It’s been 30 years since the Top. Men. did what they do best. Frame then kill US citizens. Who knew at the time that they were just getting warmed up? Some of is did anyways.
by Lloyd Billingsley
This month marks 30 years since Ruby Ridge, one of those events that, as Dan Gelernter explains, the FBI prefers Americans to ignore. That attitude invites a look at those events, as described by the victims of FBI violence.
Army veteran Randy Weaver believed the world had become corrupt and dangerous, so he chose to be a survivalist. In 1983, Weaver built a cabin in the remote Ruby Ridge area of northern Idaho and lived there with his wife Vicky, daughters Sara and Elisheba, son Samuel, and family friend Kevin Harris.
Weaver held anti-government views but was not a member of the Aryan Nations. The federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms sought to make Weaver an informant among the group and when Weaver refused he was arrested. This led to a standoff in which U.S. Marshal William Degan and Weaver’s son Samuel, 14, were both killed.
This brought in the FBI, which deployed some 400 heavily armed agents, helicopters, and armored personnel carriers against a single family. The rules of engagement allowed deadly force against any family member seen with a firearm, but in effect it was an order of shoot on sight.
“On August 21, 1992,” Randy Weaver later testified,
federal marshals shot my son Samuel in the back and killed him. He was running home to me. His last words were, ‘I’m coming, Dad.’ They shot his little arm almost off and they killed him by shooting him in the back with a 9-millimeter submachine gun. The gun had a silencer on it. He was not wanted for any crime. He did not commit any crime. The marshals killed his dog right at his feet. He only tried to defend himself and his dog.
Sammy was just 14 years old. He did not yet weigh 80 pounds. He was not yet 5 feet tall. The marshals who killed Sammy were grown men. They were in combat gear. They had their faces painted with camouflage. They were wearing full camouflage suits with black ninja-type hoods. They were carrying machine guns and large caliber semi automatic pistols. They were trained to kill. Two of them were hiding behind trees and rocks in the woods where they could not be seen. The third was around a bend in the trail in thick forest. They were under direct orders from Washington to do nothing to injure the children. They were to have no contact or confrontation with me or my family. They killed him anyway in violation of their orders.
One day later, Vicki Weaver was holding infant daughter Elisheba in the cabin doorway when FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot the unarmed mother in the face, killing her instantly. Snipers are trained carefully “to acquire” the target, so there is little chance the shooting was accidental.
“On August 22, 1992,” Randy Weaver later testified,
completely without warning of any kind, an FBI sniper shot and killed my wife Vicki. He was using a .308 caliber sniper rifle with a specially weighted barrel and 10-power scope. He was using match grade ammunition. He had years of training to kill. I heard him testify at the trial that he wanted to kill. He shot my wife in the head and killed her. She was not wanted for any crime. There were no warrants for her arrest. At the time she was gunned down, she was helpless. She was standing in the doorway of her home. She was holding the door open for me and Sara and for Kevin Harris. She was holding Elisheba, our 10-month-old baby girl, in her arms. As the bullet crashed through her head, she slumped to her knees, holding Elisheba so she would not drop her. We took the baby from her as she lay dead and bleeding on our kitchen floor.
Louis Freeh, the Clinton pick for FBI boss, expressed “regret and sorrow for Mrs. Weaver’s death,” which was “tragic but accidental.” For Freeh, a former federal judge, the sniper’s second shot was “constitutional.”
Freeh also referred to the “murder” of Degan, which was inaccurate given the 1993 trial that acquitted Weaver and Harris of that charge. “Serious mistakes occurred with regard to the Ruby Ridge incident,” testified Freeh, who promoted Larry Potts, the agent in charge, to deputy director of the FBI, only to demote him when controversy ensued.
Attorney General William Barr spent two weeks organizing former attorney generals to defend FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, whose kill-shot on Vicki Weaver was “constitutional,” and also an “accident” and one of the many “mistakes” that could have been avoided but weren’t.
FBI snipers also wounded Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris, who was near death when he finally surrendered. In the aftermath, Randy Weaver filed a lawsuit that paid more than $3 million to the family. Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sympathized with the Weaver family, but as the San Francisco Examiner reported, Dianne Feinstein of California “dealt sternly with Weaver, asking whether his children wore Nazi armbands and shouted Nazi slogans at neighbors.”
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