RAID ON RUBY RIDGE
The Randy Weaver story began sometime in 1989. There is no record as to when the ATF decided to target Randy Weaver for an "illegal weapons" sale. We do know that on October 24, 1989, he sold two shotguns, the barrels of which might have been 1/4" under the 18" minimum "legal" length.
The two 12ga. shotguns, one an H&R single shot and the other a Remington pump, were sold to a "good friend" who asked Weaver to shorten the barrels. Weaver did not know the "good friend" was an undercover ATF informant.
For reasons of their own, ATF did nothing for 8 months. Then Weaver was approached by two ATF agents who made him "an offer he couldn't refuse." That offer was to spy on the Aryan Nations or go to jail. Weaver refused to be intimidated. Six months later he was indicted on the weapons charge.
On January 17, 1991, Randy and Vici, his wife, started into town to purchase supplies. They came across a pickup truck with its hood up. The vehicle appeared stalled. A man and a woman flagged Weaver down. As Randy stepped out of his ehicle, ATF agents swarmed out of the camper on the back of the "stalled" pickup. They knocked Vici to the ground and placed a cocked 9mm pistol against Randy's neck.
Weaver was then taken before a federal magistrate for arraignment. It was later learned that the magistrate cited the wrong law in charging Weaver. Weaver was released on bond. He and Vici returned to their cabin, vowing never to have any more dealings with the federal court system.
A hearing was placed on the docket of the Federal Court in Moscow, Idaho. Weaver was notified by letter to appear on march 20, 1991. Unfortunately, the actual hearing date was February 20, 1991. The U.S. Marshall Service believed, at this point, that the case was a bust. But when Weaver failed to appear in March, U.S. Attorney Ron Howen decided to take a chance and go to the grand jury. Weaver was indicted for failure to appear.
Normal procedure would have been to revoke Weaver's bail bond, issue an arrest warrant an pick Weaver up. Instead, the Marshall Service began what they referred to as "Operation Northern Exposure." The operation consisted of teams of marshals hidden around the cabin, jet reconnaissance over flights for aerial photo analysis by the Defense mapping Agency and high revolution video which was used to gather 160 hours of film. This surveillance went on for sixteen months at a cost of $13,000 a week.
Finally, the Marshal Service brought in U.S. Marshal William Degan to
"plan a successful conclusion of the job."
Degan, a member of the Special Operations Group, was leading the assault on August 21, 1992. The marshals were dressed in camouflage uniforms and face masks. They were armed with semi-automatic pistols and M16s. Degan carried a suppressed MS5 light machine gun.
Knowing that the Weaver's owned dogs, the marshals tossed some rocks toward the cabin. Striker, Sammy Weaver's golden retriever, barked and went to the noise. Sammy and Kevin Harris thought Striker had jumper a deer. They picked up their rifles and followed to dog.
Suddenly a marshal fired a burst and killed Striker. Sammy fired toward the agent. Randy heard the gun fire and yelled at Sammy to return to the cabin. Sammy answer "I'm coming ,Dad." He turned and started running toward the cabin when Degan cut him down with a burst from his machine gun. One bullet hit Sammy in the arm, a second hit the boy in the back, killing him instantly. Kevin Harris, using a bolt
action Remington 721, shot William Degan in the chest. Degan died almost instantly.
Randy, Vici and their daughters were still at the cabin. Keep in mind that Harris' shot killing Degan was the last shot fired by anyone not a federal agent.
Later that day, under the cover of darkness, Harris and Randy went out and recovered Sammy's body. They placed it in the out-building adjacent to the cabin. They then washed the body, then returned to the cabin.
At this point, any honorable intentions the government may have had were abandoned. With a boy and a marshal dead, the government spinmeisters went into high gear. The feds spent the next 16 months, from the beginning of the siege until the Weaver/Harris trial in Federal court painting Randy as a racist (white supremacist vs. a separatist), an anti-semitic and a criminal. They magically transformed his 2x4 and plywood shack into a "mountain fortress" then a bunker and finally a
"stronghold protected by a cache of 15 weapons and ammunition capable of piercing armored personnel carriers." As a matter of fact, none of Weaver's firearms are on the list of banned "assault weapons" in the Crime Control Act of 1994.
The marshals told the press that Harris fired first and that he had kept them pinned down with one bolt action rifle against full-auto M16s and MS5 light machine guns.
Degan's death triggered a call that brought in reinforcements. Soon Weaver's cabin was surrounded by FBI, ATF, U.S. marshals, Idaho State and local police plus National Guard troops.
