Ruby Ridge



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Ruby Ridge fue el lugar de un violento enfrentamiento de 11 días en el remoto condado de Boundary, Idaho, que comenzó el 21 de agosto de 1992. Alguaciles y agentes federales se enfrentaron a Randy Weaver, su esposa y cinco hijos y su amigo Kevin Harris. El incidente de Ruby Ridge fue la culminación de años de investigación sobre Weaver por parte de las autoridades locales, el FBI, la ATF y el Servicio Secreto. Terminó con la muerte a tiros de un alguacil de los Estados Unidos, la esposa de Weaver, Vicki, y su hijo adolescente Samuel (Sammy).

Randy Weaver

Randy Weaver abandonó la universidad y fue Boina Verde. Él y su esposa Vicki eran fundamentalistas religiosos que desconfiaban del gobierno y creían que el fin del mundo era inminente. Comenzaron a acumular armas e hicieron planes para mudarse a un área aislada y vivir fuera de la red.

En 1984, Randy, Vicki y sus hijos se mudaron a una cabaña que ellos mismos construyeron con vista a Ruby Creek en Idaho. Por elección propia, no tenían electricidad ni agua corriente.

Tejedora y nación aria

Después de recibir información de que Weaver había amenazado al presidente Ronald Reagan y otros funcionarios del gobierno, el FBI y el Servicio Secreto abrieron una investigación. No se presentaron cargos, pero los investigadores documentaron que Weaver tenía vínculos con la nación aria. Weaver negó la afirmación.

En 1989, agentes encubiertos de la ATF afirmaron que Weaver les vendió escopetas recortadas ilegales y le ofrecieron la oportunidad de convertirse en informante de la Nación Aria. Cuando Weaver se negó, fue acusado de fabricar y guardar armas ilegales.

Después de ser puesto en libertad bajo fianza, su juicio se fijó para febrero de 1991, pero su oficial de libertad condicional le dijo que no sería hasta el 20 de marzo.

Weaver se perdió el juicio de febrero y se emitió una orden de arresto. El juicio del 20 de marzo llegó y se fue sin la comparecencia de Weaver, y un gran jurado lo acusó de no comparecer en el juicio. Los intentos de negociar con Weaver durante el próximo año por correo fracasaron y él permaneció prófugo.

Alguaciles planifican el arresto de Weaver

El U.S. Marshal Service fue responsable de traer al ahora fugitivo Weaver. Dado el arsenal de armas y la postura antigubernamental de Weaver, decidieron que no se rendiría pacíficamente. Planearon un derribo encubierto para reunir inteligencia, inspeccionar el terreno y la familia Weaver y, con suerte, eventualmente arrestar a Weaver.

Comenzó la vigilancia y la familia Weaver se aisló cada vez más. Vicki Weaver dio a luz a una niña en casa y cuidó a su familia lo mejor que pudo en circunstancias difíciles.

Los equipos de vigilancia notaron que los Tejedores casi siempre iban armados y decidieron instalarse a largo plazo. Planearon infiltrarse en la estrecha unidad familiar con la ayuda de un hombre y una mujer agentes encubiertos que se hicieron pasar por los vecinos más nuevos de Weaver, pero los agentes nunca tuvieron la oportunidad.

Muerte en Ruby Ridge

El mariscal adjunto Dave Hunt y el mariscal adjunto Art Roderick conocían bien el terreno accidentado que rodeaba la propiedad de Weaver y dirigieron el equipo encubierto que incluía al mariscal William (Billy) Degan.

En la mañana del 21 de agosto de 1992, mientras el equipo se preparaba para reunir información de inteligencia para el día, los perros de Weaver se dieron cuenta de su presencia. Los perros, Sammy Weaver, Randy Weaver y Kevin Harris los persiguieron mientras el equipo de vigilancia se dispersaba.

Se produjo un tiroteo que dejó muertos a Sammy Weaver, el mariscal Degan, de 14 años, y a uno de los perros de Weaver. Quién disparó primero y quién disparó a quién más tarde sería debatido acaloradamente por todas las partes supervivientes, en los tribunales y en los medios de comunicación.

Pero la carnicería aún no había terminado.

Asedio de Ruby Ridge

Mientras la familia Weaver se refugiaba en su cabaña, llorando a Sammy y planificando sus próximos pasos, el ayudante Hunt pidió ayuda, desesperado por sacar el cuerpo del mariscal Degan de la montaña y poner fin al enfrentamiento.

El 22 de agosto, el FBI, bajo la impresión de que estaban entrando en un tiroteo activo y no provocado contra los alguaciles estadounidenses, llegó a Ruby Ridge. Mientras cientos de agentes de la ley y agentes federales irrumpieron en el área con la inusual orden de disparar a cualquier adulto armado a la vista, los francotiradores del FBI establecieron un perímetro con la esperanza de obligar a Weaver a negociar.

Sin embargo, Weaver no tenía nada de eso e ignoró todos los intentos de negociación, incluidas las súplicas de su hermana. Después de dirigirse al cobertizo cercano donde habían traído el cuerpo de Sammy antes, Weaver y Harris, junto con la hija de Weaver, Sara, de 16 años, fueron atacados por el francotirador del FBI Lon Horiuchi, quien pensó que los hombres estaban a punto de disparar contra un helicóptero. .

Weaver fue golpeado y él, Sara y Harris regresaron a la aparente seguridad de la casa.

Cuando los hombres se acercaron a la casa, Vicki se paró detrás de la puerta principal sosteniendo a su pequeña hija. Horiuchi disparó de nuevo, golpeando a Vicki en la cara y matándola. La bala también hirió gravemente a Harris. Horiuchi afirmó más tarde que no sabía que Vicki estaba en la puerta y tenía la mira puesta en Harris.

Se produjo el caos cuando Harris, Weaver y su familia sobreviviente se refugiaron en la cabaña. Con Harris y Weaver heridos y Vicki y Sammy muertos, la situación era sombría; parecía confirmar las sospechas más oscuras de Weaver sobre el gobierno federal y el apocalipsis inminente.

Sin embargo, Weaver no se rendiría. Fuera de la cabaña, cientos de manifestantes llegaron para oponerse a las acciones del gobierno y se agitaron cada vez más cuando se enteraron de las muertes de Sammy y Vicki.

El asedio termina

Después de ser abordado por el FBI para grabar un mensaje para Weaver alentándolo a que se rindiera, el soldado de las Fuerzas Especiales Bo Gritz llegó a la escena, confiado en que podría terminar pacíficamente con el fallido enfrentamiento.

El 30 de agosto, Gritz convenció a Weaver de que entregara al Harris gravemente herido y permitiera que el cuerpo de Vicki fuera sacado de la cabina. Pero Weaver y su familia sobreviviente, incluida su pequeña hija, permanecieron adentro.

Con el tiempo agotándose antes de que los agentes federales pusieran fin al asedio de una vez por todas, Gritz volvió a la cabaña la mañana del 31 de agosto. Aunque Weaver había prometido morir antes de entregarse, Gritz lo convenció de lo contrario y escoltó a Weaver y a sus aterrorizadas hijas. de la cabaña.

Weaver fue arrestado de inmediato y sus hijas entregadas a familiares. El largo asedio de Ruby Ridge finalmente terminó.

Consecuencias de Ruby Ridge

A pesar de ser acusado de asesinato, conspiración y otros delitos, Weaver solo fue declarado culpable de no comparecer para el juicio por su cargo original de armas. Harris fue absuelto de todos los cargos.

Un informe del grupo de trabajo del Departamento de Justicia encontró muchas fallas en la forma en que los agentes federales manejaron la situación de Ruby Ridge, tales como:

  • El cambio de reglas que permitía a los francotiradores disparar a cualquier adulto armado sin previo aviso para que se rindiera era inconstitucional.
  • Horiuchi no estaba justificado al disparar el tiro que mató a Vicki Weaver ya que Weaver y Harris estaban en retirada cuando disparó.
  • Horiuchi puso en riesgo a Vicki Weaver y a sus hijos al apuntar a la puerta de la cabaña sin saber quién estaba detrás.

Al menos un agente del FBI, E. Michael Kahoe, participó en un encubrimiento sobre Ruby Ridge. Se declaró culpable de obstrucción a la justicia y fue sentenciado a 18 meses de prisión y una multa de $ 4,000 después de admitir haber destruido un informe que condenaba la respuesta del FBI durante el enfrentamiento.

Lon Horiuchi

En 1997, el francotirador del FBI Lon Horiuchi fue acusado de homicidio por matar a Vicki Weaver. Sin embargo, un juez desestimó el caso, alegando que los agentes federales no podían ser acusados ​​por acciones tomadas en el cumplimiento del deber. En 2001, el fallo fue revocado, pero no se presentaron más cargos penales contra Horiuchi.

El gobierno de los Estados Unidos pagó un alto precio financiero por su papel en Ruby Ridge. En 1995, Randy Weaver y sus tres hijas recibieron $ 3,1 millones por la trágica pérdida de Sammy y Vicki.

