I've always thought this was one of the better documentaries on the background of the Oklahoma City Bombing. I would hope future documentary makers would spend even more time elaborating on the context and cultural milieu. People have forgotten the level of anxiety and how worked up the Right wing was in early 1990's. I remember. At the time, I was one of them.
You had a Baby-Boomer president who was perceived to be a pot-smoking draft-dodging hippie. His feminist and assertive wife was put forward to lead what was perceived to be the charge toward socialized medicine. He was immoral and duplicitous. This is true of virtually all presidents but the public has been largely ignorant of this and the supposedly Left-wing media attacked Clinton in a way no politician had ever been attacked before. The Whitewater Scandal had already begun to percolate and would eventually through a very tormented and circuitous route lead to the Lewinsky scandal.
We had anti-gun legislation making the rounds (no pun intended) and while it seems rather tame today, the Clintonian compromise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" represented a significant shift in attitude. Cabinet members Janet Reno and Donna Shalala were perceived to be lesbians. He was reaching out to blacks and other minorities. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, a liberal feminist Jewess was the type of judge the Right and especially the racist Right feared.
In addition the Cold War had ended which generated a great deal of angst. The era of globalization was upon us, we were seeing the rise of the EU and treaties like NAFTA. The globalist impulse upset many in Evangelical circles and the Right-wing in general. There was an unfounded and misplaced fear of an ascendant United Nations. It has always been continues to be an impotent joke. No one takes the UN seriously. With the absence of the Soviet Union there was a lack of moral cause and clarity, a disruption in narrative. Many were upset by America's new role as international police force. They couldn't understand the new unipolar paradigm with America as the Hyper-Power. The Yugoslav Wars were obtuse and unclear. The 1990's seemed to many a grey and asymmetrical world and it was reflected in the movies and pop culture of the time.
And of course within in a short period of time we witnessed the Ruby Ridge and the Waco incidents which stoked fears of a new order, a new type of state.
Many Christians were upset by the moral fog and the seemingly unrelenting drive toward a more liberal culture. Dispensationalists were alarmed that Clinton helped to facilitate the Oslo Accords and there was a talk of 'land for peace' which to their theology was tantamount to apostasy. The fact that 'Christian' America was supporting this was anathema. This was also the time when abortion doctors began to be killed.
The World Trade Center had been bombed in 1993. Something was wrong, people hated the United States, there were forces at work in the world that were bringing judgment on America and the leadership didn't seem to know how to deal with it. To many on the Right the answer was clear. There was a mandate for military action, but in the confusing morass of the 1990's... where to strike?
Finally computers were rapidly becoming more prevalent in daily life and were moving from being the toys that teenagers tinkered with to viable and significant parts of daily life. Many were terribly disturbed by this and the possibilities and dangers of the computer age.
The Far Right believed that somehow the Communists had won. The end of the Cold War had been too smooth. Something was funny about it all. Something was amiss. They felt betrayed by less than pure Right-wing leaders like Reagan and Bush even though today many of these folks have shifted and re-written their assessments of them. At the time a lot of people on the Right were upset. They had not kept to the Right-wing agenda, at least not sufficiently and consistently.
Rush Limbaugh had appeared on the radio and was growing very popular. I remember eating my lunch in my truck and listening to him back in 1991. I was distraught when Clinton won in 1992 though I hadn't voted for Bush either. I was already very disillusioned with the GOP. I was one of those Right-wing types who had grown suspicious of Reagan and certainly George HW Bush.
As I mentioned in another recent post I had just joined the US military in 1995 when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened. I also remember the reports of unexploded devices and the confusing reports regarding other suspects that are covered in this video.
The story kept changing and in time a lot of elements were written out of the story. This documentary helps to bring them back. Was there a conspiracy? Certainly McVeigh and Nichols conspired and their friends in Arizona knew about the plot. Did others know?
And if so, why has it been suppressed?
I don't think we need to stray into the kind of hyper-orchestrated conspiracy advocated by The Corbett Report or Alex Jones. I don't think McVeigh was actually a government operative etc...
The conspiracy of the Establishment system is an open one and there are many warring factions within it. It's really more the struggle for power and that can be complex and clandestine enough without being orchestrated. There are instances of orchestrated plots in history but some seem to believe every event and every aspect are somehow orchestrated and I don't believe the world ever operates that way.
Technology if anything has made the world more complex and difficult to manage. At the same time it does afford other tools and opportunities for all involved in the dance, in the great game.
This documentary puts forward what I believe to be the most plausible explanation of government inconsistencies and suppressed information. We know the FBI has undercover agents, long-running stings and infiltrations and they are more than willing to utilize agents provocateurs.
There's reason to believe the FBI had people in these circles and that they were monitoring these groups waiting for the right moment to strike and arrest them. McVeigh might have slipped through the net. A full disclosure of government activity and knowledge would be devastating and would have brought down a lot of people in the FBI and Justice Department. If they knew about the bombing and didn't stop McVeigh in time then the FBI might have faced collapse.
Or, even worse if they were utilizing a provocateur and once again, McVeigh slipped through the net and beat them to the punch... the government would feel compelled to suppress that information. The public outrage would be beyond anything previously known.
Do we go further and suggest the Federal government allowed it to happen in order to crack down on Right wing groups? Was this a modification of the Northwoods proposal from the 1960's? If so, then it was a failure, because the Right was not suppressed.
None of the Far-Right narratives played out. We were supposed to buy gold because the economy was going to collapse. Clinton was going to take us Communist. There were secret concentration camps etc... All the same bogus rumours were floating around back then too.
There are many possibilities but I think some need to be avoided and are not viable. But this video demonstrates there's quite a bit more to the story than what we heard in the mainstream press and the numerous television documentaries and books about the subject.