Giordano reported that at around 9: 30 on April19, 1995, a single bomb explosion killed, injured, and affected thousands of people men, women, and children from all races in the United States. The blast affected innocent people who became victims of terrorism and hostility of hate. The bombing attack was carried out by a 27 year old white man named Timothy Mc Vein who held a huge grudge against the government. Although the justice system incriminated the persons behind the bombing and these may have offered a certain degree of solace to the victim’s families and friends, the loss of security, grief, emptiness, and fear can never be replaced (5). The Oklahoma Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building attack is a remarkable tragedy in the American history.
In accordance with Wright, the Oklahoma City bombing took place on April 19, 1995 and it was a traumatic bomb attack on Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building located in Oklahoma City downtown. The destructive bomb attack was carried out by an American militia movement sympathizer Timothy McVeigh who donated a truck full of explosives which had been parked outside the building (168). However, Terry Nicholas was McVeigh’s co-conspirator also took part in preparation of the fateful bombing. The Oklahoma bombing was the most catastrophic and destructive bombing act ever experienced on the United States soil until the pentagon attack of September 11, 2001. As a matter of fact, the tragic bombing claimed over one hundred and sixty eight lives nineteen of which were children below sixteen years of age, and caused injury to over six hundred and eighty people. In addition, the blast damaged and destroyed three hundred and twenty four buildings within a radius of sixteen-blocks. Moreover, the blast also destroyed eighty six cars, and shuttered glass wares in about two hundred and fifty eight buildings on the neighbourhood. Actually, the Oklahoma bombing is believed to have caused damage estimated at least six hundred and fifty two dollars worth of damage (Rappoport 71).
Driven by his hatred towards the federal government for what he believed was mistreatment of the Rugy Ridge (1992) and Waco Siege incident (1993), McVeigh planned his destructive attack to coincide with Waco deaths second anniversary. About ninety minutes after the blast, McVeigh was stopped by Charlie Hanger a state trooper in Oklahoma for illegal possession of a weapon and driving without a plate license. Consequently, forensic evidence abruptly connected McVeigh and Nicholas to the bombing; the latter was arrested and a few days later the two suspects were charged with terrorism. Later on, Lori Fortier and Michael were identified as accomplices in the attack. Subsequent to the blast, the local, Federal, state, and global agencies enforced extensive rescue efforts. In addition, substantial food, cash, and other donations were received from different parts of the nation. In fact, the federal emergency management agency made active 11 of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces comprising of six hundred and sixty five rescue employees who gave a hand in recovery and rescue operations (Wright 171).
According to Giordano “OKBOMB” was the name given to the official investigation of the Oklahoma bombing, and was the greatest criminal investigation in the history of America (7). The criminals behind the attack McVeigh and Nichols were punished through lethal injection execution and life imprisonment respectively. Following the bombing, the government of the United States passed a legislation established to step up security level around federal buildings to prevent further terrorist attacks in the future. Additionally, over sixty domestic terrorism schemes were thwarted as a result of the intense security measures taken after the Oklahoma bombing. Lastly, memorial services are held every year up to date to commemorate the bombing victims. The Oklahoma attack on the Arthur P. Murrah federal building had been planned for months and everything was set for the memorable day of April 19, 1995. On the material day, McVeigh had all the necessary materials such as fertilizer, gasoline, and a remote detonator ready for the operation. The large amounts of fertilizer and gasoline could be expected to create a big explosion from a small nuclear device. McVeigh drove to the targeted building and placed the bomb right in front then drove off. Apparently, he waited until the building contained the maximum number of people then detonated the bomb resulting to the deadliest terrorist attack in America. Timothy Mc Veigh was angry at the United State government and had attached himself to the idea that he had to take revenge.