En 2000, Harris recibió 380.000 dólares del gobierno a cambio de que retirara una demanda de 10 millones de dólares contra ellos; el gobierno nunca admitió ninguna irregularidad en el caso de Harris.

Fuentes

F.B.I. El agente puede ser acusado en Idaho Siege, reglas de la corte. Los New York Times.
Ex funcionario del FBI sentenciado en Ruby Ridge Probe. CNN.
Ruby Ridge, primera parte: sospecha. Experiencia americana de PBS.
Experiencia americana de PBS.
Ruby Ridge, segunda parte: confirmación. Experiencia americana de PBS.
Estados Unidos resuelve una demanda civil final derivada del asedio de Ruby Ridge. Los New York Times.


Ruby Ridge se hizo un hueco en la historia

En 1992, un separatista blanco buscado por agentes federales se retiró con su familia a la cima de una montaña remota en Idaho. Tres personas murieron en el enfrentamiento que siguió, y el evento se convirtió en un momento decisivo en el ascenso de la derecha radical. Ver una cronología de eventos

Una comadrona para el movimiento de milicias
Randy Weaver El historiador y autor Michael Barkun, profesor emérito de la Universidad de Syracuse, dijo que Ruby Ridge era de "gran importancia" para los extremistas de derecha. “Confirmó la creencia de que estaban en guerra con el gobierno federal”, dijo. “En sus mentes, seguirían otras batallas, como Waco, y con ellas se generó una preocupación por los mártires del movimiento, nuevamente, un tema para el cual Ruby Ridge fue uno de los puntos de origen”, dijo Barkun. Mark Pitcavage, director de investigación de la Liga Anti-Difamación, dijo que Ruby Ridge debe considerarse junto con el enfrentamiento de Branch Davidian. "Si solo hubiera ocurrido uno de esos eventos, el futuro podría haber sido diferente", dijo Pitcavage. "Viniendo como lo hicieron como un doble golpe, tuvieron tremendas ramificaciones que todavía sentimos hoy". El "golpe uno-dos" no solo ayudó a galvanizar el movimiento supremacista blanco, sino que también reformuló el llamado "movimiento patriota", un amplio grupo compuesto por varios extremistas antigubernamentales, dijo Pitcavage, quien tiene un doctorado en historia estadounidense de The Universidad del Estado de Ohio. Ruby Ridge y Waco también se convirtieron en la "partera" del movimiento de milicias de la década de 1990, dijo. “Waco, en cierto sentido, brindó a las personas la capacidad de usar Ruby Ridge simbólicamente sin temor a asociarse con la supremacía blanca”, dijo Pitcavage. "Por lo tanto, Ruby Ridge y Waco juntos terminaron no solo movilizando a los supremacistas blancos, sino a una sección mucho más grande de la extrema derecha". Heidi Beirich, directora del Proyecto de Inteligencia en el Southern Poverty Law Center, dijo que Ruby Ridge "fue la chispa que encendió un movimiento social que existe hasta el día de hoy y ha visto explotar sus números desde la elección del presidente (Barack) Obama". El tiroteo de la esposa y el hijo de Randy Weaver por parte de agentes federales "desencadenó serias sospechas" de las agencias gubernamentales y las fuerzas del orden en las filas de activistas antigubernamentales, "creando una brecha que solo se ha ensanchado", dijo Beirich.
"Rastro de graves ... errores"
Más cuidado con los fanáticos
El asedio simboliza el "estado policial militarizado"

El periodismo local es fundamental.

Contribuya directamente a la serie de foros de la comunidad Northwest Passages de The Spokesman-Review, que ayuda a compensar los costos de varios puestos de reportero y editor en el periódico, utilizando las opciones fáciles que se muestran a continuación. Los obsequios procesados ​​en este sistema no son deducibles de impuestos, pero se utilizan principalmente para ayudar a cumplir con los requisitos financieros locales necesarios para recibir fondos de subvenciones de contrapartida nacionales.


Nicho tallado en Ruby Ridge en la historia

Nota del editor: este artículo se publicó por primera vez el 19 de agosto en The Spokesman-Review, con sede en Spokane, Wash. El asedio de 11 días en Ruby Ridge comenzó hace 20 años hoy, el 21 de agosto de 1992. El autor de esta publicación cubrió las Naciones Arias y otros grupos extremistas durante su carrera de 37 años como reportero con The Spokesman-Review.

¿Quién hubiera pensado hace 20 años esta semana que esas dos palabras se convertirían en un ícono, un punto de referencia en la cultura estadounidense?

Más que un asedio mortal en el norte de Idaho que se cobró la vida de una madre, su hijo y un alguacil federal, el enfrentamiento en Ruby Ridge se convirtió en un punto de reunión para el movimiento extremista y convirtió a Randy Weaver, el supremacista blanco en el centro del evento. , un héroe para esos grupos. También cambió la forma en que la policía federal maneja los enfrentamientos con fugitivos.

Los historiadores y los expertos en extremismo ofrecen diferentes evaluaciones del asedio de 11 días que recibió el nombre de Ruby Ridge en honor a la cima de una montaña cerca de Naples, Idaho, no lejos de la cabaña construida a mano por Weaver y su familia.

Se necesitaron años, incluida una audiencia del Congreso en 1995, para aclarar la secuencia de eventos, y todavía hay puntos de desacuerdo.

Pero casi todos, desde activistas antigubernamentales y racistas hasta académicos e historiadores, están de acuerdo en que Ruby Ridge fue un gran problema, con impactos duraderos.

Las chispas de ira antigubernamental que Ruby Ridge encendió en agosto de 1992 crecieron mucho más un año después cuando los agentes federales se involucraron en otro sitio en Waco, Texas. Ese evento dejó cuatro agentes federales y 83 miembros de la secta religiosa Rama Davidiana muertos.

Esos eventos consecutivos, coinciden los expertos en general, alimentaron el movimiento antigubernamental que persiste hoy, estallando en violencia ocasional y amenazas mortales contra las fuerzas del orden.

Los eventos en el norte de Idaho en agosto de 1992 se convirtieron en "el primer disparo de lo que pronto se convertiría en una guerra más o menos abierta entre la derecha radical estadounidense y su gobierno", dijo Mark Potok, investigador principal del Southern Poverty Law Center y editor. de su "Informe de inteligencia", una revista que rastrea el extremismo.

Ruby Ridge fue un "punto de inflamación" en la historia de Estados Unidos, dijo Potok, donde "finalmente se encendió la ira candente contra el gobierno federal".

El historiador y autor Michael Barkun, profesor emérito de la Universidad de Syracuse, dijo que Ruby Ridge era de "gran importancia" para los extremistas de derecha. "Confirmó la creencia de que estaban en guerra con el gobierno federal", dijo.

"En sus mentes, seguirían otras batallas, como Waco, y con ellas se generó una preocupación por los mártires del movimiento, nuevamente, un tema para el cual Ruby Ridge fue uno de los puntos de origen", dijo Barkun.

Mark Pitcavage, director de investigación de la Liga Anti-Difamación, dijo que Ruby Ridge debe considerarse junto con el enfrentamiento de Branch Davidian.

"Si solo hubiera ocurrido uno de esos eventos, el futuro podría haber sido diferente '', dijo Pitcavage." Viniendo como lo hicieron como un doble golpe, tuvieron tremendas ramificaciones que todavía sentimos hoy ".

El "golpe uno-dos" no solo ayudó a galvanizar el movimiento supremacista blanco, sino que también reformuló el llamado "movimiento patriota", un grupo amplio compuesto por varios extremistas antigubernamentales, dijo Pitcavage, quien tiene un doctorado en historia estadounidense de Estado de Ohio.

Ruby Ridge y Waco juntos también se convirtieron en la "partera" del movimiento de milicias de la década de 1990, dijo.

"Waco, en cierto sentido, brindó a la gente la capacidad de usar Ruby Ridge simbólicamente sin temor a asociarse con la supremacía blanca", dijo Pitcavage. la extrema derecha ".

Heidi Beirich, directora del Proyecto de Inteligencia en el Southern Poverty Law Center, dijo que Ruby Ridge "fue la chispa que encendió un movimiento social que existe hasta el día de hoy y ha visto explotar sus números desde la elección del presidente Obama".

El disparo de la esposa y el hijo de Randy Weaver por parte de agentes federales "desató serias sospechas" de las agencias gubernamentales y las fuerzas del orden en las filas de los activistas antigubernamentales, "creando una brecha que solo se ha ensanchado", dijo Beirich.

Más allá de sus impactos culturales y políticos, Ruby Ridge y Waco enseñaron a las fuerzas del orden federales lecciones vergonzosas (algunos dirían dolorosas).

Louis J. Freeh, quien reemplazó al director despedido del FBI William Sessions después del asedio de Waco, dijo al Congreso en 1995 que Ruby Ridge era "una serie de operaciones policiales terriblemente defectuosas con trágicas consecuencias".

