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Unabomber sketch

Post, Times publish Unabomber's manifesto

They hope to stop fatal bombings

September 19, 1995
Web posted at: 12:05 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Inside Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post, readers are finding an unusual insert: an eight-page, 35,000 word diatribe against technology written by the so-called Unabomber. The joint publication by the Post and the New York Times fulfills a demand of the unknown writer, who threatened to send another bomb "with intent to kill" if his document were not published in its entirety.

The Justice Department said Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh recommended the publication out of "concern for public safety." "Neither paper would have printed this document for journalistic reasons," Washington Post publisher Donald E. Graham said in the newspaper Tuesday. And New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger said, "It's awfully hard to put too much faith in the words of someone with the record of violence the Unabomber has." But he said, "you print it and he doesn't kill anyone else; that's a pretty good deal. You print it and he continues to kill people. What have you lost? The cost of newsprint?"

NYT statement

The Post article said the two newspapers received the Unabomber's work at the end of June and consulted with Reno and Freeh before making their decision. The manifesto was published in the Post because, unlike the Times, the Washington paper has the mechanical ability to distribute a special section in all copies of the daily paper. The papers are splitting the cost, estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.

For 17 years, the unknown suspect has been carrying on a mail bombing campaign targeting university professors, airline officials and others. His bombs have killed three people and injured 23. The last time he struck was in April, when a bomb killed a California timber industry lobbyist.

newspaper copy

The Unabomber's document calls for an end to the industrial revolution and a return to "wild nature." Among the complaints:

"The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. ... They have ... destabilized society, ... led to widespread psychological suffering ... and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world."

"We, therefore, advocate a revolution against the industrial system, ... not to be a political revolution."

"One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism. ... [W]e have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, 'politically correct' types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal-rights activists and the like."

"The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way. ... Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc."

"The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values."

The FBI believes the Unabomber was a student of the history of science in the late 1970s in the Chicago area, then moved to Utah and northern California.

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