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Return-Path: email@example.com From: FORTFAN@aol.com Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 04:07:53 -0400 To: CloudRider@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: [FreeSpeech-NewsWire] Freemen Stand Alone Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Squeezed by FBI, Deserted by `Friends,'
Freemen Discover Real Isolation
By DAVID FOSTER
Associated Press Writer
The Freemen had a sense of humor when they named their enclave on the plains of Montana. They called it Justus Township -- as in ``just us.''
Seventy-five days into their standoff with the FBI, it really is just them.
Despite the Freemen's claims of unity with true patriots everywhere, the view from their foreclosed farm near Jordan, Mont., grows more lonely each day. Even before the FBI cut their electricity Monday, the Freemen were isolating themselves, frustrating would-be allies with their intransigence.
One leader in the far-right ``patriot'' movement tried to help the Freemen negotiate a surrender but quit in frustration, complaining of their ``legal mumbo-jumbo.'' Another met with them for six days, then called them criminals and said ``they need to feel some pain.''
Those who track far-right groups say the Freemen's racist theology and fondness for writing bogus checks have made it hard for other anti-government groups to support them.
Authorities believe 21 people are holed up at the 960-acre farm. Many of them are wanted on charges that include writing millions of dollars in bogus checks and threatening to kill a federal judge.
``They've managed to alienate themselves even from most of their supporters in the patriot and armed militia movements,'' said Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates in Cambridge, Mass., a think tank that monitors far-right groups. ``They have only a few supporters left in either movement.''
Soon after the siege began with the March 25 arrest of two Freemen leaders, supporters outside the compound issued a call to militia groups nationwide.
Organizers of a pro-Freemen vigil in Montana predicted hundreds would attend. But fewer than a dozen showed up the first day, and a few days later, police were joking it was the three-men rally, not the Freemen rally.
The FBI says it has enlisted the aid of 42 third-party negotiators, but even some of those initially sympathetic to the Freemen have walked away in disgust.
One is James ``Bo'' Gritz, a former Green Beret colonel and leader in the patriot movement who helped end the bloody 1992 seige at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, by persuading Randy Weaver to surrender.
Gritz had no such luck at Justus Township. After five days of what he called ``verbal judo'' with Freemen leaders, Gritz gave up on May 1, saying their religious convictions and selective interpretation of the Constitution placed them beyond the reach of reason.
``Yahweh has placed an invisible barrier around their sanctuary that no more enemies can penetrate,'' Gritz said the Freemen told him. ``I think it will come down to a confrontation of wills.''
Two weeks later, the Freemen agreed to meet with FBI agents if the talks were mediated by Colorado state Sen. Charles Duke, a leader in his state's patriot movement. But those talks fell apart after six days, with Duke shouting and waving his arms wildly at the Freemen.
``The time for negotiations is over,'' he said last week. ``They need to feel some pain.''
The FBI apparently agreed. News cameras were evicted from a hill overlooking the compound last week. Three armored vehicles were moved close to the compound over the weekend, and the Freemen's electricity was cut off Monday.
The Freemen, who earlier this year threatened reporters with bodily harm and stole a TV crew's camera equipment, put out a press release urging the media not to go away.
Many local residents applauded the FBI crackdown as long overdue. A community petition urging the use of ``reasonable force'' to end the standoff collected about 200 signatures in a county with fewer than 1,500 people.
But if the FBI takes all this as permission to storm the compound and kills or injures any Freemen, anti-government activists say the long weeks of FBI patience will be forgotten.
John Trochmann, founder of the Militia of Montana, had a falling-out with the Freemen last year. He believes they should surrender and take their chances in court. But he adds that militia groups now keeping their distance from the Freemen would rush to their defense if the FBI resorted to violence.
``If bloodshed were to occur or military intervention came about, it would spark a new view of things,'' Trochmann said. ``There must be no more Wacos or Ruby Ridges -- millions of Americans feel that way.''
EDITOR'S NOTE -- David Foster is the AP's Northwest regional reporter, based in Seattle.
Return-Path: email@example.com From: BHaleinc@aol.com Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 11:47:17 -0400 To: FORTFAN@aol.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [FreeSpeech-NewsWire] Freemen Stand Alone Sender: email@example.com
In a message dated 96-06-07 04:15:51 EDT, you write:
> >Squeezed by FBI, Deserted by `Friends,' Freemen Discover Real Isolation >By DAVID FOSTER > >
This article is typical media spin determined to do the isolating of the American hostages in Montana. No mention of government drug-running, fraud, misprision, perjury, malfeasance, and numerous other crimes are addressed by this "reporter." No mention of the evidence being confiscated and suppressed by the invaders pretending to be the lawful government of this land was made. No, freedom-seekers, this is not news, its mind-control tactics meant to dumb you down...its damage control for the de facto government determined to repeat more of the atrocities we've witnessed of late. In short, its subversive advocacy, its libel, its un-American.
Burk Elder; Hale, Third FIGJA National Director
Another Negotiator Gives Up
FREEMEN versus the U.S.
Even Yet Another
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