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"Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read...."
July 21, 2009 4:14 AM   Subscribe

Hello its me, this is gonna be hard for you to read but I write this knowing every time you thinks shits got to much for you to handle (so don't cry on it MUM!!) you can read this and hopefully it will help you all get through. For a start SHIT I got hit!! .... As Im writing this letter I can see you all crying and mornin my death but if I could have one wish in an "after life" it would be to stop your crying and continueing your dreams (as I did) because if I were watching only that would brake my heart.
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher from 2nd Battalion The Rifles was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 2 June 2009.
posted by orthogonality (51 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Selections from Cyrus Thatcher's letters home can be read here.
posted by orthogonality at 4:15 AM on July 21, 2009


Our little army boy
Is coming home from b.f.p.o.
Ive a bunch of purple flowers
To decorate a mammys hero.

Mourning in the aerodrome,
The weather warmer, he is colder.
Four men in uniform
To carry home my little soldier.

What could he do?
Should have been a rock star.
But he didn't have the money for a guitar.
What could he do?
Should have been a politician.
But he never had a proper education.
What could he do?
Should have been a father.
But he never even made it to his twenties.
What a waste --
Army dreamers.
posted by markkraft at 4:28 AM on July 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


There isn't really much to talk about that can add something to the above. Politics aside, and as clichéd as it might seem sometimes:

.
posted by jaduncan at 4:33 AM on July 21, 2009


The above meaning the letters, not the poem.
posted by jaduncan at 4:34 AM on July 21, 2009


Lovely bit of tagging, orthagonality:
tommythis
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:36 AM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just for reference, markraft is quoting the song Army Dreamers by Kate Bush.
posted by i_cola at 4:40 AM on July 21, 2009


The son of a good friend of mine just got his orders for Afghanistan last week. He'll ship out in October. His wife is about a month away from having their second child.

I hope I don't have to cry for him, too.

.
posted by elfgirl at 4:43 AM on July 21, 2009


Wow, thank you for tagging Thommythis..
posted by ruelle at 5:01 AM on July 21, 2009


.
posted by RussHy at 5:04 AM on July 21, 2009


Arithmetic on the Frontier, from one hundred and twenty years ago. Wonder if Kipling thought his beloved British soldiers would still be dying in Afghanistan today?
posted by Ritchie at 5:06 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 5:09 AM on July 21, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 5:14 AM on July 21, 2009


"Dad – my idol, my friend, my best friend, my teacher, my coach, everything I ever succeeded in my life I owe to you and maybe a little bit of me! You are a great man and the perfect role model and the past two years of being in the army I noticed that and me and you have been on the best level we have ever been. I thank you for nothing because I no all you have given to me is not there to be thanked for its there because you did it cause you love me and that is my most proudest thing I could ever say."

What a beautiful thing to say to and think about your father (the rest of the stuff he said to family is just as moving, not that I could read it all that closely because it was just so sad).

Jesus. Makes something already immensely tragic just that bit more heartbreaking.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 5:16 AM on July 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


.
posted by LakesideOrion at 5:29 AM on July 21, 2009


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posted by ben30 at 5:42 AM on July 21, 2009


wow. i'll have to take his colleagues' word that he was a brilliant rifleman. his own words, though, make it pretty clear he was an amazing human being:
Your all such great individuals and I hope somehow this letter will help you get through this shit time!! Just remember do NOT mourn my death as hard as this will seem, celebrate a great life that has had its ups and downs. I love you all more than you would ever no and in your own individual ways helped me get through it all. I wish you all the best with your dreams.
condolences to his family on their loss; congratulations to his family for doing something so very right to make cyrus thatcher such an inspirational person. he may have been young, but he obviously has the wisdom of the ages on his side.

and orthogonality, thanks for introducing me to cyrus thatcher.
posted by msconduct at 5:46 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

posted by eriko at 6:00 AM on July 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


This made me cry a lot, at work. I'm so sorry Cyrus.

