Nothing left now but . . .

Or to Arms


The Modern Militiaman's Internet Gazette

April 19, 1997, Issue #1-97


Purpose: Our purpose is to serve the Resistance/Patriot Movement as a weekly gazette providing news and commentary favorable to our cause in a format accessible to the general public.

The news from e-mail listings is shown in preformatted text. This news will be attributed to its authors/editors and is entirely the opinion of that particular author/editor.
One of the reasons for this is to cut down on the spamming and foolishness inherent in raw e-mail in order to provide a forum for discussion of Resistance Movement issues.

Commentary is in regular format and is solely the opinions of the Editor and Staff of Modern Militiaman Internet Gazette.

Editor Martin Lindstedt



Waco Questions Congress Refuses to Answer


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 18:48:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: SAFAN NO. 390:  1997: Waco Questions Congress Refuses to Answer

 S.A.F.A.N. Internet Newsletter, No. 390, April 18, 1997

by Carol Moore (

(Carol Moore, member, Committee for Waco Justice and author 
"The Davidian Massacre"  202/635-3739
In early 1995 many Americans held high hopes that Republican-
promised "Waco hearings" would finally expose federal agents' crimes 
against the Davidians and the government coverup of those crimes.  
The House of Representatives held 10 days of "Waco" hearings in the 
summer of 1995.  The Senate held two days of such hearings in the fall. 

The hearings did reveal over-aggressiveness and duplicity by agents 
and officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) 
and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  However, Congress' final 
conclusion followed the party line--the Davidians ambushed BATF and 
committed mass suicide.  Questions of crimes by these agents were 
rarely raised and evidence of such, when alleged or chanced upon, 

Nevertheless, citizens continue to produce new books and films 
cataloging compelling evidence that hyped-up BATF agents shot first 
as David Koresh opened the front door, even as other agents shot from 
helicopters, killing four Davidians.  BATF left ample bullet hole 
evidence in the walls and roofs of the building of this indiscriminate 
and illegal gunfire.  The Davidians repeatedly told negotiators that 
when this evidence was discovered Davidians would be freed and federal 
agents would be prosecuted. Fearing they were right, and angry at the 
deaths of four BATF agents, FBI Hostage Rescue Team agents deliberately 
destroyed evidence of BATF gunfire outside the building.  And they 
repeatedly sabotaged negotiations and pushed for a gas and tank 
attack that could--and ultimately did--destroy the building and its 
incriminating evidence.

Many Americans believe the U.S. Congress cares more about 
protecting these federal agents from prosecution than about protecting 
the American people from such agents. If Congress is to reassure the 
American people this is not true, it must re-open hearings on Waco to 
answer the questions below and/or call for a special prosecutor.  