"Hubo un rastro de errores operativos graves que fueron desde las montañas del norte de Idaho a la sede del FBI y luego a la sala de un tribunal federal en Idaho", dijo Freeh en un testimonio ante el Congreso.

Freeh puso fin a las "reglas de enfrentamiento" que permitían a los agentes del FBI disparar en el acto, reglas que, según él, eran incompatibles con la política de fuerza letal del FBI. (Esa política permite el uso de fuerza letal solo en caso de muerte inminente o lesiones físicas graves al oficial u otra persona).

El director del FBI también renovó la "estructura de respuesta a crisis" de la oficina y sancionó a 12 empleados del FBI después de concluir que ninguno había cometido ningún delito o mala conducta intencional.

"Ruby Ridge se ha convertido en sinónimo de tragedia, dadas las muertes allí de un alguacil adjunto condecorado, un niño y la madre de un niño", dijo el director del FBI. "También se ha convertido en sinónimo de la aplicación exagerada de la aplicación de la ley federal. Ambas conclusiones parecen justificadas '', dijo.

Wayne Manis, el agente del FBI que detuvo a Weaver después de que se rindió, poniendo fin al enfrentamiento de 1992, dijo que muchos detalles y hechos que rodean a Ruby Ridge se han distorsionado a lo largo de los años para adaptarse a varias agendas racistas y antigubernamentales.

Weaver inicialmente fue arrestado sin incidentes por agentes de la ATF y fue liberado luego de prometerle a un juez federal que comparecería voluntariamente en futuras audiencias judiciales. Cuando no lo hizo, otro juez emitió una orden de arresto contra Weaver, asignando alguaciles federales adjuntos para volver a arrestarlo. Cuando uno de esos alguaciles adjuntos fue asesinado a tiros, el caso fue entregado al FBI.

Si Weaver hubiera bajado de la montaña y hubiera comparecido ante el tribunal, como prometió que haría, todo el legado de Ruby Ridge nunca habría nacido, dijo Manis.

El FBI, aunque admitió algunos errores, "todavía recibió muchas críticas que creo que fueron injustas", dijo Manis, ahora jubilado y que vive en el norte de Idaho.

Los enfrentamientos posteriores con los extremistas antigubernamentales, incluido el Montana Freeman en 1996, verían más paciencia por parte de los agentes del FBI y la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos.

"Los eventos de Ruby Ridge, aunque de ninguna manera fueron totalmente culpa del gobierno, no pusieron a las fuerzas del orden en una buena luz", dijo Potok, del Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Aunque la tragedia enseñó algunas lecciones importantes, no fue hasta la resolución incruenta del enfrentamiento de 1996 con los hombres libres de Montana que la policía estadounidense pareció absorber completamente la noción de que a menudo es mejor proceder con tacto y precaución que con una fuerza física abrumadora. ," él dijo.

Su colega, Beirich, estuvo de acuerdo y dijo que las agencias de aplicación de la ley han "aprendido a tener cuidado con los fanáticos". Citó el continuo enfrentamiento de 12 años en Texas con John Joe Gray.

Gray, como lo hizo Weaver en 1992, forma parte de una creciente legión de los llamados "ciudadanos soberanos", que se niega a reconocer la autoridad de cualquier gobierno y sigue desafiando a la policía a que venga a buscarlo.

Gray y su familia sobreviven sin electricidad y sin plomería moderna en una granja de 50 acres cerca de Trinidad, Texas, a unas 70 millas al sureste de Dallas. Los asociados armados ayudan a proteger a Gray en su propiedad, donde un gran jardín, peces de río y un rebaño de cabras mantienen a su familia.

A diferencia de Weaver, cuyo arresto por orden judicial fue ordenado por un juez federal, Gray enfrenta cargos penales estatales y su arresto es un problema para el alguacil local electo. Gray fue acusado de agredir a un policía estatal de Texas en la víspera de Navidad de 1999 y luego saltó la fianza, negándose a presentarse en la corte, alegando que es un ciudadano soberano sobre el que el gobierno no tiene control. Cuatro alguaciles elegidos más tarde, las autoridades todavía lo están esperando.

En otro enfrentamiento en 2007 en New Hampshire, Weaver, visto como un héroe popular en las filas antigubernamentales y extremistas, se presentó para expresar su apoyo a los manifestantes fiscales condenados Ed y Elaine Brown. La pareja, más tarde arrestada por las autoridades federales y ahora en prisión, había expresado opiniones antisemitas y a favor de la milicia.

En estos días, Weaver no hace entrevistas que reflexionen sobre Ruby Ridge, según su hija, Sara Weaver-Balter, que ahora vive en Kalispell, Mont. En una copia autografiada de su libro, "The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge", vendido en Amazon por 99 centavos, Weaver inscribe: "¡Libertad a cualquier precio!" Todavía vende el libro en ferias de armas y exposiciones de supervivencia.

La hija de Weaver también se negó a comentar sobre los impactos a largo plazo de Ruby Ridge, diciendo que solo quería hablar sobre el perdón, su conversión al cristianismo y un libro que está vendiendo.

Desde Ruby Ridge, las agencias federales de aplicación de la ley ahora trabajan más juntas, principalmente en fuerzas de tarea regionales conjuntas contra el terrorismo. Para ellos, los extremistas, como lo demuestra la reciente matanza en masa en Wisconsin, todavía representan una preocupación real. Los llamados ciudadanos soberanos, como los Brown, que piensan que el gobierno no tiene control sobre ellos, ahora son considerados por el FBI como la amenaza terrorista nacional número uno.

Una respuesta intensificada a la amenaza planteada por los extremistas se produjo después del atentado con bomba en un edificio federal de la ciudad de Oklahoma en 1995 que mató a 168 personas. Fue llevado a cabo por Timothy McVeigh, quien dijo que estaba motivado por los eventos en Ruby Ridge y Waco.

"Lo que hizo el gobierno de Estados Unidos en Waco y Ruby Ridge fue sucio, y yo les devolví sucio en Oklahoma City", se cita a McVeigh diciendo en el libro, "Terrorista estadounidense".

La respuesta del gobierno a tales actos de terrorismo doméstico mortal ha llevado a lo que algunos describen como una "militarización" de la aplicación de la ley en todos los niveles, incluidas las agencias federales.

"Para los extremistas estadounidenses, el asedio a Ruby Ridge simboliza el 'estado policial militarizado'", dijo Daryl Johnson, ex analista de terrorismo doméstico de ATF y el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.

Johnson es el autor de un libro que se publicará próximamente, "Right Wing Resurgence", que aborda cómo, en su opinión, las amenazas de los extremistas nacionales no se toman lo suficientemente en serio en los niveles más altos del gobierno de Estados Unidos. Es propietario de una empresa de consultoría privada, DT Analytics, que monitorea la actividad extremista nacional y brinda capacitación especializada a las fuerzas del orden.

El gobierno de Estados Unidos, a través de su Departamento de Seguridad Nacional en particular, dijo Johnson, "ha fomentado involuntariamente, e incluso solidificado, las conspiraciones orwellianas sobre un gobierno federal excesivamente entusiasta y opresivo y su aparente disposición a matar para garantizar el cumplimiento de los ciudadanos".

"En la mente de los extremistas de hoy en día, (Seguridad Nacional) ha mejorado la capacidad letal de muchas fuerzas policiales de pueblos pequeños con fondos insuficientes a través de sus programas de subvenciones", dijo Johnson.

Utilizando subvenciones federales, las agencias de aplicación de la ley estatales y locales han podido comprar equipos costosos y capacitación que "comúnmente se asocian con las fuerzas armadas", dijo.

"Los extremistas ven esa seguridad acumulada como una continuación del legado de Ruby Ridge", dijo Johnson.

Ese legado es un continuo sonar para los extremistas y supremacistas blancos que reclutan con el mensaje de "gran gobierno contra el pequeño" y "el gobierno me tendió una trampa", dijo Johnson.

Estas ideas extremistas continúan como mensajes e incluso como temas de reclutamiento entre varios grupos radicales en Estados Unidos, dijo.

En las últimas semanas, varios sitios web racistas y de supremacía blanca han mencionado el vigésimo aniversario, y muchos llaman a Randy Weaver un héroe.

"Si bien muchos de nosotros hemos perdido seres queridos en esta guerra, el Sr. Weaver pasa a la historia como uno de los mejores", dijo un comentario publicado en Stormfront, considerado el sitio de odio más grande de Internet.

"Conozco a un hombre blanco que tiene un gran respeto por lo que hizo la familia en Ruby Ridge", dijo el comentarista.


