| NALA Press Release |
We're in solitary confinement;
How did we get here?
Someone is screaming from down the hall. It must be two or three in the morning, but it's impossible to tell.
I wonder who that poor bellowing man is. Is he a heroin addict suffering withdrawal, or maybe he's just a screaming lunatic.
We're in solitary confinement, otherwise known as "administrative detention," for our own safety, we're told. But the signs above our doors say "disciplinary segregation" and everyone else here calls this place "the hole."
We're in here because our jailers say "the hole" is for our own safety.
What I'm wondering is, "How did we get here?"
When the people of the Republic of Texas were surrounded by Law Enforcement, I did what I always do when people's lives are put at risk in politically hot situations involving the federal government, I called Special Agent Bill Clifford of the Boulder, Colo., FBI office. Clifford had represented my avenue of communication with the FBI since the Oklahoma City bombing. He also helped me in my efforts to find a resolution to the standoff in Jordan, MT. My relationship with Clifford was as friendly as any relationship could ever be between an agent in the FBI and a so-called "Branch Davidian Militia leader," such as myself.
Our meeting at an Aurora IHOP restaurant on May 1, 1997 was not unlike our previous meetings during the Jordan, MT standoff or after the Oklahoma City bombing. It was a friendly discussion between representatives of two groups trying to avoid conflict and resolve problems.
But that soon changed as the meeting broke up and I walked to my car.
The sudden appearance of screaming men wearing body armor and brandishing weapons stood in stark contrast to the rational and articulate conversation I'd had with agent Clifford only moments before. As I reached my car, I was thrown up against it while an agent barked, "we got you mother-fuckers!"
As I was being searched by a dozen frenzied hands, a stone-faced Bill Clifford casually walked up to me and said, "I'm sorry Ron, I know you guys aren't proactive."
Bill Clifford knows that more than anyone.
So again, I ask, "How did we get here!?"
The list of weapons seized from our house by the FBI seemed both scary and impressive to many people when they read about our arrests in the papers the following day. We could only shake our heads. We'd been buying, trading, and selling military weapons at gunshows since 1987, and had been very open about our business and possessions. Two weeks before our arrests, for example, I had invited Detective Thomas Fisher of the Denver Police Department and head of security for the McVeigh trial out to go shooting in the mountains with us. We had no secrets, and everyone who knew us also knew that the "arsenal" seized from our home represented a tiny fraction of a once gigantic gun collection.
We'd sold off most of our unneeded assets to pay for our Internet websites and basic necessities over the past four years.
Again, I ask, "how did we get here?"
That man is still screaming.
According to the government's complaint, we had been under investigation by the FBI since January of this year. It was at that same time that I started posting information on the Internet about U.S. Government atrocities at home and overseas. It was in January when I started to stir up interest in opening lines of communication with civil rights groups and freedom fighters in other countries, like the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. Everyone told me I was walking on thin ice, that I was making myself a "prime target," but that never stopped me from exposing the government's murders in Waco, TX, and I wasn't going to be bullied now.
I believed very strongly that I could get the "civil rights" left-wing and the "constitutional-patriotic" right-wing talking, the blacks and the whites talking, the Christians and the Moslems talking. Just talking, because we had nothing to lose by communicating and everything to gain.
And that is why we are really here. Because we were talking and they were talking and that got everybody talking -- or rather screaming in the cases of the FBI agents who arrested me.
And now we lay in our "holes" listening to the lone man screaming down the hall.
And so we are here. And in spite of it all, I regret nothing. Like I have said many times in the media since our arrests, "we are not three people, we are an idea, and an idea can not be incarcerated."
We still believe as strongly as ever that civil rights and constitutional groups from the left and the right will stand together against the enemy that killed 87 of our brethren in Waco, TX, killed 7,000 in their invasion of Panama, 700 in their bombing of Libya and 700,000 in their genocidal war in the Persian Gulf, plus thousands of other innocent people whose lives mean nothing to the U.S. Government.
Our Internet websites are still up, my published book is still in circulation and we are no weaker now than we were the raid that stole our freedom. That one fact, above all others, proves that we are not, and never were terrorists. The weapons that have been taken from us were never the source of our strength, and our crusade suffers not at all for lack of them.
/s/ Ron Cole
Director, North American Liberation Association
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