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Subject: [smashthestate] Govt License to Kill: The "007 Standard"
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000 7:27 PM

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>>From http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2000/09-11-2000/vo16no19_007standard.htm

Vol. 16, No. 19 September 11, 2000

The "007 Standard" by William Norman Grigg

In the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge bloodlettings, it is becoming clear that 
federal paramilitaries enjoy something akin to impunity in the exercise of lethal 

In 1768, amid escalating tensions between the British government and 
independence-minded "radicals" in New England, two full regiments were deployed in 
Boston as peacekeepers. Benjamin Franklin warned that the deployment was akin to 
"setting up a smith's forge in a magazine of gunpowder." A random spark was set off on 
March 2, 1770, when a British soldier got into a shouting match with a local resident; 
within hours a melee had broken out between Redcoats and "radicals," but no blood was 

Three days later, a contingent of armed Redcoats under the command of one Captain 
Preston was set upon by what one American historian called "a crowd of disorderly 
loafers and boys of the town." In his 1789 chronicle of the American Revolution, David 
Ramsay recalled that the British troops "were pressed upon, insulted and pelted by a 
mob armed with clubs, sticks, and snowballs covering stones. They were also dared to 
fire." One of the soldiers obliged, and six of his comrades quickly followed suit. 
Three American colonists were killed, and five more were critically wounded - and the 
"Boston Massacre" became a revolutionary rallying cry.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this tragedy was the response of British 
colonial authorities: Captain Preston and his subordinates were jailed and eventually 
put on trial for murder, where they were capably represented by "radical" attorney 
John Adams. The jury, "in defiance of popular opinions," found mitigation in the fact 
that the soldiers had been "insulted, threatened, and pelted, before they fired," 
wrote Ramsay. Two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and subsequently 
branded. The trial, Ramsay concludes, "reflected great honor on John Adams, and [his 
assistant] Josiah Quincy … and also on the integrity of the jury...." The colonial 
government's willingness to subject its soldiers to such a trial offers an instructive 
contrast to the arrogant lawlessness of our contemporary federal government.

In the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge bloodlettings, it is becoming clear that 
federal paramilitaries enjoy something akin to impunity in the exercise of lethal 
force. Last June, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, 
who played a role in both of those episodes, could not be charged with manslaughter 
for killing Vicki Weaver, who was struck in the head by a round from Horiuchi's rifle 
during the Ruby Ridge standoff. In its decision, the court cited "Supremacy Clause 
immunity" as its rationale for dismissing the charges against the FBI sniper.

Judge Alex Kozinski, in a scalding dissent, denounced the court's decision for 
creating a "007 standard" - a reference to James Bond's discretionary "license to 
kill." "Because the 007 standard for the use of deadly force now applies to all law 
enforcement agencies in our circuit - federal, state, and local - it should make us 
all feel less secure," concluded Judge Kozinski. "In an effort to protect a defendant 
who lost his head and acted in a patently unconstitutional manner, the majority has 
materially weakened the standard and heretofore constrained all law enforcement 
personnel in the Ninth Circuit."

Kozinski errs only in saying that the "007 standard" applies to "all law enforcement 
agencies"; apparently, only federal agents are thus consecrated. When law enforcement 
officers at the state or local level are accused of brutality or other serious crimes 
- particularly in racially charged episodes, such as the Rodney King arrest and the 
tragic shooting of Amadou Diallo - they are generally required to answer the 
accusations in a court of law. In the Rodney King case, an acquittal in the original 
trial provoked the feds to circumnavigate the Constitution's double jeopardy 
provisions in order to send two of the four Los Angeles police officers to prison.

While Horiuchi enjoys "Supremacy Clause immunity" for killing Vicki Weaver, the same 
Ninth Circuit Court ruled that he and four other FBI agents enjoy no civil immunity 
from a lawsuit filed by Kevin Harris, who was wounded by the same shot. In the event 
the lawsuit makes it to trial, the feds can be expected to invoke the same 
"discretionary function exemption" that they claimed in the wrongful-death lawsuit 
filed by Branch Davidian survivors and families of the victims of the 1993 Mount 
Carmel holocaust. That exemption, notes one legal commentator, "gives federal 
officials room to make judgment calls and carry them out without fear of being sued, 
even if their decisions prove to be bad." If federal agents who make such bad 
decisions are beyond the reach of both criminal and civil accountability, what 
protection does the citizenry enjoy from "judgment calls" that go awry?

In a recent interview, retired FBI agent Byron Sage, who led the Bureau's negotiation 
team at Waco, excoriated critics of the federal government's actions at Mount Carmel. 
"They have so inflamed elements of the American public that there has been 
irreversible damage done to the trust that the public has had in the past - and should 
have now - in the integrity and professionalism of law enforcement," complained Sage. 
But that trust reflected an understanding that those who enforce the law would be 
accountable to it as well. However alien this concept is to those who preside over the 
modern federal leviathan, it was understood, and honored, by the British authorities 
who permitted Captain Preston and his men to stand trial. The contrast is instructive 
and unsettling.

All the Wants You Waste
All the Things You've Chased

When It All Crashes Down
And You Break Your Crown
And You Point Your Finger
But There's No One Around

Just Want One Thing
Just to Play The King

But The Castle Has Crumbled
And You're Left With Just a Name
Where's Your Crown King Nothing?
Careful what you wish
careful what you say
Careful what you wish
you may regret it
Careful what you wish
you just might get it

Metallica _King Nothing_ Load

Smash The State WWW

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