Ruby Ridge es historia, pero la mentalidad que llevó a Ruby Ridge está prosperando

Han pasado 20 años desde el enfrentamiento en Ruby Ridge, Idaho, un asalto que provocó la muerte violenta de tres seres humanos y un perro. Randy y Vicki Weaver, una pareja del medio oeste, se habían mudado a las montañas del noroeste del Pacífico, donde planeaban vivir de la manera más autosuficiente posible. Luego, la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco y Armas de Fuego atrapó a Randy por una infracción menor de armas y le ofreció un trato: el cargo sería desestimado si se convertía en informante en círculos separatistas blancos. En cambio, Weaver se saltó (o simplemente se perdió) su juicio (*) y trasladó a su familia a una cabaña en el desierto.

Cuando los agentes federales llegaron al lugar, le dispararon al perro de la familia. Sam, el hijo de los Tejedores, sin darse cuenta de lo que estaba sucediendo, disparó un tiro en respuesta y luego huyó, momento en el que un agente le disparó por la espalda. Kevin Harris, un amigo visitante, disparó contra los policías atacantes y mató a uno. Los francotiradores del FBI hirieron a Randy y Harris, y uno de los francotiradores mató a Vicki, disparándole una bala en la cabeza mientras sostenía a su hija de 10 meses.

Siguió un enfrentamiento de 11 días. Después de que Weaver se rindió, él y Harris fueron declarados inocentes de asesinato. Posteriormente, un informe interno concluyó que el FBI había violado los derechos constitucionales de los Tejedores. Algunas figuras dentro de la agencia sospechaban que estaban equivocadas mucho antes de eso, aunque unos días después del asedio, Danny Coulson del FBI escribió esto en un memorando:

Algo a considerar
1. Cargar contra Weaver es una mierda.
2. Nadie vio a Weaver disparar.
3. Vicki no tiene cargos en su contra.
4. Defensa de Weaver. Corrió colina abajo para ver a qué perro ladraba. Algunos tipos con camys [camuflaje] le dispararon a su perro. Empezó a dispararle. Mató a su hijo. Harris hizo el tiroteo [del agente del FBI]. Él [Randy Weaver] está en una posición legal bastante sólida.

No es difícil encontrar ejemplos de grupos marginales cuya paranoia sobre el gobierno los llevó a la violencia. La historia de los Tejedores muestra cómo la paranoia del gobierno sobre los grupos marginales puede impulsar eso a la violencia también. Los federales miraron a una familia con puntos de vista marginales y percibieron una amenaza, y como resultado una mujer, un niño, un perro y uno de los propios agentes del gobierno fueron asesinados. No sería la última vez que sucedió algo así. Un año después, en Waco, la paranoia de los Davidianos de la Rama no sería rival para la paranoia de los enemigos de los Davidianos.

Me gustaría poder informar que el miedo de las autoridades se ha desvanecido en las décadas transcurridas desde Ruby Ridge y Waco. En cambio, se ha institucionalizado en los centros de fusión que cubren el país, donde todos, desde los fanáticos de Ron Paul hasta los activistas anti-fracking, han sido tachados de terroristas potenciales. Mientras tanto, las fuerzas policiales del país se han militarizado cada vez más. Qué combinación tan triste y aterradora.

(* Originalmente escribí que simplemente se saltó el juicio, pero un comentarista me recuerda que a Weaver se le había enviado la fecha incorrecta. Dicho esto, el libro de Alan Bock sobre el enfrentamiento, que en ningún sentido simpatiza con el gobierno, señala que hay Era muy probable que Weaver no hubiera aparecido de ninguna manera: "Randy luego les dijo a sus amigos que estaba convencido de que lo iban a acusar, que los testigos del gobierno mentirían bajo juramento y que sería declarado culpable o no". Pero incluso si Bock tiene razón, el hecho de que a Weaver no se le haya dicho el día adecuado para la fecha de la corte que se perdió, solo subraya cuán exagerada fue la reacción del gobierno).


El asedio de Ruby Ridge a menudo se considera una fecha fundamental en la historia de Estados Unidos. El tiroteo entre Randy Weaver y su familia y agentes federales el 21 de agosto de 1992 es uno que dio inicio al Movimiento de Milicia Constitucional y dejó a Estados Unidos con una profunda desconfianza en su liderazgo, en particular el entonces presidente George H.W. Bush y el eventual presidente Bill Clinton y la fiscal general Janet Reno.

La versión corta es la siguiente: Randy Weaver y su esposa Vicki se mudaron con sus cuatro hijos al Panhandle de Idaho, cerca de la frontera con Canadá, para escapar de lo que pensaban que era un mundo cada vez más corrupto. Los Tejedores tenían creencias separatistas raciales pero no participaron en ninguna actividad violenta o retórica. Eran cristianos pacíficos que simplemente querían que los dejaran solos.

Específicamente por sus creencias, Randy Weaver fue blanco de la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco y Armas de Fuego (ATF) en una operación de atrapar "picadura" diseñada para ganar su cooperación como soplón. Cuando se negó a convertirse en informante federal, fue acusado de vender armas de fuego ilegalmente. Debido a una falta de comunicación sobre su cita en la corte, se hizo entrar al Servicio de Alguaciles, que sitió su casa y mató a tiros a su esposa y su hijo de 14 años.

Randy Weaver fue, en muchos sentidos, una típica historia estadounidense. Creció en una comunidad agrícola de Iowa. Obtuvo buenas notas en la escuela secundaria y jugó al fútbol. Su familia asistía a la iglesia con regularidad. Abandonó la universidad comunitaria y se unió al ejército de los Estados Unidos en 1970. Después de tres años de servicio, fue dado de baja con honores.

Un mes después se casó con Victoria Jordison. Luego se matriculó en la Universidad del Norte de Iowa, estudiando justicia penal con miras a convertirse en agente del FBI. Sin embargo, se retiró porque la matrícula era demasiado cara. Terminó trabajando en una planta de John Deere mientras su esposa trabajaba como secretaria antes de convertirse en ama de casa.

Ambos Tejedores se volvieron cada vez más apocalípticos en su visión del mundo. Esto, combinado con un énfasis creciente en el cristianismo basado en el Antiguo Testamento, los llevó a buscar una vida lejos de la corriente principal de Estados Unidos, una vida de autosuficiencia. Vicki, en particular, tenía fuertes visiones de su familia sobreviviendo al apocalipsis a través de una vida lejos de lo que ellos veían como un mundo corrupto. Con ese fin, Randy compró una granja de 20 acres en Ruby Ridge, ID, y construyó una cabaña allí.

El terreno fue comprado por $ 5,000 en efectivo y el canje del camión que usaron para mudarse allí. Vicki educó en casa a los niños.

Los tejedores se mudan a Ruby Ridge

Después de mudarse a Ruby Ridge, Weaver conoció a miembros de las Naciones Arias en el cercano lago Hayden. Incluso asistió a algunos mítines. El FBI creía que su participación en la iglesia era mucho más profunda de lo que realmente era: pensaban que era un miembro habitual de las Naciones Arias y había asistido al Congreso Mundial de las Naciones Arias.

Tanto Randy como Vicki fueron entrevistados por el FBI en 1985, y Randy negó ser miembro del grupo, citando profundas diferencias teológicas. De hecho, los Tejedores (que tenían algunos puntos de acuerdo con las Naciones Arias, principalmente sobre la importancia del Antiguo Testamento) veían mayoritariamente su afiliación con las Naciones Arias como una salida social. Viviendo fuera de la red, los miembros cercanos de las Naciones Arias eran vecinos en el remoto norte de Idaho.

Más tarde, en 1986, Randy fue abordado en un mitin por el informante encubierto de la ATF Kenneth Faderley, quien usó un alter ego motociclista de Gus Magisono y actualmente estaba monitoreando e investigando al amigo de Weaver, Frank Kumnick. Faderley se presentó como un traficante ilegal de armas de fuego de Nueva Jersey. Más tarde, Randy se encontró con Faderley en el Congreso Mundial de 1987. Se saltó el Congreso del año siguiente para postularse como alguacil del condado, una elección que perdió.

La ATF afirma que en 1989, Faderley compró dos escopetas acortadas ilegalmente de Randy Weaver. Sin embargo, Weaver discute esto, diciendo que las escopetas que vendió a Faderley eran completamente legales y se acortaron después del hecho. Las notas del caso muestran que Faderley compró las armas y le mostró a Weaver dónde acortarlas, lo que constituiría una trampa ilegal. Es más, el gobierno se aprovechó de la naturaleza indigente de los Tejedores, que vivían en una pequeña cabaña en el bosque sin electricidad ni agua corriente.

El verdadero propósito de la investigación no era atrapar a Weaver, sino usarlo para infiltrarse en un grupo en Montana que estaba organizado por Charles Howarth. In November 1989, Weaver refused to introduce Faderley to Howarth, and Faderley was ordered by his handlers to have no further contact with Weaver.

Randy Weaver Refuses to Turn Snitch

In June 1990, Faderley’s cover was blown. It was then that the ATF reached out to Weaver, stating that they had evidence he was dealing illegal firearms. They told him they would drop all charges if he would agree to become their new informant regarding the investigation of the Aryan Nations groups in the area. Weaver refused.