     House Judiciary Committee    202/225-3951   fax-225-7682
     Senate Judiciary Committee   202/224-5225   fax-224-9102
1.   House investigators determined that "someone" at BATF lied to the
military about the Davidians being involved with drugs in order to get 
U.S. Army Special Forces and other military aid.  Instead of pulling out 
the stops to discover who lied, investigators only whined about the fact 
that military staff at Fort Bragg were not made available to them or had 
been pre-interviewed.
2.   One of the chief raid planners was William Buford, Special Agent in 
Charge of Little Rock BATF and a personal acquaintance of President 
Bill Clinton.  The day after the February 28 raid, then-Deputy Treasury 
Secretary Roger Altman visited the injured Buford in a Texas hospital.  
Congress never asked about this visit or whether Clinton or his staff 
had any foreknowledge of the raid.
3.   During the House hearings it was revealed that imprisoned Davidian 
Brad Branch, who was standing behind the unarmed David Koresh at 
the front door, claims he saw an agent shoot a dog as other agents 
rushed the door.  He claims one approaching agent panicked and started 
shooting at Koresh, wounding him and mortally wounding his father-
in-law.  Why did congressional investigators merely whine in their 
report that the Treasury Department did not let it interview agents 
before the hearings?  Why not grill them now?
4.   Why doesn't Congress methodologically investigate the copious 
forensic and eyewitness evidence that BATF agents in the Blackhawk 
helicopter shot at Davidians?  Instead it quiescently accepts the denials 
of two BATF agents and 3 National Guard helicopter pilots--who 
themselves may have shot or covered up others' shooting. Such 
evidence includes:  BATF discussions of using helicopter gunfire as a 
diversion; an agent in the helicopter admitting agents were armed and 
permitted to fire in self-defense; the government's allegations Davidians 
fired at helicopters, which might have triggered such a "self-defense" 
response, even before such gunfire began; BATF video from inside the 
helicopter showing the closeness of the approach to the building and 
containing sounds of close-up gunfire; television video showing bullets 
entering the roof from an almost perpendicular angle; two Davidians' 
complaints to 911 officers during the raid about such firing; thirteen 
Davidian survivors' testimony about it; Davidian attorneys and a 
prosecution witness' testimony about bullet hole evidence in the highest 
roof; autopsy evidence indicating four Davidians probably were killed 
from gunfire from above.
5.   Why didn't Congress do a systematic investigation of the "second 
shooting" of Davidian Michael Schroeder as he approached Mount 
Carmel several hours after the raid?  There is evidence that BATF 
agents, angry at BATF agents' deaths, gave scant warning as they 
opened fire on Schroeder, who died of three wounds to the back and 
two to the head.  Troubling evidence like shooting heard after the 
incident and Schroeder's missing cap suggests that agents then 
approached and "finished off" the wounded man with shots to the head.  
The FBI would not allow Texas Rangers to investigate the area for ten 
days after the shooting, making it impossible to check for footprints.

6.   Why didn't Congress grill prosecutors and federal agents about the 
moving and destruction of automobiles, trucks and a trailer during the 
siege? Why hasn't Congress asked FBI siege commander Jeff Jamar 
and chief negotiator Byron Sage--as well as Hostage Rescue Team 
commander Richard Rogers--about their reactions to the Davidians' 
allegations that bullet hole evidence in the building would lead to 
Davidian acquittals and convictions of agents?  These questions must 
be asked in light of Jamar and Sage's conflicting or dubious 
explanations to Congress about why they withheld from their superiors 
and Attorney General Janet Reno important information which would 
have scuttled the gas and tank attack that they supported.
7.   During the Senate hearings FBI Waco negotiator Cliff Van Zandt 
confirmed an allegation by a Davidian hearing witness: every time 
Davidians cooperated with the FBI by releasing people, the Hostage 
Rescue Team would punish them with acts like destruction of property, 
turning off electricity, or escalated harassment.  Why hasn't Congress 
grilled Hostage Rescue Team commander Richard Rogers and all 
Hostage Rescue Team members about this phenomena? 
8.   While FBI agents claim Davidians threw their phone out the window 
on April 19, Davidians deny this, asserting a tank cut the phone wire 
before the gas attack began.  This made it impossible for Davidians to 
negotiate a safe surrender.  The same agents claim Davidians 
immediately fired on the tanks, which Davidians also deny.  This 
gunfire allegation gave the FBI the excuse to speed up the gas attack 
and quickly proceed to the demolition of the building--and an excuse 
not to fix the phones.  Such actions and lies by the agents ensured the 
building would be destroyed.  They also ensured Davidians would be 
terrified of exiting and being shot, even as they hung a banner asking 
that their phones be fixed.  Why doesn't Congress take every FBI agent 
at the scene aside and grill each about the events of that day?
9.   During the House hearing Representative Howard Coble complained 
that the U.S. Army had not yet provided to the Committee any evidence 
of alleged damage to army tanks from Davidian gunfire on April 19.  
One staffer  told me they did finally receive that material from the 
army.  However,  if so, it was not included in the transcripts, as 
requested by Mr. Coble.  Is the House investigating committee hiding 
evidence that there was no Davidian gunfire?
10.  Before Attorney General Janet Reno left the FBI Operations Center 
in Washington on April 19, around 11:00 a.m., she had a telephone 
conversation with Bill Clinton, one she mentioned during the 1993 
House hearings.  Incredibly, in neither these nor 1995 hearings did 
representatives question her about the content of this conversation.  
Reno left soon after and put then-Associate Attorney General Webster 
Hubbell in charge.  Representatives did not ask her questions about 
what communication she had with Hubbell in the next two hours that 
passed before the fire.  Nor have they asked if wealthy Waco business-
man Bernard Rappaport--who paid Hubbell $18,000 after he resigned 
in disgrace from the Justice Department--might have had any input into 
Justice Department or White House decisions on Waco.  Nor have they 
asked Lisa Foster why one reason she believed her husband, White 
House counsel Vince Foster, killed himself was he felt guilty about 
11.  Will Congress finally dispute the FBI and Justice Department claims 
that nearly two dozen Davidians were on the first floor but refused to 
leave the building?  Davidians claim these men and women were 
trapped on the second floor because the tanks destroyed the stairwells.

