The Ruby Ridge standoff and subsequent killings were an unnecessary tragedy. As displayed at many other times, there’s no tragedy so terrible that it cannot be used to further an agenda.
“Ruby Ridge” refers to the monitoring and eventual siege of the Weaver home by government agents. During the final conflict, Randy Weaver’s wife, Vicki, and 14 year old son, Samuel, were shot and killed.
The verifiable truth in this instance is terrible, a testament to the power of misinformation. The first problem stemmed from the Weaver’s firm belief in ZOG, the Zionist-Owned Government. This is a view which indicates that Jewish people secretly control the United States, and it is fairly prevalent among anti-Semites. The Weavers took it a bit further than most, however; they believed that the Jews were going to mobilize the U.S. Army to slaughter all true Christians. In preparation for the event, supposedly scheduled for the late 1980s, they found an isolated home in Northern Idaho and practiced self-sufficiency techniques. Randy’s experience as a Special Forces member and Vicki’s fervency eased their way into what would today be termed an “off-the-grid” lifestyle.
The FBI regularly conducts operations to find and arrest domestic terrorists. Following one successful effort to infiltrate and prosecute a murderous white supremacist cell, an ATF informant decided to investigate Randy Weaver based on a threat he had reportedly made on President Reagan’s life, years earlier. He was able to purchase two illegally sawed-off shotguns from Weaver. Using the threat of prosecution, the government then tried to pressure Randy into becoming an informant against the Aryan Nations. Randy balked, and instead informed the Aryan Nations that they were being investigated.
The government decided to prosecute Weaver. They sent him the wrong date to appear in court, and then added charges about missing his court date. This may have been a clerical error, or it may have been an intentional act of retribution for tipping off the subject of an investigation.
Weaver’s failure to go to the court began a series of escalations that resulted in the fatal standoff. The standard domestic rules of engagement were greatly diminished; the reasoning for this was given as concern for the safety of the agents, but the practical result was the death of the wife and son (and dog.)
Weaver was awarded just over $3 million in a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit. The officer who shot the son was found to have acted correctly. The FBI sniper who shot Vicki was later prosecuted for manslaughter, with the charges eventually dropped in 2001.
Those are the facts. A good timeline breakdown can be found at famous-trials.com.
Conspiracy fans point to the fact that the government agents who participated in the standoff were investigated by other government agents, who had an inherent bias toward finding their compatriots innocent. The first part of that is undeniably true; the second, purely speculation… but possible. “Possible” is not certainty, however; ultimately, it comes down to trust and evidence. For those who trust that the government is out to get them, they are going to insist upon the negative interpretation.
That is the aspect that is commonly discussed when Ruby Ridge is a conversational piece with normal people, and the mildly conspiratorial. When you have a true conspiracy lover, however, one of two other things will come up: ZOG or PATCON.
PATCON is the “Patriot Conspiracy”, and it is about as perfect an example of what galvanizes conspiracy theorists that exists. PATCON was rumored for years among conspiracy believers, who talked of leaks from government workers and a wide-ranging secret effort. They were right.
I’ll say that again: they were right.
Where they were wrong was in their interpretation of the thrust of the investigation, and its effectiveness.
A Foreign Policy reporter, using the Freedom of Information Act, wrote in 2012:
Code-named PATCON, for “Patriot-conspiracy,” the investigation would last more than two years, crossing state and organizational lines in search of intelligence on the so-called Patriot movement, the label applied to a wildly diverse collection of racist, ultra-libertarian, right-wing and/or pro-gun activists and extremists who, over the years, have found common cause in their suspicion and fear of the federal government.Foreign Policy
The PATCON effort resulted in no prosecutions. The groups were investigated, and then the investigations were dropped. While other operations against known violent groups, such as the aforementioned white supremacist cell, are often successful, PATCON was a two-year waste of time, money and other resources.
The existence of it allowed rumors to swirl, however, and its secret nature (until it ran up against FOIA time limits) allowed those rumors to fester. Conspiracy theorists insisted it was a secret plan to foment violence and rebellion throughout the survivalist groups, so as to allow the government an excuse to exterminate them.
The details are available to anyone who wishes to apply for the records and read them. The details, however, are dismissed for the same reason that the government investigation into the Ruby Ridge deaths are dismissed: it’s far easier to stick to an established worldview and not allow preconceptions to be challenged.