To coerce him into changing his mind, the Feds staged a stunt where a broken down couple were at the side of the road. Weaver stopped to help them and was handcuffed, thrown face down in the snow and arrested. He had to post his home as bond. Still, he refused to become a federal informant.

The irony of the federal government’s desire to obtain informants within the Aryan Nations is that different branches of federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering occupied five of the six key positions in the organization. This means that the Aryan Nations were effectively a government-run shop, with agents spying on each other to ensure the integrity of an investigation – into an organization almost entirely run by the federal government.

The government had an obsession with the Aryan Nations due to Robert Jay Matthews, who was a member of The Order, a terrorist organization including members of the Aryan Nations. The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team burned Matthews alive inside his own home.

Due to his ongoing refusal to snitch, Weaver was then arrested in January 1991, on illegal firearms sales charges. These charges stemmed from Weaver’s earlier “sale” of two shortened shotguns to Faderley, the undercover ATF agent – a sale which the feds later admitted constituted illegal entrapment.

Weaver’s court date was set for February 19, 1991, then changed to the next day. Weaver, however, received notice that his court date was not until March 20. He missed his February court appearance and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. The United States Marshals Service wanted to allow Weaver the chance to appear for what he thought was his court date, however, the United States Attorney’s Office sought a grand jury indictment on March 14th – six days before his notice said he was due in court.

Already skeptical of the Feds after their repeated strongarm tactics, both Randy and Vicki saw this as further evidence that Weaver would not receive a fair trial. They increasingly isolated themselves on their Ruby Ridge farm, vowing to fight rather than surrender peacefully.

During the standoff, a voluntary surrender date was negotiated with the Marshals Service for October 1991, but the United States Attorney’s Office refused the settlement. The Deputy Director of the Special Operations Group of the Marshals Service, using evidence obtained through surveillance, believed that the best course of action was to drop the indictment, issue a new one under seal, and use undercover agents to arrest Weaver, who presumably would have dropped his guard. This recommendation was again rejected.


How What Happened 25 Years Ago At Ruby Ridge Still Matters Today

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with author Jess Walter about the significance today of the 1992 deadly standoff between right-wing fundamentalists and the federal government at Ruby Ridge in Idaho.

Heavily armed militia members and white nationalists listing the crimes of the federal government on camera. That's what happened in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. And it's also what happened 25 years ago at Ruby Ridge.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A standoff between a man who is wanted by the FBI and a large number of federal agents. It's entered its sixth day. The man has been holed up in a cabin in a remote section of Idaho.

August 21st, 1992, was the first day of what turned into an 11-day standoff between the federal government and the Weaver family. Randy Weaver was wanted on weapons charges. He and his wife were white separatists who flirted with joining the Aryan Nations. Weaver's wife and son and a federal agent would be dead by the end of the standoff. We wanted to take a look at what happened 25 years ago and to talk about how it still matters today. In a minute, we'll hear from people who use Ruby Ridge as a rallying cry.

But first, writer and journalist Jess Walter wrote what's considered the definitive account of what happened at Ruby Ridge, and he's with us now. Welcome.

MCEVERS: So I think if you ask people what they remember about this story, they would say, you know, right-wing militia types holed up in their compound, refusing orders from the federal government. Eventually there's a standoff. People get killed. But that's not really the whole story, right? I mean, what are some of the misconceptions about this story?

WALTER: Yeah. Basically, you know, the Weavers were people who had run away from society and were living on an Idaho mountaintop, went to some meetings that the Aryan Nations and got pulled into a larger investigation of white supremacist groups like The Order, the terrorist group that had ravaged the United States in the '80s. And because of that, Randy Weaver sawed the barrels off some shotguns and sold them to an undercover ATF informant. And that started this chain of events that really went about as badly as you can - as you can imagine on both sides.

MCEVERS: How does each side tell the story? Like, it - for the right wing, how do they tell it? How do the feds tell it?

WALTER: Basically, to hear some people on the right tell it, Randy Weaver was a gentleman farmer and the government swooped in and tricked him into sawing the barrels off shotguns, and then gave him the wrong court date and threatened to throw him off his land, and then provoked a gunfight with him and shot his son and his dog, and then the next day murdered his wife.

And to hear the federal government tell it, Randy Weaver was a white separatist who went to Aryan Nations meetings and was hanging out with the worst of the worst, and because of that became the target of federal investigation. And then wouldn't show up for court, defied every attempt to follow the law, armed his kids with weapons and wore swastikas and marched on his land and defied the government. And again, you can make the case that both of those sides have some points.

MCEVERS: What are the dangers even today to having these two very different versions of what happened at Ruby Ridge?

WALTER: I think the big danger really is in not understanding exactly what happened. The radical right wing, which changes its name, you know, almost like a rebranding - they go from white separatist to white supremacist to white nationalist.

WALTER: They continue to use this as a rallying cry because this is their very worst nightmare. This is the thing that they warn can happen to Americans. And on the other side, law enforcement is always in danger of prosecuting people because of their beliefs rather than their actions.

MCEVERS: Yeah. Have the feds learned their lesson from Ruby Ridge? I mean, going forward when we - we're seeing - you know, obviously we're seeing takeovers of federal buildings, more protests and demonstrations. Are they better at their jobs?

WALTER: You only have to look at the way they handled radical right-wing groups after this and the patience with which federal authorities now treat these groups. I had one FBI agent describe it as Weaver fever, the thing they're trying to avoid, this sense that a small thing like a minor weapons violation can blow up into the deaths of three people. And so I definitely think that they have learned to not inflame these situations when possible. As we've seen, though, the - these ideas don't go away. They come back and they're recycled.

And we haven't really dealt with them. This is a stew of all of the things that, you know, make it difficult for us to have conversations at Thanksgiving or to read Facebook posts. You've got race. You have religion. You have guns. You have the myths of the West. You have this blend of these things that divide Americans in ways that we have not figured out how to resolve. They go back to our founding, to slavery, to the very things that drive us apart right now.

MCEVERS: Jess Walter is the author of "Ruby Ridge: The Truth And Tragedy Of The Randy Weaver Family." Thank you so much for your time today.

MCEVERS: As we just heard, Ruby Ridge is still a rallying cry for people on the militant far right, people like Cliven Bundy. Bundy was at the center of his own standoff against federal authorities in 2014. There's a trial going on in Las Vegas related to that armed standoff. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on how Bundy supporters at the trial think about Ruby Ridge today.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Ruby Ridge may have happened a quarter century ago, but for Shawna Cox, the standoff is still relevant today.

SHAWNA COX: Is that what we do in America? If we don't stand up and get the information, then it allows more of that kind of problem to happen. And we've allowed it more and more until they've become so strong that they can attack anyone.

SIEGLER: When Cox says they, she's talking about what she sees as an overreaching federal government. Twenty-five years after Ruby Ridge, Cox is a reliable presence outside the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, leading a collection of self-described patriots, conspiracy theorists, militia and far-right sympathizers waving American flags and clutching pocket-sized Constitutions. They protest many of the same things as people did at Ruby Ridge, only with a new cast of characters - Cliven Bundy and his followers. Shawna Cox sees a parallel to the Weavers.

COX: They - we have a force that comes in against a family that was - that's innocent.

SIEGLER: In fact, things are a little more murky. Unlike Randy Weaver, Cliven Bundy openly defied the federal government for more than two decades, refusing to pay a million dollars in public lands grazing fees. But both cases are hugely complex. And the men's deep mistrust of the federal government was and is still an inspiration for people like Roger Roots. Roots traveled here from Montana, where he attended militia protests in the Northwest going back to the Ruby Ridge standoff.

ROGER ROOTS: Any resistance to federal power is considered, you know, as just almost domestic terrorism, very dangerous. And of course I think there's a large sector of the American population that doesn't see it that way. We view firearms as absolutely healthy and a tool for protecting individual freedom.

SIEGLER: Randy Weaver was eventually acquitted. There are similar charges, including firearms, at the center of the case against Cliven Bundy and his followers. And it's clear people like Roots are counting on a sympathetic jury again, especially given the mood of the country in many rural areas right now.

ROOTS: I think the public is very inclined toward freedom fighters, you know? And that's what these guys are, both here and in the Randy Weaver case.

SIEGLER: One big difference between Ruby Ridge and today - social media, which anti-government activists like Shawna Cox use prolifically.

COX: We didn't even realize how much the media controlled the American people because you have a newspaper that comes out, and they can say whatever they want to and lead the people whichever direction. And they were.

SIEGLER: Back in the '90s, far-right militias sent out newsletters and talked on chat rooms, but they didn't have a megaphone to reach the masses like they do now. Kirk Siegler, NPR News, Las Vegas.

(SOUNDBITE OF KINOBE'S "CHASING CLOUDS")

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Ruby Ridge siege, 25 years later, a 'rallying cry' for today's white nationalists

The 25th anniversary of a deadly standoff is Monday, Aug. 21.

