It was via Ronson I became familiar with Ruby Ridge. The story did not get too much traction in New Zealand. Nevertheless, had I heard the story at the time my reaction would have been as skewed as Bill Maher.
I clearly remember Waco, Texas, and believing the claims that this was “another bunch of religious American nut jobs”. My awakening to the media was yet to begin. I want to discuss both of these cases to see how their misrepresentation to the public; moreover the over the top reactions by officials helped stoke the flames of Oklahoma.
As discussed, it is clear the U.S government engaged in helping escalate both situations. When a paranoid overpowered police state meets equally paranoid groups reinforcing mutual fears, the unnecessary loss of life is inevitable. What is of concern is how the government spun the stories to the media concerning the level of threat these people represented to the U.S.
The tale of the Weaver Family is one tragic mistake after another on all counts. In the early 80s, Randy Weaver moved his family into the wilderness of North Idaho, to a place called Ruby Ridge which was some 10-13km from the small city of Bonners Ferry. Weaver for his part disliked the government and the rat race of urban life. It just so happens; the Weavers occasionally mixed with the Aryan Nations some 50 km away in Hayden Lake which had a similar outlook. (1)
Sure, the Weavers should have shown better judgement. Nevertheless, even if they were gun-toting Nazi jerks (which they were emphatically not; moreover, Randy Weaver had never had a criminal conviction either), they still did not deserve what they got. We have all associated from time to time with idiots; does that give anyone the right to force their will on you? No, it does not; however, U.S. law enforcement in this case certainly felt it had that right.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Randy was approached by an ATF informant to inform on the Aryan Nations. The informant got Randy to sell him some sawed off shotguns. Randy did so; however, the ATF used this to try to coerce him into being an informant against the AN.
The authorities threatened Randy with court and a prison sentence. Understandably, Weaver and his family were upset. Hence, the confrontations escalated until the deaths of Randy Weavers’ wife, son, and a Federal Marshall. Weaver and his pal Kevin Harris were wounded. While his daughters Sarah, Rachel, and Elisheba lost their mother and brother. (2)
David Koresh & Waco
The Branch Davidians are an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They are a small evangelical group with some cranky ideas. I shall not go into their beliefs; nonetheless; one can follow the link given in my references. The Branch Davidian case is another classic example of law enforcement paranoia, interacting with a paranoid group concerned about defending their deluded views. (3)
There is no historical evidence that the Davidians had engaged in terrorism against US citizens. Nor is there anything indicating Koresh and his gang had plans to harm other Americans. Sure, David Koresh was likely certifiable; he liked the ladies (standard for most cult members), but the extent of his abuses in (particular the ones of a sexual nature) will still be argued. I’ll just say he was an idiot, and the parents consenting were stupid.
Nevertheless, Koresh never technically broke any laws with his choice of bedmates and weapons, which were all bought via legal means. (4)
From February 28th until April 19th, 1993, the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas was the subject of on an intense siege. Part of the controversy was the amount of crazy psyops employed to smoke the Davidians out.
They used the sounds of jets, music, and slaughtered rabbits to strike fear and cause sleep deprivation prior to the slaughter. The lawyer for the deceased Steve Schneider (Koresh’s second in command) and chief negotiator Jack Zimmerman summed up the situation.
“The point was this – they were trying to have sleep disturbance and they were trying to take someone that they viewed as unstable to start with, and they were trying to drive him crazy. And then they got mad ‘cos he does something that they think is irrational!” (5) (6)
All Roads Lead to Oklahoma
Inspired by the brutal actions of the Federal authorities in both cases Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building on April 19th, 1995.
There are a lot of inconsistencies and allegations concerning this incident. Whether or not there was a conspiracy is irrelevant and trivializes events. Once again, people died in droves, and in this case numerous children.
Some folks are kooky as hell. Randy’s wife Vicki Weaver appeared to be a bit of the crank (perhaps the only real “unit” in the Ruby Ridge scenario). Nevertheless, she was harmless, and they shot her unarmed while carrying a baby.
Koresh for his part appears to be a man the authorities could have ultimately reasoned with. What the Weavers and the Branch Davidians experienced was intense bullying, unthinking, and over the top machismo for being a little odd.
Sure governments need to keep their populations safe. Moreover, there is a need to have some monitoring. Nevertheless, they need to evaluate and discuss threat levels, and engage with the people and communities they purportedly serve.
It appears the authorities are scared of the influence groups like the Weavers or Branch Davidians could have over the citizenry of the United States. Thus, they are grossly condescending; most Americans would find the Weavers lifestyle a bit flaky, and the Davidians generally crazed. Moreover, most Americans, when they learned the truth, realized these groups were harmless.
Furthermore, private contractors are making huge money from so-called domestic terrorists. There are some flakes out there, but most of them by-and-large are passive and do not want to destroy or bomb America.
Thus, violence should only ever be the last option. Unfortunately, it is the very first one on the government agenda. The real winners of all this, of course, are the suppliers of weaponry and arms to the police and their foes. Therefore, the real conspiracy is the public protection for profit racket and is the most insidious aspect of the events surrounding Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Oklahoma bombing. We are all potentially targets.