.

TROOPS HOME NOW
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:25 AM on July 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Cyrus: you inspire us.

.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:30 AM on July 21, 2009


It was an occupational hazard for this particular state-sanctioned murderer. He knew that. Anyway great job to his family for raising him for 17 years so he could be wasted in the name of a war started on lies.
posted by yoHighness at 6:35 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


.

Cyrus's mum talks about her son. (One hour 10 mins in)
posted by the cuban at 6:38 AM on July 21, 2009


What can you see from your window?
I can't see anything from mine.
Flags on the side of the highway
and scripture on grocery store signs.
Maybe eighteen was too early.
Maybe thirty or forty is too.
Did you get your chance to make peace with the man
before he sent down his angels for you?

Mamas and grandmamas love you
'cause that's all they know how to do.
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
or sleeping in your dress blues.

Your wife said this all would be funny
when you came back home in a week.
You'd turn twenty-two and we'd celebrate you
in a bar or a tent by the creek.
Your baby would just about be here.
Your very last tour would be up
but you won't be back. They're all dressing in black
drinking sweet tea in styrofoam cups.

Mamas and grandmamas love you.
American boys hate to lose.
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
or sleeping in your dress blues.

Now the high school gymnasium's ready,
full of flowers and old legionnaires.
Nobody showed up to protest,
just sniffle and stare.
But there's red, white, and blue in the rafters
and there's silent old men from the corps.
What did they say when they shipped you away
to fight somebody's Hollywood war?

Nobody here could forget you.
You showed us what we had to lose.
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
or sleeping in your dress blues.

No, no you never planned on the bombs in the sand
or sleeping in your dress blues.

(Jason Isbell, "Dress Blues")
posted by jbickers at 6:41 AM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Soldiers are murderers" is a quote by Kurt Tucholsky (that's nearly got people in jail before). I'll let you return to your scheduled grief.
posted by yoHighness at 6:42 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


NATIONAL ANTHEM CEMETERIES

Sitting in my helicopter
With child warriors
Waiting
For us to fly
Them to hell.
Theirs were the
nervous eyes
Of youth about
To kill
And be killed.

So
You averted looking directly
at their eyes
(That last graveyard
for their fears)
One wonders
What dreams
Will be left
undreamed tonight?

Or what mother
Will have to mourn
What this day
we have done?

No one asks.
And we sit there
Waiting
Perhaps, a lifetime.
While kings and generals
Plot and blunder
Our future
In vivid color
Across
Our national anthem cemeteries!
posted by orthogonality at 6:55 AM on July 21, 2009


He deployed in April 2009 to Afghanistan as a General Purpose Machine Gunner, a testament to his strength and fitness. He had already been identified as a potential section second-in-command. He had set his heart on promotion or joining the Sniper Platoon after Afghanistan

A 'General Purpose Machine Gunner' who aspired to be a sniper. I'm sad for the choice he made.

That Rifleman Thatcher found out he couldn't participate halfway in the food chain of war should come as no surprise.
posted by grounded at 7:07 AM on July 21, 2009


"Soldiers are murderers" is a quote by Kurt Tucholsky (that's nearly got people in jail before). I'll let you return to your scheduled grief.

I'm a card-carrying pacifist. I'm not in favour of war, and here's why: because young men and women, just like you or I, are killed because of a diplomatic dispute. This man lost his life because someone somewhere, whom he never met, gave the order that he should be deployed to Afghanistan for reasons that probably weren't crystal clear even to the regiment. I might find war, and to an extent, the armed forces, is something that makes me uncomfortable, but that should never be cause to wax sanctimoniously once the body of a dead man offers a convenient excuse.
posted by mippy at 7:07 AM on July 21, 2009 [20 favorites]


I heard this on the radio yesterday, along with the interview with his mother. It certainly is a heart rending letter, condolences to the family. They found the letter the day before his funeral.

