Tag Archives: Ruby Ridge

Railroaded: The Trials, Populism, Brutal Honesty, Imprisonment and Redemption of Rep. James Traficant

Traficant on the Congressional Floor

In my previous article, I wrote about reporters, insiders, researchers, and various whistle-blowers of one stripe or another, who paid the ultimate price for attempting to tell us (the American public) the truth about corruption, malfeasance, and coverups in high places. Rest assured, the powers that be (sociopaths and psychopaths that they are) have no qualms about killing someone or even large numbers of people in order to squash a bombshell truth from being released and then predictably calling it an accident or a suicide. However, there are occasions when the figure in question is simply what you could call a nuisance and outspoken “troublemaker” or radical critic of government overreach even within the corridors of power itself. And, when this occurs, there are often less deadly ways of getting rid of them.

So, for instance, if they can’t be bribed, cajoled, or blackmailed by people above them…they might simply be fired and their homes ransacked the way former NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake was after he protested their unconstitutional domestic spying operations before the Ed Snowden leaks became common knowledge. Or, perhaps they’ll be drug through a long, arduous, and costly legal battle the way former Assistant Secretary of HUD (Housing and Urban Development), Catherine Austin Fitts, was for attempting to audit her department’s fraudulent financial statements. Fortunately, she was able to finally win her case and eventually learn about how departmental agencies such as hers were being used as slush funds for CIA black budget operations…legally!

If you’re in the US Congress, you’re expected to play the game of mindless ineptitude, corporate graft, and other partisan “business as usual” bullshit so indicative of life on Capitol Hill. You’re obviously not supposed to cause too much consternation and problems for the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, or any other ingrained and entrenched bureaucracy of US imperial empire. However, a few intrepid souls do just that, and that’s when the heat comes down on their heads whether they expect it or not. For Rep. James Traficant, it was perhaps only a matter of time and opportunity as to when the Department of Justice (a misnomer if there ever was one) went after him on bogus, trumped-up charges of bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion until they had him in front of a congressional ethics committee fighting not only for his seat in the House but to remain a free man.

It was a fight that he unfortunately lost, and he was forced to serve 7 years in a federal penitentiary beginning in 2002. However, it’s what led up to his railroading out of the US Congress and imprisonment that interest me and hopefully you, since his case is very instructive in many ways. Interestingly enough, Jim Traficant gained significant notoriety for successfully representing himself in a RICO case where he was accused of taking bribes from the mob that he maintained was part of an investigatory sting operation. As the city’s tough no nonsense Sheriff of Mahoning County, Traficant was popular with his solid working-class constituents, especially when he refused to evict people from their homes after severe economic conditions created a lot home foreclosures. Jim Traficant decided to run for a US congressional seat in the Youngstown district and won. He quickly became a pariah on the Hill for his brash comments often hilariously aimed at his congressional colleagues.

Once, after being trounced on the floor of the House by fellow Congressmen for his style and manner, he walked to the podium and proclaimed- “As far as I’m concerned, you’re all a bunch of political prostitutes!” This caused a scandal that echoed through the halls of the capitol like a donkey having sex with an elephant (which has fascinating political implications all it’s own). The normally sedate House was suddenly aroused sufficiently from its intellectual slumber to stir itself into a combination of confusion as to what exactly he had said and anger over what some had actually heard. When he was corned outside by reporters, one news stringer asked him pointedly, “Tell us how you really feel, Sheriff.” He very sardonically replied, “I’d like to apologize to all the hookers of America for associating them with the US House…” So, you’ve got to the love the guy just for his sharp humorous wit, and it would be often in his career when humor alone would seem to alleviate the seriousness of the charges leveled against him.

Over the years, he would tackle some very thorny and controversial issues with his characteristic bravado, swagger, and brutal honesty. During the Clinton years, he would make a lifelong enemy of Attorney General Janet Reno and the FBI by vehemently criticizing their catastrophic debacle at Waco and Ruby Ridge (as I profiled in an earlier post). Both Ruby Ridge, where the FBI killed Randy Weaver’s wife as she held her infant in the doorway, and Waco, where the Branch Davidian compound was burned to the ground after Bradley tanks shot CS gas into the building that easily ignited, were public relations disasters for the FBI. However, for all their bluster, coverups, corruption, and now mass homicide, very little was done to actually punish the guilty parties responsible and rein in the abuse of the FBI, along with what some saw as heavy handed assaults on the US citizens’ liberty. By being one of the FBI’s staunchest critic to anyone that would listen, Traficant was no doubt “Public Enemy #1” within the US Congress and very likely targeted in a covert effort to entrap him in some kind of scandal.

