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FINAL DRAFT, The Alabama Declaration

1ACR
6 Sept 96

Eternally vigilant and armed: minuteman with rifle--symbol of the Second Amendment.
A CALL FOR RATIFICATION BY ALL CONSTITUTIONAL MILITIA UNITS OF A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE AGAINST TERRORISM AND TERRORISTS---

"THE ALABAMA DECLARATION": CONSTITUTIONAL MILITIAS CONDEMN TERRORISM AND ALL TERRORISTS.

Whereas, a long string of terrorist incidents from Oklahoma City to the Atlanta Olympics have been blamed (without one shred of proof) on the constitutional militias by the current federal administration and its willing lapdogs in the press; and

Whereas, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service have engaged in what are arguably "terrorist" operations against the American people at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, Waco, Texas, and other diverse places without punishment or meaningful condemnation by their superiors, the Congress or the courts; and

Whereas, the bulk of the constitutional militias of the various United States have formed as a grass-roots response to such government-sponsored terrorism as well as the continued degradation of our Constitutional rights at the hands of the current federal administration; and

Whereas, agents of the ATF and FBI have engaged in unconstitutional entrapment under the guise of so-called "sting" operations such as that against Bob Starr, a militia leader in Georgia, where ATF "confidential informants" provided the explosives and buried pipe bombs on Starr's property without his knowledge or approval, a "crime" for which Bob Starr languishes in jail without bond, in vain attempts to tie the constitutional militia movement to "terrorist" bomb plots; and

Whereas, the Wilburn private investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing has revealed that:

** That incident, which involved the mass murder of at least 168 innocent Americans, was the result of just such an ATF sting operation gone bad; and

** That the ATF (certainly) and the FBI (possibly) had advance knowledge of the bomb plot through the ATF-paid informant and German ex-army officer Andreas Carl Strassmeir; and

** That the probable bombers, assisted by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were a mixed bag of neo-Nazis and "Christian Identity" racists and anti-semites (including those from Elohim City, Oklahoma) who hope to ignite a civil war that will destroy the American Republic thus giving way to a Nazi American Reich; and

** That the ATF, FBI and elements of the Clinton Administration Justice Department (especially the Oklahoma City prosecutorial team members, past and present), have engaged in a coverup of the identity of "John Doe #2", Michael Brescia, Andreas Strassmeir's roommate at Elohim City, thus actively seeking to prevent the exposure to the American people of the government's prior knowledge of the conspiracy; and

** That the murders of Arkansas gundealer Bill Mueller and his family as well as the string of bank robberies committed by the "Aryan Republican Army" have links to Michael Brescia and the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy-- facts which the FBI investigators have refused to reveal or pursue, apparently in furtherance of the OKC coverup; and

Whereas, in the Oklahoma City bombing and other operations, elements of various racist, Nazi and antisemitic groups (including Aryan Nations, White Aryan Resistance, the Army of Israel, the National Alliance, the Ku Klux Klan loyal to Louis Beam and others, and the "Christian Identity" movement's Phineas Priesthood cells), have shown themselves to be willing terrorist footsoldiers of the advocates of government repression; and

** That the Turner Diaries predict Nazi terrorists winning an American civil war that they initiate by provoking government repression of American gunowners; and

** That Bob Mathews, neo-Nazi "martyr" and founder of Der Buders Schweigen (The Silent Brotherhood, aka "The Order") issued a "Declaration of War against the so-called "Zionist Occupied Government, Jewish, black, Hispanic and Asian Americans and white "race traitors" who didn't agree with white supremacist goals and tactics; and

** That as recently as 3 August 1996, Dennis Mahon of the White Aryan Resistance (a suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy) proclaimed on a national radio broadcast that: "that Declaration of War has never been rescinded."; and

** That the fortunes of the current federal administration have risen, begininning with the Oklahoma City bombing, in direct proportion to the number and severity of terrorist incidents; that now, after Dharan, TWA 800 and Atlanta, Clinton stands at his highest ratings in the polls and seems to be likely to win reelection; and

** That this resurgence of Clinton is celebrated in the neo-Nazi halls inhabited by William Pierce, Louis Beam and Richard Butler because they see in it the fulfillment of the Turner Diaries' scenario; and ** That while racist and antisemites may spout their hatred by every legal means, and may hide even incitement to murder behind our Constitutional shield, they may not kill with impunity their innocent fellow citizens (even small children) and call it "patriotism" and

Whereas, while the white supremacists and the Clinton Administration may find common purpose in the exploitation of terrorism, the American Constitutional militia movement spontaneously mustered to combat terrorism from wherever it may appear-- an out-of-control federal bureaucracy or slimy purveyors of hatred who coldly use mass murder as a tool to destroy our Republic; and

Whereas, when the white supremacists have attempted to infiltrate the constitutional militia movement they have been singularly unsuccessful; and

** That while the constitutional militia movement defends the Nazis' right to hold whatever opinions they wish about other races and religions, we wish to make it plain that we do not hold such opinions, nor do we condone discrimination and violent acts against others because of their faith or color of their skin; and

** That the "Christian Identity" movement is comprised of a broad spectrum of adherents and beliefs, and that only a small minority engage in, or condone, terrorism; and

** That the ranks of the constitutional militas are filled with men and women of all races, creeds, colors and religions; and

** That we condemn racism and bigotry as antithetical to our belief that all are "created equal" as Thomas Jefferson wrote, and are entitled to equal protection under the law; and

