FOCUS ON FORTIER
With media attention beginning to turn again to the Oklahoma City
bomb, and particularly the confessions of McVeigh friend Michael
Fortier, Steamshovel Press would like to present again John
Judge's comments about Fortier from SP14, which developed into a
broader discussion about manipulation of the militia movement.
As the author of Judge For Yourself and a research associate of
the late Mae Brussell, Judge is well-known among conspiracy
researchers. He works as one of the central organizers of the
Committee on Political Assassinations, a non-profit group working
for the release of government files on political assassinations
(POB 772, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044-0772.) This
excerpt comes from Steamshovel Press #14, now available as a back
issue for $6 postpaid. The current issue of Steamshovel (#15),
is also now available for $6. Steamshovel Press, POB 23715, St.
Louis, MO 63121.
Q: You mentioned that you talked to Michael Fortier before his
A: Myself and researchers I know talked to Fortier. He was an
army buddy of McVeigh's and he also helped McVeigh get the job
out in Arizona at the TruValue hardware store. When he spoke
with us, and he didn't have to speak with us, we're not press,
and if he was part of this elaborate it would not be likely that
he would talk to anybody. He was saying to us that he knew
McVeigh and he didn't think McVeigh would do anything like this.
He had never seen indication that McVeigh would bomb a building
or do this kind of violence. He basically expressed frustration
with the way things were going. He said, "what happened to
innocent until proven guilty?" Now he seems to be the main
prosecution witness. They have him visiting the building,
checking it out with McVeigh. There's a whole story that's
Q: He seems to be plea bargaining with that.
A: I guess. It seems like they put him over a barrel and they
said it's either going to be you or McVeigh, so take your pick.
That's the implication always when you have somebody that's
cooperating and all of sudden they become a suspect, or vice
versa, you have to wonder about what the prosecution is up to.
And there have been a string of these: the brother out on the
farm in Michigan, Terry Nichols, was first said to be a very
cooperative person and eventually became suspect. These people
become suspects, but then we're told they are not suspects in the
bombing. They are just suspects of other, sort of related,
crimes. Blowing up cans in the back yard, I guess.
There are a lot of disinformation rumors flying around.
Michael McLure said years ago that even paranoids have enemies.
That's true, but that doesn't mean that the paranoids know who
their enemies are.
Q: That's my feeling about people I have met in the militia
movement. Some of them are real, sincere populist types, but
they should have real suspicions about their leadership.
A: It's quite likely that these groups are either created whole
cloth or heavily infiltrated. These kinds of groups would be of
use to the government, both in terms of as they used the Klan and
the Hell's Angels in the past, as an arm of the government to be
paid to do murders, assassinations, hits or attacks on people
that the government wanted to go after and thereby camouflage,
this one done through COINTELPRO and other programs--Hell's
Angels were paid off by the US government to kill Cesar Chavez,
there were different plots of this sort in the past. So they're
a good scapegoat if they need one. There's also quite a bit of
history of missing weapons being stolen from military bases and
in a few cases where there are suspects, these suspects tie back
in to either the Aryan Brotherhood, neo-Nazi, right-wing or these
militia movements. It was very clear that there were active
police department and active military and reserve military
veterans in the militia, even three congressmen were named in the
congressional roll call as members of the militia. So the
militia have clearly a whole range of people.
The militia want to see themselves as victims. They would say
that the government did the Oklahoma bombing and are scapegoating
them because they want to destroy the militia and take their guns
away. I think all anybody has to do to put that claim in
perspective is look at how the Panthers were treated in the
1960s, when black people picked up guns and how different their
experience was. There weren't Panthers getting on Nightline.
There weren't people being allowed to just espouse their
philosophy without any political comeback. The militia people
are basically being given a forum. "Are you a racist
organization?" "Oh, no." But these are predominantly white
organizations and their response to the situation that they
believe is going on, which is partially racism and xenophobia
coming out, that United Nations is bringing foreign troops and
foreign weapons--this isn't going to be done with a good old
American tank, they're going to have go import a Russian tank to
do this to us. We're more than willing to be a conduit for
foreign weapons and to ship them out as long as they are inferior
to any other country on the dole. We certainly do bring foreign
troops into this country and train them, as assassins and death
squads, we train other foreign troops to be surrogate forces for
us around the world, and it's us that's taking over the UN, not
the other way around. The UN has clearly been used as an
extension of US foreign policy for many years.
It's not that to that there haven't been victims of these
federal police attacks, but you're comparing a few, the one Randy
Weaver, even the hundred people at Waco, the underlying theme is
that the people that the government is really after are these
good white Christians.
Q: This is exactly the kind of thing that's behind, say, Qubilah
Shabazz and Louis Farrakhan. The FBI is going in and trying to
manipulate Shabazz into taking a contract out on Farrakhan. The
militias don't seem to care about that. They don't care about
the Black Panthers. But when it happens to Randy Weaver or the
strange Christians at Mt. Carmel, the whole movement is enflamed.
A: Or the children in Waco or the children in Oklahoma City.
But foreign children, when they die, aren't somehow as innocent
or deserving of our pity. There's stories about seeing foreign
troops being trained to go house to house and disarm the people
in the houses. That's classic counter-insurgency warfare
strategy that they would use in a place like Somalia. Does it
mean that they wouldn't use it here? No, but the communities
where it's going to be used first are the communities where they
are afraid of people having guns. They have been providing guns
to people in this country, much more so than taking them away.
Any kid in Los Angeles, on the streets in a black or Hispanic
neighborhood, in the gangs, they know where to go to get the
guns. They come in by the trainload literally. On certain notes
and certain locations you go down and you can buy the guns. It's
like the drugs. They don't come from the moon, they don't come
from a sixteen year old kid with a plane that goes to Bogota
every week. They come through channels that involve government
complicity or looking the other way.
Guns generally don't protect homes. It's more likely that
it's going to end up with a gun fatality in the home. On the
other hand, I'm not saying that therefore no one should own a
gun. But what I am saying is that guns cannot be said to protect
civil liberties. The fact that somebody armed themselves--as G.
Gordon Liddy says, when BATF comes to break into the house, shoot
for the head because of the vests they've got on--is not
protecting the civil liberties of themselves and the broader
rights of people. Most of the people that focus on the second
amendment rights are not people that I have ever seen focussed on
anybody else's rights in the United States. They aren't
concerned about the violation of civil and human rights here and
abroad by this government for many, many years. They are people
who have a kind of reactionary response, a selfish response of
"I'm going to protect what I have."
Going out and practicing with a 350 Magnum in the woods is the
response of the last guy in a prison riot. In the last cell,
back in there saying, "Come on in, you dirty screws! You'll
never take me alive and I'm going to take a couple of you with
me. Pry the gun out of my cold, dead hand." Well, so what?
This isn't about changing the United States. It really isn't
about realizing constitutional rights. It's about individual
protection. It's the response of the guy who goes down to his
fallout shelter as a response to the bomb and not only that,
won't let you in. He takes the shotgun down there to make sure
you try and come in.
There is another view. Yes, the government has conspired to
take away your rights. But the thing to do about it is to expose
it and to work for a democratic and public solution to it, not a
private or little militia vigilante solution to it, because it
doesn't rest there. You are not going to win a pop-gun war
against the current US military. If the only game you understand
how to play is the gun game, you've lost at this point in human
Also now available from Steamshovel Press:
Popular Alienation, a back issue anthology
NASA, Nazis and JFK: The Torbitt Document
The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny
See also https://www.umsl.edu/~skthoma
Link to that site available at