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The FBI's Single-Minded Pursuit
The FBI went around and interviewed local police. And they said things like: "Name the prominent environmentalists in your town"
[... We responded with absolute principle: we didn't go away; we didn't fail to demonstrate; we stood up, and we stood up with non-violence; and we stood up without hatred ... ]

JUDI: That was an incredible accomplishment, and maybe it's going to take us a lot of years to remember that we did this. Because I don't think that our community even remembers that we did this.

We may break into packs or wrestle like young wolves at times, but the moral fiber and the bravery within the environmental community makes me cry with joy as often, like watching an epic movie -- and then, there is the moral fiber of the FBI. What else have you learned about the FBI's bogus investigation?

JUDI: Simultaneous to snooping through the Letters files and compiling names, the FBI went around and interviewed local police. And they said things like: "Name the prominent environmentalists in your town."

It's a very one-sided investigation to put it mildly
The police -- and I don't think they were doing this to be hostile: an act of terror had been committed in their community, and they were the police and they were trying to help solve the crime. So they just named: Ellen Drell, Walter Camp. The Ukiah police named Norman de Vall, Alexander Cockburn and David Colfax! They just gave out names! And the FBI compiled these lists of names.

Then they went and interviewed the timber executives -- they didn't interview the loggers! They went through the phone book and called up each timber company, but only the big ones responded -- and Harwood, and some of the others who knew us. And they said: "Tell us anything you know about the environmentalists. Give us names of environmentalists." MAXXAM submitted 50 names of people.

They said: "These are Earth First! trespassers. Well, they were never arrested or prosecuted. But! They are Earth First! trespassers anyway." Fifty names of people. They gave them leaflets -- Hemp Liberation Day. Come to the Hemp Rally. Come to the Air Pollution Hearing. Things that were so innocent it's ridiculous. And all these materials were turned into the FBI and compiled.

So in this method they compiled 150 names of local activists -- interviewing the newspapers, the police, the timber executives, and the members of the Wise Use Movement (they interviewed Candy Boak and Paula Langager.) And in the course of these interviews, for example, Paula Langager says: "Well, Dave Cruzan from the Wise Use Advocate wrote the fake press releases."

The FBI never interviews Dave Cruzan. And they continue to treat the fake presses releases as if they were real, even after they get this confession! It's a very one-sided investigation to put it mildly.

Another example: the sheriffs, both of Mendocino and Humboldt, came up with what they called a list of 'Core Group Capable of Violence.' Well, here we are: we've never committed any violence before; we're in the act of standing up to lethal force with non-violence; and we've not committed any violence since. They've ignored all of the documented attacks on us by timber people. They're not defining any timber people capable of violence. But they come up with this list -- given with no evidence what-so-ever -- of "a core group capable of violence. "It includes Darryl. It includes Greg King. It includes Lisa Henry. People who are absolutely innocent.

Then the FBI says of this group in their memos -- and they won't reveal to me who all of them are: "We have discovered that there is a core group whose association with each other includes getting arrested together," -- as if they have never heard of non-violent civil disobedience -- "so in order to pursue this case further, we are going to have to compile and monitor the phone calls of this core group." There are fourteen people, it says in the memo, whose phone calls are going to be monitored.

People who let me stay at their house overnight were busted by CAMP the next day. The FBI came and talked with somebody's employer who let me stay at their house. There was a very concerted effort to make it hard for me to move back here
Strangely, they only do our out-of-state calls. Now every incident in this bombing case takes place in California, but they never monitor our California calls -- at least it's not in the files. They get this list, and from April to May 1990, the two months around the bombing, these fourteen people, who we don't know who they are, they compile a list of all of their out-of-state phone calls. They had a computer sort these phone calls by area code, so they came up with a list of 634 people across the country who had received a phone call from somebody in this "core group capable of violence" who has never committed any violence.

They then send these numbers out to all the FBI offices around the country, and they ask them to send back information. And so for the next year and a half, information trickles back in from all over the country. And on these 634 people, whose sole crime is receiving a phone call from an Earth First!er, they come up with name, address, place of employment, criminal record if any, and political associates. It's like the 'red scare' all over. But it's the 'green scare' now.