** That, when they are not trying to infiltrate us, the white supremacists' private opinions of the Constitutional militia movement is one of hatred and disdain, as journalist Jonathan Karl quoted "Pastor" Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations: "Richard Butler says he also hates the militia movement. 'They are not for the preservation of the white race, which means they are in line with government policy. They're actually traitors to the white race; they seek to integrate with blacks, Jews and others...I think they are a government-sponsored movement, maybe the CIA...A lot of people are white on the outside but black on the inside with a Jewish brain.'" and

Whereas, the Fourth Estate-- our traditional media of newspapers and magazines (now joined by television news organizations) which were charged by the Founding Fathers as the watchdogs of liberty, have been unusually silent (through sloth or bias) on the brewing scandals of the Clinton Administration, of which the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy is but the most egregious example; and

Whereas members of the present Congress have submitted a resolution purporting to convey "the sense of Congress" that shows no distinction between the Nazi terrorists and the Constitutional militia movement and calls for more repressive legislation to disarm Americans and further proscribe their fundamental, God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed liberties; and

Whereas, the Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have shown themselves unable to resist the blandishments of an unscrupulous President (bolstered by a lap-dog press) and have concurred in the passage of fundamentally anti-freedom legislation whose stated purpose is "counter-terrorism" but whose main effect will be to strip innocent Americans of their Constitutional liberties (especially those codified in the amendments known as the "Bill of Rights"), and to enlarge the powers of the already ominously powerful federal police agencies; and

Whereas, the probable outcome of present trends is a Clinton re-election, which will likely be followed by an increasing point-counterpoint of terror incidents provoking government repressions, "ad infinitum, ad tyrannum"; and that this probable downward spiral of violence, unless arrested by the common efforts of all citizens, will lead to the death of our Republic.

THEREFORE, BY THE UNDERSIGNED CONSTITUTIONAL MILITIA ORGANIZATIONS, OFFICERS, NCOs AND CONSTITUTION-LOVING CITIZENS, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

1. We will oppose terrorism by every legal means wherever we find it: within, without or hiding behind the current federal administration.

2. As the current reign of terror has not been curtailed by federal or state law enforcement, and as the present crop of terrorists (who can be demonstrated to be hiding behind the inaction of the current federal administration, as in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation) continue to walk the streets unquestioned and unsought, we pledge to: a.) petition such local and state authorities having jurisdiction to bring these known malefactors before recognized grand juries; b.) assist state and local authorities in bringing suspected criminals before the bar of justice; and c.) shelter any witnesses who wish to testify against such terrorists but who cannot without great risk to themselves or their families.

3. We do hereby petition the Republican majority in the House and Senate, especially the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, as well as Senator Spector's subcommittee, to begin open hearings on the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy, it's probable coverup by the Clinton Administration, and the true nature of the oppositional dynamics between the Constitutional militias and the white supremacist terrorists.

4. We call on all members of the Fourth Estate to investigate the facts uncovered by the Wilburn private investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and to print the truth as they find it, despite the pressure being brought to bear by the White House and the Justice Department to spike the story.

5. As Americans, we have sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies foreign and domestic. Terrorists who murder innocent Americans are surely ranked among such enemies. As the neo-Nazi terrorists have reminded us of their "Declaration of War" against all those with whom they disagree (even to the killing of innocent children), we swear that we will fight such terrorists by every legal means.

Signatures:

Michael B. Vanderboegh, Bvt. Col., 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Constitutional Militia, et al.

If you wish to sign on to the cover letter of the record copy to be sent to Senator Hatch, please contact 1ACR at (205) 681-0324 (phone); (205) 320-4540 (pager); or email to Mo10Cav@aol.com, or mail to P.O. Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126. Nom d'guerres are accepted, as long as they represent a real person. Please be sure to include the name of your unit, community, state, as you wish it to appear. No record will be kept of addresses, phone or fax numbers transmitting.

If you wish to sign on to the declaration, you may do so by simply signing it and sending a copy directly on to Senator Hatch at the Senate Judiciary Committee. We would appreciate it if you would send us a copy (by one of the means above) so we can add your name to the record copy.

Date: 09-07-96 12:19
From: Roy J. Tellason
Subj: piml] (Fwd) FINAL DRAFT

* Originally from "Bob Hall" (1:270/615.77) to All.
* Original dated: Sep 06 '96, 18:24

NOTE: This declaration of principle was crafted to be a response to HCR206 (the so-called "anti-militia resolution" in the House of Representatives). We think it makes plain the sources of, and the benficiaries of, domestic terrorism. It calls for hearings on the subjects of militias, terrorism and Oklahoma City. This statement will be released for the record on 11 September 1996, and a signed copy (with cover letter) forwarded to Senator Hatch. It is being given the widest circulation so as to solicit the greatest number of signatures. We ask all constitutional militia units to give it the widest circulation possible. In this process, copies will undoubtedly become available to the media. The media are reminded that this is not for release until 11 September and should be treated like every other delayed press release. Members of the fourth estate are also reminded that the story will be incomplete without the cover letter to Sen. Hatch. Also, its impact will be judged in part by how many signatures it garners (the exact numbers of course will not be available until 11 September).

NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE UNTIL 1200HRS 11 SEPTEMBER 1996 26 August 1996

FR: 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Militia, Headquarters, Birmingham, Ala.

TO: All Constitutional Militia Units; CONUS, Alaski, Hawaii & Puerto Rico.

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FINAL DRAFT, The Alabama Declaration against terrorism and terrorists.
Viper Militia member Dean Carl Pleasant tells the truth.
More on Viper Militia. Conspiracy laws: end of the First Amendment.
No More Indictments: Talking and Training don't go hand in hand

Battle Flags, Etc.

