Ambush at Ruby Ridge chronicles the U.S. Marshals Service elaborate multi-million-dollar 18-month surveillance of Weaver, an Idaho backwoods resident known as a white separatist, indicted on a minor firearms charge many claim was a government act of hatred and blackmail. The resultant 11-day standoff in Weaver's small family cabin and the paramilitary attack that ensued are described through graphic and closely documented accounts from the details surrounding the initial siege to the shoot-to-kill orders given by FBI headquarters.From the Inside Flap August 21, 1992: A six-man team from the Special Operations Group of the U.S. Marshals Service, dressed in full camouflage regalia and armed with silenced automatic weapons, moved onto Randy Weaver's 20-acre property known as Ruby Ridge. In less than 36 hours they had killed his son and an FBI sniper had shot his wife as she stood in the door of the cabin holding her 10-month-old baby. Almost immediately the agents declared a hostage situation and a massive paramilitary buildup began, which eventually reached more than 400 heavily armed agents, including most of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and a large array of assault vehicles and weaponry. Through court transcripts, private testimonies, and interviews with insiders, local residents, and friends of the Weaver family, journalist Alan Bock debunks the myth that government agencies are beyond the realm of entrapment, cover-ups, and even the killing of innocent people. He overturns the hyprocrisies and contradictions of the FBI, and takes you straight to the scene-first, to the tragedy of Ruby Ridge, then to the colorful neo-nazi- and protester-filled roadblock, and finally to the courtroom, where prosecutors and flamboyant defense attorney Gerry Spence go head to head. But beyond being a shocking account of bizarre circumstances, Ambush at Ruby Ridge challenges the personal and political implications of the most notorious trial in Idaho history. Maybe if the ambush on David Koresh's Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, hadn't happened as the Weaver trail was underway, the events of Ruby Ridge might be seen as a regional story of government bungling with tragic results. But Waco did happen, causing many Americans to ask hard and fundamental questions about what the United States government has become. Unlike with Waco, the government may actually be held accountable for what it did at Ruby Ridge.
Before the Waco incident, the cause celebre for those who feel U.S. federal law enforcement agencies have become worse outlaws than their quarries was the case of Randy Weaver, a white separatist (not supremacist) living with his family on Ruby Ridge in remote northern Idaho. According to Bock, after a government stooge baited Weaver into an illegal gun sale, U.S. marshals and the FBI laid siege to his home and shot his 14-year-old son and his wife to death. A marshal died, too, but at trial, the jury acquitted Weaver and family friend David Harris of murder. Meanwhile, defense attorneys had exposed a swamp of arrogant government misconduct. Bock stands squarely with Weaver's defense, but his report is no intemperate partisan rant. It is a thoroughgoing account of the siege, the events that shaped Weaver and led to his running afoul of the government, the government's and major news media's characterizations of the affair, the trial, and the uncertain aftermath of an appalling case of law enforcement overkill. Better, it is unputdownably engrossing. Ray Olson
Liberty Magazine, February 1996
" A courageous and important expose."
The San Francisco Chronicle, November 1995
" Bock has fashioned a straightforward indictment of a federal government out of control."
The Orange County Register, December 1995
" This is the most complete account availabe, written in an absorbing and galvanizing style. Dont miss it."
Laissez-Faire Books, 1996
"Bock gives you a vivid understanding of the Weavers, Fed bosses, their assassins, the trial, media coverage, everything. Bock doesn't portray Weaver as a hero or the feds as devils. He shows the feds were just doing their job, which makes the story so scary. Bock's path-breaking, blow-by-blow account reads like a thriller."
The Grand Rapids Press, January 1996
"Bock has done a fine job on the trial, offering documents and the lawmen's conflicting testimony. He also produces a provacative final chapter not about Ruby Ridge, but about other Ruby Ridges around the country, cases in which federal law agencies have trampled upon citizens' rights."
The Washington Times, Sept 1995
"Mr Bock supplies an excellent account of how and why the government's initial investigation grew into a full-fledged paramilitary siege involving 400 armed agents. Ambush at Ruby Ridge is a useful resource, with some thought-provoking commentary."
Jim Bovard, Author, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty, September 1995
"Alan Bock has written a great book on perhaps the most important civil rights case of the 1990's. Americans should read Ambush at Ruby Ridge to learn how dangerous and dishonest the federal government has become."
William A. Rusher, former publisher, National Review, 1995
"If you think government is part of the solution, here is proof that it is often a major part of the problem. Letting the facts speak for themselves, Alan Bock calmly tells the shocking story of the wholly unnecessary deaths meted out by U.S. agents on Ruby Ridge in the Idaho panhandle in August 1992. When a thing like this can hapen in modern-day America, it's time to ask why, and make sure it never happens again."