[sixties-l] Rainbow Farm: Drug War Waco -- continued...(4) (fwd)

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Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 21:27:05 EDT

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    Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 13:48:42 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Rainbow Farm: Drug War Waco -- continued...(4)

    [multiple items]

    Michigan: Rainbow Farm Marijuana Activists Laid to Rest, Friends Not Resting


    At first glance, Rainbow Farms is a beautiful, tranquil rural
    retreat in the Michigan woodlands. The trees and meadows, the
    cool, clean air and the country quiet all suggest a peaceful,
    pastoral place. But then you notice the burnt out hulks of
    buildings and the gaping holes in the ground where other
    buildings collapsed, the charred papers blowing across the
    grounds, and the police tape blocking the entrances. This is
    where Rainbow Farms owner Tom Crosslin and his life partner
    Rollie Rohm died over the Labor Day weekend, gunned down by FBI
    and Michigan State Police shooters, who ended a four-day standoff
    by ending their lives.

    DRCNet reported two weeks ago on the circumstances leading to the
    confrontation (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/202.html#rainbowfarm):
    Crosslin's enthusiastic pro-marijuana activism, his use of the
    campground for pro-pot rallies, the vendetta by Cass County
    Prosecutor Scott Teter that resulted in Crosslin's and Rohm's
    arrests in May. After the arrests, things went from bad to worse
    for the couple, as local authorities threatened them with years
    in prison for growing marijuana, moved to seize the property, and
    removed Rohm's 12-year-old son from the family unit. On the
    Friday before Labor Day, rather than face a bail revocation
    hearing for holding an unauthorized marijuana rally in August,
    Crosslin and Rohm retreated to Rainbow Farms and began burning
    down the buildings rather than let the state take them. By the
    following Tuesday, both were dead.

    The killings, which are now under investigation by both the
    Michigan Attorney General's office and the US Justice Department,
    have excited deep anger as well as profound grief from the
    couple's friends, supporters, and political allies, and stunned
    disbelief among area residents.

    "This is just not right," said 18-year-old Nessa Hunkler of
    nearby Cassopolis, who had first encountered Rainbow Farms at
    last year's Roach Roast, where she worked as a vendor. "They
    were great guys, and the atmosphere here was happy and energetic.
    Scott Teter said this was their choice," Hunkler told DRCNet,
    "but it was his choice to hound them and try to take their land
    and their son. He's the one who chose to shoot and kill.
    Everything about this is twisted. What do I think about the
    local authorities? Fuck 'em all," she said.

    Such sentiments are unsurprising coming from someone who had
    enjoyed Crosslin's hospitality, but even more mainstream local
    people confess to being deeply disturbed by the killings. Cass
    County Democratic Party chairman Bruce Webb -- not a big
    marijuana fan -- told DRCNet that local people are in shock. "I
    think many people were and are stunned, as well as feeling sorry
    for the deceased because of what they were about. You don't
    expect this type of Bruce Willis Hollywood-style gangbusters
    stuff out here. People here are deeply uncomfortable with this,
    they wish it had never happened," he said.

    But in his remarks to DRCNet, Webb also indicated how widely the
    suspicion of police misconduct has spread. "I think they were
    executed," he said. "If the county sheriff had been allowed to
    handle this instead of the FBI and the State Police, we think
    they would still be alive."

    At the encampment of Rainbow Farms supporters at the intersection
    of Michigan-60 and White Temple Road, a few miles from the farm,
    popular support could be heard clearly in the honking of horns
    from passing motorists, including semi-truck drivers, old farm
    couples in their pick-ups, and middle-aged women passing by. One
    army vehicle gave supporters a thumbs-down, but according to
    Huckler, "at least half the traffic is honking for us." It
    certainly seemed that way when DRCNet visited two weekends ago.

    The encampment had been in place since the beginning of the
    stand-off and featured a 4' x 8' plywood sign reading "Rainbow
    Farms Lives Forever," as well as flags, posters from the November
    Coalition and a dozen or so people holding vigil. At one point
    in the afternoon, a rainbow appeared in the sky above the camp,
    much to the elation of the crowd.

