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View Diary: the violence of Patriots' Day (135 comments)

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  •  I think you are missing the point. (1+ / 0-)
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    The Weavers were fruitcakes.

    But in this case during the initial part of the confrontation they didn't behave unreasonably.

    Their dogs started barking.  They apparently thought a deer might be near and went out because they were short on meat.

    They ran down the path and bumped into the Marshals.

    There was a confused incident.  The Marshals shot Weaver's dog and son.  Harris shot a Marshal.  Weaver and Harris ran back to their cabin and holed up.

    The US Government pretty much forfeited the normal presumption that government agents in such a situation are telling the truth and survivalist nuts are not when they issued shoot on sight rules of engagement and then all parties involved denied being responsible.

    The Ruby Ridge Rules of Engagement (ROE) were drawn up on the basis of reports from USMS and FBI headquarters, bolstered by unconfirmed news media accounts accepted by HQ, that exaggerated the threat posed by the Weavers.

    1. If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the announcement, deadly force can and should be employed, if the shot can be taken without endangering any children.
    1. If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement is made, and is not attempting to surrender, deadly force can and should be employed to neutralize the individual.
    1. If compromised by any animal, particularly the dogs, that animal should be eliminated.
    1. Any subjects other than Randall Weaver, Vicki Weaver, Kevin Harris, presenting threats of death or grievous bodily harm, the FBI rules of deadly force are in effect. Deadly force can be utilized to prevent the death or grievous bodily injury to oneself or that of another.[34]

    Standard deadly force policy of the FBI was: "Agents are not to use deadly force against any person except as necessary in self-defense or the defense of another, when they have reason to believe they or another are in danger of death or grievous bodily harm. Whenever feasible, verbal warning should be given before deadly force is applied."[35] Under the Ruby Ridge ROE 3 and 4, the Weaver dogs, the Weaver children and third parties were subject to the standard deadly force policy and could only be shot in self-defense if they presented a danger of death or grievous bodily harm. However, under the Ruby Ridge ROE 1 and 2, deadly force against the Weaver adults was permitted without the justification of defense and without any verbal warning.

    The Denver FBI SWAT team assigned to Ruby Ridge thought the ROE were "crazy" and agreed among themselves to follow the FBI deadly force policy. However, most of the FBI HRT sniper/observers accepted the ROE as modifying the deadly force policy. Examples: HRT sniper Dale Monroe saw the ROE as a "green light" to shoot armed adult males on sight and HRT sniper Edward Wenger believed that if he observed armed adults, he could use deadly force, but he was to follow standard deadly force policy for all other individuals. Fred Lanceley, the FBI Hostage Negotiator at Ruby Ridge, was "surprised and shocked" at the ROE, the most severe rules he had ever heard in his over 300 hostage situations and characterized the ROE as inconsistent with standard policy.[36] A later Senate report criticized the ROE as "virtual shoot-on-sight orders."[37]

    Before the negotiators arrived at the cabin, an FBI HRT sniper, Lon Horiuchi, shot and wounded Randy Weaver in the back with the bullet exiting his right armpit, while he was lifting the latch on the shed to visit the body of his dead son.[38] (The sniper testified at the later trial that he had put his crosshairs on Weaver's spine, but Weaver moved at the last second.) Then, as Weaver, his 16-year-old daughter Sara,[39] and Harris ran back toward the house, Horiuchi fired a second bullet, which passed through Vicki Weaver's head, killing her, and wounded Harris in the chest. Vicki Weaver was standing behind the door through which Harris was entering the house, holding their 10-month-old baby Elisheba[39] in her arms.[40] The Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility Ruby Ridge Task Force Report (June 10, 1994) stated in section I. Executive Summary subhead B. Significant Findings that the second shot did not satisfy constitutional standards for legal use of deadly force.[41] The OPR review also found the lack of a request to surrender was "inexcusable", since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover without returning fire and were not an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing through the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it. While controversy exists as to who is responsible for approving the ROE that were being followed by the sniper, the task force also condemned the so-called "rules of engagement" allowing shots to be fired with no request for surrender.[38]

    •  Once the shooting starts, (2+ / 0-)
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      elwior, foxsucks81

      the neat "rules of engagement" quickly disappear.  We Americans need to purge ourselves of the delusion of the upright soldier of integrity always making humane decisions.  That is the stuff of superheroes in comic books.

      The problem after a war is the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence will pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?

      by geomoo on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 11:57:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually no. For professionals the ROE (0+ / 0-)

        stay in place right through the engagement.

        We have some of the most professional military and paramilitary forces in the world and when they are given reasonable instructions they don't produce cluster fucks like Ruby Ridge or even Waco.

        I totally agreed with the Horiuchi prosecution except for one thing.  Horiuchi was not a lawyer and couldn't reasonably determine the legality of his instructions.  The prosecution should have been of the superiors who produced those ROE.

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