 12.  Former U.S. Army and BATF fire investigator Richard Sherrow 
testified at the hearings.  He later  signed an affidavit for the 
Davidian civil suits stating that there is a strong probability that 
an FBI tank started at least one fire on the second floor that, fed by 
strong winds through long hallways, quickly spread to the rest of the 
building.  He notes suggestive evidence that FBI agents shot an 
incendiary "flash bang" into the gymnasium after the first fire started. 
Will Congress finally take this evidence seriously--even it means the 
U.S. government may lose 1.5 billion dollars in lawsuits? 
13.  Why did several FBI tanks continue ploughing burning, bullet-
pocked walls and other evidence into the fire for at least ten minutes 
towards the end of the fire, as seen on television videos?  (During the 
hearings one FBI tank driver volunteered a dubious answer, a possible 
attempt to pre-empt such a question.) 
14.  The controversial new film "Waco: The Rules of  Engagement" 
provides evidence relevant to most of the questions above.  It also 
presents infrared video experts who opine that there is clear infrared 
video evidence that FBI agents shot at Mount Carmel, perhaps at 
escaping Davidians, during the fire.  Will Congress take these 
allegations seriously enough to grill FBI agents about this?
QUESTIONS About Prosecutorial Misconduct in Branch Davidian Trial: 
15.  Confidential memoranda and handwritten notes revealed during the 
1995 House Waco hearings exposed the fact that the Treasury Dept, 
under pressure from the Justice Department and Webster Hubbell,  
halted its post-February 28 raid shooting review because agents' stories 
"did not add up." In fact, interviewers were generating "exculpatory" 
material that could help the Davidian defendants at trial.  Hubbell 
promised to produce his "Waco files" to Congress, but did not do so. 
Does Congress condone this unconstitutional Justice Dept practice of 
squelching evidence that might help defendants?
16.  The Department of Justice would not allow a company chosen by 
House investigators to independently test the Davidians' guns to see 
if they really are illegal machine guns, or if the FBI was falsely 
claiming this.  It then claimed the Department could not afford to 
independently test them.  Considering recent findings of faulty FBI 
lab work, and even evidence of fabrication of evidence, this FBI 
allegation, which has led to 140 year sentences for six Davidians, 
must be independently verified.  Former Los Angeles police officer 
Mark Fuhrman said on his infamous tapes, "cops" don't need to conspire 
together to protect each other when they commit crimes, they know what 
to do.  The same goes for federal agents, even from competing agencies 
like BATF and FBI.  These are "cover your butt" conspiracies. However, 
a truly committed Congress can break through law enforcement's vow of 
silence. Otherwise "Waco" will remain a prime symbol of the crumbling 
legitimacy of the federal government. 
     "A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and 
     prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.  
     It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins." 
     .........Benjamin Franklin
    SAFAN %Dot Bibee  (  Ph/FAX (423) 577-7011
    SAFAN Internet Newsletters are archived on   


