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The Liberty Tree

by Mark Donges


"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

--Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. 

The siege had been underway for 5 days. Worried conversations had taken place in the local grocery store just prior. Information was scarce since the BATF had taken over the "negotiations" with the people in the "compound," a 3-bedroom country rambler typical of the region. It was a cold and windswept day with gray skies and even grayer attitudes. 

The home was encircled and special lighting and sound systems were in place. No one was allowed in or out. The commanding officer, Colonel Joe Lockly was a political appointment by the first lady. He had been in several encounters at the behest of the first family. The Ruby Ridge fiasco still made him chuckle. Who says a dog is man's best friend. Then there was the lawyer who knew too much. Heíd taken his time to work him over really good. Never seen anyone take such a beating and still live. Must have been fate I suppose. Well, now there was the Andrews uprising. What a deal, never served a day in the military and here he was a colonel in charge of real soldiers. What power the Clintons could wield. Looking out of the trailer that served as operations headquarters Colonel Lockly watched his assistant talk with Janet Renoís people. Perhaps today they would wrap this up and he could get back to D.C. and enjoy some of the power he so deeply craved.

Major Jason Kincade, had made a career fighting in the swamps of South America as a mercenary. He grinned at the irony of doing government sanctioned wet work in the heartland of America. Shifting his large bulk in the chair, he chatted with the special operations group within the federal Department of Justice. This gig was great and his boss gave him the freedom to use any tactics he wanted as long as he produced results. To the present administration, the ends always justified the means. Good accommodations, the best government equipment, not too many questions and great pay. This rear area cabana, table, chair, coffee pot equipped "office" reminded him of what commanding generals must have used to wage their campaigns before the advent of aircraft and nuclear weapons. Those were honorable men, fighting a gentlemanís war. Well, he thought, weíre not at war and we damn sure arenít gentlemen. Weíre just killing people and spreading terror. No worries about taking territory. No charging hills or crawling through snake infested stagnant water. No sir, this was good duty. 

"When will you wrap this one up Major?" the cell phone crackled. "Weíve got two more identified targets in your area." said SOG intelligence officer Bill Clayton. "Andrews has really barricaded himself in that house. Iíve sent two men to our mobile hospital with severe wounds. Heís a damn good shot. Will you authorize a campfire Bill? That would really speed up this process. Iíll have my men ready to move in two hours from the time you give the order." Jason liked campfires. They destroyed any evidence and in the early morning glow it was easy to spot anyone who tried to exit. Too bad for them he grinned. "OK" Bill said, "Give me a day and then you can begin the weenie roast the following morning, about 9am. That will give the newsies time to assemble. Iíll make sure word leaks out so you better put on a clean shirt." "Understood" and with that Major Kincade ended the call.

Inside the home huddled a family of four. Jack Andrews and his wife Laura sat on the floor with their two sons, Steve and Brad, in prayer, asking the Lord for deliverance. The blinds were closed, the door barricaded. Jack had placed sharp tipped obstacles at each point of ingress. Laura had looked so sad as Jack drove nails through the carpet and hardwood floors, but no words were spoken. Sitting on the table behind the family lay a notice from the DOJ that all firearms were to be surrendered to their "task force" on demand. Naturally, Jack, a loyal American Patriot sent a reply pointing out the unconstitutional nature of the demand and refused to cooperate. He and Laura had prayed and agreed before Jack sent the reply. They had watched the fate of other families -- on CNN -- who refused to surrender to the new regime. Most all of the raids had taken place on homes located outside of urban areas because of the higher likelihood the homeowner would have weapons, and because it was so easy to control the situation. No nosy neighbors with camcorders to gas or baton. Besides, the terror that these raids produced almost always got several hundred people to give up their guns. Looking up, Laura smiled at Jack. "Iíll get something to eat," and she crawled on her hands and knees to the kitchen. "Daddy, Iím not afraid anymore," said Steven. "Jesus will protect us, wonít he?" "You bet he will, Steve. Our country was founded by men who loved the Lord. In fact, it was the Lord who made this country possible. Honor and love the Lord and he will heal the land," said Jack. 

Two states away, an after hours meeting between several men was concluded quietly. The news, intelligence really, that had been delivered came directly from the BATFís latest conquest. Within five minutes, no evidence that the meeting had taken place existed on the face of the earth. The sounds of the voices had died away and the thoughts of these men, grim and determined, remained locked in their heads. One of the participants at the meeting made his way home. 

Tim was an average fellow, unremarkable in almost every aspect, except for his devotion to his country. It was funny somehow. Tim had never served his country in the military. He never really gave it much thought. His father had, and he had been exposed to the concepts of military life. It had simply never occurred to him to take the effort to go to the recruiter and enlist. As he drove these thoughts washed over him. He was quiet, focused and a bit nostalgic. The America he had once known was long since gone. He was relieved that his father was dead and didnít have to witness the internal rot that typified America now. 

