Any bets on weather Tim McVeigh will beat the Grim Reaper?
May 11, 2001 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Any bets on weather Tim McVeigh will beat the Grim Reaper? How stupid can the FBI be, really? I mean, he was good as convicted anyway, so why not release all the documents?
posted by Rastafari (25 comments total)
"He is capable of evaluating new information and making decisions based upon the new information.''

And he can take the new information, and think about the new information, and get consultation from his lawyers about the new information, to find out what he should do about the new information. They shoulda just called it "stuff."
posted by Hankins at 1:15 PM on May 11, 2001

I wonder if he regrets confessing to the two reporters who wrote American Terrorist or letters to various journalists.

I hope I don't get targeted by the Feds for calling them 'stupid,' though...
posted by Rastafari at 1:26 PM on May 11, 2001

Timothy MCVEIGH?? Wha, is he still alive??
posted by UncleFes at 1:27 PM on May 11, 2001

How stupid can the FBI be, really?
5 syllables: J. Edgar Hoover.
posted by quonsar at 1:31 PM on May 11, 2001

Even if all goes south with the FBI's handling of this case and somehow his conviction gets overturned he'll be tried and fried by the State of Oklahoma.
posted by schlyer at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2001

Note : you're implying that this was a big cover up. I would point out that it's entirely possible that they were just really really stupid in not noticing this evidence.

In fact, in defense of the FBI -- would you rather they admit it now while he's still alive and they can still try him legally, or have some reporter dig it up in 5 years? The shit that's hitting the fan now would hit even harder if that were to happen.

Of course, everyone knows he's guilty, so I'm just wondering if McVeigh will rub this in the USA's face just to be a brat. I think he will.
posted by jragon at 1:44 PM on May 11, 2001

Ya know, I've been thinking a lot about the death penalty lately, and have heard some persuasive arguments for it on this site. But now that the FBI has proven just how fair and accurate our legal system is, I have to say, I'm all for it. Sounds like a good idea to me.
posted by Doug at 1:46 PM on May 11, 2001

Next thing you know, they'll say they "found" these documents in a banker's box on a grassy knoll in Dallas.
posted by 120degrees at 1:50 PM on May 11, 2001

But now that the FBI has proven just how fair and accurate our legal system is, I have to say, I'm all for it.

Are you being sarcastic? I'm curious because you can honestly see this incident as being proof of the fairness of the justice system or you can see it as further proof that the FBI has serious problems. After all, it was pretty clear early on that Timothy McVeigh was guilty. The FBI and the justice department put huge amounts of effort into making a clean case yet they couldn't manage something as simple as delivering all the (arguably) relevant documents to the defense.
posted by rdr at 2:15 PM on May 11, 2001

I think this is as good argument as any for either abolishing capital punishment, or making it way more difficult to be used. I mean, if the Feds (read, the police) were to incompetent, or too scheming to not fork over all the documents they should have in this "slam-dunk" case, what about all the closer ones?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:20 PM on May 11, 2001

“It’s always a good day when your son is not going to be executed next week,”

-- Friend of the McVeigh family speaking of Mr. McVeigh's reaction.
posted by o2b at 2:39 PM on May 11, 2001

Thank God this stuff came out now. Can you imagine the never-ending bleatings we'd have to listen to if it hadn't come out until after he was put down?
posted by aaron at 2:41 PM on May 11, 2001

from today's papers, 05/11/01:

"The coverage says the government explanation of the documents' MIA status is computer error. The LAT reminds that there was a similar development in connection with the FBI's investigation of the Waco siege, and the WP reports that the FBI belatedly produced a great many relevant documents in the Wen Ho Lee case."

just another data point.

posted by rebeccablood at 2:44 PM on May 11, 2001

The only reason the FBI turned over the documents is that McVeigh has publicly confessed. Had there been some doubt to McVeigh's guilt, the FBI probably would've sat on this evidence as long as possible.

And don't forget that there's a Man #3 out there! Mwoohahah!
posted by Dr. Boom at 2:48 PM on May 11, 2001

"Thank God this stuff came out now. Can you imagine the never-ending bleatings we'd have to listen to if it hadn't come out until after he was put down?"

