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THE AMERICAN FREEMEN CHALLENGE
Another Negotiator Gives Up

FREEMEN versus the U.S.

Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 14:17:44 -0500
To: autterb@sagenet.net
From: Bill Utterback <butterb@sagenet.net>
Subject: PIML 96052208 - Charlie Duke's Comments

PIML 96052208 / Posted to Patriot Information Mailing List:

[PIML has posted several messages on the Freemen.  I personally
recognize their rights, but feel they are overstepping the bounds.
PIML will continue to report major events or worthwhile commentary
on the Freemen but there will not be daily updates.

I just heard Charlie Duke say on CNN that he felt that the Freemen
were not honorable men and that they were not looking for a
solution.  He said that they were "common criminals" who are
"simply hiding behind these children to shield their criminal
behavior."  I have a lot of respect for Charlie Duke; he is one of
America's foremost patriots.  When both Bo Gritz and Charlie Duke
give up on the Freemen, it's time to realize that they want a
confrontation with the FBI -- and will most likely get what they
want.

It seems as though the FBI has learned that the American people
will not tolerate another Ruby Ridge or Waco (people = militia and
militia = people).  This is not a good cause for armed militia
units to be involved in unless the FBI starts murdering people
again -- which is highly unlikely.  The FBI is in a difficult
position and I do not know a good answer unless, as Bo Gritz said
on CNN, the FBI should put a fence around the Freemen and call it
a federal prison -- allowing those who have not been indicted to
come out to freedom and the others to come out to stand trial,
innocent unless and until proven guilty and found guilty by a jury
of their peers.]  PIML

==================================================================

From:  http://www.cnn.com/


'It just became sheer lunacy'

Negotiator in Freemen standoff gives up

May 21, 1996
Web posted at: 9:45 p.m. EDT

LINCOLN, Montana (CNN) -- Colorado state Sen. Charles Duke gave up
his efforts to end the 58-day standoff between the anti-government
Freemen and the FBI Tuesday.  He said the Freemen showed no real
desire to compromise, and that after five days of talks, "it just
became sheer lunacy." 

He said a solution seemed close at times, but the Freemen kept
escalating their demands.  At one point, Duke said, they demanded
President Clinton's signature on a document.  He said he is now
convinced the Freemen don't want a peaceful solution.  Duke says
he believes the situation will end peacefully, but not without
force.  He said the FBI had pursued every avenue for a peaceful
solution.  Duke accused the Freemen of fraud, calling their
motives into question and warning sympathizers not to be deceived. 

"These people have absolutely nothing to do with the patriotic
movement," Duke said.  "My recommendation to anyone who considers
themselves in the patriot movement or the militia movement is to
stay away from Jordan, Montana."  Duke said there are only about
half a dozen people on the ranch who properly classify themselves
as Freemen.   Duke said the others inside the compound have a
variety of agendas, and are most concerned about escaping any
serious charges.

The Freemen have been holed up at a Montana ranch since two of
their leaders were arrested and charged with carrying out a $1.8
million check fraud scheme, stealing equipment from a television
news crew and threatening a federal judge.  Members of the
ultra-right-wing group do not recognize the authority of the U.S.
government, refuse to pay taxes and hold white supremacist
religious beliefs.     

Duke's last negotiating session Tuesday morning was described as
short and heated.  Duke and several FBI agents drove to the spot
at the edge of the ranch where they have been holding talks,
usually attended by four of the militants.  This time, only
Freemen leader Rodney Skurdal showed up.  Skurdal talked
animatedly with Duke, standing and waving his arms.  The FBI
agents looked on, apparently taking no part.  After 30 minutes
Skurdal returned to the ranch and Duke drove away with the agents. 

Soon afterwards, seven Freemen, several with rifles slung over
their shoulders, were seen milling around on the ranch.  Usually,
most of the 20 people thought to be holed up on the ranch stay
indoors or out of sight.  The FBI and Freemen leaders held
face-to-face talks last Thursday for the first time since the
standoff began. Since then, they have been meeting daily.  The
content of the talks has been kept secret.

On Saturday, Duke said a verbal agreement had been reached on a
new proposal from the Freemen.  But the FBI denied there was an
agreement, and Duke later backed away from the comment.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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Duke puts Other Foot in.


5/23/96 Latest News!
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