August 1992: Deadly standoff between police and white nationalist in Idaho

— -- Public protests by self-declared white supremacists. Criticism of how police handled a violent standoff. Three deaths.

These events recall last week’s outbursts in Charlottesville, Virginia, but actually describe a 25-year-old incident in a forested region of northern Idaho, about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.

That 11-day standoff starting Aug. 21, 1992, between federal agents and a heavily armed family at Ruby Ridge laid the groundwork for today’s anti-government sentiment and white supremacy movement displayed for all to see in Charlottesville, according to one expert.

“I think of it [Ruby Ridge] as the precursor for the last couple, three decades of extremism because it combined two things: white supremacy and rage against the government, and that is exactly the same two movements on the far right that has animated extremism on the far right up until today,” said Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a legal advocacy organization that monitors such extremist groups.

“Ruby Ridge is the beginning of all this. The right-wing media starts in the era after this . all of this builds out of the rage that was symbolized with this event,” she told ABC News.

Despite Beirich’s tracing the movement from Ruby Ridge to the present, the 1992 standoff is unique in many ways, as this look back shows:

The making of a suspect

The cabin at the top of Ruby Ridge was home to the Weaver family, built by Randy and Vicki Weaver when they relocated their family from Iowa to Idaho.

"[Randy Weaver] really was an apocalyptic living on a mountain top with his family,” said Jess Walter, a reporter who covered the standoff at the time and went on to write a book about it.

His book became a made-for-TV movie four years after the event, with Laura Dern starring as Vicki Weaver and a young Kirsten Dunst as daughter Sara Weaver.

In the years before the legal troubles that led to the fatal standoff, the Weaver family spent time on a nearby compound that belonged to the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group.

The family said their time spent at the Aryan Nations compound was “for social reasons, they were looking for people to hang out with,” Walter explained. No one from the Weaver family formally became a member of the group, he added, “even though they espoused similar belief systems.”

White supremacist ideologies espouse what they call the inferiority of nonwhite races, according to the SPLC.

Randy Weaver was known to wear shirts that said, “Just Say No to ZOG,” referencing a hate slogan for Zionist Organized Government, and his son, Samuel, reportedly wore a swastika armband.

“They had all the trappings they just didn’t join the group,” Walter said.

While there, at some point in 1989, a confidential informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms struck up a relationship with Weaver and, in a move that was later dismissed as entrapment, advised and persuaded Weaver to saw off the tops of shotguns, breaking federal law.

ATF agents used the charges to approach Weaver about becoming an informant himself, but he refused.

Weaver was arrested for sawing off the shotguns in January 1991 after ATF agents pretended they were having car trouble and Weaver and his wife stopped to help. Weaver later failed to appear in court and a bench warrant was issued.

Months of attempts by the U.S. Marshals Service to get Weaver to surrender peacefully went by, leading the government to install surveillance cameras on his property. On Aug. 21, 1992, a crew of six marshals went to surveil the property in person.

What happened on a hilltop in Idaho

The Weaver’s dog alerted the family of the marshals’ presence and Randy Weaver, son Sammy, 14, and their family friend Kevin Harris went to investigate, bringing weapons with them. A firefight ensued after one of the marshals fatally shot the dog.

The two sides exchanged gunfire and, afterwards, Sammy and Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Degan lay dead.

In a subsequent report from the Ruby Ridge Task Force created by the Department of Justice, officials noted that they were "unable to determine conclusively who fired the first shot during the exchange of gunfire."

The next day, as Randy Weaver, his daughter Sara and Harris were going to visit the body of Sammy Weaver, which family members had moved to a nearby shed, an FBI sniper shot Randy Weaver in the armpit. As the three ran back into the house, the sniper fired a second shot that hit Harris in the chest and went through the door and fatally struck Vicki Weaver, who was standing behind the door while holding the family’s infant daughter.

As the fatal drama played out for days up at the cabin, all public updates came through FBI officials who kept reporters and the public at a checkpoint about a mile and a half from the scene. All told, writer Walter estimates, more than 200 members of federal, state and local law enforcement were involved in the standoff.

“There were two standoffs. There was one at the cabin and there was one down at the roadblock where the protesters had gathered,” Walter said of a mix of people that included locals and outsiders who had traveled to the remote spot in Idaho to show their support of the Weavers or condemn the government.

The updates from the FBI were not always accurate, as they did not initially have - and therefore did not disclose - correct information. For instance, Vicki Weaver was fatally shot on the second day of the standoff, which wasn’t publicly disclosed until day nine.

“The whole roadblock felt like dried kindling,” Walter said. “It would just take one lightning strike and this could really get worse.”

“The most terrifying night was when they announced that Vicki Weaver had been killed.”

“Angry self-described patriots would run up to the roadblock and they'd scream things like, ‘This means war’ and ‘Baby killer,’” Walter said, though no babies died in the standoff.

A civilian negotiator became involved and coordinated communications between the Weavers and federal authorities. The negotiator helped arrange for Harris to be brought out of the cabin on a stretcher so that he could be treated for his injuries. On Aug. 31, the day after Harris was removed, Weaver surrendered.

Randy Weaver and Harris were arrested on numerous charges, though Weaver was later acquitted of all charges except for the original charge of missing his court date. Harris was also acquitted of charges related to the death of the marshal, and a later murder charge in connection to the marshal’s death was dismissed in 1997 on the grounds of double-jeopardy.

In 1995, the Weaver family received an out-of-court settlement from the federal government in a wrongful death suit. Randy Weaver received $100,000 and his three daughters received $1 million each. The government did not admit any wrongdoing in the deaths of Vicki and Sammy Weaver.

Investigations by the Department of Justice and the FBI followed for years after the standoff, and Ruby Ridge was the subject of a 1995 hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee that focused on FBI actions at the scene and the agency’s handling of the subsequent investigations.

Sara Weaver, who is the only Weaver child who has previously spoken to the media about the incident, declined to be interviewed for this story and ABC News has been unable to reach Harris and Randy Weaver.

In the shadows of the standoff

The standoff at Ruby Ridge was not the only flashpoint between disaffected Americans and government officials around that time.

The deadly FBI siege in Waco, Texas, began in February 1993, about five months after the standoff at Ruby Ridge, and the bombing of an FBI office building in Oklahoma City occurred in April 1995.

Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the three incidents a “pattern” of “the same kind of events,” while Walter recalled that Waco and Oklahoma City rekindled interest in Ruby Ridge.

ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts noted, “The overreaction of the government, and in the end, the deaths of three people and a dog [at Ruby Ridge], convinced people who hated the government that they were right. So it just played into that whole paranoid view and then when Waco was added on, [it] spawned a whole new society of anti-government groups.”

“I think the FBI learned a great deal from it,” Roberts said, noting that the reviews and investigations of the incident likely led to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies’ realizing “how not to do that again.”

The FBI field office that covers Idaho did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

Reverberations of Ruby Ridge today

In the end, Walter told ABC News, “The fallout from Ruby Ridge was [that it] sort of mainstreamed some of those really right-wing conspiratorial beliefs and, in many ways, when you have conspiracy buffs saying the government’s out to kill you, and then a case like that happens, it just continues to reverberate and echo.”

One of the best-known, self-declared members of the so-called alt-right told ABC News that Ruby Ridge was a "particularly stunning example" of federal government overreach.

Jared Taylor, the editor of the American Renaissance magazine and leader of the associated group that he has described as a white advocacy organization, told ABC News that Ruby Ridge was "an outrage" and he instantly recalled specific details about the standoff, including the name of the FBI sharpshooter who killed Vicki Weaver.

The standoff "was an extraordinary example -- just like the Waco attack on the Branch Davidian -- of overweaning federal power,” he said. “This is something that many Americans, I think, legitimately fear.”

"Americans have short historical memories. but this was something that was so outrageous that in certain circles it has real notoriety," Taylor said, noting that the groups in question are likely those who "have a general distrust of government."

Taylor, who is a white nationalist and believes white identity is under attack, did not recall any Neo-Nazi protesters assembling at the roadblock in support of the Weavers, but he thinks that the issues connected to Ruby Ridge are not solely of interest to members of his ideology.

"Yes, I am a racial dissident, and because the federal government is very much in the business of making decisions that are objectively not in the interest of white [people], I am suspicious of that power but I want to make it very clear that it is not only people like myself that share that suspicion," Taylor told ABC News.

Walter, the reporter, said that while “the radical right-wing becomes mainstreamed every once in a while, and never more than now,” he doubts that the 2016 campaign, election or the administration of President Donald Trump “mainstreamed those beliefs, so much as those beliefs are always out there.”

Beirich partly disagrees, telling ABC that “these ideas -- whether they're the anti-government ideas or the racial ideas -- were pretty much kept to the margins of American politics . until recently.”

