Ruby Ridge Story

by JASON | 6:45 PM in |

I suspect few government officials realized in 1992 the widespread anger and resentment their actions in a remote area of Idaho would inspire. Randy Weaver and his family were just some more "troublemakers" who didn't like the multicultural cesspool and wanted to be left alone. They would be "taken down hard and fast."

While most of the American sheeple paid no attention to this atrocity, a substantial minority on both sides of the political spectrum were outraged and wouldn't forget. Now the story continues.

Please note that, damning as the Justice Department investigation is, FBI officials are now believed to have destroyed evidence to keep it away from investigators.

Don Black

The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 1995, p. A14.

Ruby Ridge: The Justice Report

By James Bovard

The 1992 confrontation between federal agents and the Randy Weaver family in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, has become one of the most controversial and widely discussed examples of the abuse of federal power. The Justice Department completed a 542-page investigation on the case last year but has not yet made the report public. However, the report was acquired by Legal Times newspaper, which this week placed the text on the Internet. The report reveals that federal officials may have acted worse than even some of their harshest critics imagined.

This case began after Randy Weaver was entrapped, as an Idaho jury concluded, by an undercover Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent to sell him sawed-off shotguns.

While federal officials have claimed that the violent confrontation between the Weavers and the government began when the Weavers ambushed federal marshals, the report tells a very different story. A team of six U.S. marshals, split into two groups, trespassed onto Mr. Weaver's land on Aug. 21, 1992. One of the marshals threw rocks at the Weaver's cabin to see how much noise was required to agitate the Weaver's dogs. A few minutes later, Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris, and 13-year-old Sammy Weaver came out of the cabin and began following their dogs. Three U.S. marshals were soon tearing through the woods.

At one point, U.S. Marshal Larry Cooper "told the others that it was ['expletive deleted'] for them to continue running and that he did not want to 'run down the trail and get shot in the back.' He urged them to take up defensive positions. The others agreed.... William Degan ... took a position behind a stump...."

As Sammy Weaver and Kevin Harris came upon the marshals, gunfire erupted. Sammy was shot in the back and killed while running away from the scene (probably by Marshal Cooper, according to the report), and Marshal Degan was killed by Mr. Harris. The jury concluded that Mr. Harris's action was legitimate self-defense; the Justice report concluded it was impossible to know who shot first.

Several places in the report deal with the possibility of a government coverup. After the firefight between the marshals and the Weavers and Mr. Harris, the surviving marshals were taken away to rest and recuperate. The report observed, "We question the wisdom of keeping the marshals together at the condominium for several hours, while awaiting interviews with the FBI. Isolating them in that manner created the appearance and generated allegations that they were fabricating stories and colluding to cover up the true circumstances of the shootings."

After the death of the U.S. marshal, the FBI was called in. A source of continuing fierce debate across America is: Did the FBI set out to apprehend and arrest Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris -- or simply to kill them? Unfortunately, the evidence from the Justice Department report is damning in the extreme on this count.

The report noted, "We have been told by observers on the scene that law enforcement personnel made statements that the matter would be handled quickly and that the situation would be 'taken down hard and fast.' " The FBI issued Rules of Engagement that declared that its snipers "can and should" use deadly force against armed males outside the cabin.

The report noted that a member of an FBI SWAT team from Denver "remembered the Rules of Engagement as 'if you see 'em, shoot 'em.' " The task force report noted, "since those Rules which contained 'should' remained in force at the crisis scene for days after the August 22 shooting, it is inconceivable to us that FBI Headquarters remained ignorant of the exact wording of the Rules of Engagement during that entire period."

The report concluded that the FBI Rules of Engagement at Ruby Ridge flagrantly violated the U.S. Constitution: "The Constitution allows no person to become 'fair game' for deadly force without law enforcement evaluating the threat that person poses, even when, as occurred here, the evaluation must be made in a split second." The report portrays the rules of engagement as practically a license to kill: "The Constitution places the decision on whether to use deadly force on the individual agent; the Rules attempted to usurp this responsibility."

FBI headquarters rejected an initial operation plan because there was no provision to even attempt to negotiate the surrender of the suspects. The plan was revised to include a negotiation provision -- but subsequent FBI action made that provision a nullity. FBI snipers took their positions around the Weaver cabin a few minutes after 5 p.m. on Aug. 22. Within an hour, every adult in the cabin was either dead or severely wounded -- even though they had not fired a shot at any FBI agent.

Randy Weaver, Mr. Harris, and 16-year-old Sara Weaver stepped out of the cabin a few minutes before 6 p.m. to go to the shed where Sammy's body lay. FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Randy Weaver in the back. As Randy Weaver, Mr. Harris, and Sara Weaver struggled to get back into the cabin, Vicki Weaver stood in the cabin doorway holding a baby. Agent Horiuchi fired again; his bullet passed through a window in the door, hit Vicki Weaver in the head, killing her instantly, and then hit Mr. Harris in the chest.

At the subsequent trial, the government claimed that Messrs. Weaver and Harris were shot because they had threatened to shoot at a helicopter containing FBI officials. Because of insufficient evidence, the federal judge threw out the charge that Messrs. Weaver and Harris threatened the helicopter. The Justice report noted, "The SIOC [Strategic Information and Operations Center at FBI headquarters] Log indicates that shots were fired during the events of August 22.... We have found no evidence during this inquiry that shots fired at any helicopter during the Ruby Ridge crisis. The erroneous entry was never corrected." (The Idaho jury found Messrs. Weaver and Harris innocent on almost all charges.)