I can't help thinking that the publicity that this is getting is preempting a change to a 'bring our boys home' campaign by the press and/or some political agents. Wonderful thought this letter is, I would be surprised if this was the only such letter that has been written by a serviceman killed in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. Is the recent increase in the rate of mortality for British soldiers serving in Afghanistan the only reason this is getting such a high profile?

Had the deaths and writings of all the soldiers people on either side killed during the past eight years been given this kind of publicity, would public opinion have changed regarding the military action?
posted by asok at 7:19 AM on July 21, 2009


That was good to read, and I would never have seen it otherwise. Thanks, orthogonality.
posted by everichon at 7:24 AM on July 21, 2009


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posted by kathrineg at 7:24 AM on July 21, 2009


War based on lies. The leaders who ordered these actions should pay. But they will not. The poor and the deluded must pay with their lives. This is our 'civilization'.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:27 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Henry C. Mabuse: "War based on lies. The leaders who ordered these actions should pay. But they will not. The poor and the deluded must pay with their lives. This is our 'civilization'."

I'm a little confused. Would you please point out the lie? Did Afghaninstan-based terrorists not fly planes into American landmarks? Did the Afghan government not disallow American retaliation against the terrorists, prompting an invasion?

I mean, if you want to capitalize on dead boys to bitch about Iraq, well, that's pretty much a dick move too. But to do so with Afghanistan is just misguided on top of that.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:50 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Henry C. Mabuse, yoHighness -- on what lies was the war in Afghanistan based, in your opinion?
posted by Dolukhanova at 7:51 AM on July 21, 2009


I know that posting a lone period is a tradition for metafilter obituary threads, but I like what you've all done here much better. I hope posting poetry or a quotation or something thoughtful becomes our new standard tradition for obituary threads.
posted by sambosambo at 8:05 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I am reading all of this and wondering, "should I know who Cyrus Thatcher was?" Why is he, of all people, getting a FPP obituary when so many other soldiers have died? I understand he was well-loved by those who knew him, but I don't understand from any of this context why we should care more about him than the many other soldiers who are wounded or killed in the Middle East.

No snark intended, just confusion.
posted by explosion at 8:07 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Mali at 8:10 AM on July 21, 2009


explosion, we are not meant to care more about him - his heartfelt, misspelt, ordinary but insightful and heartrending letters allow him to act as a symbol for the other soldiers who have died.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:22 AM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Did the Afghan government not disallow American retaliation against the terrorists, prompting an invasion?

The Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden for trial in a third country if the US presented evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The US presented evidence to NATO, but not to the Taliban or the public.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


explosion, we are not meant to care more about him - his heartfelt, misspelt, ordinary but insightful and heartrending letters allow him to act as a symbol for the other soldiers who have died.

I'm a card-carrying pacifist. I'm not in favour of war, and here's why: because young men and women, just like you or I, are killed because of a diplomatic dispute. This man lost his life because someone somewhere, whom he never met, gave the order that he should be deployed to Afghanistan for reasons that probably weren't crystal clear even to the regiment. I might find war, and to an extent, the armed forces, is something that makes me uncomfortable, but that should never be cause to wax sanctimoniously once the body of a dead man offers a convenient excuse.

I too did wonder why we were memorializing an individual, I don't follow the news channels and papers enough to know what I should feel about him, but I'll take your word that he's a symbol for all those who have died. However, can a memorial to those dying in a war be free of judgement while the war is ongoing? To say, 'we should remember', asks of us to explain why, as we tend not to think so much of all the other people who die elsewhere. The ones who die in Afghanistan, or Iraq, are special, and they're special because they're soldiers fighting a war. Unless we live in a society where war is the norm, it is an extraordinary situation to be in a war, and it requires us to explain why they are fighting. But our explanation of why they are fighting is also a judgement as to whether they should continue fighting or not. There's no way round making a judgement, no way of describing a war without condoning or condemning it, because we need to account for its existence, there cannot be a 'it just is'. Even an appeal to the sanctity of death as above and beyond war, as something that ought to be insulated from normal concerns, requires us to ask why we should make a war that violates it in the first place.