Viper Militia member Dean Carl Pleasant tells the truth.

The following is a press release issued by Dean Carl Pleasant after he was sentenced today to 71 months in Federal prison on weapons charges stemming from his involvement in the so- called Viper Militia.

Eternally vigilant and armed: minuteman with rifle--symbol of the Second Amendment.
----------

PRESS RELEASE
April 2, 1997

For fear of judicial reprisal, I have, as well as my co-defendents, remained silent during our ordeal. Now is the time to correct the lies, misinterpretations, and disinformation.

Falsehood #1.

Never did Viper Team, nor any of its members, have any plans to blow up, attack, set fire to, or otherwise damage any building, occupied or otherwise. This was acknowledged by the case supervisor himself during our bond hearing five days after our arrests. The allegation made by Janet Napolitano on July 1, 1996 that we were going to demolish twelve buildings simultaneously on July 4th was an absolute propagandish lie and is actionable.

Falsehood #2.

The so-called "target-tape," made by me, was not an effort to pre- investigate any target of destruction by myself of the team, as the prosecution has alleged, but an _anti-terrorism_ study, designed to be an educational tool in tactical analysis. The prosecution knew this from the very day they first learned of the tape on May 19, 1996 as their transcript of the surveillance audiotape attests to. On page 10 of the transcript I say "it was an anti-terrorism study. That's all it was." The tape recorded a conversation that was meant to be among trusted compatriots who would trust each other with their lives. I had no idea I was being recorded. If my purpose in making the tape was as the prosecution alleges, I would have declared it there. I did not.

The prosecution knew also that the tape was made long before Viper Team existed and before most of its members had ever met. To allege that the making of the tape was an act of the conspiracy we are charged with is to lie.

Falsehood #3.

The oath taken upon inclusion into Viper Team _did not_ call for the murder of law enforcement officers who may infiltrate or attempt to seize our weapons, as evidenced by the fact that no one did so during the raids.

The actual text of the oath reads: "I swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and especially the original and genuine Bill of Rights. I will support and defend my fellow militiamen. If need be I will enter into mortal combat against enemies of the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Militia to carry out this oath. So help me God."

Of the 61 video and audio tapes made of us during the investigation (which ran from June of 1995 until June of 1996), the group did not pledge to kill infiltrators or seek retribution if arrested. In fact, we were relieved to have not been slaughtered outright, and looked with misplaced faith to our coming court date as the vindication of our actions and intentions as the legal practices we knew them to be.

Falsehood #4.

The alleged illegal weapons, firearms and explosives alike, were in fact specifically allowable to possess under Supreme Court precedent in _U.S. v. Miller_, 1938. We looked forward to proving this point in court, but were denied the ability to argue constitutional points of law.

Additionally, _U.S. v. Rock Island Armory_, 1991 (6th Circuit) and _U.S. v. Dalton_, 1992 (10th Circuit) illustrate the fact that A.T.F. has been legislatively ordered to capitulate and abandon their regulation of newly manufactured machine guns and, as such, had no grounds to charge any of us with an illegal machine gun, as all in our possession were of recent manufacture. But the court ruled that such arguments would not be heard.

The explosives were purchases legally through regular channels and with A.T.F. approval. Being of "binary nature," they were stored in a manner consistant with safety procedures by a former expert employed in the field of their storage. No hazard existed.

Falsehood #5.

The devices that _some_ Viper Team members detonated in familiarization and safe-handling training, were _not_ designated as fragmentation bombs or weapons of any kind. They shed no shrapnel nor were placed in areas inhabited or occupied by humans. As such, they did not meet the criteria of "destructive devices" (which are taxed in private hands), but were "explosive devices" (untaxed, and therefore unregulated). The only "destructive devices" seized were 1/4 pound projectiles that were not loaded into the necessary ammunition shell-casing, making them not readily useable and thus incomplete and not a device.

My thoughts:

It is my wish that the public understand that Viper Team was _defensive_ in nature. It may seem that if one has impressive weaponry and the skill to use it, that they are a threat. But the only people Viper Team ever presented a threat to (other than ourselves) are those who would attempt to maliciously, violently, and illegally victimize us with use of deadly force. All of the members of Viper Team were life-long owners of firearms who had never even been accused of misuse of that power. Nor had any member ever been convicted of, or even charged with, a felony.

In fact, we were very selective of any members to ensure their moral fiber. Liars were not tolerated, felons were not welcome, and dedication to the community was required.

The team rejected incitements by the infiltrators to participate in patently criminal acts such as band robbery, theft and fraud. The lead infiltrator, who became head of security, even tried to get the group to distribute racist literature, but he was refused and nearly expelled. It had been decided the very week of our arrests that this individual was not living up to the character standards expected and was scheduled to be expelled. This is, in part, why our arrest occured when it did.

When asked why we felt it necessary to possess explosives, I answer that, in a place where rogue agencies of the government shoot up churches containing women and children, crush them under the tracks of tanks and armored vehicles, then burn the evidence of their crimes and lies, then bulldoze it, and go unpunished for their crimes, justifying the whole affair because the victims _may_ have owed some tax, you had better damn well be prepared for the same to happen to you. We were.

We knew that, despite having law and precedent on our side, that propagandish rhetoric within these agencies preached that we were actively seeking confrontation, and that those like us must be found and railroaded, making examples of us for those who would dare retain their rights. Thus, we prudently sought secrecy and anonymity, seeking to remain peacefully unto ourselves.