    A much larger crowd attended the funeral of Tom Crosslin in
    nearby Elkhart, Indiana, earlier in the day. And what a sight it
    must have been for the good burghers of Elkhart: Hundreds of
    mourners spilling out of the funeral home on Jackson Boulevard on
    a sunny Sunday morning: young tye-died hippies; legions of
    graying, pony-tailed men, several men with obvious prison tattoos
    who, from their demeanors and the looks of their dreadlocks, had
    through pot found a path out of petty criminality; men in suits
    and ties; crying women in their Sunday best; distraught relatives
    being comforted by family friends; guys who looked like they had
    just come in from the fields.

    But appearances can be deceiving. Spotting one portly, middle-
    aged man dressed in farm overalls and work boots, DRCNet asked,
    "Are you a farmer?" "Yeah," he smiled, "mostly indica."

    At the funeral service, people began crying as a song played. "I
    see fire and brimstone coming," ran the refrain. But people
    smiled through their tears when Crosslin and Rohm's dog, Thai
    Stick, made an appearance. The dog had been placed in the pound
    after the raid. "We liberated Thai Stick," people cheered.

    After the funeral, DRCNet toured the Rainbow Farms site with
    Crosslin family spokesman Doug Leinbach, Crosslin's long-time
    business manager. Leinbach was angry and frightened as he
    discussed the deaths. "There's been an organized conspiracy of
    government agencies, which included the Cass County prosecutor,
    Cass county police, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan
    Attorney General's office, the FBI, and the DEA," he said. "They
    had been meeting at least twice a year for the last four years to
    try to figure out how to shut this down. The result is cold-
    blooded murder. They couldn't stand a man who stood up and spoke
    for freedom and organized people to get active. So they killed

    Leinbach paced restlessly. "They knew this would happen," he
    said. "Tom had told them years ago if they tried to take his
    land, they'd get nothing but fire and blood." In fact, Cass
    County Prosecutor Teter has produced a letter written by Crosslin
    in 1998 saying just that.

    An American flag flew upside-down and at half-mast over Rainbow
    Farms. Leinbach scowled. "I don't know who did that," he said.
    "Tom would never have done that. He always flew the flag
    proudly. He was always very patriotic, he loved freedom, that's
    why he became so outraged at the drug war ruining people's lives
    all across the country," Leinbach explained.

    "But look around you," he said, surveying the burnt-out
    buildings. "It looks like Bosnia, like a war zone. You see what
    the drug war reaps. That is what this flag is about. There were
    tanks, armored vehicles, they were shooting bullets and tear gas,
    and this was a full-scale assault. They knew what they were
    doing, because they planned to do this for the past four years.
    They drove him to this point."

    David Watts of nearby Goshen, Indiana, was Crosslin's long-time
    security chief during events at the farm. "This is some hard
    shit, man," he said as he looked at the farm for the first time
    since the standoff. "Me and Tom and Rollie go way back. This is
    really tearing me up." Then he walked off to be alone with his

    Even as the funerals were taking place and the September 15
    scattering of Crosslin's and Rohm's ashes over the property was
    being planned, the legal wheels were beginning to grind.

    Dan Wilson and his wife, attorney Janet Frederick-Wilson, head
    the parents rights group Parents for Children in Warren,
    Michigan. Frederick-Wilson is representing Crosslin's and Rohm's
    parents in a potential wrongful death lawsuit and related
    matters. Wilson, who is a spokesman for the families, told
    DRCNet there are four tasks ahead. "We are following the state
    and federal investigations," he said, "and we need to regain
    custody of the boy and settle the estates. Keeping that boy from
    his grandparents is a real tragedy. We're a society that pulls
    together in a crisis, but here, Cass county, the state, and the
    federal government are acting to tear this family apart."

    Wilson also provided information casting doubt on official
    versions of how the two men died. In media interviews, FBI and
    Michigan State Police officials said Crosslin was shot by an FBI
    agent after pointing a weapon at him and Rohm was shot at by two
    Michigan State Police officers for the same reason. The
    officials did not clarify the degree of danger faced by the MSP
    officers, who shot and killed Rohm from 150 yards away while
    hiding in a tree line at dawn as Rohm came out of a burning

    "Crosslin was shot 3 to 5 times," said Wilson, "and Rohm 2 to 3
    times. It appears there were several shooters in both cases," he

    The fourth legal task for the Crosslins and Livermores (Rohm's
    parents) is the wrongful death suit. "We're awaiting the results
    of those investigations before we act," said Wilson.