New Waco Lawsuit


  From: E Pluribus Unum 

Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 11:16:22 -0400
Subject: New Waco Lawsuit

Lawsuit seeks to fault officials in Waco debacle

Copyright 1997
Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

WACO, Texas (April 18, 1997 01:49 a.m. EDT) -- Four years after 
the fiery end of the Branch Davidian standoff, the cult lives on, 
pressing a lawsuit aimed at pinning the blame for the 80 deaths 
on the government.

The lawsuit, seeking hundreds of millions in damages, challenges 
the government's conclusion that the Branch Davidians themselves 
started the fire and that they also shot first during the federal 
raid on their compound 51 days earlier.

The plaintiffs -- about 250 surviving Davidians and the relatives 
of the dead -- contend that when federal agents punched through 
the walls and fired tear gas into the cult compound in an April 19, 
1993, attempt to end the standoff, the canisters ignited, burning 
the building and the people inside.

Joe Phillips, a Houston lawyer for the plaintiffs, acknowledged that 
they will be hard-pressed to make their case.

"Certainly the fact that the government killed most of our witnesses 
and theirs mostly survived makes it more difficult for us," he said.

With hundreds of motions and rulings expected, it will probably be 
years before the case goes to trial.

On Saturday's anniversary of the blaze, the Branch Davidians plan 
to gather at the site of the fire and hold a ceremony in honor of 
political prisoners.

The siege began in February 1993, when four federal agents and six 
Branch Davidians were killed in a gun battle that broke out when 
the government tried to arrest cult leader David Koresh on weapons 
charges. After weeks of negotiations, the FBI sent in armored 
vehicles to flush the cultists out with tear gas.

Since then, cases that have gone to court and two weeks of 
congressional hearings have exposed mistakes by federal agents, 
but no government officials were ever charged with any crimes.

Instead, surviving Davidians and relatives of the dead filed nine 
lawsuits that were consolidated into one case in 1995. The defendants 
include Attorney General Janet Reno and top officials of the Bureau 
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI, including then-Director 
William Sessions.

Last year, against the plaintiffs' wishes, the case was moved from 
Houston to federal court in Waco.

"We did not want to go there because the only federal judge is 
Walter Smith. He is unfairly biased against the Branch Davidians," 
Phillips said.

Smith has put eight surviving Davidians in prison for various 
charges, including weapons violations and voluntary manslaughter. 
A federal appeals court has ordered him to review some of his more 
severe sentences.

The Davidians have also asked the appeals court to remove Smith 
from hearing the lawsuit.

In the meantime, the Davidians hold weekly services at the Mount 
Carmel site, a tangle of burned-out vehicles and concrete ruins.

Anti-government militias and conspiracy theorists have made Waco a 
rallying cry. And federal prosecutors have suggested that Timothy 
McVeigh, who once visited the compound's ruins, blew up the Oklahoma 
City federal building on the second anniversary of the fire as 

"I came down here because I was drawn to it because of all the 
anger," said Dale Perkins, a visitor to the site from Garland. 
Shaking her head, she said, "I don't know who was at fault. It's 
hard. It's hard."

Copyright 1997

E Pluribus Unum -

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6
P.O. Box 381; Groveport, OH 43125; (614) 836-7650


Subject: SAFAN NO. 389. Waco Press Release - April 18-19


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 18:47:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: SAFAN  NO. 389.  Waco Press Release - April 18-19

   S.A.F.A.N. Internet Newsletter, No. 389, April 18, 1997


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
Contact:  Carol Moore 202/635-3739 (
               Alan Forschler 202/797-9877

On Friday, April 18th at noon the Committee for Waco Justice will 
hold a press conference on the east lawn of the Capitol building, 
Senate side.  April 19th will be the fourth anniversary of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation's tank and gas assault which led 
to a fire which killed 76 Branch Davidians.  The Committee also 
will erect 82 crosses on the lawn in memoriam to the slain Davidians.