To be truly neutral is to not care in the first place, and not consider this person, or what he symbolizes, to be worth remembering.
posted by Sova at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2009


on what lies was the war in Afghanistan based, in your opinion?

The biggest lie, I think, is one perpetuated by both sides - the necessity of war because of total incompatibility between Islam and the West. The whole structure of the "war on terror" is predicated upon this axiom, and its scope and goals have seriously impeded (if not completely eroded) NATO's chances for victory. If we hadn't gone into Iraq based on lies, we'd have had the resources and the focus to have secured and liberalized Afghanistan. There wouldn't be nearly as many Afghan and Pakistani Taiban and Al Qaeda recruits if they weren't rallied by our unjustifiable and immoral invasion of a sovereign country based on lies.

Also, we'd have gotten Osama by now if the Bush Administration and/or the CIA didn't pussyfoot around every time we got close to him.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dolukhanova, I see kirkaracha above has links to actual information, not just opinion, so I'll hold off.

wax sanctimoniously once the body of a dead man offers a convenient excuse

mippy - I'm unhappy my comment came out so hypocritically. I wouldn't say this man's death offered an excuse though, for some bullshit I was just waiting to spout at the first opportunity. Rather, that reading about this got me really sad, which made me angry, which led to writing sanctimonious bullshit on the internet. Sorry. You put the reasons for me getting sad really well though, so I will try to put it more like that next time. Thanks.
posted by yoHighness at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2009


on what lies was the war in Afghanistan based, in your opinion?

For one, on the lie, clearly proven in history over and over again, that a war in Afghanistan can change anything, or be won in any meaningful way. I understand the motivation for it, but I know deep down that every single life lost in war in Afghanistan is a life wasted. Nothing there will change. When we finally leave (and eventually we will, like the Mongols, and the British, and the Soviets), the Taliban or someone like them will come back.
posted by rusty at 11:49 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Had the deaths and writings of all the soldiers people on either side killed during the past eight years been given this kind of publicity, would public opinion have changed regarding the military action?

Some have been publicized before. I imagine the reactions then were basically the same as they are in this thread. Expressions of sadness, [insert WWI poetry here], accusations, anger, political arguments, and so forth. Not much has changed.
posted by lullaby at 1:04 PM on July 21, 2009


Let them in, Peter
For they are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires
Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired by the sun
Not war-times bloody guns
May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die

You know God knows how young they were
To have to die

Give them things they like
Let them make some noise
Give dance hall bands not golden harps
To these our boys
Let them love Peter
For they've had no time
They should have bird songs and trees
And hills to climb
The taste of summer
And a ripened pear
And girls as sweet as meadow wind
And flowing hair
And tell them how they are missed
But say not to fear
It's gonna be all right
With us down here

Let them in, Peter
For they are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires
Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired by the sun
Not war-times bloody guns
May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die

You know God knows how young they were
To have to die

And tell them how they are missed
But say not to fear
It's gonna be all right
With us down here

It's gonna be all right
With us down here
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:23 PM on July 21, 2009


43 comments and no snarks about his spelling? I'm disappointed with Metafilter today.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2009