    Law enforcement officials are keeping mum. Although the local
    press has reported that Cass County Prosecutor Teter continues
    his efforts to seize the farm, a tight-lipped employee at his
    office would not confirm that. The only thing she would tell
    DRCNet was: "Everything is under investigation."

    Lt. Parrish of the Cass County Sheriff's Office was slightly more
    forthcoming. "We are not investigating that incident," he told
    DRCNet. "You'll have to ask the state." He told DRCNet the
    sheriff's office had not been contacted by state or federal
    investigators. But Parrish also expressed some sorrow over the
    killings. "It's too bad it had to happen that way," he said.
    "No one wanted that to happen."

    Chris DeWitt of the Michigan Attorney General's office told
    DRCNet that both the FBI and the Michigan State Police are
    completing their reviews. "There's no timeline," he said.

    "Tom wanted all this to go to his son, he wrote that in his last
    hand-written will," said Leinbach, gazing on the green rolling
    hills of Rainbow Farms. "And we intend to see that happen.
    Teter will be toast in the 2002 elections, I guarantee it."

    Democratic Party head Webb isn't so certain. "It's too early to
    tell, although he'd already made some enemies in the county," he
    said. "But he's also got some support."

    Not from Nessa Hunkler. "I'm registering to vote," she told
    DRCNet. "Let's get rid of these guys. Teter said this was their
    choice, but it was Teter's choice to come after them and hound
    them and try to take their land. He's the one who chose to shoot
    to kill."



    Pubdate: Fri, 07 Sep 2001
    Source: National Review (US)
    Website: http://www.nationalreview.com/
    Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/287
    Author: John Derbyshire
    Note: Mr. Derbyshire is also an NR contributing editor


    In Robert Bolt's wonderful play A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is
    subjected to a show trial because, for reasons of conscience, he will not
    take an oath acknowledging King Henry's supremacy over the English church.
    Found guilty by a rigged jury, and knowing he will be executed for his
    "crime," Sir Thomas says the following:

    I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not
    enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.

    We all know, from the example of Waco, that doing none harm, saying none
    harm and thinking none harm were not enough to keep a man -- nor a woman,
    nor a child, either -- alive in the America of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I
    forget whether Janet Reno was Hillary's third or fourth choice for the
    affirmative-action slot of Female Attorney General; but along with everyone
    else who cares about liberty, I shall not soon forget the cold-eyed cruelty
    with which that sinister creature ("very big and very scary," testified one
    of her victims, 17-year-old Ileana Fuster) dispatched those who were so
    foolish, or so stubborn, as to cross her and her battalions of armed thugs.

    But all that is behind us now, isn't it? We now have a Republican
    administration, right? And an attorney general, John Ashcroft, who is not
    keen on torturing 17-year-old girls, burning cultists alive, protecting FBI
    snipers who had used the wives of eccentric mountain men for target
    practice, or kissing Fidel Castro's backside. Don't we?

    Well, you might have asked Tom Crosslin or Rolland Rohm. Up to a few days
    ago you might, that is. This week they were both shot dead: Crosslin, aged
    47, on Monday by an FBI agent; Rohm, aged 28, on Tuesday by a Michigan
    state trooper. Crosslin was the founder and owner of Rainbow Farm in
    Vandalia, Michigan, where Rohm also lived. As of the time of writing,
    Rainbow Farm's website is still available, and I suggest you take a look at
    it to see the background to this story. I particularly direct your
    attention to the farm's "mission statement," which you can get to by
    clicking the "Purpose" link on the website's first page.

    Crosslin was a libertarian and a keen proponent of marijuana legalization.
    When he bought the 34-acre farm 15 years ago, it seems to have been with
    the express purpose of making it a haven for, as he says in that mission
    statement, "the medical, spiritual, and responsible recreational uses of
    marijuana." Rock concerts were held on the property. At one, in May 1998,
    an expensive car that was about to be forfeited to the U.S. government as
    part of a drug investigation was set in front of the concert stage where
    concert-goers, egged on by the vehicle's owner, smashed it to pieces with
    hammers. Another concert, last June, featured Merle Haggard, an old
    favorite of mine. (Sample quote, for those who don't know the man: "Look at
    the past 25 years -- we went downhill, and if people don't realize it, they
    don't have their [expletive] eyes on ... In 1960, when I came out of prison
    as an ex-convict, I had more freedom under parolee supervision than there's
    available to an average citizen in America right now... God almighty, what
    have we done to each other?")