There’s been “a slow march through the institutions of the right-wing through the ‘90s, the first decades of the 2000s,” Beirich said, but it has reached a new point in the past two years, when there was a presidential candidate “who was openly racist, openly anti-Muslim, openly anti-immigration, openly anti-U.N., openly anti-globalization.”

“Those are all of the ideas from the extreme right and they finally made it into the mainstream,” she said.

When asked whether she expects that some people might celebrate or commemorate Monday’s 25th anniversary of the beginning of the standoff, Beirich said, “I’m sure they will.”

“These people have been talking about Ruby Ridge the whole way through,” she added.


THE AWFUL TRUTH OF RUBY RIDGE'

The Weavers were not the kind of people you'd want for neighbors. Dad was a venomous racist who couldn't hold a steady job. Mom was a religious fanatic who wore a pistol on her hip and raged about the coming apocalypse. Their kids toted rifles and sometimes paraded around wearing Nazi armbands.

"This isn't Leave It to Beaver,' " notes a federal agent in the CBS miniseries "Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy," a factual, often intense retelling of the government's brutal operation against Randy and Vicki Weaver and their four children in August 1992. The Weavers were major weirdos, but as unconventional as their beliefs were, the family didn't deserve to be the target of a massive federal invasion force that suspended the Constitution and brought war to the remote Idaho mountains.

This two-part movie (airing at 9 tonight and Tuesday on Channel 9) isn't high art, but it is chilling history. It depicts a defining moment in the rise of the militia movement and the decline of many citizens' faith in the FBI. The event's epilogue is still unspooling as a grand jury probes alleged FBI coverups in Washington, and as federal law enforcement agencies try to confront religious and political extremists (such as the Montana Freemen) without resorting to excesses.

By television standards, "Ruby Ridge" is remarkably honest, evenhanded and gutsy. The feds look bad, but so do the Weavers. No heroes here.

Distraught by America's growing cultural pollution, Randy and Vicki moved from Iowa to northern Idaho's Panhandle in 1983 to home-school their children -- and then set about poisoning their kids' minds with the anti-black and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories of the Christian Identity movement. The movie does not shy from raw racial slurs, presenting an unlaundered version of Randy Weaver as opposed to the polite, sympathetic witness who testified in extensive Senate hearings last fall.

Randy Quaid plays Randy Weaver opaquely, as a bit of a lunkhead, but that's also true to life Vicki was the family's visionary and mouthpiece, fond of writing letters that damned government officials as agents of "Babylon." Laura Dern is eerily compelling as the doomed Vicki, whose face was blown off by an FBI sniper given a license to kill by Washington higher-ups.

The deaths of Vicki, 43, and the Weavers' 14-year-old son Sammy -- who was shot in the back while fleeing heavily armed, camouflaged federal marshals -- are gory and tough to watch, but they are not played for cheap catharsis. The central horror of this story is how callously and recklessly the government's top law enforcement agents responded to the perceived threat of Randy Weaver, who was wanted on a relatively puny charge of selling two sawed-off shotguns to a federal informant.

The incident started when one of the marshals -- who were on a surveillance mission and under orders not to confront the family -- shot the Weavers' yellow Labrador retriever in its backside. After the initial firefight that left Sammy Weaver and a deputy U.S. marshal dead, the Weavers retreated to their ramshackle cabin and didn't fire another shot throughout the 11-day siege.

Nevertheless, officials amassed an army of more than 300 federal, state and local Rambos, complete with Humvees and armored personnel carriers. "It looks like Vietnam," says one agent clad in jungle fatigues, surveying the tent city. Orders went out for any armed men seen near the cabin to be shot on sight -- so-called "rules of engagement" that represented an illegal departure from standard FBI deadly force policy.

The feds also spewed misinformation about Aryan zealots in a mountain fortress who'd "pinned down" lawmen, fired from a pickup truck and even tried to shoot down an FBI helicopter they warned of bombs and tunnels on the property, Randy's ties to bank robbers, and Vicki's willingness to kill her own children. It was either wild speculation or pure bunk.

"Have you people lost your minds?" Vicki's father (G.W. Bailey) asks an FBI agent who claims Randy has booby-trapped the cabin. "They are a family with a little baby crawling around!"

One flaw in this otherwise scrupulous production is the script's use of bogus names for various real-life characters, including all of the government's operatives. Timid lawyers for CBS and the production company warned against identifying the U.S. marshals and FBI officials who carried out the Ruby Ridge surveillance and siege, according to executive producers Judith Regan and Edgar Scherick. This seems ridiculously cautious, given that the mini-series was based on an exceptionally well-reported book by Jess Walter, "Every Knee Shall Bow," and that the book draws from court proceedings and government records. Even the slain marshal, William Degan, gets a phony name.

The caution no doubt has something to do with a lawsuit brought against federal officials by Kevin Harris, a friend of the Weaver family who was charged with Degan's murder and acquitted (as was Randy Weaver). While the Justice Department paid the Weavers $3.1 million last summer to drop their claims against the government, Harris is seeking $10 million in damages "for the denial of constitutional rights," according to his attorney. (Harris, 28, was gravely wounded by the same sniper bullet that passed through Vicki's jaw.)

The role of Harris (played by Darren Burrows) is underdeveloped, but the strongest characters here tend to be those with forceful personalities in actual life. These include crack cowboy defense lawyer Gerry Spence (Joe Don Baker), who represented Weaver in the criminal trial swaggering ex-Green Beret Col. James "Bo" Gritz (Bob Gunton), who negotiated an end to the siege and FBI field commander Eugene Glenn (called Agent Wilkes in the movie and played by Frederick Coffin), whom Washington higher-ups later attempted to scapegoat for the illegal rules of engagement.

In its adherence to the essential facts, "Ruby Ridge: An America Tragedy" does justice to this shameful episode. Whether FBI Director Louis Freeh and the Justice Department prosecutors investigating the tragedy reach the same truth remains to be seen. As the cliche advises: Stay tuned. CAPTION: Laura Dern and Randy Quaid as the Weavers Joe Don Baker as their lawyer, Gerry Spence and Bradley Pierce as their son, Sammy.


Horiuchi was born on June 9, 1954 in Hawaii as the son of a U.S. Army officer. He later attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and graduated in 1976. He served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Afterwards he joined the FBI, and by 1999 had been an FBI agent for at least 15 years. [1]

In 1992, while working at sniper position Sierra 4 for the FBI Hostage Rescue Team at Ruby Ridge, Horiuchi shot and killed Vicki Weaver and also wounded her husband, Randy Weaver, and family friend Kevin Harris. [2]

After his first shot hit and wounded Randy Weaver, Horiuchi fired a second shot at Kevin Harris, who was armed, some 20 seconds later as Harris was running into the Weaver home. The bullet fired at Harris struck and killed Vicki Weaver through the doorway just beyond Harris, who was entering the home. Weaver was holding her 10-month-old child behind the door through which Harris was attempting to enter [2] [3] the round also struck and wounded Harris. [4]

Following the conclusion of the trial of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris in 1993, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) created a "Ruby Ridge Task Force" to investigate allegations made by Weaver's defense attorney Gerry Spence. On June 10, 1994, the Task Force delivered its 542-page report to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility. The Report stated: "With regard to the two shots fired on August 22, we concluded that the first shot met the standard of 'objective reasonableness' the Constitution requires for the legal use of deadly force but that the second shot did not satisfy that standard." [5]

The surviving members of the Weaver family received $3.1 million in 1995 to settle their civil suit brought against the U.S. government for wrongful deaths of Vicki Weaver and 14-year-old Samuel Weaver, who was killed the day before during an encounter with U.S. Marshals. In the out-of-court settlement, the government did not admit any wrongdoing. In a separate suit, Harris received a $380,000 settlement from the U.S. government in 2000. [6]

Manslaughter charge Edit

In 1997, Boundary County, Idaho Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, with the help of special prosecutor Stephen Yagman, charged Horiuchi in state court with involuntary manslaughter over his killing of Vicki Weaver. The U.S. Attorney filed a notice of removal of the case to federal court, which automatically took effect under the statute for removal jurisdiction [7] where the case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on May 14, 1998, who cited the supremacy clause of the Constitution which grants immunity to federal officers acting in the scope of their employment. [2]

The decision to dismiss the charges was reversed by an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, which held that enough uncertainty about the facts of the case existed for Horiuchi to stand trial on state manslaughter charges. [2] Ultimately, the then-sitting Boundary County prosecutor, Brett Benson, who had defeated Woodbury in the 2000 election, decided to drop the charges, because he felt it was unlikely the state could prove the case and too much time had passed. Yagman, the special prosecutor, responded that he "could not disagree more with this decision than I do." [8]

The Ninth Circuit granted Boundary County's motion to dismiss the case against Horiuchi on September 14, 2001. [9]

