Timothy McVeigh was a veteran of the first Gulf War. He saw a lot of gruesome active combat. He later blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995 and killed a lot of people. He called it the moral equivalent of Iraq. He is the same generation of veteran as Christopher David, who got up in the face of besieged Federal law enforcement, in Portland, and refused to move. David was a Navy Civil Engineer and may not even have seen active combat. Plus anyone can buy a sweatshirt that says whatever military branch. So, let’s stop playing games. There hasn’t been a draft since Vietnam. Most people go into the US military for education, job training, employment. And, the Iraq Wars were not just wars. Veterans deserve respect, but they are not gods. They are humans.
It’s worth thinking of this case, when you see the Federal Courthouse in Portland attacked and set on fire, and law enforcement trying to protect the building.
“Oklahoma City Bombing
On the morning of April 19, 1995, an ex-Army soldier and security guard named Timothy McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. He was about to commit mass murder.
Inside the vehicle was a powerful bomb made out of a deadly cocktail of agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals. McVeigh got out, locked the door, and headed towards his getaway car. He ignited one timed fuse, then another.
At precisely 9:02 a.m., the bomb exploded.
Within moments, the surrounding area looked like a war zone. A third of the building had been reduced to rubble, with many floors flattened like pancakes. Dozens of cars were incinerated and more than 300 nearby buildings were damaged or destroyed.
The human toll was still more devastating: 168 souls lost, including 19 children, with several hundred more injured.
It was the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history.
Coming on the heels of the World Trade Center bombing in New York two years earlier, the media and many Americans immediately assumed that the attack was the handiwork of Middle Eastern terrorists. The FBI, meanwhile, quickly arrived at the scene and began supporting rescue efforts and investigating the facts. Beneath the pile of concrete and twisted steel were clues. And the FBI was determined to find them.
It didn’t take long. On April 20, the rear axle of the Ryder truck was located, which yielded a vehicle identification number that was traced to a body shop in Junction City, Kansas. Employees at the shop helped the FBI quickly put together a composite drawing of the man who had rented the van. Agents showed the drawing around town, and local hotel employees supplied a name: Tim McVeigh.
A quick call to the Bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia on April 21 led to an astonishing discovery: McVeigh was already in jail. He’d been pulled over about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City by an observant Oklahoma State Trooper who noticed a missing license plate on his yellow Mercury Marquis. McVeigh had a concealed weapon and was arrested. It was just 90 minutes after the bombing“.https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing
NPR: “Tracing the roots of the America’s biggest domestic terror attack”
And, of course, VOA won’t even hire a homegrown American who speaks English, so that Americans can have civilian jobs.