The Waco Siege issue was the most publicized cause for the bombing and reason behind McVeigh’s revenge on the U. S federal government. Back in 1993, the United States Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms, and Alcohol attempted to execute a search warrant at Mount Camel Centre in Branch Davidian ranch that was owned by a protestant sect namely Branch Davidians and situated outside Texas Waco. Apparently, Mount Carmel residents were being accused of stocking weapons on the ranch illegally and sexual misconduct. As a result, tension shot up into a siege of 51 days and it in an inferno and shooting that left over 80 people dead (Giordano 10).
McVeigh paid a visit to Waco in the midst of this crisis and gave a report of how he was angered by what was going on there. However, when McVeigh was interviewed regarding the bombing before his execution, he said that for a while he had developed negative feelings toward the United States government since the Gulf War period. Moreover, McVeigh wrote an essay criticizing the United States foreign policy on Iraq as hypocritical. The United States foreign policy administration claimed that Iraq was not allowed to stockpile biological or chemical weapons (mass destruction weapon) simply because they have utilized them in the past. In relation to Rappoport McVeigh was angered by the fact that the U. S government had stockpiled the same weapons for more than 40 years claiming that it was for deterrent purposes. It was clear that McVeigh had suffered severely from post-traumatic stress disorder following the Gulf War (72). Generally, Timothy was a gun enthusiast and eager Bills fun who intensely hated the government of the United States and the manner in which it handled the Waco and Ruby Ridge issues. On top of this, McVeigh was truly and strongly attached to the thought that he was a patriot, but committed a terrible and violent act against his nation. On the other hand, the impacts of the attack have been and will be felt for quite a long time since it was domestic terrorism that took place before foreign terrorism. Although different people attach and will attach different meaning regarding the events of the attack, the fact remains that it has affected everyone since it occurred on their land.
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In line with Wright the consequences of the bombing attack ranged from Americans emotional response, passing of new laws, to security step up in attack prone regions like Washington D.C. This cruel act also provoked legislators to establish new laws as regards to the buying of explosive materials (168). Presently, it’s not possible for a farmer to purchase over 20,000 fertilizer pounds without presenting a reference check meant to serve as evidence that he aims at using it for the right purpose. This is meant to enable them keep track of large shipments to ensure that fertilizers are not used for terrorist related activities. The FBI has been assigned to keep track of the various fertizer purchases. Consequently, the FBI has the responsibility of going out to the fields to ensure that farmers are using the fertilizers for their farms. Initially, most people in Washing DC felt a remarkable amount of pride since their city was the centre of all law making activities in the United States. Nonetheless, lately they have been experiencing a feeling of a quite different emotion, aggravation. Their frustration is as a result of the fact that the Secret Service has completely closed the street before the White House to everyone except foot-traffic following the Oklahoma City bombing attack (Giordano 32).
On a different note, the bomb attack brought the nation together. There are hardly any Americans who didn’t feel the pinch of the awful tragedy. Before the attack, Americans were only used to hearing of terrorism over the media but never imagined that such a tragedy would strike their nation. Subsequently, people working in other many federal building developed a lot of fear of attack. The religious American population began to pray for the tragedy victims and their families. Moreover, the April 19, 1995 bomb attack send a wave of shock through all American States, that caused the nation to design laws regarding sale of fertilizer, assign new responsibilities to the FBI, and pull together in the event of need (Hammond and Hinman 52).
According to a study conducted regarding the aftermath of the Oklahoma bombing attack, at least about 61.5 percent of the people were reported to be experiencing at least a single result of the tragedy. In reference to population terms, almost 433 adults with 95% confidence were exposed to at least one of the bombing’s consequences. Apparently, Oklahomans reported higher increased rates of smoking, and alcohol consumption. Similarly, they reported about double of increased stress, intrusive thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological distress in relation to the tragedy as compared to other regions. Moreover, the Oklahomans also recorded the highest rates of people seeking medical help to stop or reduce stress levels. These differences persisted even in 1996 a year later after the fateful bombing (Giordano p. 17).