On September 13, 1993, Charles Riley, a fellow FBI sniper deployed during the Waco Siege claimed that he had heard Horiuchi shooting from "Sierra One", an FBI-held house in front of the compound holding eight snipers, including Horiuchi and Christopher Curran, on April 19, 1993. Riley later retracted his statement, saying that he had been misquoted, and that he had only heard snipers a Sierra One announce that shots had been fired por Branch Davidians. Riley later clarified that he had heard a radio report from Sierra One that someone at that position had witnessed gunfire from within the compound." [10]

Three of the twelve expended .308 Winchester shell cases that the Texas Rangers reported finding in the house were at Horiuchi's position. However, officials maintain that they could have been left behind from the earlier use of the house by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives snipers on February 28, 1993, and that it would be "nearly impossible" to match them to Horiuchi's rifle, as it had probably been fitted with a new barrel since that time. [11]

For the five months following the Waco inferno, Timothy McVeigh worked at gun shows and handed out free cards printed with Horiuchi's name and address, "in the hope that somebody in the Patriot movement would assassinate the sharpshooter". He wrote hate mail to the sniper, suggesting that "what goes around, comes around". McVeigh considered targeting Horiuchi, or a member of his family, before settling on a bombing attack on a federal building, choosing to target the Murrah Building. [12]


En la historia americana

In August 1992, U.S. marshals engaged in a weeklong standoff with the family of Randall J. Weaver at the Weavers’ mountain-side home in northern Idaho, now popularly known as Ruby Ridge. The raid resulted in the deaths of Weaver’s wife Vicki, his son Samuel, and federal agent William Degan. A number of conspiracy theories cluster around the Ruby Ridge incident.

On one side, the Weavers believed that Zionists had taken control in the United States and planned to institute a tyrannous one-world government. In the wake of the siege, Randy Weaver has insisted that federal officials conspired to hide the truth of their own conduct prior to and during the siege.


On the other side, federal authorities believed that Randy Weaver was involved in a conspiracy by white supremacist groups to commit terrorist acts and subvert the U.S. government. And, finally, the events at Ruby Ridge confirmed the suspicions among many right-wing extremists that a Jewish-controlled U.S. government intends to disarm patriotic U.S. citizens.

Randy Weaver grew up in a small town in southwestern Iowa. Two years after graduating from high school in 1966, he enlisted in the army and underwent Special Forces training with the Green Berets, but never went to Vietnam. In 1971, he married Vicki Jordison. The Weavers became interested in biblical prophecy after reading Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), which interpreted the Old Testament through events in the modern world.

The Weavers quickly came to believe in the literal truth of the Bible and, through their readings, developed the belief that the Old Testament predicted many of the global conflicts in the modern world, such as the rise of communism. They also came to believe that the forces of evil—controlled by Communists and Jewish bankers—were preparing to invade the United States and usher in the Last Days.

In 1983, the Weavers moved to northern Idaho with their two children, Sara and Samuel, in order to separate themselves from modern society and await the Tribulation. They built their own home on the mountain, stockpiled food and other provisions, and trained their children in the use of firearms.

While in Idaho, the Weavers came into contact with many people who held beliefs similar to their own: white supremacists, survivalists, and members of the religious movement called Christian Identity. But even in rural Idaho, which in the 1980s was home to some of the most notorious white supremacist groups in U.S. history, the Weavers’ beliefs were iconoclastic.

They considered themselves separatists, not supremacists, and lived their lives according to the strict rules of the Old Testament and other arcane religious writings, such as the biblical apocrypha. Although they made friends with members of groups like the Aryan Nations, the Weavers never officially joined any organized group.

They did, however, attend the Aryan Congress meetings at the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Their attendance at the Aryan Congress was significant for two reasons. First, in the mid-1980s, the American West, and Idaho in particular, was a principal concern for both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF).

In 1983 and 1984, an offshoot of the Aryan Nations calling itself the Bruders Schweigen, or the Order, launched a wave of crime that included bank robbery, an armored car heist in Seattle that netted a half million dollars, and the murder of Alan Berg, a prominent talk-radio host in Denver. By 1985, following tips from informants and a series of raids, federal authorities had successfully captured and convicted twenty-two members of the Order.

Following that success, FBI and BATF investigations of Aryan Nations were ongoing. The Weavers’ attendance at the Aryan Congress was also significant because it was there, in 1986, that Randy Weaver befriended Kenneth Fadeley, an undercover BATF informant calling himself Gus Magisono.

Three years later, in October 1989, Weaver agreed to sell Fadeley two sawn-off shotguns and soon after, federal agents threatened to arrest Weaver unless he agreed to become an informant himself. When Weaver refused, a grand jury indicted him on federal weapons violations. At his indictment hearing, Weaver’s trial date was set for 19 February 1992.

On 7 February of that year, Weaver was sent a notice by the U.S. attorney that his trial date had been changed to 20 March, when in fact it had been changed to 20 February. The Weavers maintained that this and other dealings they had with law enforcement officials were deliberate acts of deception, further proof that they had been targeted for their beliefs and purposely set up as part of a government conspiracy.

After Weaver failed to appear for his appointed court date, federal agents began what would eventually be an eighteen-month surveillance of the Weaver cabin. During this time, they developed a threat assessment of Weaver that a subsequent investigation by a Senate subcommittee determined was deeply flawed.

That assessment included the charges that Weaver was a neo-Nazi, that he had been convicted of engaging in white supremacist activities, that he was a suspect in a number of bank robberies meant to finance antigovernment terrorism, that the Weaver home was protected by booby-traps and explosives, that Weaver had made threats on the life of the president, and that he was to be treated as extremely dangerous.

In fact, Weaver had never been convicted or charged with any crime prior to his arrest on the federal gun charge and the subcommittee determined that the threat assessment was greatly exaggerated. Nevertheless, based on these assessments, the BATF deployed its Special Operations Group (SOG) to help bring Weaver in.

On 21 August 1992, a group of federal marshals, under heavy camouflage, approached the Weaver cabin. At the same time, fourteen-year-old Samuel Weaver and a family friend named Kevin Harris were out hunting with the family dog, Stryker. When the dog approached the agents, it was shot, setting off a flurry of gunfire that wounded Harris and killed Samuel Weaver and one of the agents, William Degan.

The following day, an FBI sniper, Lon Horiuchi, fired two shots into the Weaver cabin, one of which wounded Randy Weaver. The second shot, which traveled through a window of the Weaver cabin, hit Vicki Weaver in the face as she held her infant daughter Elisheba. Vicki was killed instantly. Following the sniper fire, the remaining members of the Weaver family continued to resist surrender.

Finally, after another week of negotiations and the intervention of Christian Patriot leader Bo Gritz, Randy Weaver agreed to turn himself over to authorities. Weaver and Harris were charged with murder in the death of Marshal Degan and several other felonies, including assault and conspiracy to subvert the United States government.

Represented by celebrity defense attorney Gerry Spence, both men were acquitted of all charges and, in addition, a jury found that Weaver’s original arrest on a weapons violation was the result of entrapment. Weaver was convicted only of a failure to appear for trial.

Following the trial, Weaver filed a wrongful death suit in the killing of Vicki, which was settled out of court in 1994 for over $3 million. In 1995, a Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Government Information held public hearings to address allegations of government misconduct.

At issue were questions regarding FBI and BATF handling of the investigation of Randy Weaver, the rules of engagement used by SOG during the raid, and allegations of a subsequent cover-up during the trial. In each case, the committee determined that the government had acted irresponsibly and, in the case of the rules of engagement, unconstitutionally.

Among their findings were FBI orders that instructed federal snipers to shoot on sight any member of the Weaver family seen to be carrying a weapon, despite the fact that only Randy was charged with a crime. The committee also concluded that Horiuchi’s second shot, which killed Vicki Weaver, was unjustified under FBI policy and the United States Constitution.

Además, el comité encontró que los funcionarios federales intentaron encubrir su mala conducta de varias maneras: al no seguir los protocolos de investigación adecuados, al no proporcionar o retrasar la publicación de documentos relevantes para el tribunal y al mostrar favoritismo al revisar las acciones de amigos y colegas. Para muchos en la extrema derecha, los hallazgos del subcomité del Senado proporcionaron evidencia de una conspiración que habían sospechado durante mucho tiempo.

Según las propias declaraciones de Timothy McVeigh, el tratamiento de los Weavers en el incidente de Ruby Ridge, junto con el manejo similar del gobierno del asedio de Branch Davidian en Waco, Texas, jugó un papel importante en su decisión de bombardear un edificio federal en la ciudad de Oklahoma. .

Una década después, Ruby Ridge continúa enojando a los activistas antigubernamentales: en junio de 2001, un tribunal federal de apelaciones dictaminó que Lon Horiuchi podría ser juzgado por un cargo de homicidio involuntario por el asesinato de Vicki Weaver. Pero la semana siguiente, un fiscal de Idaho se negó a continuar con el caso, citando pruebas insuficientes, y retiró el cargo. Randy Weaver vive con los hijos que le quedan en Iowa.