As Lew Rockwell and Ryan McMaken have recently observed, the media and politicians are increasingly trying to associate anyone who is “anti-government” with Timothy McVeigh, in a desperate attempt to discredit the Tea Party movement.
Obviously, McVeigh’s murderous actions demonstrate that he was no libertarian.
But was he even “anti-government,” as the media would have us believe?
In this blog post, libertarian law professor Ilya Somin shows that he was not. In fact, he was a Neo-Nazi.
[UPDATE: A number of people have written me to suggest that Somin has it wrong. Details here.]
You should read the whole thing, but here’s a sample:
In reality, McVeigh was a neo-Nazi and his attack was inspired by the Turner Diaries, a 1978 tract that advocated the use of terrorism to overthrow the US and establish a government explicitly based on Nazi Germany. If you suffer through the experience of actually reading The Turner Diaries, as I did, you will find that author William Pierce did not support anything remotely resembling limited government; indeed, he explicitly repudiated limited government conservatism in one part of the book.
Today is April 19, the anniversary of the FBI’s finishing off the Branch Davidians at Waco and, two years later, the Oklahoma City incident, which Timothy McVeigh called payback for Waco. Every year since 2003 I’ve written on at least one of these events. Today at LRC I have “Waco and the New Brown Scare.” Also see my Waco archives, which includes my undergraduate history thesis from 2003. A good book on Waco is Carol Moore’s the Davidian Massacre, all online. As she points out, it was not until 2007 that the survivors from Waco were finally freed. And all libertarians should watch Waco: Rules of Engagement. The video is online.
As for the Oklahoma City bombing, Lew links to the classic piece by Gore Vidal—one of the few leftists who was not enamored of the left-establishment’s 1990s militia scare or blinded to the Clinton regime’s injustices at Waco and abroad. And see Scott Horton’s interview of Jesse Trentadue, “They Are Lying to You About the Oklahoma City Bombing.”
Bill Clinton has recently implied that modern Tea Party activists are all potential Timothy McVeighs:
Former President Bill Clinton on Friday said that “legitimate” comparisons can be drawn between today’s grass-roots anger and resentment toward the government and the right-wing extremism that bubbled up prior to the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City 15 years ago.
True, this probably isn’t as bad as the Bush administration’s claim that citizens who don’t support the Bush administration are “with the terrorists,” but it is fairly bold fearmongering. I doubt that Clinton mentioned the motivation for the OKC bombing. McVeigh, who was trained to kill and trained to make bombs by the United States Army, planned the bombing with his accomplices as retaliation for the Clinton Administration’s mass murder of women and children at Waco. The OKC bombing was carried out on the April 19 anniversary of Waco.
Clinton did say one true thing during his speech: “…be careful with what you say and do not advocate violence.” The state always considers itself exempt from this advice of course.