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According to a study conducted by Project Heartland on the first 86 people who sought medical treatment within a period of six months after the tragic attack. The project was developed from Federal Emergency Management Agency funds. The program was aimed at offering crisis support, outreach, support, and education for victims of the bombing. The study objective was to recognize post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) predictors through the use of retrospective reports of participant feelings toward the tragedy. Eventually, these reports were compared with the status of patients six months later on. The study by Project Heartland revealed that symptoms of PTSD were interrelated related with the retrospective reports well-matched with dissociation during the bombing (Giordano 25)
In relation to Giordano the second study conducted by Project Heartland, about 51 people who were involved in handling victim bodies after bombing were examined. Basically, this group comprised of medical examiners, responders, and other person’s involved in recovery, rescue, and deceased victim’s identification. Nonetheless, this study focused on people who handled victim bodies in the office of medical examiners. The enormity of the tragedy exceeded the rescue team capability. Medical examiners were in charge of identification of decomposing and disremembered bodies for a period of 17 days. Apparently, about 70 percent of medical volunteers did not have disaster experience and about 60% of them knew the victims from a personal perspective (51).
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In relation to Giordano traditionally body handlers have a high risk of Post-traumatic symptom disorder but persons in this case illustrated considerable post-trauma resiliency. As a matter of fact, they showed a few PTSD symptoms and there was further declination a year later. The outcome of the bombing tragedy united people because they were left with no option but to come together and support each other by all means. In fact, there was a remarkable amount of support from members of the community and a spirit of self-sacrifice. However, the study on the impacts of the Arthur P federal building bombing revealed a new reality about the people Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants who inhabited certain areas of Oklahoma. This particular group was identified as quite and had minimal exposure to the bombing effects, thus, their experienced had been overlooked after the bombing. In spite of having limited direct exposure to the tragedy, this group of people displayed significant post-traumatic disorder symptoms. Following further research on the matter, it was discovered that most of these people had been exposed to terrorist attacks or political violence in their homelands, and this was the reason for their migration ( 27).
In accordance with Rappoport after the United States government discovered that the bombers of Oklahoma City were taking revenge against it regarding the 1993 Waco Siege event that resulted to the death of David Koresh and other 76 victims (16). The government recognized that there were extreme factors in the nation that had the potential of attacking it in reaction to any controversial accomplishment that it may undertake. In addition to the foreign sponsored terrorism threat, a process of protecting and securing government facilities was initiated. The consequences of the Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma resulted to a new legislation by the Congress. The 1996 Antiterrorism and effective death penalty Act and the 1997 Victim Allocution Act was among the regulations passed. The former assigned death penalty to domestic terrorist whereas the latter allocated the tragedy survivors and the deceased relatives to observe the trials of the accused persons (Rappoport 25).
In relation to Hammond and Hinman the Oklahoma tragedy sparked conspiracies that have continuously affected the United States. Generally, this comprises of foreign involvement, unidentified co-conspirators, presence of extra explosives, and a number of other concerns. Just like the other conspiracy theories in the United States, the Oklahoma bombing theory will circulate in the nation for many other years to come ( 3). On the other hand, the bomb attack has impacted the United States society since it was politicized by Bill Clinton the former U.S president, spurring a proceeding attempt to represent political opponents and their talk as a threat to the security of the United States. Apparently, the former U. S president linked the domestic attacked to speeches initially made by his political opponents. Bill Clinton referred to his opponents speeches as “hate speech” that encouraged the bombing. According to Rappoport the 2009 report by the Homeland Security Department, it is crystal clear that political opposition will always be viewed the federal government as potential source of domestic violence.
The effects of the Oklahoma Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing were widely spread and exposed to most people who lived in the metropolitan region surrounding the city of Oklahoma. The psychological effects on the victims were high, though decreasing; they persisted for more than a year down the line. As national and international terrorism attacks continue to be on the rise, it’s essential to understand the consequences or effects of such cruel acts and establish programs of that can help post-trauma victims (11).
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