In TV Interview, McVeigh Says He Was Angry, Disillusioned
Fighting in the Persian Gulf War left Timothy J. McVeigh angry and disillusioned, he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes,” and the clashes with Branch Davidians and assault at Ruby Ridge showed him the federal government will use violence “as an option all the time.”
In the interview with CBS-TV’s Ed Bradley, McVeigh did not say he was innocent of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The explosion killed 168 people.
His lawyers last week filed an appeal of his conviction and death sentence, claiming pretrial publicity and defense attorneys’ alleged leaks of inflammatory stories to the press deprived him of a fair trial.
McVeigh said during the Feb. 22 interview at the federal maximum-security prison in Terre Haute, Ind., that he was angry and bitter after fighting in the Gulf War, where he won several medals.
His anger deepened when Randy Weaver’s wife and son were killed in a standoff with federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and dozens of members of the Branch Davidian sect died in a fire after a 51-day siege near Waco, Texas, with federal officers eight months later.
McVeigh said U.S. citizens must keep government in check.
Asked if violence is a way to do that, McVeigh said: “If government is the teacher, violence would be an acceptable option.”
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.