Richard Rogers was in command of the contingent of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team2 which were deployed as snipers around the cabin. Rogers, while in flight to Ruby Ridge, rewrote the "Rules for Engagement." Normally, federal law enforcement personnel may fire only when facing death or grievous harm. This is generally taken to mean they will return fire but not initiate it. Rogers new orders were literally a death warrant for the adults, both male and female.
The new rules read:
"If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement is made, deadly force can and should be employed to neutralize the individual."
The new rules further stated "If any male is observed with a weapon prior to the announcement, deadly force can and should be employed if the shot can be taken without endangering the children."
Gene Glenn, the FBI agent in overall command, told the New york Times that Weaver was holding the children hostage. This is the same ploy the Feds later used at Waco.
The Feds still did not have any negotiators present nor had any attempt be made to contact the Weavers when Randy, Sara, his oldest daughter and Kevin harris left the cabin to go to the shed were Sammy's body lay.
The FBI sniper, Lon Horiuchi, would later testify in court that he "could hit within a ¬" of a mark at 200" yards. But on this date his shooting was no were near that good. Horiuchi placed the scope cross hairs on Randy Weaver's spine just below the where the neck and shoulders joined. The bullet missed its mark and hit him in the arm instead. When asked in court did he intend to kill Weaver, Horiuchi
answered "Yes, sir."
Sara jumped between her father and Horiuchi. She later told Jess Walters, a reporter for the 'Spokesman Review', "If they were going to shoot someone, I was going to make them shoot a kid."
Sara continued to shield her father and pushed him back to the cabin with Harris following. Sara and Randy moved past Vici who was standing in the cabin doorway. As Harris moved by Vici, who was holding their 10 month old daughter, Horiuchi fired again, striking Vici in the head. Bone fragments from her skull struck Kevin Harris, critically wounding him.
Later, the FBI made several contradictory statements. In an internal report, the FBI indicated that Vici was indeed the intended target. This seems to be verified by the claim made by Bo Gritz, a former Viet Nam war hero called in to negotiate at Weaver's insistence. Gritz stated that he had seen a FBI profile which instructed the agents "to take Vici Weaver out if the opportunity arose." They told the press
that they did not know Horiuchi had killed Vici Weaver, but they also told a 'New York Times' stringer they were "using a listening device that allowed them to hear conversations, and even heard the baby's cries in the cabin."
Jess Walter's story of his interview with Sara Weaver continued "Elisheba cried all night. She was saying 'Mama, mama, mama.' Dad was crying and saying 'I know baby. Your momma's gone."
And like Waco, the FBI began a pyops operation; that is psychological warfare. "They come out late at night and say, 'Come out and talk to us, Mrs. Weaver,' or 'Good morning, Randall. How'd you sleep? We're having pancakes. What are you having?"
After word of Vici's death got out to the media, the Feds claimed she was killed "in an exchange of gunfire." But the only gunfire had been the two shots fire by agent Horiuchi.
Kevin harris' condition continued to worsen, and on August 30, 1992 he surrendered. The following day Randy Weaver walked out of the cabin and gave up.
The federal agencies continued to vilify Weaver and Harris to the press. They apparently believed if they could convict Weaver in the press, they could convict him in court.
Gerry Spence, the lawyer for both Harris and Weaver, did not put on any defense. Instead, he merely cross examined the federal agents. The half-truths and out-right lies told under oath convinced the jury to find Weaver guilty of only one charge, failure to appear in court on the very same weapons charge they found him not guilty of committing. Harris also was found not guilty. Rather, the jury found that the Weaver/Harris' had acted in self defense.
To this very day, the AFT and FBI continue to lie to the news media and the public over their actions at Ruby Ridge. This can not be tolerated for any reason.
1 A shotgun barrel under 18" is not illegal. Under the National Firearms Act of 1934, it does require the firearm be registered with the ATF and a fee be paid. The Supreme Court case of the U.S. vs Staples in 1939 was over non-payment of the fee, not the legality of "sawed-off" shotguns.
2 The FBI Hostage Rescue Teams were under Larry Pott's supervision at Ruby Ridge. Agent Richard Rogers was AIC during the siege, but this does not mitigate Pott's responsibility, especially since he used the same tactics during the Waco Invasion.
The National Rifleman
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
Guns & Ammo Magazine
The Spokesman Review
The San Antonio Express-News
American Men stand, especially Texas Men and as I said yesterday, such is coming 'round again.