As he turned the corner, a modest single story home on a postage stamp lot came into view. He wondered how many of his neighbors understood how little freedom remained in this greatest of nations. Turning off the engine, Tim made his way through the dimly lit garage and entered the house. His wife Betty greeted him with a hug and kiss. "The kids are in bed," she said with a smile. "How did your meeting go?" He held her for a long time then pulled her toward the kitchen table. "Iím going to be taking a small trip," he said. "America needs me." She understood. "Iíll help you pack. Eat while I get things organized," she said as she left the kitchen. Two hours later, Bill had finished eating, taking a shower and packing his car. In seven hours he would be at the rendezvous point. 

In seven hours he would begin a task he hoped the months of training had prepared him for. Would he flinch or turn away? No, each time those dark thoughts came he only had to picture Betty and the kids and what would happen to them if he failed. He had done well, leading the mission exercises several times. He rather enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie.

As he turned onto the interstate he sipped the first of the coffee Betty had packed. It was going to be a long night and he knew he would spend it only with his thoughts. Nothing would alter his course now.

The sun was still well below the horizon and the stars were cold and clear when he arrived. People -- some of whom Tim had never met before -- were huddled in a small clearing, one mile from the perimeter of the BATF siege on the Andrews home. Unknown to him, Timís group was one of 20 from around the country. He and his men were poised to make history. How many men were participating, he wondered. Fifty? A hundred? There was no way for him to know. Cell command structures and staffing levels were, out of necessity, not well publicized. Only a few knew all of the details, and they were watching and providing direction. As Tim got out of his car, a man dressed in military style clothing approached him. "You will be team leader for this mission," he said. "Here are your orders. Gather your team and get going. Time tables are included in this packet, along with contingency plans. Leave the keys in the car please." And with that he was gone into the early morning mist. Tim opened the 8 1/2 x 11 inch manila envelop and began to read. Ten minutes later he had changed his clothes, grabbed his equipment, and he and his squad were on the move.

The deputy sheriff was going off shift now, and his replacement was given the same treatment as before -- by "the group," as they wanted to be known. The BATF calling themselves a "group". What was up with that? He knew who they were. Keep your distance, no cameras, no recorders of any kind. He knew that meant no witnesses, and didnít like this at all. But, the threat to his wife and children was very specific and very real. He was worried, but he didnít know who he could talk to. His boss, the Sheriff, also had the look of someone who had just lost his best friend. His wife loved him but didnít want to get involved in all of that "political stuff," as she called it. Well, he thought, it looks like all of that "political stuff" just got involved with us. The hair on the back of his neck was standing straight up as the sentry for the "group" drove by. This was going to be a bad day he thought.

The walk was beautiful, and Tim rejoiced in the sights of this state. Heíd only been on the interstate, never actually off road to see the majestic trees, the clean creeks, and the smell the rich earth. This country is truly a gift from God, he thought as they walked along. As they approached their objective, everyone seemed to have gained a spring in their step. Caution was high, movement was deliberate, the tension was so thick you could taste it. 

Using his field glasses, Tim was able to see what the briefing packet had told him. He had a great spot to set up, a nice ridge line on rough ground. The ghillie suit would make him invisible in this terrain. The approach was a bit slow as they advanced in a line up the slope. They spread out quietly. Tim had a commanding field of view. He set up his rifle and scanned the targets ahead of him. One, no, two Deputy Sheriffs. Off limits. Good. They were well clear of his objective. The shot was easy for his 50 cal. sniper rifle, and the distance of about 400 yards meant the energy delivered by his bullet would be devastating. Since this would not be a protracted engagement, that was important. Get in, take out your primary, and if you see targets of opportunity, take them out too, then get back out. Simple mission. Egress was carefully handled and was considered to be as important as the mission. He liked the idea that every effort was made to protect them so that they could go back home. Hell, where else would they go? About fifty percent of this country supported the president and his thugs. 

Tim put his watch on a rock next to the rifle. He set out several cartridges. His gloved hands were warm as he finished loading. Two minutes to go and he was all ready. Only his thoughts intruded on an otherwise peaceful setting. Two minutes from now, all of that would change -- as would the history of America. It was strange somehow; his distant relative was a minuteman who fought for independence from England. Now here he was poised to fight for independence again. The cancer of socialism and liberalism was strong. The growth that had been there for decades had found a new blood supply in the Clinton regime. Their lack of ethics and moral standards had been fertile ground for the rapid growth of the social disease. And, like any malignancy, Tim knew that it must be excised prior to using other less invasive techniques to clean up the remaining mess. 