    Such blatant disrespect for the government's authority over our lives and
    property did not, of course, go unnoticed. To further compound the offense,
    Crosslin kept guns to protect his property. Marijuana! Guns! Pretty soon
    the state police had a court affidavit filed to stop the rock concerts. In
    testimony supporting the affidavit, witnesses reported seeing children as
    young as 13 smoking pot in front of adults. If that doesn't shock you
    rigid, another witness saw even younger children, aged 7 and 8, subjected
    to the sight of adults walking around naked and embracing. When, last
    Friday, Crosslin skipped a court date related to drugs and weapons charges,
    the mighty engine of law enforcement rumbled into action. Not only local
    police, but also the Feds were involved, because Crosslin was suspected of
    shooting at a TV news helicopter -- a federal offense under Title 18 (I.2,
    Sec. 32) of the U.S. code.

    Tom Crosslin was not the type to yield meekly. There quickly developed one
    of those "standoffs" we are so familiar with now, in which heavily-armed
    and trained agents of the nation and the state surround a citizen who has
    declined to bend over and squeal like a pig for their amusement. You might
    suppose that the obvious tactic for the authorities in such a case would be
    to cut off the suspect's electricity and water, hunker down, and wait him
    out. This never seems to happen.

    Spotting Crosslin walking across his property with a long gun in his hand,
    an FBI man shot him dead. Rohm met a similar fate at the hands of a state
    trooper the next day. In both cases we are told, by the authorities, that
    the man "pointed his gun at the officers."

    There is much more to the case than this, and you can read the details for
    yourself if you feel inclined, on the news wires (available via Drudge) or
    the pages of local newspapers like the Detroit Free Press (which, however,
    does not seem much inclined to question the government line).

    Crosslin seems to have been on the point of losing his property, in some
    measure because of government harassment. Rohm was involved in a child
    custody case. Bonds had been revoked, the legality of firearms questioned.
    It's not a simple case. I must say, though, that in my own readings I have
    come across nothing to prove that either man was a danger to anyone,
    certainly not before the government began to threaten and intimidate them.
    To the best of my knowledge they did none harm, said none harm, and thought
    none harm. The general temper of the Crosslin project can be gauged from
    the closing paragraph of that mission statement:

    Rainbow Farm DOES NOT promote the use of illicit drugs by anyone, nor do we
    condone or encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana by minors.
    We do not encourage breaking laws. We work hard to change attitudes and bad
    laws from within the system of government currently in place. We support
    that system of government and we feel privileged to live in America.

    The man who wrote that no longer lives in America, or anywhere else. He was
    shot in the head late Monday afternoon by an FBI agent. That agent's boss,
    new FBI head Robert Mueller, has made no comment on the case that I can
    locate. Neither has his boss, Attorney General Janet Ashcroft. Oh, sorry:
    that should be John Ashcroft, of course.


    From: Cher
    To: Dana
    Subject: RE: What's up?


    First, you need to know that Tom's autopsy results today revealed SEVEN
    gunshot wounds...1 to the right shoulder area & 1 to the right hand. These
    wounds happened prior to the fatal remaining 5 shots to his head.

    So, Tom was wounded and could have easily been taken alive. It's believed
    that the order was shoot to kill.

    There are other things that I'm not at liberty to divulge. The local press
    are really questioning what happened here. This morning the news began
    reporting that it looked like Tom & Rollie WERE murdered by the Feds.

    The family of Rollie is having a second, independent autopsy done on
    him. They don't trust the Government. Imagine that..due to wishes of the
    family, and the fact that an independent investigator arrives on the scene
    in the AM.

    The cops were back at the Farm this morning "investigating" some more.
    Tom's viewing is tomorrow, the funeral on Saturday. I look forward to neither.

    There are too many things that I don't know. That I cannot know.
    I'm very tired and I have a ton of email to wade through. <snip>

    ...thanks for the help.


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