Targeted- James Traficant

He also went after the hated IRS and their fraudulent wage garnishments, property leins, and home seizures, particularly since their jackboot tactics and audits were ruining peoples’ lives. According to Jim Traficant, the thing that he is most proud of is passing a bill with then Texas Congressman Bill Archer, which puts the burden of proof of tax liability on the IRS rather than on the citizen. This single piece of legislation was able to reduce the number of houses seized by the IRS from 10,073 down to 57 in one year!! Given that the IRS is really the enforcement arm of the Federal Reserve that supplies the Treasury with “notes” that it expects to receive interest on, the US government uses the IRS to collect on the debt that it creates every time it borrows money and then fleeces the public to pay back. As the late, great Aaron Russo once said about IRS (an acronym), “It Really Sucks!” So, anytime anyone in government does something to rein in the IRS besides merely protecting Wall Street crooks in hiding their money in off-shore accounts…I applaud them.

The next potentially grave enemy that Jim Traficant made was with the state of Israel and the very powerful lobby AIPAC (American Israeli Political Affairs Committee). While you might not have ever heard of AIPAC, the truth is that America’s unwavering allegiance, support, and loyalty to Israel in the face of global criticism for their treatment of the Palestinians is no accident. It is the result of powerful lobbies such as AIPAC, Mossad spy infiltration of the US, and other Zionist front groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and B’nai B’rith. One point of major controversy in the already contentious career of Rep. Jim Traficant came when a family approached him and asked that he look into a case that they were fighting on behalf of a man that had been charged with being a prisoner guard at one of the Nazi concentration camps during WWII.

The Israelis claimed that he worked at Treblinka and was known as “Ivan the Terrible”, based on his sadistic enjoyment of torturing the prisoners there. However, the family told Trafficant that this man, who went by the name of John Demjanjuk, was not “Ivan the Terrible” as the Israelis had claimed. According to photos that the family showed Traficant of both Demjanjuk and “Ivan the Terrible”, there was a prominent scar on the neck of the Ukrainian guard but not on Demjanjuk’s. The family of Demjanjuk had told Jim that they approached him last about it because they knew how much the Congress hated him, but they didn’t know where else to turn as everybody else in the House and Senate had turned down their request to look into the case. Traficant was sufficiently convinced of their case that he took the evidence to Tel Aviv and presented it to the Israeli Supreme Court, who finally agreed that Demjanjuk was not the right guy and (to their credit) released him from prison into Traficant’s custody on a plane back to the US. For this act of courage and justice, he was smeared by the press as someone who, to even care about the case, was thought to have “anti-Semitic blood”.

Demjanjuk in Israeli Court

I heard about all this one night while watching C-SPAN back in early 2001 before 9/11 would irrevocably change the world and political landscape. Jim Traficant recounted many stories he had had throughout his colorful career at Cleveland’s City Club, and I’ve still got most of his talk on VHS tape somewhere (see the whole hour long speech archived by C-SPAN in the hyperlink to follow). It’s still a great talk, full of interesting anecdotes, humorous asides, and emotional statements like “What happened to America? What is America? Do people still govern here? I think not. The government is coming after people, and this needs to stop.” Shortly after 9/11, he would be charged in the House with breaking the rules of the Ethics Committee by accepting money through his staffers that the House claimed he was unable to account for. These hearings were also largely televised on C-SPAN, and I recorded all the ones that I could as I knew at the time that they were really the result of what he had been talking about before.

When his case went before a judge in an Ohio criminal court, he wasn’t even allowed to cross examine the so-called witnesses against him that he later found out were pressured by the FBI to give false testimony. He also wasn’t allowed to bring in his own witnesses and evidence that would clearly have exonerated him in the eyes of the jury and was essentially convicted in a kangaroo court, where a grave miscarriage of justice served him into an 7-year prison sentence. However, now that he’s out, he continues to fight the good fight against what he sees is criminal corruption within the White House, court system, FBI, and US Congress among other usual suspects on shows like Greta van Sustern and Alex Jones. And, to top it all off, he even ran for his old congressional seat, which would have been another first. I can see the headlines now- “Ex-Felon James Traficant Wins Old Seat in the House next to Soon to Be Felons”. Now, you know just about the only guy that I would consider voting for. Traficant for President in 2016!

