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  America's Kids Day Care

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Jollyhelpful

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PostSubject: America's Kids Day Care    America's Kids Day Care Icon_minitimeFri Aug 17, 2018 3:43 pm

So I just finished reading American Terrorist (which I highly recommend). One of the big questions in the book was whether or not McVeigh knew about the day care center at the Murrah building. McVeigh says he did not know about it, whereas Terry Nichols swears that they both saw it when they cased the building months before the bombing. I'm inclined to believe McVeigh's side of the story. He says that he was "horrified" when he learned of the daycare center after seeing initial reports from the jailhouse. Not because he had killed innocent children, but because everyone would focus on the kids and wouldn't get the message he was trying to send. And that's exactly what happened, people called him "baby killer" and the day care became a cornerstone of the prosecution's case for the death penalty. No one seemed to care why he did it at the time. To me, this seems to align with his state of mind on 4/19. I Think had he known he would have picked a different target; not out of the kindness of his heart, but from a strategic standpoint. So who do you believe McVeigh or Nichols?
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PostSubject: Re: America's Kids Day Care    America's Kids Day Care Icon_minitimeSat Aug 18, 2018 12:20 pm

I believe he though that killing the kids were collateral damage, he was thinking in a military state of mind. Remember the US military have killed innocent kids in other countries.
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PostSubject: Re: America's Kids Day Care    America's Kids Day Care Icon_minitimeSat Aug 18, 2018 12:43 pm

Ziamber II wrote:
I believe he though that killing the kids were collateral damage, he was thinking in a military state of mind. Remember the US military have killed innocent kids in other countries.



I agree.

There have been several things that suggest he maybe didn't know about the on site daycare, but then again there are just as many proving he may have known it was there. scratch

But if McVeigh knew the daycare was there, then he would have just considered it as unfortunate collateral damage. Nothing he enjoyed doing or having a hand in doing. It's not like the daycare center was the target. He or they were after the Government workers, FBI/ATF etc.
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PostSubject: Re: America's Kids Day Care    America's Kids Day Care Icon_minitimeSat Aug 18, 2018 11:34 pm

I feel conflicted about this because "McVeigh only wishes the dead children didn't distract people from his message, and he feels no pity for the victims or their families." Sounds like something he would say. But; at the same time, McVeigh seems like someone who would be extremely thorough with his planning, which would have to include actually going inside the building to scout the location out before the bombing.
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PostSubject: Re: America's Kids Day Care    America's Kids Day Care Icon_minitimeSun Aug 19, 2018 12:34 am

I believe that Tim almost certainly knew about it. I posted about this in the other thread.

Quote :
I'm also fairly sure that he knew there was a daycare center in that building and he chose to target it anyway (or possibly because of that). Multiple people said that the daycare was plainly visible from the sidewalk and he scouted more than once. It can never be proven that he knew but it seems hard to believe that he didn't and even upon learning that he had murdered nineteen children, toddlers and infants, he was basically unaffected so it seems that it didn't really concern him.

This article says that out of 7900 federal buildings, there were only about 100 with day care centers. It seems like more than a coincidence that he had over a 98.5% chance of choosing a building without a daycare center as a target but he still managed to chose one where the daycare center was visible to passersby and located directly above where he placed his bomb, and that he later connected the fact that children died there to the military's actions overseas.

I think the most obvious reason that he would choose to specifically murder children is that the US government killed children at both Waco and Ruby Ridge and his motive was, at least in part, revenge for these incidents. It also allowed him to draw attention to the hypocrisy of Americans allowing the government nearly unlimited power to violently subdue its citizens while condemning terrorism that claimed innocent lives. My belief is that he denied knowing about the daycare center in advance because he realized that the media was focusing on the children and he knew that some people who might otherwise be sympathetic to his ideological motivations would have difficulty supporting him if they knew that he did it on purpose.

