It has been three decades since the Siege at Ruby Ridge and people still want to know what really happened during the siege at Ruby Ridge and what has happened since.
What Is The Real Story About The Siege At Ruby Ridge?
Weaver had taken his family into seclusion near the Canadian border as part of his ideological transition from fundamentalist Protestantism to an idiosyncratic blend of visionary religion, conspiracy theory and racial separatism. Before the siege began, an undercover informant had tried and failed to coerce Weaver into spying on a community of neo-Nazis in nearby Hayden Lake, but succeeded in setting him up for a firearms offence. Weaver did not appear for his court hearing – it later transpired that a letter requiring this appearance had given the wrong date – and became the subject of year-long surveillance by US Marshals. (The Conversation)
Why Did The Government Go After Randy Weaver And His Family?
After Weaver was sent the wrong court date and failed to show up, the feds launched a vendetta. Idaho lawyer David Nevin noted that U.S.: “Marshals called in military aerial reconnaissance and had photos studied by the Defense Mapping Agency. They prowled the woods around Weaver’s cabin with night-vision equipment. They had psychological profiles performed and installed $130,000 worth of long-range solar-powered spy cameras. … They even knew the menstrual cycle of Weaver’s teenage daughter, and planned an arrest scenario around it.” (The Hill)
What Happened During The Siege At Ruby Ridge
When federal agents arrived on the scene, they shot the family dog. The Weavers’ son Sam, not realizing what was going on, fired a shot in response and then fled, at which point an agent shot him in the back. Kevin Harris, a visiting friend, fired at the attacking cops and killed one. The FBI’s snipers went on to wound both Randy and Harris, and one of the sharpshooters killed Vicki, firing a bullet into her head while she held her 10-month-old daughter. (Reason)
Was Randy Weaver Targeted Because Of His Religious Views?
After an internal investigation the Government found no evidence to support the claim that BATF targeted Weaver because of his religious or political beliefs. Similarly, they found insufficient evidence to sustain the charge that Weaver was illegally entrapped into selling the weapons. (DOJ)
Ruby Ridge Is History, But The Mindset That Led To Ruby Ridge Is Thriving
After Weaver surrendered, he and Harris were found innocent of murder. An internal report subsequently concluded that the FBI had violated the Weavers’ constitutional rights. Some figures within the agency suspected that they were in the wrong well before then, though—a few days into the siege, Danny Coulson of the FBI wrote this in a memo:
Something to Consider
1. Charge against Weaver is Bull Shit.
2. No one saw Weaver do any shooting.
3. Vicki has no charges against her.
4. Weaver’s defense. He ran down the hill to see what dog was barking at. Some guys in camys [camouflage] shot his dog. Started shooting at him. Killed his son. Harris did the shooting [of the FBI agent]. He [Randy Weaver] is in pretty strong legal position. (Reason)
In The End
In the end, Randy Weaver, a tractor mechanic, ex-Green Beret and former Amway salesman, told friends that the Scriptures had guided them to this remote ridge 35 miles south of the Canadian border. To them, it was holy ground, a sanctuary where God’s rule, not man’s, prevailed:
“Every knee shall bow to Yashua Messiah,” predicted a sign on the rutted, dirt road at the entrance to their 20-acre tract. (Washington Post)
Lessons From Ruby Ridge
The bipartisan nature of out-of-control federal law enforcement. Ruby Ridge occurred under Bush I but the Clinton government conducted the whitewash. The planning for the Waco raid began under Bush I but was undertaken by Clinton and ultimately whitewashed by a Republican Congress. Ruby Ridge and all that has followed it—Waco, Clinton’s expansion of the drug war, Bush II’s abuses of human rights in the war on terror, Obama’s solidification and expansion of these authoritarian powers crafted by his predecessors—demonstrate that the issue is not the left vs. right, but the militarized central state vs. individual life and liberty. (Independent Institute)
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