The Colorado Freedom Report--www.co-freedom.com
by Robert Teesdale, May 17, 2001 (posted)
On Wednesday, May 9th, Colorado Project Exile held a private press conference at the Colorado Trust, a grantmaking foundation that is providing the funds for Colorado Project Exile commercials, etc.
Bob Glass and I were both there as press representatives - and to inject a little Tyranny Response Team (http://www.trt-co.org/) sentiments into the day's events. It was a combination of both sickening and productive happenings.
First, let me describe the commercials that we saw. They played all of them, and in these commercials they make a deliberate point of suggesting that if you are sent to Federal prison under Project Exile, prison rape will be an expected part of your future.
Both Bob and I were sickened by this approach.
Here's an example. One commercial shows an enormous Federal prison in South Dakota, with the roughest-looking prisoners doing exercises in their cells. Tattoos, cruel looks, and aggressive bar-slamming by the inmates. And the captions read, "Think carrying a 9mm makes you a man?"
"Lots of people in Federal prison find that attractive."
That insinuation was repeated again and again throughout the Colorado Project Exile commercials.
When these statists took questions from the attendees (which included officials in the ATF, DEA, State Police, various district and U.S. attorneys) - it was obvious they weren't prepared for us. Case in point... I asked them the following question:
"The commercials strongly and clearly suggest that prison rape is an expected part of Federal corrections. Does the Colorado Trust support the use of prison rape as an extrajudicial punishment for firearms violation? If not, then why is the Colorado Trust providing nearly a million dollars in funds to produce and show commercials advocating exactly that?"
No, they did not like it one bit.
Bob and I then cornered Rich Marianos, the ATF Agent in Charge for Colorado Springs. When questioned on how Project Exile may violate the Sixth Amendment (right to compel witnesses to appear, and to confront them) - he got red in the face, angry, and blustered around the issue without answering it. My next question - asked in front of all of these back-patting fascists - was the capper:
"Nearly 100 men, women and children were shot, gassed, burned, and crushed to death at Waco by your agency. Not one ATF agent has paid one dollar in fines or spent one day in jail. Will the ATF bring the same culture of brutality and unaccountability to their involvement with Project Exile?"
Rich Marianos, a man whom the public trusts to maintain professional competence and respect for the law while wearing a mask, body armor, and leading men with machine guns against the public - turned purple, shouted at us, and stormed out of the building.
Right in front of his boss.
TRT 1 - ATF 0
Several fascinating things came to light as the result of our questions, and our demand for direct answers about Colorado Project Exile:
First, while the Colorado Trust (www.coloradotrust.org) is pouring over $900,000 into the advertising and billboard campaign - there is no infrastructure for handling the phone calls to the 800 number advertised. You know what happens when someone calls that number to "report an illegal gun"?
It rings at the ATF... and gets treated like any other anonymous call from the public. According to Rich Marianos, "we require corroboration" before they can do anything. So in other words, Project Exile is nothing more than a way for people to narc out their neighbors to the ATF.
Then Bob mentioned this:
"Project Exile makes no statutory distinction between a crack dealer with a murder record who lounges on the street corner looking for a robbery victim, and a single mother who carries an unregistered .38 in her purse without a CCW permit."
Rich Marianos, Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, replied that he makes the decision whether someone "is a criminal or not".
Now that's reassuring, is it not? I think we've all seen how the ATF treats citizens that they've determined ahead of time to be criminals....
It is unacceptable for the ATF to exploit citizen fears of crime, to pursue and promote prison rape as a punishment for the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
This story is going to hit big, folks. Bob Glass has already been contacted by Melissa Macdonald, the Executive Director of Colorado Project Exile, for help in "reworking the commercials" because she's "not happy with them."
Yeah, right. As if the Tyranny Response Team is going to help promote the use of criminal sexual assault as an extrajudicial punishment for tax law violations.
Tax law violations?
According in the Project Exile materials I have in front of me, "illegal guns" include "machine guns, silencers" and several other forms of Class III NFA firearms.
Which, as we all know, are perfectly legal to own so long as you pay the $200 tax to the ATF.
So prison rape is now what they intend to enforce upon the People of the United States, in response to a failure to pay a $200 tax.
I guess that shooting your pregnant wife in the head, your son in the back, your dog for good measure... and machine-gunning, gassing, burning, and crushing your friends and family to death isn't enough for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Now they want to see you the victim of repeated brutal sexual assaults, by prisoners possibly infected with a fatal STD, for a period of ten years.
My question about prison rape was not answered at the podium by Ms. Macdonald. No, no. They weren't taking questions directly from the press. Can't risk a difficult question. They required us to write our questions on a card, and the card would be brought over to her and she'd read the question and answer it.
When the lady took my card with the rape question, and read it - her face lost it's pablum-spewing look of happy statism. Instead of bringing it to the podium, she brought it to John Moran, the President of the Colorado Trust. He got up and moved Ms. Macdonald out of the way, and read it. Then he said, "The Colorado Trust does not support prison rape."
"Answer the second question! Why is the Colorado Trust spending nearly a million dollars, then to promote exactly that appearance in the media?"
His response, which didn't change even after the press conference was hurriedly shut down?
"I have nothing to say to that."
Yeah, I'll bet.
Folks, this is has the potential to be a major embarrassment to a $450 million foundation which is spending millions on gun control. There will be more coming on this. Bob and I are working on a joint article about the event, and what we uncovered there.
And yes, they tried to throw us out. Didn't happen. We were there as press, and furthermore - when you turn to their private security who's trying to stop you from asking difficult questions - turning to the security and saying "I'm not talking to you - and you're interrupting!" can work wonders... :)