McVeigh: Sorry for Deaths, But Defiant

ByABC News
June 9, 2001, 7:20 PM

June 9 -- Defiant to the end, Oklahoma City bomberTimothy McVeigh says he is sorry 168 people died at his hands, butinsists the blame rests on a U.S. government bent on bullying itscitizens.

"I am sorry these people had to lose their lives," McVeighwrote in a series of recent letters to The Buffalo News to bepublished Sunday, the day before his execution. "But that's thenature of the beast. It's understood going in what the human tollwill be."

In the letters to his hometown paper, McVeigh reiterated thatwhat he did was necessary to defend the personal freedom of allAmericans and exact revenge for the disastrous government raids atRuby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas.

War Against Government

The bombing, he wrote, was "a legit tactic" in a war againstwhat he considers an out-of-control federal government.

McVeigh is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Terre Haute,Ind. He is responsible for the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah FederalBuilding. His victims included 19 children, who McVeigh hasreferred to with the military jargon of "collateral damage."

McVeigh, who grew up in nearby Pendleton, N.Y., wrote the Newsthat he might have chosen another tactic for expressing his hatredof the government. He said he sometimes wishes he had carried out aseries of assassinations against police and government officialsinstead.

In the letters, McVeigh insisted he has no fear of hisexecution. An agnostic, he said he will "improvise, adapt andovercome" if it turns out that there is an afterlife.

"If I am going to hell," he wrote, "I'm gonna have a lot ofcompany."

In the letters to reporters Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel, authorsof a book about McVeigh, he said he hopes he will be remembered asa freedom fighter akin to John Brown, the 1800s abolitionist.

Among other topics, McVeigh wrote that:

He, Terry Nichols, and Michael and Lori Fortier were the onlypeople who had any knowledge of the blast and that he alone had allthe pieces of the puzzle.