Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 5 Num. 93

("Quid coniuratio est?")

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
[qtd. in Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, 08/27/95] [The following is an abbreviated version]


Based on such erroneous information, without first directly interviewing the marshals involved, without knowledge of the fact that there was a very real possibility that the actions of the marshals precipitated the violence, and fueled by what would later prove to be exaggerated evaluations of the violent nature and risks posed by those within the cabin, an unprecedented order was issued, one that would cost Vicki Weaver her life.

Because a federal officer had been shot and killed, the FBI was called in. The bureau's operation was spearheaded by its Hostage Rescue Team, led by Special Agent Richard Rogers. The operation was managed by Eugene Glenn, senior FBI agent on Ruby Ridge during the siege.

Glenn and Rogers imposed special "rules of engagement" upon the agents at the scene, including the snipers who were to be deployed in a 360-degree array around the cabin. As of about 2:30 on the afternoon of August 22 [1992], agents were told that arrangements were being made to deliver a surrender announcement to the cabin. There were certain rules to be followed before and after the surrender announcement was delivered. These were the "special" rules of engagement, and they were different from anything most of the agents involved had ever heard of.

Before the surrender announcement was delivered, the rules read, "deadly force can and should be employed" against any armed adult male "if the shot can be taken without endangering any children." Once the surrender announcement was delivered, "deadly force can and should be employed if an adult in the compound is observed with a weapon." Rogers himself said he had never operated under rules of engagement such as those employed at Ruby Ridge.

Rogers and Glenn swear they obtained approval from acting Deputy FBI Director Larry Potts and his deputy, Danny Coulson, for these special rules of engagement (the FBI's usual rules allow the use of deadly force only in defense of one's self or others). Potts and Coulson subsequently denied they gave that approval. FBI Director Louis Freeh later said it didn't much matter because no one was operating under those rules.

The Justice Department report indicates otherwise.

Sniper Dale Monroe told Justice Department investigators that he interpreted the rules of engagement as a "green light" to use deadly force.

Most importantly, sniper Lon Horiuchi, who fired the shot that killed Vicki Weaver, acknowledged during his court testimony that, under the rules of engagement, he could and should shoot any adult male, if he had an opportunity.

Horiuchi fired two shots at about 5:58 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, not quite four hours after the special rules of engagement had been put in place and before a surrender statement had been issued to those in the cabin. Horiuchi fired his first shot at Randy Weaver, wounding him in the shoulder. He had seen Weaver and Harris and one young female leave the cabin. As Weaver, Harris and the young woman (16-year-old Sara Weaver) ran back into the cabin, and the door was held open for them to come in, Horiuchi fired again. He was "leading" his target, the second of the running men. Horiuchi's second shot went through the cabin's front door, striking Harris and Vicki Weaver.

The Justice Department report concluded that the special rules of engagement "contain serious constitutional infirmities... the word 'should' (deadly force can and should be employed) strongly encourages the use of deadly force. The use of such language in the rules was unconstitutional..."

"The rules contributed to Horiuchi's decision to take a second shot... The rules in effect were unconstitutional... by 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 second shot violated the Constitution."

The siege went on until Sunday, Aug. 30, when Harris surrendered; the next day, Weaver and his children gave it up and left the cabin. Harris and Weaver were indicted on 10 counts of assault, murder and conspiracy {2}, and the FBI began to write a new chapter of deceit and obfuscation in the story of Ruby Ridge {3}.

On July 8, 1993, a jury of their peers acquitted Weaver and Harris of all charges associated with the August 1992 shootout and subsequent siege. Weaver was convicted on two relatively minor charges of failure to appear and committing an offense while on bail. Weaver was sentenced to 18 months behind bars. On Dec. 18, 1993, he was released from prison.

High-level FBI officials face the prospect of criminal prosecution. The government has paid the remaining Weavers $3.1 million in taxpayers' money to settle civil claims. Harris also has filed suit against federal officials. On Sept. 6, hearings begin before the Senate Judiciary Committee's terrorism subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter.

---------------------------<< Notes >>--------------------------- {2} "Harris and Weaver were indicted on 10 counts of assault, murder and conspiracy..." Oh, did you say "conspiracy"? Oh hah, hah, you "conspiracy nut"!

{3} "...and the FBI began to write a new chapter of deceit and obfuscation in the story of Ruby Ridge." The FBI has been joined by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) who have recently authored still another chapter of deceit and obfuscation in the story of Ruby Ridge. You may have seen their garbage floating around Internet.

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