Traficant before Reporters

 

 

 

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Under Siege with the Bundy’s and the BLM: Shades of Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the Fight Against Federal Fascism of the 1990s

That Which is Tyranny by Jefferson

The latest standoff between federal agents of the Bureau of Land and Management (BLM) and Nevada cattle rancher, Cliven Bundy, is coming to a head around the same time that another standoff ended in catastrophe and bloodshed some 21 years ago on April 19th. I’m speaking of course of the splinter group of Seventh Day Adventists, known as the Branch Davidians, whose compound was raided by the ATF and FBI back in 1993 in what would end in fiery tragedy for some 76 members of the church including 23 children. Thanks to the tireless work of many investigators into the Waco tragedy…we now know that the CS gas that was shot into the compound by the Bradley tanks was highly flammable, and this (of and to itself) could have started the massive fire once it was exposed to any kerosine lamps, pilot lights, or candles inside the building.

However, there is also evidence that the FBI actually started the fire by using flash grenades in multiple parts of the compound. While this may appear to be somewhat controversial, based on what we know about the provable corruption, coverups, and criminal acts of the FBI…this should come as no surprise as I’ll clearly show. So, for instance, as the Waco compound was burning to the ground, Branch Davidians were being shot at from the back of the building by what were later determined to be Special Forces snipers, including members of the elite Delta Force. How do we know this? We know that there were shots being fired at the back of the compound as it was going up in flames because of the analysis of the FLEER video, which shows heat signatures of what can only be rifle muzzle flashes.

Waco Compound Burns

Also, it is worth noting that a subsequent investigation by the Texas Rangers on the scene showed bullet holes entering a double door in the back, but this door was seized and promptly “lost” by the FBI. Again, this is not a “conspiracy theory” but is historical fact. One of the lead investigators of the Texas Rangers at Waco was Joaquin Jackson, who later retired in disgust over the whole sordid affair. However, don’t expect the media to tell you what really transpired at Waco. There are tantalizing clues, however, if you know how and where to look.

One such clue that I came across recently was Dick Morris, who told Sean Hannity of FOX that Janet Reno blackmailed Bill Clinton to giving her a 2nd term as Attorney General or else she would “tell the truth¬† about Waco”. What did she know about Waco besides the fact that she and the FBI had a lot of innocent blood on their hands? The only thing that makes any sense is that Bill (and possibly Hillary) Clinton also knew and probably even ordered the compound be torched on the 51st day of the siege. Unfortunately, Morris doesn’t clarify just what Reno knew, and we’re left with a juicy clue and nothing more.

ATF Goon Squad

It’s instructive that we begin with the Clinton presidency, though, since that’s when we saw a great rise in governmental over-reach of federal power against individual citizens, who were targeted merely for being 2nd Amendment advocates, outspoken about federal centralization of power, or just plain “different” enough to draw the attention and ire of the Feds. This took on an almost maniacal and feverish pitch when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred in 1995 and was quickly blamed on so-called disenfranchised anti-governmental militia types as Timothy McVeigh was claimed to have been.

However, anyone that has studied the Oklahoma City bombing with any real depth can see that the building’s debris was blown out from the inside rather than from the outside inward with a Rider truck filled with a 1,200 lb. fertilizer bomb. There are several affidavits that attest to there being at least two other bombs “inside” the the building that day, including one by Tiffany Bible who swore that she spoke with an ATF agent that told her the Murrah building was destroyed because of retaliation for the Waco debacle. Many of the records of the Waco investigation were being housed in the Murrah building when the lead investigator moved them to Oklahoma City. However, none of the ATF personnel were in the building at the time, which strikes me as very oddly convenient. Meanwhile, the initial reports coming out of the local media describe two unexploded bombs being taken out from inside the building. So, there’s a lot more to the story than what we’ve been told, and I encourage you all to go watch the excellent documentary film “A Noble Lie” should you want to learn just what that other stuff is.

Suffice to say, McVeigh (who asked directions on how to get to the building beforehand) was clearly nothing more than a FBI/ATF stooge patsy that took the fall in order to demonize the “patriot movement” and other champions of the constitution as well as states’ rights over federal power. So, he was blamed for the thing, and Bill Clinton was able to pass the “Anti-Terrorist Act” in 1996.

Another gut-wrenching story of one man’s courageous fight against encroachments from the federal goon squad agents of the ATF and FBI occurred in the Ruby Ridge case of the Randy Weaver family of Idaho. Here again, federal agents were using an informant to entrap Randy in an “illegal weapons” charge and attempting to drag him into court over a sawed-off shotgun. They staked out his property, harassed his children (just as the BLM has with the Bundy’s), and even shot the family dog. Unfortunately, after they shot the dog, Randy’s 14-year-old son Sammy was killed, when he exchanged fire with the federal agent that killed his beloved pet.

