When the Feds backed off their siege on the Nevada ranch I posted on FB the following, “Nevada rancher beats the feds….for now.” I don’t for a second believe his tangle with the central government is over.
One of the best quotes I heard while on my, er, sabbatical, was the following; “They [the Feds], can make lots of mistakes; we can’t
make any”. The man who uttered this was referring to the fact that if the Feds are after you, they only need one misstep by the target to justify an arrest, indictment and conviction. They, on the other hand, might and usually do make lots of tactical and strategic mistakes along the way, but they have the time, resources and immunity from litigation or prosecution to recover from them. In the end, they’ll get the target, one way or another. They have the disadvantage of the burden of proof, but they have every other advantage in the “game”.
I knew a guy who had been under investigation for 20 years, and knew it, but had remained beyond their reach because of his caution, discipline and paranoia. It only took one single phone call and violation of his own rules and it all came crashing down. In his mind, he had been so disciplined for so long and was seemingly beyond reach that he had unconsciously dropped his guard. He thought he was invincible. Like a black swan event, the prospect of his arrest had become unlikely, and while at any given moment it might have been, in the long-run it was actually almost certain. He got 21 years for selling (lots of) marijuana.
Anyway, I thought of this because of a recent article which suggested the Feds will simply retreat, review, and pursue a different angle where victory is assured. It’s basic military (and political theory); pick the battles you can win and then use overwhelming force. So much was wrong about the BLM decision making (and I don’t mean wrong in a moral sense (although it might be, I mean, the political execution of it), my guess is the second stringers were making the early decisions. You can bet the big leaguers will call the shots for round two. By Mr. Grigg:
When the ATF attacked the Branch Davidians outside Waco in February 1993, the expectation was a quick and painless victory over an eccentric religious sect and a public relations boost for the scandal-plagued agency. This is why the assault was code-named “Showtime.”
The Davidians, however, refused to follow the script. When the ATF stormtroopers arrived at the sect’s sanctuary at Mt. Carmel, David Koresh – who had known of the impending assault, and released an ATF informant rather than holding him as a hostage — attempted to de-escalate the confrontation, only to be answered by a murderous volley of gunfire. Rather than allowing themselves to be shackled or slaughtered, the Davidians stood their ground, killing four of the assailants in a morally unassailable exercise of self-defense and forcing the ATF to retreat.
Because the Regime cannot countenance resistance, the FBI laid siege to the Davidians for 51 days before the final assault that left of scores of Davidians dead from fire, asphyxiation, and gunfire.
In 1973, a band of Sioux activists at Wounded Knee held off the FBI and the US military for 71 days, demanding respect for their rights under treaty law, accountability for the corruption of federally installed tribal dictator Dickie Wilson, and investigation of unsolved murders. The Feds replied with the largest domestic military deployment since the last confrontation at Wounded Knee in December 1890, an undisguised slaughter carried out by the vengeful Seventh Cavalry that amounted to an American Babi Yar.
In response to the 1973 protests, Armed FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, SWAT teams, and teams of Wilson’s paramilitary “GOON Squad” formed an iron ring around the village of Wounded Knee. Colonel Vic Jackson, head of the Pentagon’s Civil Disorder Management School, was called upon by the FBI to implement the notorious “Operation Garden Plot” martial law blueprint. The FBI’s plan called for the Army would invade and “pacify” the village before the FBI went in to “arrest” whoever might survive the onslaught. Armored Personnel Carriers were on hand to deal with what were described as “bunkers” (and were, in fact, root cellars). Phantom F-4 jets flew low-altitude reconnaissance runs over the town.
At one point…
Here’s the rest of it.
Update: Ms. Kwiatowski has an interesting take on things.