Picking up his rifle, Tim used the long range 6.5 to 20 variable power rifle scope to scan his assigned area. He was all set up for 500 yards so this would be perfect. Tim took aim. His primary target was the command post in the rear area. His particular target was identified as a person involved in the old WACO and Ruby Ridge actions. Colonel Joe Locklyís visage was indelibly burned into Timís mind. He saw him in his sleep like a bad dream. What an honor this would be.

He had him in his sights now, standing in the doorway of the command trailer. This scope was so good he could see and almost smell the hot coffee steaming in the cool morning air. Tick tick tick now. Tim squeezed the trigger and watched Colonel Joe Locklyís head vanish in a cloud of red. The sound of gun fire was incredible. Lead poured into the length and breadth of the siege line from several unseen locations. Tim fired again blowing a huge hole in Major Jason Kincadeís chest as he attempted to duck for cover. As he slammed a third shell home he wondered if the targets had sworn an oath to their corrupt leaders, and how they could do so when the Constitution was still in force. His rifle spat death at a third member of the command staff who had foolishly taken shelter behind an overturned table. They still didnít understand where the source of fire was. 

Only those soldiers who were in armored APCs managed to escape, Tim noted. Then a brilliant flash from that general direction made him wince. The concussion that followed set his ears ringing. The APC had exploded! How could that have happened. Then he saw a streak of red as the next APC suffered the same fate. He followed the dissipating exhaust trail to a heavily timbered area to his right. Checking his watch, Tim fired his last shot. He was five for five. He picked up each spent casing, his watch and slid backwards down the slope just as an approaching helicopter erupted into an expanding ball of flame. He joined up with the others as they made their way back to the pick up point. In five minutes the woods again belonged to the robins and sparrows. Not a sound for miles was heard save for the crackling of burning equipment.

Tim suspected that the mission was a success. He and his team had accomplished their objectives without a hitch. They had taken out 20 enemy soldiers, and -- using the heavy firepower of the 50 cal. -- wrecked anything of value. They covered the ground almost effortlessly, still awash in adrenaline. Up ahead, a young man greeted them as per the plan. They ran for the next half mile along a path in the forest, arriving at a dirt road about the same time as two other groups. These groups were small, three men each. Each had a long case which Tim suspected had held shoulder-launched missiles only minutes earlier. Their emptiness felt good.

They all marched down the dirt road to the highway where a UPS delivery truck waited. "Climb in," the young man ordered as he opened the doors to the empty cargo area. It was a tight fit, but they all managed to get aboard. It turned out that the two groups had two mission objectives, Tim learned. Take out the BATF sniper positions first and then take down the APCs and any helos operating in the area. They were all sweating from carrying the large cases on their run to the departure point. The team leader from one of the three-man squads had spoken with another team on the way out. It turned out that the mission of the other team had been to punch the tickets of the news service reporters. A quiet, albeit strong cheer went up from the group as they learned of their fate. Not much on the evening news tonight!

In under an hour, the truck stopped and the rear door opened. Tim jumped off the truck and realized they were in a warehouse. He quickly made his way to his parked car where he changed into civilian clothing and packed his equipment away neatly. After dropping his mission plan into the shredder, he was cleared to leave. He was on the interstate within thirty minutes. His thermos had been filled with hot coffee, and a deli sandwich was sitting beside it. 

The drive home was uneventful. Tim realized that for the first time in his life he was serving his country. He was defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, something that corrupt politicians and judges had sworn an oath to do, yet failed so completely as they sought to wrest power from the people.

Betty greeted Tim at the door with a look of relief and worry. "It went like clock work," Tim said as he kissed his wife. "Where are the kids? Iíve missed them a lot." "Theyíre playing in the back yard," she said. "The news services are going crazy, and so is the government, Tim." Betty said. "Those who hate America and all that it stands for are stunned. The talking heads continue to ask rhetorical questions like, "Why would someone do such a thing?" and you know, they have no idea. The world is watching. People of all nations are collectively holding their breath, praying for your success! The chat rooms are full of comments like this. I canít believe that so many of the evil Senators and Representatives could have been killed in such a short period of time, and all over the country." Betty said as she turned on the television. "What?" Tim exclaimed as he spun around. "We were in the country the whole time." 

"Well, it seems there are more patriots than even you suspected, and now there are a lot less unAmericans to worry about. Every hour it seems we hear a report of some politician, spokes person, Hollywood type or someone associated with the Clinton regime being shot, stabbed, poisoned or killed by a freak car accident. Its been going on ever since about 9am yesterday morning," Betty said. "And no one knows where the Andrews family is. Clinton and Reno are furious."

Smiling, Tim sat down and opened his day timer. Yes, the day after tomorrow he had another meeting. It was then he realized, they were indeed fully involved in a campaign to free America. To undo the decades of corrosion that had been heaped up against the Constitution by men who care little for America and less for their constituents. He would indeed sleep good tonight -- better than he had in years.


Printer Version

They should have stopped with "Congress shall make no Law..."

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