Speakers will demand that the United States House and Senate seek a 
special prosecutor to investigate President Clinton, Attorney Janet 
Reno and other high officials' cover-up of their own and federal 
agents' negligent and even intentional homicide of 82 Davidians.  
This cover-up, as well as Congress' failure of oversight, has led to 
a continuing climate of anger and fear throughout the nation. 

Carol Moore, member of the Committee for Waco Justice and author 
of The Davidian Massacre, will outline evidence of federal agents' 
crimes, much of which Congressional hearings ignored or explained 

Evidence that: 

     BATF agents shot first at the front door, shot from helicopters, 
     and  assassinated a Davidian outside Mount Carmel; 

     and that FBI agents deliberately sabotaged negotiations, lied about 
     Davidian actions on April 19th, and destroyed evidence of BATF 

     She will charge that  FBI laboratory agents lied when they claimed 
     48 Davidian weapons were illegal automatics--in fact, FBI laboratory 
     agents fabricated the guns.  The recent Justice Department report 
     covered it up.

Alan Forschler, member of the Fully Informed Jury Association, will 
outline evidence of crimes by Bill Clinton, Webster Hubbell and Janet 
Reno, including suppression of evidence, violation of civil rights, 
perjury and negligent homicide.

Keith Halderman, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland, will 
discuss the real political reasons Congress refuses to force prosecutions 
of federal agents and officials.

Andrew Williams, a member of the Committee and of the D.C. Chapter 
of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, will 
initiate a moment of silence for Davidian and Oklahoma City bombing 
victims, and discuss how Congress' war on drugs has become a war on 
ninety million gun owners and twenty million minority group members. 

William Thomas, member of the Proposition One peace initiative, will 
discuss on-going efforts by the government to suppress civil liberties 
and the need for citizens to pursue non-violent strategies. 

The Committee also will sponsor an April 19th demonstration from 1-4 
p.m. at Lafayette Park, north of the White House.  

For more information contact the numbers above.
                       # # #
     "A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and 
     prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.  
     It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins." 
            .........Benjamin Franklin
    SAFAN %Dot Bibee  (  Ph/FAX (423) 577-7011
    SAFAN Internet Newsletters are archived on   


Ok, Feds. Crunch Time...

From: E Pluribus Unum 
Received: (qmail 18284 invoked by uid 0); 19 Apr 1997 04:01:48 -0000
Received: from (HELO (
  by with SMTP; 19 Apr 1997 04:01:48 -0000
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 00:01:07 -0400
Subject: Ok, Feds. Crunch Time...

To: State Sponsored Terrorists (wherever you are)

The Terror April 19th has already begun...

This year, Americans have justifiable reasons to fear April 19, 1997. The
media is warnnig Americans about the anniverseries of Waco and the Oklahoma
City Bombing, and that those "anti-government extremists" (i.e., us) may
commit an act of terrorism on April 19th.

There's no use debating the issue anymore. Frankly, we in the
Patriot/Militia Movement are sick and tired of your lies, as well as
beating our heads against the wall trying to get anyone to listen to the

We know that the only reason the government exposed a "weakness in our air
defense" is so you would have a cover story in case an act of terrorism
actually occurs. Let's face it guys, reporting a lost A-10 with 4-500 lb.
bombs (to the world) jepardises nation security. How stupid do you think we

We know the truth about Oklahoma City. We're looking forward to the trial
getting under way. We want to hear the evidence. You can't afford that.

We know you leveled the Murrah building to cover up the evidence of what
really happend there.

We know that there's not enough votes to ratify the Chem/Bio Treaty. We
expect a Chem/Bio attack, just to get your treasonus treaty passed.

We know there is dissention in the ranks of the military. You don't know
who you can trust anymore. Yes, we know about Ft. Bragg, NORAD, and other
installations. You've closed those gates, hoping you haven't locked your
enemy inside.

