Monday, February 13, 2017

AMERICA - Roots of a Domestic Terror Attack

"Tracing the roots of the America's biggest domestic terror attack" PBS NewsHour 2/7/2017


SUMMARY:  The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing was the largest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.  A new documentary on the PBS series American Experience takes a fresh look at the events and motivations that led to the attack by Timothy McVeigh, and finds resonance for today.  Jeffrey Brown interviews director Barak Goodman.

MAN:  There's heavy damage done.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  April 19, 1995.

MAN:  About a third of the building has been blown away.

JEFFREY BROWN:  A Ryder rental truck with 5,000 pounds of explosives ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City; 168 people were killed, 19 children among them.

WOMAN:  Who has come in here and done this terrible thing?

BARAK GOODMAN, Director, “Oklahoma City:  I knew very little of the story.  I mean, I remember — like a lot of people remember that day, and the image of that building, you know, with its face blown off, an image that we weren't used to or accustomed to at the time.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Barak Goodman is the director of the film “Oklahoma City.”

BARAK GOODMAN:  While I think a lot of people remember this as a simple story of a lone terrorist committing an act, it actually has very deep roots.  And when we pulled on those roots, a whole ‘nother story sort of appeared.

JEFFREY BROWN:  The film delves into the rise of white nationalist militias in the 1980s, and two later events that galvanized the country and deeply influenced Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh: the siege of Ruby Ridge in 1992, when the FBI and U.S. Marshals confronted Randy Weaver at his home in rural Idaho, resulting in the deaths of Weaver's wife, son and a U.S. Marshal.

And the following year, Waco, Texas, when federal agents, responding to reports of weapons stockpiling, attempted to arrest the leader of a religious sect known as the Branch Davidians.  A firefight broke out, killing 10, including four ATF agents.  And after a 51-day standoff, the complex went up in flames as agents moved in with tear gas.  More than 70 people died.

During the long standoff, then 24-year-old Army veteran Timothy McVeigh had been watching nearby.

WOMAN:  Timothy McVeigh had already apparently been very concerned about what had happened at Ruby Ridge.  So he came down to Waco and sold bumper stickers with pro-gun, anti-government slogans.

He saw the raid as clear evidence of what the government would do to try to confiscate guns and persecute gun owners.

LINK:  "Oklahoma City"

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