Randy Weaver

Idaho ( much like Montana) was known to have stalwart ranchers and farmers, who distrusted their corrupt government and clearly had a “Don’t Tread on Me” attitude. That’s why the Weaver family had their community’s support from the beginning of their ordeal to the horribly tragic conclusion, when Randy Weaver’s wife was shot between the eyes by an FBI sniper as she held her infant in the doorway of their house. Even the corrupt FBI agent had to admit his heinous crime in this case and settle with Randy for $3.1 million in a subsequent lawsuit that he filed against them for the wrongful death of his wife.

However, I don’t care how much you’re able to get in a lawsuit after the fact…nothing, absolutely nothing can ever make up for losing your wife and one of your children! These are the kinds of crimes of the state that were infuriating a small but growing handful of mostly rural people in the US during the 1990s, who were dismissed by the mainstream media as crazy “conspiracy theorist”¬† domestic terrorists.

At one point, the infamous inventor of the “magic bullet theory” Warren Commission member, Arlen Specter, chaired a congressional hearing about the rise of militia groups in America that had grown in response to tragedies like Waco and Ruby Ridge. You can tell that he’s clearly incredulous to the outcry and claims being made by the various militia men, concerned patriots, and constitutional attorneys on the video. However, since he was a part of the coverup of the JFK assassination, this should come as no surprise. One surmises that he (along with the US congress, White House, and various alphabet soup agencies) were looking at these courageous men as “threats” to the attempt being made to slowly turn this country into a slavish, technocratic, corporate-socialist police state, which is exactly what happened and accelerated into hyper-drive post 9/11.

Under Siege

One must realize that with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall…the Military-Industrial-Complex had to find a “new enemy” to keep the money flowing into their coffers, and this meant that, even if a huge existential threat and enemy was imaginary, the important thing for the US hegemonic war machine was to have something to be able to justify their enormous Pentagon and National Security State budgets. That’s why “terrorism” was chosen as the new “existential” enemy that can and would not ever be eliminated. After all, terrorism is a strategy of fighting (largely poorly armed people against standing armies) and therefore it’s not even a legitimate external enemy as such. Also, when big powerful countries like the US invade a smaller country like Iraq (as it did in 2003) under false pretenses, there is quite naturally going to be a violent backlash from the occupied people of that country attempting to throw off the yoke of foreign domination and control. So, all the US does is create legions of terrorists around the world every time it or its Israeli client state drops a bomb or fires a missile into the dwellings of “suspected” terrorists, who just as often as not end up being innocent men, women, and children that we derisively label “collateral damage”.

Now, let’s get back to Cliven Bundy and his fight against the BLM. While it’s fairly obvious that he was pushing his luck in not paying the grazing fees for his cattle since 1993, he contends that it is “public land”, and he has more of a right to it than any federal agency. Of course, the idea of public land belonging to the public is just that…an idea and largely a false one at that. The state of Nevada, in particular, is almost all government-owned land. And, even if you think you own a piece of property, tell me this- “Why (assuming that you own it) would you need to pay property taxes on it year in and year out?” What happens when you refuse to support the psychiatric public school system and decide that you’re not going to pay? Obviously, you’re going to lose what was never really yours to begin with.

However, let’s concede that Mr. Bundy does in fact have the right to the land, since he’s the one that lives there and raises his cattle on that land. This hearkens back to the days of the great migration westward when pioneers were allowed to lay claim to a piece of real estate so long as they built a home there, tilled the soil, or raised animals on the land. And, in that respect, yes Cliven Bundy certainly does have (under those settler’s conditions) more of a right to the land than a third party governmental agency, whose dubious role in the desert Southwest has been far less than stellar. The BLM, to my mind, are nothing more than a bureaucratically meddlesome bunch of control freaks, who showed their true colors in the wild horses scandal that has been ongoing now.

One certainly has to wonder whether or not the reasons for the harassment under the approval of Clark County’s sheriff and Sen. Harry Reid is really nothing more than a land grab situation, where the Bundy ranch just so happens to sit on what some oil and gas company want to frack or a mining company wants to dig. After all, one of the largest gold mining companies in the world, Barrick, have several major operations in Nevada. And, according to investigative journalist, Greg Palast, they were able to practically steal the rights to the largest known deposits of gold in this country for a mere $10,000 and turn it into $10,000,000,000 in pure profit. That’s $10 billion dollars that went to a Canadian company and was given a big assist by George H.W. Bush Sr., who just so happened to be given a multi-million dollar consulting job after he left the White House. That’s big money, people, and I can guarantee that if the Bundy’s are sitting on what some might think is even a fraction of this kind of wealth…I wouldn’t doubt it when Harry Reid says- “It’s not over.” Interestingly enough, one of Senator Reid’s largest campaign contributors over the years has been a mining company called Newmont that are involved in a joint venture with Barrick in Nevada.

 

Nevada Rancher And Federal Gov't Face Off Over Land Use Battle