I’m remembering the two pirates who took hostages killed by snipers. Do we condone or condemn that? Should we not have shot them? Should we have risked the hostages lives, and by extension encouraged more hostage taking? On the other hand, what was accomplished by shooting them that would relieve the suffering of the Somali people and address the root causes that have turned so many of them to piracy?
It’s easy to step back further and further and make big picture argue that such a given thing should or should not be. And yet, at that distance, unless we’re top level policy makers or have a great deal of influence, there is nothing we can do to affect such things. And yet, to affect such things, to become a policy maker and to have influence, one must get involved.
But when one actually takes a direct hand in things, you’re no longer dealing in conceptual ideals but in concrete realities of what is necessary and possible and what is not. Even if you’re working peacefully for human rights, someone may oppose you and even kill you because your influence is destroying their culture and spreading greater economic dependence on external forces. You’re an oppressor leading the way for greater oppression, even though you’re handing out food to hungry people.
It’s easy to say ‘this is right’ and ‘that is wrong’ but when one is involved in life and death one learns that those are limited by what is necessary and what is not.
“Had the deaths and writings of all the soldiers people on either side killed during the past eight years been given this kind of publicity, would public opinion have changed regarding the military action?”
The Taliban isn’t real concerned about bad PR.
The only legitimacy is found in working to end conflict and the Taliban and fanatics like them would continue it forever. I think it would be worth my life to stop it. Thatcher apparently thought it would be worth his. And the tragedy lay in the fact that he had to.
As to the means – I don’t know, do you take that shot at the pirates? Or order it? Do you let the hostages die? Do you capitulate? What? And what do you think the result would be? I'm not arguing right or wrong, I'm saying it always costs. It's always a tragedy to someone.

Hell, I was surprised how many people thought it was a good thing, killing the pirates. It was just necessary. And tragic. The only good that can be said about the loss of someone like this is that it points to that and reminds us of the loss. Because actions – all actions, have a human cost that has to be paid somehow. And it’s our damnation that we forget that.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Did Afghaninstan-based terrorists not fly planes into American landmarks?

Al Quaeda is no more an "Afghanistan-based terrorist" than Timothy McVeigh was a "United States-based terrorist."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:39 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Al Quaeda is no more an "Afghanistan-based terrorist" than Timothy McVeigh was a "United States-based terrorist."'

Y'know, I don't much care for the base being the boogeyman for the GWOT, but their inception was from the Mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. A lot of them went to Bosnia and became daytrippers from Sudan into Somalia. Now I'll grant they don't depend on state sponsorship, but Alfghanistan isn't/wasn't much of a state and that's really where a lot of this comes from.

I mean, we see how multinational corporations push around smaller countries (Bechtel and water privatization for example - except what happened in Cochabamba, y'know, Bechtel didn't go in and start killing people's families) so destabilization is in their interest so they can play in a given state's backyard.
And again, they're all over the place Eritrea, Chechnya, Yemen, Kashmir, etc. etc. with franchises in the Philippines and Algeria, Tajikistan, etc. etc. They're like the McDonald's of terrorism that way.
So in one regard it is wrong to tie them specifically to one state. On the other hand, McDonalds did start in Des Plaines (yes, yes, the Ray Kroc version - I'm talking the modern McDonald's corporation, just bear with the metaphor) and it does have corporate headquarters Oak Brook, IL, so is it fair to say it's 'from' Illinois? Yeah, sorta.
I mean, hell, they were there long before there was a 9/11.

The base did have, according to Indian intelligence, more than 120 training camps in Afghanistan (plus some in Pakistan) and this isn't the flying kick b.s. that CNN was showing, at al-Badr they were learning how to use high explosives.
The Khalid Bin Whalid camp was open as early as '93
The al-Farouq camp was fairly notorious since that's where Hamza al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, et.al (the 9/11 hijackers) came from, that's where Mohammed Zein Abu Zubaydah selected people for that operation.

Now, a 40-odd day course in guerrilla warfare isn't going to make you Gunfighter Emerson but the fact that any terrorist outfit can sit and do open air training for half a year instead of having to rely on clandestine methods is not a good situation. Plus, they could just up and move around freely. Again, not the kind of power you want a terrorist outfit to have.
Once we blew up Khost (Bill Clinton's Infinite Reach around op) they re-opened shop a year later in (the Lucas-inspired town of) Mes Aynak. Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi came from there.
Now what is irritating is to hear liberals now doing what neocons did then - that is - downplay the actuality of the thing. Politics are swell, but terrorism is a genuine threat. Back then everyone said Clinton had blown up a baby aspirin factory to cover his plochops by Lewinski. And they all conveniently forgot he had done his damnedest to kill Bin Laden. Then 9/11 happened.
And now that it's in the rear view it's convenient for the left to ask "Why are we fighting in Afghanistan?"