We know about the numerous people you've sent to Patriot and/or Militia
Meetings, trying to solicit people to commit your acts of terrorism. Some
of you even attempted sizable monetary bribes. 

We know the FBI forensic lab is in shambles, and your case is falling

We know about TWA Flight 800. Everybody knows.

We know about the World Trade Center Bombing. You SOB's tried to kill
thousands of people.

We know that MicroSoft Network has shut down its e-mail service until Sunday.

We know that Bill Clinton wants *every* school on the Internet on April
19...a Saturday no less.

We know Bill Clinton is in political hot water, and his own party is
bailing out on him.

And *you* know that in February we predicted you would strike at the
federal courthouse in Denver, probably this weekend.


Let's get something straight. We pray that nothing happens to anyone this
weekend. In fact, a terrorist-free weekend in this country would be
considered a *victory* for the Militia.

We (Pariots/Militia) have consistently reported potential terrorist threats
to the proper authorities...only to have them ignored. We have been
rewarded with more lies, claiming that we are the terrorists. You've done
nothing to stop the terror. All you have done is subsidise it.

Remember the Barker Boys of Georgia? You should. You paid them. These men
are the most likely suspects behind the Olympic Park Bombing. The 911 tape
matches Danny Barker's voice. The backpack you showed the nation is the
same type as Danny's. These thugs are known felons who loved to make bombs.
But you can't find them because the BATF won't talk to you.

Since these scumbags have been on the lose, we've had too more bombings in
Atlantan. Our guess is that they'll strike again. What's it going to be?
Freaknik? IRS Computer Center? The CDC? Who knows?

KNOW THIS: We are NOT "anti-government". The government is anti-citizen,
anti-constitution, and anti-American. Many beleive that the government
itself has become the clear and present danger to the nation security of
the United States.

The blood spilled from the next act of terrorism will be on your hands, not
ours. Of course you'll blame us, and we'll blame you. But this time, since
we fully expect the terrorist act to make Oklahoma City pale by comparison,
you'll come after all of us, delcare martial law, whatever it is that you do.

You must know that you will have to kill all of us. And with each of our
deaths, you will have recruited 10 more Patriots.

The ball's in your court, feds. Yeah, were on alert...

...waiting for you to blow up and/or poison people.

Call me when the smoke clears...

J.J. Johnson
E Pluribus Unum - 

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6
P.O. Box 381; Groveport, OH 43125; (614) 836-7650

Editor's Note: The day is not over, yet I think it is unlikely that there will be anything occurring today.

--Martin Lindstedt



Freeh Fall -- The FBI's Director Is Losing His Agents' Faith

        ///,        ////
        \  /,      /  >.             David E. Rydel
         \  /,   _/  /.                  *****
          \_  /_/   /.        United States Theatre Command        
           \__/_   <               Voice-810-391-0798         
           /<<< \_\_                Fax-810-391-6785
          /,)^>>_._ \             Alt.Fax-810-391-3528
          (/   \\ /\\\           E-MAIL: EAGLEFLT@FLASH.NET
                // ````           
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 15:36:47 -0400
Subject: IP: Freeh Fall

Freeh Fall --  The FBI's Director Is Losing His Agents' Faith

                By Ronald Kessler

          Sunday, April 13 1997; Page C01
                  The Washington Post

    Suddenly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to be 
self-destructing. From the botched Richard Jewell case, which
the Justice Department last week called "a major error in judgment," 
to problems in the FBI laboratory; from improper overtures to the 
White House to cost overruns on computer systems, the proud image of 
the FBI as an effective law enforcement agency has been tarnished.

   Those looking for the reason need look no further than the 
agency's director, Louis J. Freeh. When President Clinton nominated 
him in 1993, Freeh seemed the perfect choice to head the nation's 
preeminent law enforcement agency. A federal judge, Freeh had been 
both an FBI agent and a prosecutor.

