On this edition of Parallax Views, remember the Nashville bombing of Christmas 2020? You may not as it fell down the proverbial memory hole pretty quickly. However, our guest on this edition of the program, Steve O’Keefe, has had the incident on his mind.
O’Keefe has an interesting perspective on the Nashville bombing due to his background: he formerly worked for the controversial publisher Loompanics Unlimited. Loompanics specialized in books that could be described as illegalist literature. They published and or sold such books as The Anarchist Cookbook, the Poor Man’s James Bond series by Kurt Saxon, The Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture by Uncle Fester, Basement Nukes: Basement Nukes the Consequences of Cheap Weapons of Mass Destruction by Erwin S. Strauss, and books related to home-made weapons manufacturing including guns and bombs. Loompanics Unlimited managed to enrage leftists, liberal, libertarians, and rightists alike in the 1980s and 1990s, although it could be said that Loompanics itself was of a individualist anarchist bent in its general political philosophy.
At the beginning of this conversation details the history of Loompanics, the books it published and sold, and tells us a little bit about its publisher Mike Hoy. In doing so Steve lays the groundwork for giving a different perspective on the Nashville bombing based on his editing of books that dealt with illegal activities while working at Loompanics.
Recently, Steve wrote a piece for Counterpunch entitled “The Nashville Bombing, More Than Meets the Eye” which raises questions about the Nashville bombing and the fact that a single, 65 year old man like Anthony Quinn Warner could pull off such an explosion with a simple bomb and an RV. Warner’s actions led to his death as well as the injury of 8 civilians and the destruction of a great amount of property in downtown Nashville. Steve explains in detail the problems that arise from the fact that Warner was, if the account of the events as it is currently understood, acting alone. That said, Steve also argues that Warner may have learned how to pull off the explosion through others and/or a network. Either way, however, Steve believes that the incident is troubling and concerning. Given Steve’s experience editing literature related to bombs, weapons, and illegal activities I think he provides and interesting perspective on the Nashville bombing. This conversation delves into issues related to the AT&T building’s hydrogen material that could’ve allowed for a bigger explosion, the question of how Warner would’ve know about those hydrogen materials, the vulnerabilities of telecommunications facilities like AT&T, asymmetric warfare and terrorism, the tight-lipped response of law enforcement in regards to the bombing, why after the publication of the article Steve has come to believe Warner didn’t build a superbomb, Warner evading the attention of authorities, whether or not Warner worked alone, and much, much more. Additionally we have a bit of an extended discussion later on about Loompanics and whether said books should be protected by the Second Amendment, etc.
NOTE: The views expressed by Steve O’Keefe are his own.