Statement of Eric Rudolph
Listening to the many victims of the Centennial Park bombing, I cannot began to truly understand the pain that I have inflicted upon these innocent people. Many people have asked me why I did it. Many people have asked how I did it. While I harbor no illusions that it may cause any of those people who have suffered as a result of the Centennial Park blast to understand or forgive my actions, I will try to answer these questions, and I hope that an explanation and an apology may at least give them closure if not forgiveness.
In the summer of 1996, the world converged upon Atlanta for the Olympic Games. Under the protection and auspices of the regime in Washington, millions of people came to celebrate the ideals of global socialism. Multinational corporations invested billions of dollars, and Washington organized an army of security to protect the games. The purpose of the attack on July 27th at Centennial Park was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.
The plan was to force the cancellation of the Games, or at least create a state of insecurity to empty the streets around the venues and thereby eat into the vast amounts of money invested. The plan was conceived in haste and carried out with limited resources, planning and preparation — it was a monster that kept getting out of control the more I got into it. Because I could not acquire the necessary high explosives, I had to dismiss the unrealistic notion of knocking down the power grid surrounding Atlanta and thereby pulling the plug on the Olympics for their duration.
The plan that I finally settled upon was to use five separate low-tech timed explosives to be placed one at a time on successive days throughout the Olympic schedule, each preceded by a 40 to 50 minute warning call to 911, giving the location and time of detonation. My intent was to thereby allow each area to be cleared, leaving only uniformed, arms-carrying government personnel exposed to potential injury.
The attacks were to have commenced with the start of the Olympics, but due to a lack of planning this was postponed a week. I sincerely hoped to achieve my objectives without harming innocent civilians. However, I knew that the use of explosives in the park was risky and could potentially lead to a disaster wherein many civilians could be killed or wounded. There is no excuse for this. I accept full responsibility for the consequences of using this dangerous tactic.
I placed the first and largest device in Centennial Park. There was a 55 minute delay on the device. After placing the device it took approximately 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the telephone booth, where I immediately called 911. The 911 operator answered the call and acknowledged that she could understand my voice. However, as I proceeded to deliver my message, the operator terminated my call, much to my chagrin.
I had to assume that the call had been traced, and that in less than a few minutes a responder would be headed to that particular telephone booth. So I walked approximately one block and frantically sought out another telephone to make another call. I was not paying attention to the time as the minutes ticked off. From a telephone by the Days Inn, I then tried to deliver a clear message while holding my nose. The crowd was pushing in and after the first couple sentences, I was closely eyeballed by at least two individuals. This caused me to leave off the last sentence which indicated the exact location of the device. The result of all this was to produce a disaster—a disaster of my making.
After the blast and the consequent chaos, I decided to discontinue the operation. I hurried back to the vacant lot I had used as a staging area, which was east of Atlanta on I-20. Off to the right side of the interstate was what appeared to be a huge vacant lot with woods and bulldozing excavations. Amid the piles of illegal garbage dumpings, I primed and detonated the other fours devices and left Atlanta with much remorse.
The second 911 call that was made on the night of the Centennial Park bombing is the only call that has been made public. After the plea agreement in April of this year, I requested that Washington search its records for the first 911 call. The prosecution indeed found the call and finally gave us a copy of the tape-recorded call. Absent the release of this tape, thinking that only one call was made to 911 some 20 minutes before the explosion, it may have been logical to assume that the purpose of the second call was to deceive any first-responders as to the exact time of detonation. This was not my purpose. I made the calls with the purpose of clearing the park of civilians. I did not intend to deceive the first-responders. The second call was made in a frantic haste. The disparity of time between the second 911 call and the actual time of detonation was a result of my not paying attention to the time and was not deliberate.
I offer this not as an excuse for the carnage produced by my actions that night. This is merely my attempt to set the record straight. The responsibility for what took place that night in the park belongs to me and me alone. Despite my belief in the justice of my cause, despite the mishandling of the 911 call, the choice to use that particular tactic was mine, and I accept full responsibility for the consequences. I fully realize that all of this may be no consolation to the victims who suffered as a result of my actions, but I would do anything to take back that night.
To these victims, I apologize.