   But after a promising start, Freeh has settled into a controlling, 
self-protective, image-conscious style that suppresses internal debate 
while promoting a double standard of conduct: one for favored aides 
and one for the rest of the bureau. And he has proven ineffective at 
running the routine operations of the $3 billion-a-year bureau. The 
result has been a number of blunders -- some embarrassingly public, 
others the source of festering internal dissent.
    In Congress and the administration, Freeh's support is evaporating. 
Within the bureau, talks with dozens of present and former agents make 
clear that many FBI employees have lost faith in their leader.
    "I think the leadership of the FBI has brought the entire 
organization into question, and you are the leader," Rep. Bob
Livingston (R-La.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, 
told Freeh during a hearing last month.
   "The issue is trust and confidence in the nation's number one law 
enforcement agency," Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who heads the 
Senate subcommittee which oversees the bureau, recently said. "And in 
the context of other recent management fiascoes at the FBI, skepticism 
is . . . the order of the day."

    I have covered the FBI off and on since the 1960s, and never in 
my experience have FBI agents expressed as much outrage at their 
director or felt as demoralized as they do now.  In writing two books 
about the agency, and numerous others that dealt with FBI cases, 
I've gotten to know many agents at all levels of the bureau with whom 
I keep in touch socially and professionally.
    What they tell me is that the situation is worse than even during 
the recent problems with Freeh's predecessor, William S. Sessions, who 
was removed by President Clinton. Sessions's abuse of bureau perks made 
him look bad, but did not taint the entire bureau, as seasoned agents 
ran the bureau without him. In contrast, they feel Freeh's management 
of the FBI has undercut its mission and credibility.
    Bureau officials say that Freeh's tendency to suppress dissent 
has created an atmosphere of mistrust that distorts a normally 
collaborative decision-making process. This is apparent when Freeh 
micromanages FBI cases, as he often does. While Freeh is credited
with helping some cases, his role in others is criticized. For instance,
agents are seething over the fiasco involving Jewell, the one-time
Atlanta Olympic bombing suspect. Freeh made a botched case worse, but
refused to place any blame on himself or his aides in Washington.

   To make sure Jewell would agree to be interviewed, agents devised 
a plan (approved by FBI lawyers) to tell him the bureau wanted to 
talk with him as part of a training video. As it turned out, Jewell 
was perfectly willing to be interviewed, and there was no need for 
the ruse -- which, while stupid, was not necessarily improper or 
        During the interview, Freeh called from Washington to insist 
that Jewell be read his Miranda rights, as would be required of 
someone being held as a suspect. When the agents did so, Jewell 
clammed up and asked to see a lawyer. Ultimately, Jewell was found
to be not involved, which agents might have quickly realized if he had
continued to talk. But Freeh's intervention put the encounter on a
hostile footing and set in motion a chain of leaks and press accounts
that have savaged Jewell -- and humiliated the bureau. In a memo
disclosed last week, Freeh endorsed the findings of Justice's Office of
Professional Responsibility that field agents made "a major error in
    Bureau insiders see this double-standard as typical. For instance, 
they cite an early incident that is little-known by the public but 
well-known inside the bureau.  Freeh wanted to hire as his assistants 
three people he had worked with as a prosecutor, but all three failed 
FBI polygraph tests on their use of drugs.  On Feb. 3, 1994, Freeh 
issued a memo loosening the rules. Previously, the FBI had accepted
employees who had used marijuana "experimentally" when they were young.
Under Freeh's new rules, an applicant who had taken hard drugs could be
accepted if the activity was "experimental" or more than 10 years old.
    Claiming that the applicants had been treated in a hostile way 
by examiners, Freeh ordered a second polygraph, which is normally 
against FBI policy.  But according to two former agents involved in 
the process, even with the new rules, two of the applicants
"registered deceptive" when asked about hard drugs. In the end, Freeh
backed off, and they were rejected. When I asked Freeh about the matter
for an epilogue for my book, he refused to comment, citing privacy
    Freeh was equally determined to pursue a dubious personnel choice 
in promoting Larry A. Potts to the bureau's No. 2 job.  Another pal 
from Freeh's days as a prosecutor, Potts at the time was immersed in 
controversy for mishandling the standoff at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, where 
an FBI agent killed an unarmed woman.  Justice officials opposed his 
promotion and Freeh himself had just reprimanded Potts, yet the 
director ignored all countervailing advice. Eventually, Justice
officials forced Freeh to replace him.
    Some people who have worked with Freeh say such unwillingness to 
consider advice that conflicts with his own views is typical.  A former 
aide described how, when confronted with a bearer of bad news, Freeh 
"sets his jaw, becomes flinty-eyed, and gives a curt `thank you.' "  
The effect: "Louis kills the messenger."
    John W. Hicks, the director of the FBI laboratory, got that 
response when he warned Freeh in November 1993 and again in March 1994 
that FBI lab capabilities would be severely impaired if the director 
proceeded with his plan to put more agents on the street by 
transferring about half of the 130 lab examiners who are agents to 
field offices. When Freeh ignored his advice, Hicks decided to

