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Vidal and the McVeigh Execution On May 5, 2001, Gore Vidal announced that he would attend Timothy McVeigh's execution in Indiana and write a piece about it for Vanity Fair. As it turned out, Vidal did not attend the execution because he didn't have enough time to get to the U.S. from Italy after McVeigh - on Friday, June 8 - abruptly ended his appeals, thus allowing the June 11 execution to take place. Most observers thought McVeigh would get a stay as his appeals worked their way through the courts.
For people interested in this issue as it relates to Vidal, I've put together a list of links to stories I've found on the web. Needless to say, if a site takes down its story, then the link will no longer be good.
Vidal and McVeigh made contact after Vidal wrote a piece on the drug war and the loss of freedom in America for Vanity Fair in November 1998. Vidal's post-execution piece on McVeigh - which includes excerpts from their correspondence - appears in the September 2001 issue of the magazine. And Vidal's book on the World Trade Center attack has more material about his relationship with McVeigh.
The first story, from The Oklahoman (5/5/2001)
Soon after the piece in The Oklahoman appeared, The Associated Press broke the story internationally.
A piece from The Washington Post (5/6/2001)
A piece from the Spanish newspaper El Pais (5/7/2001)
Here's a report from the Russian newspaper Pravda in English.
A story on the ABC News website (5/8/2001)
Writer Justin Raimondo defends Vidal in an essay on antwar.com.
And Versluys also defends Vidal in this on-line essay in The Texas Mercury.
Vidal defends McVeigh at the Edinburgh Book Festival, as reported in The Guardian. Or you can read the actual interview from the festival.
A report on Vidal's post-execution Vanity Fair article in The Times of London.
In an editorial, the Omaha World-Herald takes issue with Vidal.
On a related matter, here is a list of articles that examine Vidal's views on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
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