It should be known that on at least one occassion while under surveillance, plans for a peaceful and productive meeting with local and state law enforcement to share mutual concerns about each other and to open and maintain a dialogue, were rejected by them. The lead infiltrator, as head of security, was involved in the attempt at diplomacy. Whether he and his agency nixed the plan and instructed the law enforcement agencies to vacate, or whether the local agencies never represented themselves in good faith from the beginning, is unclear. But we were very disappointed that we were turned away from such a potentially productive event. This is on page 13 of the June 10, 1996 transcript.

I have pled guilty because I do not have the funds to fight. The court has refused at every turn to allow funds for our expert witnesses, while sparing no expense on theirs. Disclosure of evidence has been (and continues to be) incomplete. Constitutional issues ruled "dead on arrival." Precedents in our favor have been deemed unallowable. I believe all of these barriers could have been surmounted had we had sufficient funds to fight the government, but we don't. Though it is against my desires, I am limiting the damage to my life by not going to trial.

It is sad to note that, as the government succeeds in preventing me from pleading my case in court, they demonstrate that no other patriot accused in the future can expect a fair trial. As that becomes widely accepted as fact, future subjects of arrest by federal forces will likely choose to resist. All this over tax and the lust for unquestioned obedience. It wounds my soul.

To the law enforcement personnel of Arizona and the nation, I extend my pity.

These people you now seek were formerly your most ardent supporters. I, myself, sought a career in law enforcement once, wishing to serve the community as my father had by example, as a police officer. I saw no profession as fulfilling or as important than being a peace officer. But before I attained that goal, I recognized the trampling of rights I would be required to do as unacceptable, so I abandoned the pursuit.

These people you seek out are infinitely more motivated than you, often superiorly armed, and almost always superiorly trained and skilled. You are taking on the most difficult and lethal adversary you ever will, outside of war. While they currently don't outnumber you, they will. The resulting tragedy of pursuing them is unfathomable to you, or I know you would not proceed to pursue them.

The reason only four officers died at Waco is because when the officers ran out of ammo and were forced to retreat the residents _let_ them. Such restraint and compassion should never be expected again. This is _not_ a threat or warning, but a sorrowful prediction.

For the record, I have never had any contact or knowledge of the events surrounding the Oklahoma City tragedy or the Hyder derailment, other than that known through public information in the wake of those incidents. The responsible parties are not associated, and should not be confused with, any militia group. Such claims are speculation fostered by politicized enforcement heads.

If in fact those currently accused in the Oklahoma City blast are quilty, then may they be left to the wrath of the families that were victimized. I have no pity for murderers.

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FINAL DRAFT, The Alabama Declaration against terrorism and terrorists.
Viper Militia member Dean Carl Pleasant tells the truth.
More on Viper Militia. Conspiracy laws: end of the First Amendment.
No More Indictments: Talking and Training don't go hand in hand

Battle Flags, Etc.

'The fight's over. There's no one left to fight' THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz

The Truth About Viper Militiaman Dean Karl Pleasant

Eternally vigilant and armed: minuteman with rifle--symbol of the Second Amendment.
On June 4, 1997 the trial of the only Viper Militia defendant to face a jury -- after months in jail, 10 have pleaded guilty to one charge or another, while one still awaits trial -- got underway before Judge Earl H. Carroll in the federal district courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

At the end of the two-week trial, late on a Wednesday afternoon June 18, the jury began its deliberations on the single charge of "conspiracy to make or possess unregistered destructive devices" against 47-year-old air conditioning installer and Vietnam-era Army veteran Chuck Knight.

The "overt acts" Knight was accused of committing as part of the Arizona militia group? Standing guard while other militia members practiced blowing up sand dunes with homemade explosives out in the desert, and participating in a discussion during which the Vipers agreed to buy some blasting caps.

Charles Knight was never alleged to have owned or handled explosives, nor any illegal or untaxed firearm. He never fired a gun at anyone in anger, is never alleged to have harmed anyone, nor stolen anything, nor threatened anyone with harm ... unless, of course, we count the government, which obviously feels VERY threatened by the existence of groups like the Viper Militia, despite the fact no militia group can be shown to have killed anyone in recent years -- compared to the estimated annual death toll of America's inner-city street gangs, now hovering around 1,200 corpses per year.

After taking off a three-day weekend, the jury trooped back into the courtroom on Tuesday, June 24, to report they were hopeless deadlocked. The judge asked them whether, with further deliberations, they might reach a verdict. The foreman replied "No."

But Judge Carroll was not satisfied. He sent the 12 back to the jury room, instructing them that they would not be released until they had reached a verdict, and that the verdict must be unanimous.

Ninety minutes later they returned, and found Chuck Knight guilty.

The Viper Militia case may be a watershed in the struggle to preserve the right of private Americans to bear arms.

Following the original First of July bust of the 14-member outfit last year (two "members" turned out to be paid government informants), President Clinton made a Rose Garden announcement, saying "I'd like to begin today by saluting the law enforcement officers who made arrests in Arizona yesterday to avert a terrible terrorist attack."

The initial government spin was that the Vipers had specific plans to bomb government buildings and commercial television towers, some of which they had actually videotaped from the outside. But that story started to erode almost immediately.

By the time ATF case agent Steven Ott was testifying at a pre-release hearing in Phoenix July 7, he told the court his snitch "felt there was absolutely no plan to conduct any bombings of these buildings at that time," which is why the ATF never informed any occupants of those buildings that they were in any danger.

Judge Carroll let half the defendants go home "on their own recognizance" that day a year ago -- no bail required -- and Chuck Knight still drives around Phoenix a free man today, running what's left of his air conditioner business, as he awaits sentencing Sept. 8.