The Justice Department task force expressed grave doubts about the wisdom of the FBI strategy: "From information received at the Marshals Service, FBI management had reason to believe that the Weaver/Harris group would respond to a helicopter in the vicinity of the cabin by coming outside with firearms. Notwithstanding this knowledge, they placed sniper/observers on the adjacent mountainside with instructions that they could and should shoot armed members of the group, if they came out of the cabin. Their use of the helicopter near the cabin invited an accusation that the helicopter was intentionally used to draw the Weaver group out of the cabin."

The task force was extremely critical of Agent Horiuchi's second shot: "Since the exchange of gunfire [the previous day], no one at the cabin had fired a shot. Indeed, they had not even returned fire in response to Horiuchi's first shot. Furthermore, at the time of the second shot, Harris and others outside the cabin were retreating, not attacking. They were not retreating to an area where they would present a danger to the public at large...."

Regarding Agent Horiuchi's killing of Vicki Weaver, the task force concluded, "[B]y fixing his cross hairs on the door when he believed someone was behind it, he placed the children and Vicki Weaver at risk, in violation of even the special Rules of Engagement.... In our opinion he needlessly and unjustifiably endangered the persons whom he thought might be behind the door."

The Justice Department task force was especially appalled that the adults were gunned down before receiving any warning or demand to surrender: "While the operational plan included a provision for a surrender demand, that demand was not made until after the shootings.... The lack of a planned 'call out' as the sniper/observers deployed is significant because the Weavers were known to leave the cabin armed when vehicles or airplanes approached. The absence of such a plan subjected the Government to charges that it was setting Weaver up for attack."
http://www.stormfront.org/ruby.htm

One of our governments favorite activities is spying on it's own citizens. They don't care for being hindered by such things as the Bill of Rights, and the FBI has been censured by Congress several times for illegal investigations. Along these lines, the BATF sent informant Kenneth Fadeley to pose as a gun dealer to spy on groups that opposed opressive government in Idaho. The BATF targeted Randy Weaver to be set up. In October 1989, Fadeley approached Weaver posing as someone interested in purchasing sawed-off shotguns. Fadeley approached Weaver and pressured the mountain man to sell him sawed-off shotguns. Mr. Weaver at first refused, but the agent was persistent and Mr. Weaver eventually sold him two shotguns, thereby violating federal firearms law. They set up a trial date, but Weaver would not deal with with federal gestapo. To justify a militaristic retaliation, BATF agents lied to the U.S. attorney's office. BATF agents claimed that Weaver had a criminal record and that he was a suspect in several bank robberies.

Both charges were fabrications, even according to BATF Director John Magaw, who admitted the accusations were "inexcusable" in testimony before Congress.The U.S. attorney's office indicted Weaver on weapons charges in May 1990.Weaver was arraigned in January 1991. After missing his February 1991 court date, Weaver was indicted in March 1991 on charges of refusing to appear in court. When federal agents set up Randy Weaver on minor weapons violations, Weaver refused to show up in court for the charge, instead holing up with his wife and four children in his mountain cabin on Ruby Ridge, forty miles south of the Canadian border. A Justice Department attorney got an arrest warrant for Weaver, despite knowing that a court official notified Weaver of an incorrect court date. (Weaver wasn't going to show up anyway.) For the charge of refusing to appear in court for a minor weapons violation, the government conducted a military siege of Ruby Ridge worthy of a small war. As reported by James Bovard in the January 10, 1995 Wall Street Journal, after Weaver's February 1991 missed court appearance, Federal agents then launched an elaborate 18-month surveillance of Mr. Weaver's cabin and land. David Niven, a defense lawyer involved in the subsequent court case, noted later: "The U.S. marshals called in military aerial reconnaissance and had photos studied by the Defense Mapping Agency. ... They had psychological profiles performed and installed $130,000 worth of solar-powered long-range spy cameras. They intercepted the Weavers' mail. They even knew the menstrual cycle of Weaver's teenage daughter, and planned an arrest scenario around it."

On August 21, 1992, the siege began in earnest. Six U.S. marshals, armed and camouflaged, went onto Weaver's property to conduct undercover surveillance. When Weaver's dogs started barking, they shot one of them. Weaver's 25-year-old friend Kevin Harris and 14-year-old son Sammy saw the dog die. Sammy Weaver fired his gun towards the agents as his dad yelled for him to come back to the cabin. "I'm coming, Dad," were Sammy Weaver's last words before he was shot in the back and killed by a U.S. marshal. Kevin Harris, witnessing the agents' killing of the dog and child, fired at the agents in self-defense, killing one of them. After the initial shootout, the Weavers and Harris retreated into their cabin, and a small army surrounded the area. Says Bovard: "the commander of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team was called in, and ordered federal agents to shoot any armed adult outside the Weaver cabin, regardless of whether that person was doing anything to threaten or menace federal agents. (Thanks to the surveillance, federal officials knew that the Weavers always carried guns when outside their cabin.)" Against a handful of rural Idahoans with shotguns, the U.S. arrayed four hundred federal agents with automatic weapons, sniper rifles and night vision scopes. On August 22, 1992, Randy Weaver went to see his son's body in the shack where it lay. He was shot and wounded from behind by FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi. As Weaver struggled back to his house, Horiuchi assassinated his wife Vicki as she stood in the doorway, holding their 10-month-old baby. Although the feds later claimed Vicki Weaver's killing was an accident, the New York Times reported in 1993 that an internal FBI report justified the killing by saying she put herself in danger.
http://www.geocities.com/northstarzone/RIDGE.html

Latest updates on the case...
http://www.ruby-ridge.com/

More info...
http://scribblguy.50megs.com/rubyridge.htm



















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