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:35 AM

12. I remember this day

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