Is this the way we treat dangerous terrorists?

By July 14 of 1996, reporter Louis Sahagun of the liberal, anti-gun Los Angeles Times was reporting "The Viper case now threatens to backfire on federal agencies that heralded it as a breakthrough in the war against domestic terrorists."

ATF supervisor Ott admitted under oath that his undercover snitch in the Viper Team had urged the other members to rob banks to further their cause, but that they all refused, Sahagun of the Times was reporting by then. There was even "talk" of the undercover state Game & Fish informant who infiltrated the group becoming the organization's leader, Ott testified.

"We told him, 'Absolutely no'," Ott said, though the snitch was apparently still allowed to provide a place for the group to meet.

# # #

I called Chuck Knight, father of four children aged 16 to 26 (and stepfather of two more boys), in Phoenix July 8, and asked him why he thought the jury finally voted to convict.

"The jury was convinced by the tantrums thrown by the prosecutors that this was a dangerous group. There was hardly any mention made of Chuck Knight. Mostly that these guys had machine guns, and that Gary Bauer had, unbeknownst to most of the rest of us, built seven hand grenades."

(Bauer, Vietnam veteran of both the 101st and 87th Airborne Divisions, recipient of the Purple Heart and other awards for valor, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of owning weapons the government taught him to use, and is now serving nine years in the Federal Correctional Facility in Sheridan, Ore.)

Defense attorney Ivan Abrams objected to the government's hauling machine guns belonging to other Vipers into the courtroom, since Knight was not charged with owning any such weapons. Objection overruled.

I told Knight I'd heard that some of the "unregistered machine guns" presented by the prosecution had actually been built by the government out of spare parts found at the homes of the various militia members.

"This is the way the law reads: If they can take parts and with eight hours of professional work by professional gunsmiths working full time in Washington, D.C., make it fire more than one round, then it was a machine gun. There was a guy who published a magazine piece on this a couple of years ago, a guy who took a wrecked Volvo and in about seven hours made a weapon that would fire four or five rounds. So by the legal definition used in this case the Volvo was, technically, a machine gun. We're talking about professional gunsmiths, with access to sophisticated machine shops."

Surely the best defense, then, would be to challenge the law as ridiculous, to ask the jury to acquit based on the statute or ATF regulation being unconstitutionally broad?

"The attorney is not allowed to challenge the law, he's there to prove I didn't violate the law. Judge Earl H. Carroll said 'There won't be any constitutional issues discussed in this court'."

Why does Knight thinks 10 out of his 12 fellow militiamen took the plea bargain?

"You don't have a clue to the terrorist tactics that were employed. ... Hank (decorated veteran Henry Oberturf) was beat up while in jail, and Rick Walker nearly died because they would not give him his medicine, he's a diabetic with a heart problem ..."

Still, the average citizen assumes the jury gets to weigh all the issues, that the defense is free to present its explanation of how the Second Amendment renders the law in question null and void ...

"No, you absolutely can't present any defense you want," Knight protests. "There are so many things you're not allowed to say."

# # #

Knight, himself, would have faced a lesser sentence had he taken the plea bargain.

"I'm so glad I'm a Christian. I don't want to end up standing in front of God someday and saying, 'I didn't believe, so I took a plea bargain and lied about my whole life to get out of trouble. I think my actions are telling him loud enough that I trust him. ..."

Although Knight was a deacon at his last church, "folks at the church didn't even bother calling me" after his arrest, he explained.

A friend invited Knight to visit the First Institutional Baptist Church, in downtown Phoenix, instead. At first, Knight didn't understand why his friend laughed that the reporters wouldn't follow or bother him there. He did once he arrived.

"This new church is mostly a black church, there are maybe six white people, and these people have been just wonderful, they've welcomed me with open arms. ... I have 300 little aunties that come over and pinch me on the cheek and tell me how proud they are of what I'm doing. One of my friends there took me aside and said, 'You know Chuck, black people understand, more than you can know, what it is to be falsely arrested, to be falsely accused and convicted.'

"To be amongst them and to hear the stories, and have these people reach out to me like they have, ... they have literally saved my life. I was suicidal when I went there. I was rescued from the brink, and I don't say that lightly. This coming Sunday will be my one-year anniversary, the only Sunday I missed was the weekend we took Donna to California to surrender" for his wife's one-year term in the women's federal prison in Dublin, Calif.

"They've all but put me out of business. ... I have clients that are afraid to have me there because they're afraid they'll be put under surveillance. The guy who's most terrified is an orthodontist who's had some run-ins with the IRS. He said, 'Chuck, I know they're out to get anything they can on you, so I just can't have you around, I just can't stand to go through all that again. ...' That's the saddest thing I've ever heard, that's how close we are to Hitler's Germany. America is like ancient Rome, this is bread and circuses now. ... They're trying to make everyone a federal felon so we'll all lose our firearms rights.

"The fight's over. There's no one left to fight. You may be allowed to store food and keep a weapon, but you're not allowed to talk to anyone about it. ... If a police officer stops you for a traffic offense they can now search your car. So many of our constitutional rights are gone, I'm heartsick. I've prayed all my life for what God wants, and I know I'm doing what God wants, I only wish I could have been chosen to do something more useful. It doesn't make it any easier day to day. I miss Donna like I never believed I could."

What was his wife's offense?

"They had nothing on her except that she knew these people and she knew they were making explosives to go blow up out in the desert, and she spoke Politically Incorrectly and talked about what we should do if, if, if. ... There was never any plan. Under the law, you have to have a plan for an explosive to become a destructive device, and without that plan ...

