Interview with Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh Released As Part of MSNBC Special

12:26 PM, Apr 19, 2010   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - Although Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed almost nine years ago for the worst act of domestic terrorism in America's history, his words live on and are now being heard for the first time.

Those words are chilling.

When McVeigh talks about the bombing, he is matter of fact, unrepentant, and remorseless about the 168 people he killed and their devastated families.

"The truth is you're not the first mother to lose a kid, you're not the first grandparent to lose a granddaughter or grandson. I'll use the phrase and it will sound cold because I'm going to use it's the truth- get over it," said McVeigh on audio tape.

Buffalo News reporters Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck spent parts of seven days interviewing McVeigh while he was in federal prison awaiting his execution.

Those audio interviews are used extensively as part of an MSNBC special to air Monday night at 9 p.m. called "The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist."

Scott Brown: "How did he feel about facing his execution?"

Lou Michel: "McVeigh said that he looked forward to execution, he didn't want to be locked up like an animal in a cage for the rest of his life, he called it the ultimate suicide by cop."

"In the crudest terms, it's 168-1, If you had it on a scoreboard, so I sit here content," said McVeigh. "There's no way they can beat me by executing me."

While McVeigh was serving in the Army during the first Gulf War, he came to see the U.S. as bullying the Iraqi people.

"My overall experience in the Gulf War taught me that these people were just that- they were people - human beings. Then I had to reconcile that with the fact that I killed them," McVeigh said during the interviews.

When he was discharged, McVeigh gravitated to the Militia Movement in the United States.

Once the Branch Dividian siege began in Waco, Texas, McVeigh became convinced that the government was the ultimate bully, trying to take away people's guns.

McVeigh even drove to Waco during the siege.

"You feel a bond with this community. The bond is that they're fellow gun owners and believe in gun rights and survivalists and freedom lovers," said McVeigh.

Dan Herbeck: "The ultimate thing that sent him toward Oklahoma City was Waco with the Branch Dividian people being killed and he told us from that day forward he decided he was going to become a terrorist."

McVeigh believed he and the Militia Movement were now at war with the U.S. government.

McVeigh came up with a plan where he would respond to Waco by attacking a federal government building with law enforcement agents in it, never mind the fact that the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City contained a day care center with 20 children in it, or dozens of other people who had nothing to do with law enforcement.

"Waco started this war, hopefully Oklahoma would end it. The only way they're going to feel something, the only way they're going to get the message is quote, with a body count," said McVeigh on the tapes.

Lou Michel: "He had hoped that this would inspire a revolution against the government. He saw himself as like a modern revolutionary, firing that all-important first shot in his mind, but nobody followed suit, thank heavens."

Scott Brown: "Given McVeigh's thinking, do you think he was delusional?"

Dan Herbeck: "I wouldn't say that he was delusional, but like many people we've all met, he looked at things in a very strange, skewed way that doesn't make sense. Now with most people, it's harmless- you might look at the person, roll your eyes or laugh, with this person his outlook on life led to the deaths of 168 people."


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