Well, you had this Zawahiri guy back in the day who would develop biologicals and chemicals for causing mass casualties and one of his guys (Abu Khabab, he's not around anymore either) would gas dogs and videotape them screaming and dying (nice guy), these people might die, but the fanaticism and organization lives on.

So you can say, ok Afghanistan isn't really the problem. So putting Al-Qaeda there isn't fully accurate. But instability there, and in Pakistan (or at least in the FATAs) is a serious problem, so we do have to address that. And as it is they can't provide security.
They can't afford it and they don't have the infrastructure and so multinational terrorist outfits - the base or whomever - can operate freely on their territory.
So there's little question that eventually terrorist attacks on the U.S., other countries, hell, Denmark, are going to come from there.
As to means, as to what we should do - different debate. But that region is extremely important and sensitive especially considering the implications of Pakistan, or any nuclear power really, becoming a failed state and what that would mean to the largest democracy in the world next door. If handled incorrectly this could, literally, end the world.
Iraq was total b.s., but this problem was always there.

And I'd have to say it's been greatly exacerbated by the political schizophrenia in U.S. foreign policy: "War good. No, this kind of war bad. This war good. No wait! War bad. Flight denial good. No. Bombing good. No wait, nation building good. No, no, wait!"

Thatcher learned a key piece of combat wisdom that a lot of ministers and policy makers never pick up, only three things that kill people - BULLETS, BOMBS + EGOS.

"The stench of the trail of Ego in our History. It is ego - ego, the fountain cry, origin, sole source of war." - George Meredith
posted by Smedleyman at 3:30 PM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hear you, Smedley, but even in your example, there's a difference between a terrorist organization that is being state-funded and operated, and a terrorist organization that happens to be in a given state because the political situation there is unstable. There are parts of this country where right-wing militia were setting up camps in the 1990's -- if they're not still doing so -- and yet I doubt you would make the claim that the United States is supporting these groups, no?

This was my ultimate point, that until we get a bit more conclusive proof that an actual governing body of any given nation is supporting a terrorist group, it's not quite accurate to do battle with that given nation -- because they're not the ones who are actually planning out the attacks. And yes, I'm sure you're about to make the claim that "but they haven't made the effort to rout them out yet" -- to which I would counter, well, why haven't we made more of an effort to step up the home front of the "War On Terror", if that is in fact what it is?....We haven't because it ain't always that easy. Same with Afghanistan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:24 PM on July 21, 2009


"...and yet I doubt you would make the claim that the United States is supporting these groups, no?"

Given that the Feds were using violence against them... Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Freemen, etc.

The Taliban on the other hand was sheltering Al Qaeda, it's not just that Al Qaeda had taken advantage of the disorder there to hide out. This isn't just the opinion of the Bush administration it was also the opinion of the U.N. (in 1999).
posted by Jahaza at 6:28 PM on July 21, 2009


To add to Jahaza's point - I'd argue there was, and is, some U.S. government support for domestic terrorist organizations. For the KKK there has been local law enforcement support. Historically, there's been plenty of tacit support for racism if not overt material support. But the former allows for an environment for such groups to exist. Elohim City doesn't exist without some willful ignorance or deprioritization on the part of investigators. So yeah, the U.S. does support those groups.
Beyond that, there's evidence that McVeigh was training at a military base after his listed date of discharge and some other funky sounding stuff. Which, sure, could be the FBI wanting a tidy looking case.
But certainly all governments disavow these kinds of things even with direct and overt material support. I'll grant it's not a matter of policy, tacit or otherwise, in the U.S. government, which does put us among the more enlightened governments on Earth. But it's still tough to DWB.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:01 PM on July 22, 2009


I will say, wow, he uses a lot of profanity in his letters home. My mom would stomp my ass.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2009


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