"My argument centered around the fact that there was no plan to harm anyone," explains defense attorney Abrams. "Who was the target of these weapons of destruction? Where were they going to be used and when and how? Were they going to be thrown? ... And every one of these questions resulted in the answer, 'I don't know.' So there was no plan and no intent. And if intent is required for a criminal conspiracy, there's no crime. Is it a crime to bury ammonium nitrate, to have these devices ready to go in case of emergency? No."

"The Pentagon has contingency plans, but (start ital)we're(end ital) not allowed to have contingency plans," reports Phoenix writer Fran Van Cleave, a friend of Knight's co-defendant Dean Pleasant. "You wouldn't believe the sneering and sarcastic tone of the prosecutors," says Van Cleave, who sat through the trial. "According to the prosecution, we can't credit any discussions of how we might someday have a government more tyrannical than what we have now. That can't possibly have been what they meant.

"They even demonized an old, Army-surplus canteen. The prosecutor held it up and said 'See, they were even using military-style equipment.' Well, they pointed out Dean worked in a donut factory; what else did they think he could afford except Army surplus?"

# # #

I asked Knight what he believes the government's real goal is, in pressing such prosecutions.

"Their goal is to disarm the public. This is to make sure everyone knows that if they can put me in prison for five years for going out to two field exercises in six months, after 15 years in business in this town, meeting the public all day every day, a church-going guy, a good father ... if we can throw this guy in prison, think what we can do to you.

"If we tell you you can't have any guns, you better get all the guns out of your house right now, law or no law. If they can terrorize my wife into taking a year -- she pled guilty to the same charge I'm up on, she took a plea bargain and got a year and a day -- I've got to be made an example of. You just don't fight it when the government comes after you; that's not allowed."

In The Federalist No. 29, of course, Alexander Hamilton argued that the "people at large" must be "properly armed and equipped" so that "If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens."

And that "body of citizens," the founders all agreed, is "the militia."

In The Federalist No. 46, James Madison argued "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone," and assured those who opposed his proposed new, stronger central government that they need never fear any spread of federal tyranny, since any encroachments by the federal government would "provoke plans of resistance," and "an appeal to a trial of force."

One has to wonder whether the Constitution would ever have been ratified, had Mr. Madison immediately added, "Of course, if any citizens who possess arms actually get together to (start ital)discuss(end ital) making plans of resistance, they'll be promptly rounded up and imprisoned for five years."

That's the sentence Chuck Knight now faces at his Sept. 8 sentencing: up to five years in a federal pen.

"It's hard to tell what crime Chuck has committed," writes his attorney, Ivan Abrams, in a personal note to me dated July 4. "The conspiracy charge is so broad that he may be 'guilty' of associating with machine gunners, thinking too much about fresh fertilizer, camping in the desert while dressed in cammies, or, worst of all, having a friend who had a friend who had a wife who bought a nasty book.

"I think the latter is the most heinous offense of all, given the power of books to instill criminal mindsets in even the most innocent of folks. It is truly a good thing that our government has the resources with which to protect us from the dangers of 'The Anarchist's Cookbook' (now in its 22nd edition) and 'The Militiaman's Handbook'."

Although some material from the Fully-Informed Jury Association was placed on cars in the court parking lot in Phoenix, instructing jurors of their long-established historical right to ignore the judge's instructions and acquit if they felt the law was an affront to the Constitution or their consciences (as juries did 23 times in a row to end the Salem witch trials, and again in the 1850s to block prosecutions under the Fugitive Slave Act), "The judge instructed people not to read it, to throw it away or bring it to him unread," Knight says. He also reports the juror questionnaire was designed to screen out those honest enough to admit they had any knowledge -- and willingness to exercise -- those traditional jury rights.

"When the jury came back hung, and he asked them if there was any chance of reaching a verdict if he sent them back and they said no, (the judge) was bound by law to declare a mistrial, but he did not. ... Instead he sent them back. And I have a feeling the jury thought they were going to be there forever if they didn't come back with a unanimous verdict. ...

"They said after the fact that they didn't feel I was guilty," Knight reports, "that the law was too broad. (Juror) Chuck Wahn said that in a broadcast interview. He's a 50-ish guy, he was almost in tears. But it doesn't help me any. ... It would have been nice if I had a juror or two with some guts. The jurors in the William Penn case (London, 1670) were tortured by the judge, and they still refused to convict."

"The jurors are quoted in the newspaper down here as saying we thought Chuck Knight was a nice guy, but there just wasn't any choice, the judge said you have to ignore your hearts and enforce the law," explained defense attorney Abrams in a telephone interview two days after the verdict. "I even dropped in (a reference to) the Fugitive Slave Act at that point, but the judge had ordered us not to discuss jury nullification, and I saw him coming up off the bench at me ..."

Yet, surprisingly enough, Abrams says the jury included gun owners. "It was much better than what you usually get in Phoenix. We had people who shoot recreationally and have been to gun shows. But what they were afraid of was this really bad compound word called 'ammonium nitrate.' Our timing couldn't have been worse, thank you Mr. McVeigh -- he went on trial the same time." Abrams says he moved for a mistrial on the grounds that the ongoing McVeigh trial in Denver (for the 1996 bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City) was coloring the atmosphere, "but it was not granted."

(McVeigh, kicked out of the only militia meeting he is ever known to have attended, received his munitions training while serving with Uncle Sam's First Infantry Division in that hotbed of international terrorism, Fort Riley, Kansas.)