I think he couldn't stop himself from doing it once he saw the daycare. The government contributed to the deaths of children at Waco and actually killed a child at Ruby Ridge. He wanted to send a message to the government that they couldn't do whatever they wanted without facing consequences and he murdered the infants and children because he thought that it was fair play in his "act of war."

I also see Tim's choices as strictly strategic but the difference is that I believe that his choice to murder children was the strategic move but I don't think he had any idea that people would focus on it so much. I think he was empathically impaired. His anger at the government for killing children was more intellectually based than emotional. It was just proof to him that they could get away with killing anyone, even those who did not pose any realistic threat. As a result of his emotional deficits, he miscalculated with his plan. He didn't understand that they would show the faces of those children on the news and people would call him a baby killer before wondering why the bomber did it or listening to anything he had to say. Luckily for him, he had a lot of time after the murder to sit in prison and he was able to give his justifications and talk around the subject of empathy and remorse, so he won over some of those on the fringes despite his miscalculation. Honestly, if people can sympathize with him for killing close to 150 adults, the nineteen children aren't going to make much of a difference. He was never going to convince the majority of Americans that his attack was justified so I can see why he would take the risk of going after children anyway. It was worth too much to him to resist... and he could always lie about knowing that he was going to kill children anyway. He was somewhat of a habitual liar.

Note this strangely worded excerpt from an essay on hypocrisy:
Quote :
Hypocrisy when it comes to death of children? In Oklahoma City, it was family convenience that explained the presence of a day-care center placed between street level and the law enforcement agencies which occupied the upper floors of the building. Yet when discussion shifts to Iraq, any day-care center in a government building instantly becomes "a shield." Think about that.

(Actually, there is a difference here. The administration has admitted to knowledge of the presence of children in or near Iraqi government buildings, yet they still proceed with their plans to bomb -- saying that they cannot be held responsible if children die. There is no such proof, however, that knowledge of the presence of children existed in relation to the Oklahoma City bombing.)

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He could have said this in any way that he wanted. He didn't choose to say that he didn't know, he chose an extremely awkwardly worded sentence which only says that there is no proof that he did know.

In any case, he never repented for it or expressed any remorse for any of the murders and he called the victims collateral damage and we know that he didn't really regret it.

I think this excerpt from the book is particularly illustrative of the emotional disconnect between Tim and the average American.
Quote :
At one point, during a particularly emotional piece of testimony, Jones was surprised to find McVeigh putting his hand on Jones’s knee. Jones thought McVeigh was showing some decency, that his client was making a gesture of shared sympathy. In truth, McVeigh was trying to signal his lawyer to object to what the prosecution witness was saying.
He joked around immediately after his arrest and he flirted during the trial, knowing that it upset the families of victims. He was not moved by the death he had caused, including the deaths of children. I don't think he was capable of feeling very much (or anything at all) for the strangers he had murdered. I think he was capable of some shallow sense of empathy for those that he knew well, but this was far too abstract for him.

This was his response to the question of why he would not show any respect to the victims' families. He specifically referred to those who had lost children in the bombing.
Quote :
The victims are looking for some show of remorse. I understand and empathize with the victims’ losses, but at the same time, I’m a realist. Death and loss are an integral part of life everywhere. We have to accept it and move on. To these people in Oklahoma who lost a loved one, I’m sorry, but it happens every day. You’re not the first mother to lose a kid, or the first grandparent to lose a grandson or granddaughter. It happens every day, somewhere in the world. I’m not going to go into that courtroom, curl into a fetal ball, and cry just because the victims want me to do that.
I don't think Tim was burying deep emotions to maintain his "military" demeanor. While he offered a token acknowledgement that he "understands and empathizes," it's obvious that he did not understand or empathize based on what followed immediately after that. I do not think he was capable of feeling those emotions, so he tried to provide a semi-rational explanation for his behavior and lack of emotional affect. I would say that it's a fairly psychopathic response in the way that he deflects and struggles to construct even a minimal facade of emotional depth but I still can't say that he was an actual psychopath. It's clear that his sense of empathy was very impaired though.