    Freeh's cuts diminished the lab's expertise and extended backlogs 
from about six months to more than a year.  Now it turns out the lab 
might have mishandled some 50 cases.  Even though that's a small number 
of the 20,000 examinations conducted each year, the idea that the 
sacrosanct FBI laboratory might have mishandled even one is disturbing. 
In part, the problems are traceable to Freeh's decisions.
    Some agents are also appalled by the actions of Freeh's two top 
aides, chief of staff Robert Bucknam and general counsel Howard M. 
Shapiro.  Bucknam is best known for unilaterally intervening in
delicate cases to try to get more publicity -- a trait that has made 
him widely detested both within the bureau and the Justice Department. 
When Freeh's two proposed assistants ran into drug problems, Bucknam 
tried, albeit without success, to have the Justice Department hire 
them and then detail them back to the FBI. Agents compare Bucknam with 
Sarah Munford, an assistant to Sessions who seemed to think she ran 
the bureau and was part of the cause of his downfall.
    Shapiro has been behind a series of actions that have hurt the 
bureau's credibility, including warning the White House about aspects 
of the congressional investigation into FBI files that were wrongly 
procured by White House security chief Craig M. Livingstone. Justice 
found that Shapiro had not acted improperly, but concluded that he had 
exercised "very poor judgment" and had created an appearance that
the FBI was not "sufficiently independent of the White House."
    If there is any support for Freeh, it is based on the idea that 
he learns from his mistakes. His recent refusal to comply with 
requests by the White House for more information about Chinese efforts 
to influence the U.S. government was a step in the right direction. 
But the pattern is one of consistent blunders, and as the furor over 
the Jewell case last week makes clear, they are no longer the mistakes 
of a new man on the job.
    What worries FBI agents most and what should worry all Americans 
is that much of the success of the FBI in solving crimes comes from 
cooperation the bureau receives from the public.  That cooperation, 
in turn, depends on a perception that the bureau is trusted beyond 
question. Not since J. Edgar Hoover's abuses began coming out has
the FBI's fundamental credibility been so endangered.
    Freeh's 10-year term expires in 2003. Because the FBI is 
investigating possible criminal conduct by the Clinton administration, 
it would appear improper if Clinton removed Freeh.

    But the thought is in the air. In last week's Newsweek, Freeh 
asked rhetorically if he should resign, then answered his own question 
in the negative. The agents I talk to think he should change his mind.
     (Ronald Kessler, a former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post 
reporter, is the author of "The FBI.")
 Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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Posted by: (J. Orlin Grabbe)
Never Forget:  Kent State 4, Ruby Ridge 2 plus dog,
	       WACO 82, including 2 unborn babies.


Copyright 1997. Modern Militiaman Internet Gazette .


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