Yeah, Aaron, that would be annoying, having to listen to people complain about a person executed after an unfair trial.
posted by Doug at 3:09 PM on May 11, 2001

This isn't a bin laden arabian nut job, it's a former US soldier. A vet. And after Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the like it's a wonder if anyone can believe in a fair trial. McVeigh is the perfect culprit. Cold calculated and unemotional. He seems almost cast into the role. Meanwhile he's on a whole martyr trip. The case was wrapped up just too nicely. Call me a conspiracy theorist, i just don't trust the FBI. Don't believe me?, ask Leonard Peltier...
posted by Zebulun at 3:48 PM on May 11, 2001

Ashcroft announced on TV just a few moments ago that the execution would be delayed for one month, though, he said, he is sure that McVeigh is guilty etc.
A thought: could the announcement this past week by Louis Freeh that he was resigning be based on his knowing that they would have to declare publicly that they had botched the evidence?
posted by Postroad at 3:53 PM on May 11, 2001

Any bets on weather Tim McVeigh will beat the Grim Reaper?
weather -> whether

Does anyone think this won't happen under Dubya's watch?
posted by quirked at 4:27 PM on May 11, 2001

Anyone noticed the Indy's piece on the Aryan Liberation Army, hooking into earlier threads disputing McVeigh's role as a lone bomb-man?

(It also appears at the same time as Paul Foot's Private Eye pamphlet on the Lockerbie bombing. Which I'd urge UK MeFites to read. Tough, chewy going, but similarly thorough, dedicated reporting on what smacks of a classic travesty of justice.)
posted by holgate at 4:43 PM on May 11, 2001

(And that doesn't mean that I think McVeigh is innocent. But rather, several guilty men go free as a result of the "lone nut" thing, where one execution is deemed to bring "closure".)
posted by holgate at 4:45 PM on May 11, 2001

The chances that McVeigh will escape execution (let alone go free) are minuscule. This will, however, mean a dramatic new avenue for appeal, and has already led to Terry Nichols petitioning for a stay for whatever that may assist his appeal(s).

aaron, do you consider the rights of the accused under our constitutional system of justice to be "bleatings"? Or do we just throw all that meaningless crap out the window when we don't like someone?
posted by dhartung at 5:21 PM on May 11, 2001

One comment made on the BBC is that the stay has been imposed so that justice "can be seen to be done".

Which is, of course, an important maxim; but begs the question of quite what the manifestation of justice entails.

For instance, the wrongful conviction of IRA terrorists, exposed in the late 80s and early 90s, was all the more shocking in that it revealed a preference for cheap, quick trials with apparently cut-and-dried conclusions (aka "Fit Up A Dubious Mick"), than long, messy investigations of well-known suspects.

Of course, had the state been able to "put down" those convicted, not only would they have not been around to protest at their imprisonment; a whole swathe of surveillance information about those implicated on a much wider scale might have been suppressed.

The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.
posted by holgate at 7:02 PM on May 11, 2001

This isn't a bin laden arabian nut job, it's a former US soldier.

Uhh, it's sort of a combination. It's a former US soldier nutjob. It is possible to be both.
posted by jragon at 7:45 PM on May 11, 2001

McVeigh not getting executed at this point and "beating the rap" would be a mistake. Even McVeigh knows this. In fact up until now I've assumed him to be a man who was put into a situation greater than his intent. He seems to have been wanting to speed up his demise. He'd rather be dead than held captive. He'd rather be a martyr than to have lived the past seven years with this on his conscience.

Could one man have successfully managed what he did? There was assistance. That's plain. Even the FBI has admitted to there being probably two other individuals. McVeigh knows their names but refuses to talk. He was ordered to do this. Not by the American gov't, but by some other ultra "so left wing it's right or so right wing its left" conservative military outfit which believes the present American gov't is the true enemy. McVeigh is for all intents a traitor to his own country, but did what he did in complete belief that he was fighting the traitors: the men in suits and ties who ordered men like McVeigh to the Gulf so rich people could save a few nickels on gas. The men who are selling off the freedoms of America to the highest bidder.

At this point if McVeigh doesn't get executed, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. He might as well become Charlie Manson's roommate at that point. If either of those two were to be set free, there's a few hundred men who would skip work that day to be positioned just outside the prison walls with sniper guns. McVeigh can never know another day as a free man. Even if he were by some stretch of the imagination innocent, he's been summarily tried and convicted in the public eye. He's better off dead now.

This postponement is like ripping the legs off a grasshopper but not putting it out of its misery. And maybe that's what some people really want: to watch McVeigh suffer. The sooner we kill him, the better. At this point, it makes us just as cruel and heartless as his actions have been - keeping him alive. However when he dies, he will be the patsy, and the other two men and the men who ordered them to commit this crime against America in some twisted belief of saving this country, those men will have gotten away with murder - using McVeigh as their sacrificial lamb.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:13 PM on May 11, 2001

> He's better off dead now.

Many people live tiny lives (apartment > car > cubicle > car > apartment, ad infinitum) for little purpose. Solitary confinement with some good books and music for the rest of his life could not be much worse than that (perhaps better. Life in a cell better furnished than a monk's wouldn't cost much compared to what the US wastes battling minor drug offenses, it would give him a chance to do some good, and it would prevent every American who is for the execution from becoming an accessory to murder.
posted by pracowity at 4:43 AM on May 12, 2001

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