Jim Bovard reminded me of an anniversary I thought I’d never forget: twenty years ago today, the federal government murdered Vicki Weaver.
Twenty years ago yesterday, federal marshals kicked off the Ruby Ridge seige by killing a boy and his dog.
I was already a freedomista before the Weaver monstrosity, but that was my radicalization. I knew from the moment I saw the fuzzy helicopter images of the Weavers’ cabin on the little antenna-driven TV I had then that something was rotten, foul, unspeakable, and more wrong than words could express.
While attending parts of the trial, I also got the chance to go up to the property with a friend of family and see what the prosecutors fought so hard (and successfully) to prevent the jury from seeing. The physical evidence at the site (and at that point, markers were still in place to show where cases had been found and various things had happened) showed clearly — and I mean blatantly obviously — that no one on the federal side could possibly have believed the story they were telling.
I cried — and I never believed a word uttered after that by a government agent or spokesthing.
So these days the feds don’t send hundreds of agents, including National Guard troops, to besiege harmless families.
No, that sort of publicly visible overkill is no more. Not after Ruby Ridge and Waco. Much, much too embarrassing to Our Glorious Leaders. TV overkill has been replaced by localized SWAT raids, wrong-house puppycides, taser killings, “surgical” drone strikes, terrorist tactics, and claims that angry people are mentally ill based (apparently) on their Facebook posts.
We live in a much better world today, don’t we?