# # #

"Aren't they just speeding up Darwinism?" I asked attorney Abrams of the government's prosecutions of these highly-visible, "public" militia units. By shutting down the goofier militias, the guys who parade around in public in camouflage fatigues, aren't they just teaching those who profoundly fear and distrust the government how to be more secretive, more serious, more professional ... and simultaneously walling them off from the influence of more moderate voices?

"But that's what they want to do," the self-described liberal Democrat replied. "Look at the War on Drugs, which is dependent on evil men with evil-sounding Hispanic names: Marcos Fernando Guzman. And the more of them we can create, we have our enemy and our target and then we can create our government agency. It is to the government's advantage to make more and badder militias, because the worse they are, the more agencies like the ATF can come out and say, 'We are the first line of defense, we are saving the nation from ruin, we need money from Congress.'

"We're in a terrible state as a nation in that we have no enemies. So what better enemy to create than ugly guys in ugly clothes, redneck racists running around killing people with stinking bags of fertilizer?

"Sadly, Chuck Knight ain't no racist; he ain't no white supremacist; he's no Christian religious fanatic. I'm a Jew; I don't think he's going to eat me. I respect Chuck and we will remain friends.

"You put these guys from New York out here where the real disaffection is, and they'll be shocked first of all at the depth of it. I'm shocked at the depth of the disaffection, but also at the way it permeates all layers of society. I don't know anyone who trusts the government, including my father who has a PhD law degree, but you get him out here for a breath of fresh air, and he starts to talk like one of them.

"I really do think the government wants to encourage the militias, which is why you get agents provocateurs like (John 'Doc') Schultz," alias Private Investigator Scott Jason Wells, the former Colorado State Trooper who infiltrated the Vipers on his own initiative after taking a job at the Phoenix gun store they frequented, and then shopped his "undercover" services to numerous agencies -- he was reportedly turned down cold by the FBI -- for five months before attracting the attention of the Arizona Department of Game & Fish, and then the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ... who eventually paid him $12,000 for his "services."

When Schultz had proposed to the rest of the group that they rob banks, and Chuck Knight replied "That's the last thing we'd ever do," Schultz's testimony for the government "was that they were just prioritizing," Abrams laughs. "I thought when he said that we were home free, if anything would show the absurdity of the case that would be it. I asked, 'What was the second-to-last thing they were going to do?' but the question was thrown out."

By focusing the nation's fears on these new bogey-men, "It certainly takes attention away from Bill Clinton and his sexual proclivities, so Chuck Knight's a very important matter," attorney Abrams explains. "One little air conditioner repairman in Phoenix Arizona rises to a very important position.

"It's very Hitlerian, sort of like the Reichstag Fire, set probably by Hitler's boys, but it served as a wonderful excuse for rounding up all the Communists, all the Nazis' political enemies. ... The whole idea of individual freedom is lost in the current administration."

I asked former federal prosecutor Abrams if he was ready to join a militia, himself.

"I'm going to keep practicing with my Winchester Model '94 in 30-30, and my Glock 23, and keep buying as much ammunition as I can possibly afford. ... I think we have to stand up and thumb our noses at the tyrannies of government, and not be like this jury and say 'We didn't want to convict him, but we had to; we didn't have any choice.' I'm just really appalled at the ability of the American people to just turn over authority to the central government. ..."

"The conspiracy laws are an obscenity," says Chuck Knight. "You can hammer anyone with a conspiracy, all they have to do is talk. The way I read the Constitution, if no one has been hurt, if there is no victim, there is no crime."

Contributions to help fund Chuck Knight's appeal may be sent to the Charles Knight Legal Defense Fund, Account No. 14928432, Bank One, 4922 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale Ariz. 85251

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws."

-- Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at vin@lvrj.com.

The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/.

The column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.

This essay originally appeared in the September, 1997 edition of "The Rothbard-Rockwell Report."

***

Vin Suprynowicz, vin@lvrj.com

FROM MOUNTAIN MEDIA FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATED AUG. 29, 1997
EDITORS NOTE: THIS ESSAY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE SEPTEMBER, 1997 EDITION OF "THE ROTHBARD-ROCKWELL REPORT," PUBLISHED BY THE CENTER FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDIES, 875 MAHLER ROAD, SUITE 150,BURLINGAME, CAL. 94010 (TEL. 800-325-7257.)

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No More Indictments: Talking and Training
don't go hand in hand

From Nancy Lord MD JD

Eternally vigilant and armed: minuteman with rifle--symbol of the Second Amendment.
INTRODUCTION

The freedom movement was dealt a harsh blow this year. Since April, five indictments, all of three or more militia members, all charged with what Justice Learned Hand once called, "Conspiracy, the darling of the prosecutor's nursery." There were convictions in Macon and more are coming. Every case was made by a government agent who instigated conduct that supported federal conspiracy charges.

Since the Macon case, I have spoken with lawyers or accuseds in all four other cases. It is painfully clear that the militia movement needs to understand federal conspiracy law. This post may not be well received. What I say here does not comport with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or even published case law. But it is what happens in a federal courtroom, where it will defeat those who do not comprehend.

First, a group must agree never to condone or participate in illegal activity and to exclude anyone who tries to instigate it. These guidelines should help decide what is legal, illegal, or could be made to look illegal by an overzealous prosecutor and his confidential informant.

CONSPIRACY

A conspiracy is an agreement to do an illegal act. It is not a signed contract, or even a handshake, but can be "tacit" - - a wink and a nod, an unspoken understanding. It can mean nothing more than holding military training one day and discussing the Russian tanks at an airbase the next. Evidence can be direct or circumstantial, and a jury can infer whatever the government wants them to believe.

