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Bomb victim's father: 'We got 'em, Kenny Ray'

LAMAR, Missouri (CNN) -- When the U.S. Embassy in Kenya was bombed in 1998, Kenneth R. Hobson lost his only son, Army Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. Hobson II.

Hobson, 27, was a member of the military attache's office at the embassy in Nairobi. On the day of the attack he had just learned his next assignment would be at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France -- a career goal for Hobson and his wife Sherry, who learned two weeks later that she was pregnant.

His 58-year-old father is a retired police officer who lives in Lamar, Missouri. He spoke to CNN.com writer Thom Patterson after Tuesday's verdicts in the embassy bombings trial.

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PATTERSON: What were your first feelings when you heard the verdicts?

HOBSON: First feelings were, I looked at a picture of my son up here on the wall, gave it a thumbs up and said, 'We got 'em Kenny Ray, they found them guilty.' And I had a feeling of relief to a point that, hopefully it would slow down bin Laden and his organization. I now doubt that it will.

PATTERSON: What do you expect to happen next in the case?

HOBSON: With our form of government and appeals and thinks it's just the start of a drawn-out situation. But still it was relief to know that they did find the fact that these guys are connected to bin Laden and our government's always said he was responsible.

So now we have the proof that these guys are guilty of it and they're connected to him so now we need to go get him. And, in my opinion -- of course, I'm a Vietnam veteran -- we need to go to Afghanistan and tell that government to turn him over, give them so many hours to do it and if they don't, take our military and our resources and go to them and take it up with them until they turn him over. And I mean flat blow the hell out of them. Take the military in there and do it. And we have the capabilities.

PATTERSON: Do you favor the death penalty in this case?

HOBSON: Definitely. My son got the death penalty and he wasn't doing anything wrong. These guys need the death penalty, all four of them need it. Our taxpayers don't need to feed these creeps for life and give them a law library and recreational facilities and a color TV. They need to be put to death. If it makes martyrs out of them, I don't care.

PATTERSON: Would such an operation mounted by the United States be worth the possible negative reactions from nations that might tend to side with bin Laden?

HOBSON: I don't care. We're supposedly the biggest, strongest government in the world. International people don't like it, tell them to kiss our butts and go ahead and do it. If we don't, it shows that we're not capable of protecting our people and our resources and it's going to keep going on. They're going to keep doing it. If international people don't like it -- the other countries -- you know -- our allies will stick by us. If the Mideast countries don't like it, you know, too bad. That's the problem with us, that's why we're over there peacekeeping. They can't take care of their own, they have to rely on us.

PATTERSON: Where does the verdict leave you in your grieving process?

HOBSON: The grieving process will never be over. We have our granddaughters -- his oldest daughter's 5 and the youngest daughter is 2. We have them, but the grieving process will probably never be over because of Kenny.


Greta@LAW






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