Here is the excerpt that you discussed in your post.
Quote :
McVeigh pretended to pay little attention to the television, but he was watching and listening to every word. This was his first opportunity to see what his bomb had done to the Murrah Building.

His initial reaction was disappointment. Damn, he thought, the whole building didn’t come down.

But McVeigh says how that even that revelation had a silver lining for him: with part of the Murrah Building still standing, in its ruined state, the American public would be left with its carcass, standing as a symbol.

McVeigh then heard someone in the office mention how horrible it was that the blast had destroyed a day-care center in the building, killing a group of children.

This news hit McVeigh harder. He had never intended for children to be among his victims; though he had no feeling at all for the government workers he had slain, the presence of children among his victims did cause him a moment’s regret. Yet even that sliver of humanity was matched with a more coldblooded reaction: within a moment he recognized that the deaths of innocent children would overshadow the political message of his bombing. In the court of public opinion, he figured, this would be a disaster for his cause. The media’s going to latch on to that, McVeigh thought. Everybody’s going to say, “He’s a baby killer.” “The daycare center,” he would later say. “If I had known it was there, I probably would have shifted the target.”
By his own admission, Tim felt nothing more than a moment's regret and I'm not convinced that Tim even felt that much regret for the actual deaths of the children. When he talks about it in retrospect, he focuses more on how it affects perceptions of him and the bombing more than anything else. I'm not even convinced that he was so concerned about that. Knowing what he now knows and being given a chance to state unequivocally that he would never have killed children if he knew, he still only says that he "probably" would have shifted the target. This can be interpreted in two ways. Either he's incapable of admitting a miscalculation or it was so important to kill the children that he had a hard time pretending that it was never part of the plan. I think it's probably the second one.

On another occasion, he was given a chance to explain his feelings about killing children.
Quote :
'I recognized beforehand that someone might be bringing their kid to work,'' Mr. McVeigh says in the book. ''However, if I had known there was an entire day care center, it might have given me pause to switch targets. That's a large amount of collateral damage.'' The authors will appear on ''PrimeTime Thursday'' on ABC. Also to be interviewed is Dr. John Smith, a psychiatrist who evaluated Mr. McVeigh.

Dr. Smith said on the program that Mr. McVeigh knew children were in the building. ''I asked him, 'Tim, why did you go ahead with the bombing?' And he said, 'One, the date was too important to put off.' '' April 19 was the anniversary of the assault by federal agents on the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Tex., Dr. Smith said, ''and he went into a tirade about all the children killed at Waco.''

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Again, the best that he can muster is to say that knowing a daycare center was there "might have given him pause." He was never willing to state with certainty that it would have affected his decision and my honest belief is that this was because he did make that choice with prior knowledge. The only problem is that in the military, they can use the excuse of dead children being collateral damage because they don't have a choice of target. Tim certainly had a wide variety of targets (without daycare centers present) even if he believed that an attack on the federal government was justified, so he couldn't admit that he knew beforehand or his statements about this being equivalent to a military action would be less convincing. Even disregarding that, he admitted that he had known that children may have been in there. If he didn't mind killing a few children, why would he honestly regret killing more of them? More children had died at Waco due to what he perceived to be unjustified government action.

To sum it up, I do believe that Tim killed the children on purpose and the real miscalculation in strategy (if any existed to begin with) was that he was so emotionally impaired that he didn't anticipate exactly how much it would hurt his cause, even among those who would otherwise be sympathetic. His denial after the fact was probably calculated to mitigate the damage caused by that misunderstanding but he couldn't even seem to express false remorse with any conviction because he didn't understand empathy and because he always meant to kill the children. If anything, I think he had to restrain himself from taking those moments to point out the hypocrisy of condemning him for murdering children while the military regularly does this with no (official) remorse. I think that's why he slipped in the "collateral damage" comment. He couldn't help himself.

(Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from American Terrorist. As the OP said, this is a book that you should definitely read if you're interested in McVeigh.)
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