When the government tries to squash anti-American ideas it doesn't like, the results are often destructive of American ideals.
Once the FBI committed to subverting “dissident speech,” its crackdowns became a bureaucratic growth industry that eventually included even women’s liberation movements. Nixon aide Tom Charles Huston testified in 1975 of COINTELPRO’s tendency “to move from the kid with a bomb to the kid with a picket sign, and from the kid with the picket sign to the kid with the bumper sticker of the opposing candidate. And you just keep going down the line.”
The best known case of federal right-wing ideological targeting climaxed 25 years ago at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver and his family lived in an isolated cabin in the mountains or northern Idaho.
Weaver was a white separatist who believed races should live apart; he had no record of violence against other races — or anyone else. Undercover federal agents targeted him and entrapped him into selling a sawed-off shotgun. The feds sought to pressure Weaver, who often indulged in antigovernment bluster, to become an informant against the Aryan Nation but he refused.
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