Senate Criticizes Federal
Sleeping Monkeys by Mossman
On December 21, the U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism released its report on the Ruby Ridge standoff between Randy Weaver"s family and the FBI. The panel concluded that FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi"s shot that killed Vicki Weaver was illegal and violated her civil rights.
The panel criticized FBI Director Louis J. Freeh's "questionable judgement" in promoting Larry Potts after reprimanding him for his role in the incident. Potts and four other top FBI officials have been suspended while a federal criminal probe investigates the destruction of documents related to the incident.
The focal point of the Senate's criticism is the FBI's "Hostage Rescue Team," which originally only operated in foreign countries, is overtly militaristic and aggressive, and is used in situations where there are no hostages to be rescued.
The panel also criticized the U.S. Marshals service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) for their roles, saying, "While Randy Weaver made mistakes, so did every federal law enforcement agency involved in the Ruby Ridge incident."
Sources: AP news story reprinted in the August 15, 1995 San Francisco Examiner; AP story "Weaver pleads for justice, senators explore his views," in the September 6, 1995 News and Observer; New York Times News Service story "FBI sniper asserts Fifth Amendment privilege in Senate hearing," in the September 12, 1995 News and Observer; December 21, 1995 Associated Press article, "Senate report says sniper shot at Ruby Ridge was unlawful," reprinted in the NandO Times.
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