Posts tagged with "Oklahoma City bombing"

Terror is ‘still with us’: AG Garland warns of domestic terrorism at Oklahoma City bombing memorial

April 20, 2021

The terrorism that led to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City almost three decades ago has morphed into a heightened threat from domestic violent extremists, Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday, April 19, in his first major public address, Bloomberg reports.

Garland, who oversaw the prosecution of bomber Timothy McVeigh and accomplice Terry Nichols, marked the 26th anniversary of the of the most deadly domestic assault in U.S. history—offering a stark reminder that the brand of terror unleashed by the bombers is “still with us, ” USA Today noted.

“It was night, but you would not have known it,” Garland told survivors and officials gathered on the grounds of the downtown memorial. “Bright lights lit the site up as if it were midday. The front of the (Alfred P.) Murrah Building was gone. The parking lot across the street still held cars that had been flattened by the blast.”

Garland’s remarks came just over three months since the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—a stunning assault that has highlighted a reinvigorated domestic extremist movement. As in Oklahoma City more than two decades ago, Garland now oversees a far-reaching investigation into the siege that has so far resulted in charges against more than 400 people, USA Today said

The attorney general did not directly refer to the Capitol attack, but he cited a recent FBI warning in its aftermath of the “ongoing and heightened threat posed by domestic violent extremists.”

“Those of us who were in Oklahoma City in April 1995 do not need any warning; the  hatred expressed by domestic violent extremists is the opposite of the Oklahoma Standard,” Garland said, recalling the city’s response to the bombing and its continuing campaign against hate. “This memorial is a monument to a community that will not allow hate and division to win.”

Garland, who arrived in Oklahoma City just two days after the attack, has often described his association with the case and a deeply wounded community as “the most important thing I have ever done in my life.”

Indeed, USA Today noted, throughout the investigation and beyond, Garland was known to carry a list of the victims in his briefcase.

That connection was on display throughout his remarks Monday, when his voice quavered at times and paused to collect his emotions, the news outlet reported.

“Oklahoma City, you are always in my heart,” he said.

Research contact: USATODAY

Merrick Garland is confirmed as U.S. attorney general

March 12, 2021

The U.S. Senate voted 70-30 on March 11 to confirm Merrick Garland as the Biden Administration’s attorney general—putting a respected jurist and experienced former prosecutor in charge of a Justice Department poised to confront a rising threat of domestic extremism amid a nationwide reckoning on race and policing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Garland, 68 years old, was hailed by both Democrats and Republicans as uniquely equipped to restore morale, stability and institutional integrity to a Justice Department roiled by political storms during the Trump Administration.

Twenty Republicans—led by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)—joined all 50 Senate Democrats in confirming Garland. As majority leader just before Trump’s term in office, McConnell had blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016.

Now minority leader, McConnell said in a statement before the vote: “I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland because of his long reputation as a straight shooter and legal expert. His left-of-center perspective has been within the legal mainstream.”

According to the Journal, Garland, who spent 24 years on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was sworn in on Thursday. He has said he would combat extremist violence and make a first priority of an extensive federal investigation into the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

He has cited his own experience overseeing prosecutions into several major acts of domestic terrorism, including the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. A senior Justice Department official at the time, Garland was personally involved in the investigation, which he has said solidified for him the urgency and complexity of the domestic terror threat.

While the investigation into the January 6 attack is expected to continue largely unchanged under new leadership, Garland will oversee what is expected to be a dramatic shift in the Justice Department’s approach to a series of other issues—from civil-rights enforcement and police reform, to the use of the federal death penalty,and the level of discretion prosecutors have in charging crimes.

Garland said during his confirmation hearing that he would pursue strong enforcement of civil-rights laws—focusing on hate-crimes prosecutions, voting rights, and the equitable treatment of minorities in the criminal-justice system after last year’s nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

He said he planned to address “the problem of mass incarceration” and signaled that his Justice Department would show leniency for some lower-level drug offenders, reversing Trump administration policy.

Garland also expressed deep skepticism about the use of the federal death penalty, which Trump officials revived after a nearly 20-year hiatus and President Joe Biden has said he would end.

Research contact: @WSJ