One of the very worst of innumerable “FBI run amok” stories.
Randy Weaver has passed away. Three decades ago, he was entrapped by an ATF agent. Federal agents subsequently killed his son and wife. The Justice Department denied that anyone’s rights were violated but still paid a multi-million dollar settlement for the Weaver family’s wrongful death lawsuit. Federal abuses at Ruby Ridge, the subsequent FBI coverup, and the outrageous arguments that federal lawyers made in court to protect the FBI sniper helped awaken legions of Americans to the danger of boundless federal power.
On August 22, 1992, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi killed Vicki Weaver as she stood in the door of a cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, holding her baby. The FBI initially claimed that killing Mrs. Weaver was justified and then later covered up key details and claimed it was accidental. FBI chief Louis Freeh pretended his agents had done nothing seriously wrong. After an Idaho prosecutor indicted Horiuchi for manslaughter, the Clinton administration Justice Department swayed a federal court to dismiss the case based on the “supremacy clause” of the Constitution. But the Founding Fathers never intended for “federal supremacy” to nullify all of the Bill of Rights. Federal judge captured the soul of the case in a dissent that warned of the new James Bond “007 standard for the use of deadly force” against American citizens. Kozinski summarized the case: “A group of FBI agents formulated rules of engagement that permitted their colleagues to hide in the bushes and gun down men who posed no immediate threat. Such wartime rules are patently unconstitutional for a police action.”
Though the FBI insisted its agents had behaved impeccably, the feds paid a $3 million wrongful death settlement to the Weaver family. A top FBI official was sent to prison for destroying key evidence in the case.
The FBI has become more powerful and more dangerous since Ruby Ridge.
It damned sure has at that, which is an abomination before God.
I’ve told the story here of meeting and hanging out with Weaver at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot one year. He was friendly and personable enough, although it would be stretching things a good bit to say he was gregarious. In the middle of an enraptured group of shooters who considered him to be something of a martyr/hero combination and were hanging on his every word, Weaver seemed to know he was among friends at KCR. But he remained slightly guarded nonetheless.
I was struck by how easy it was to see the anguish in the poor man’s eyes over having federal thugs murder his entire family right before his very eyes, for no good reason at all. Weaver’s pain was etched deeply in him like a burning brand, a wound still as fresh and raw as if his personal nightmare at the hands of an irredeemably evil government had taken place only the day before, rather than several years.
Rest now, Randy. No flesh and blood man could see the things you’ve seen and walk away with soul and spirit unscarred. May the pain and horror be far removed from you, now and forevermore.