One person can think about and plan any illegal act. He can have diagrams of buildings, maps to the prospective victims' houses, but without a substantive step (attempt) or request for help (solicitation), there is no crime. (Though if someone else does it, the diagrams and maps mean trouble.)

For two people together, a wishful dream is a conspiracy. Two people in the library reading about explosives could be charged with conspiracy to manufacture explosives. This violates the first amendment, but Hizzoner will not agree.

DEFENSE AGAINST FEDERAL OFFICIALS

It is illegal to defend yourself against a federal official who is acting within the scope of his job. He can violate regulations and the constitution, but if he is on duty, you do not have the right to strike back. Citizens are expected to be arrested and fight it out later in court.

This is horrible, but it is the law. That is not to say that I would go quietly to the gas chambers. There may come a time to break this law, but it is still the law. One can only defend against a fed if he is acting outside the scope of his job, "on a frolic", like attempting date rape. A frolicking fed is like anyone else and can be met with force neccessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury.

CONSPIRACY TO DEFEND

The combination of these laws means that getting together to prepare to defend against federal officials is as conspiracy, particularly if there is any talk of explosives. If a group of people vocally criticize the federal government and engage in so-called para-military training, this conspiracy can be "inferred." An Assistant U.S. Attorney will not have to be a rocket-scientist to make an inference that the government is who they plan to fight. The public is so poorly educated that jurors are easily terrified.

It is legal to resist a fed only when he is not acting as a fed, but as anyone else. Studying self defense against any and all attackers, not the feds or even the U.N., is legal and was the purpose for the constitutional militias.

DO AND DON'T

Patriots who speak out about the unconstitutional expansion of the federal government, U.N. control, illegal raids, etc., should not engage in training exercises. Instead learn self defense by joining the reserves or the Sheriff's auxiliary, or taking a firearms, martial arts, or ROTC course. Work on physical fitness and practice roughing it by camping with a nature appreciation club. Nobody needs to put a bulls-eye on his head to shoot straight, run fast, and build endurance.

If you feel that military style preparedness is tantamount, then leave the first amendment activities to others. I'm trampling on the constitution, but it is, again, reality. Col. Bo Gritz has not been indicted for S.P.I.K.E. training because training alone is not illegal (in most states), as long as the government is not the enemy.

Any group doing both public education and training with the same people and the same leaders is asking for indictment.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Intent to start "a war with the federal government" can been "proven" by the video tapes, books, speeches, radio shows, that the movement produces. The Vipers were indicted based on a video that one of them produced. The movement custom of videotaping every speech should be curtailed, and nothing taped with even a hint of impending violence.

If you have a tape like this around, you are not required to keep it secure. Once an investigation starts, or a subpoena issues, it will be obstruction of justice to destroy it. A spy thriller taped over it will have more information on the satellite tracking systems, electronic interception, and other high-tech spy methods than a speech about targets, and six guys with rifles will be picked off real quick if the government ever makes all out war against its citizens.

They are not going to round up all dissidents at once but are picking off one group at a time, by using informants.

CATCHING THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS

Think of the momentum for freedom if in 1997 five government paid confidential informants (CI's) were publicly exposed trying to provoke crimes before anyone else got in trouble.

A group with resources can thoroughly investigate a troublemaker -- criminal background (informants almost always have records), whom he or she meets with, where his or her money comes from, etc. If you find unexplained cash and meetings with a guy in a Taurus as soon as your meeting is over, you've probably caught a CI. DO NOT threaten or in any way disclose what you know, but get as much good press out of this as you can. The CI might be taped trying to provoke illegal conduct, but only a trained interviewer should try this and the plan must be documented. Do not incriminate yourself trying to catch the CI on tape.

Once you've got the evidence, send a letter to the Sheriff, the local U.S. Attorney's office, B.A.T.F., and F.B.I. This will force them to disclose it to defense attorneys, under Brady v. Maryland, if the CI ever tries to make a case against your group. Then, get it out on the radio. Invite the CI onto a local talk show, and confront him on the air.

Send a letter to the public defender's office, informing them of this transaction, without details. They will know about Brady material on the CI, but the U.S. Attorney will still have to disclose it. Do not disclose it for him.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

A CI is a highly manipulative person who preys on the weak. One CI working for minimum wage and driving 100 miles twice a week for meetings, took an entire family out for dinners to win them over. It worked, and nobody even questioned where the money came from.

If someone in your group is in trouble, a responsible and caring person should help through the crisis, before a clever CI can ingratiate himself and gain control of his psyche.

CONCLUSION

The public needs to know what happened during the past year. The convictions in Macon prove that the average person does not understand the lengths to which the government goes to create a case against those who speak out against it. The only way they will understand is if future entrapments are prevented and CI's are exposed attempting to manufacture crime. Only then will infiltrating law abiding groups become an unacceptable risk for the government.

In Liberty,

=======================================================
Nancy Lord, M.D.
Attorney at Law
defense@macon.mindspring.com
Pager: 800-975-8520
Temporary office location:
191 East Broad Street
Suite 210
Athens, Georgia 30601
706-548-9630

"The purpose of the jury is to prevent the oppression by the government. Duncan v. Louisiana, Supreme Court, 1968.
=======================================================

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FINAL DRAFT, The Alabama Declaration against terrorism and terrorists.
Viper Militia member Dean Carl Pleasant tells the truth.
More on Viper Militia. Conspiracy laws: end of the First Amendment.
No More Indictments: Talking and Training don't go hand in hand