Here's one case: agents ask the phone company, and the phone company says: "This phone number belongs to somebody called Louisa Hemacheck. But besides this phone number, she also has another phone that she calls the 'Green Line'. Based on that information only, the FBI then interviews the sheriff. They say: "What do you know about Louisa Hemacheck? "

"Oh, she's a hippie and an environmentalist." Environmental activity is treated as criminal on its face. In this method, they came up with the names of close to 800 Earth First!ers, environmentalists and our associates. . .

It sounds like Germany in the '30s!

JUDI: Yes. And it's no crimes committed. No leads to lead to the bomber.

Was anybody from L-P present at bomb school, Judi? The detonation actions took place at an L-P clearcut after all.

JUDI: We asked Frank Doyle that question in the depositions, and he said, Frank Wigginton of L-P security would have been there to secure the company's interests. And he said he remembers Frank Wigginton at bomb schools, but he doesn't remember what years -- which is how they get out of answering a question straight on.

I want to add one more outrageous thing that happened in the course of this investigation which I think shows there is some level of connection between the FBI and local police and timber. I said that all the death threats came during one time period before the bombing, except one.

When I tried to move back to the community, they tried real hard to keep me out. It was very scary. I was terrified. I went into hiding when I got out of the hospital. I stayed with some Quakers in the middle of nowhere, because I was too scared to come home. Meanwhile, the Building Department busted my ex-husband's, my landlord's house, and my house. The Child Protective Department was asking around about my children. People who let me stay at their house overnight were busted by CAMP the next day. The FBI came and talked with somebody's employer who let me stay at their house. There was a very concerted effort to make it hard for me to move back here.

The directions to my house in the death threat are identical to the directions recorded in my FBI file
I persisted, and the scariest part was just as I was getting ready to come back, a death threat was posted both on my landlord's mailbox and downtown in Willits, that gave the exact directions to my house -- which it called my "Hideout." The notice said: "Bari get out of Willits." and it offered a case of Coors "to the stud who burns (me) out", and a "six pack for every hippie shack you take out on (my) road."

That was very scary, and the whole neighborhood had a meeting. Even the timber people in this neighborhood came to the meeting. I came, and Bruce Anderson came with me. And my neighbors said: "You have a right to live anywhere you want to." The whole neighborhood stuck up for my right to live here, despite the threat to them. And Karen Smith, Walter Smith's wife, wrote a letter to the Willits News publicly offering me and my children to live with them, for protection -- after which, they were harassed. So the community didn't let them drive me out, and I have to express my appreciation to the community for that. But I was very terrified by this threat. I never knew where it came from.

Then I got my FBI files last year -- through the [discovery] process -- and in my FBI files, there is a notice. It is from one of the FBI case agents, and it's a list of things to do: "Intelligence has revealed that Judi Bari has a hideout northeast of Willits where she lives without electricity that she is trading labor for the use of."

It goes on to say that Stockton Buck, the FBI agent, is instructed, with Steve Satterwhite (now don't forget, Satterwhite is the Mendocino county deputy who didn't have the manpower to investigate the death threats) to find my "hideout" -- and that's their word. So, I'm supposedly not being charged with any crime at this point, and yet, Steve Satterwhite has time to find my hippie shack!

So, they conduct this investigation. (They actually do; I have evidence of it in my file.) They look through the land titles trying to find out who my landlord is, and they investigate the propane companies to see if they can find who delivers propane here to try to find out where my hideout is. Then, in the middle of August, they record in the FBI files, that the Willits News has received a phone call from somebody who gives exact directions to my house (and it has certain wording for the directions. )

One week after this is recorded in the FBI files, I get this death threat, and the death threat says: "The hippies up String Creek have built a hide out (same word as from the FBI files) for Earth First! terrorist Judi Bari." (The tip to the Willits News said: "They're building a national headquarters for Earth First!")

"We don't want national headquarters for Earth First! in Willits," says the death threat. Same, exact language. And then the directions it gave to my house and the death threat are identical to the directions recorded in the FBI file.

Are you saying the FBI was involved with this death threat? Sgt. Satterwhite, who by the way, in preparation for Redwood Summer, was giving self-defense with small arms workshops to gyppo logging groups just before and after the bombing.

JUDI: I'm saying they are both possibly involved. So what we did with this threat -- the Mendocino sheriff's weren't very helpful -- we turned it over to the Willits police, which were the only police force that ever helped me. But the Willits police had to turn it over to the county, because I live in an unincorporated area, and the county never did anything with the death threat. Including, they never turned it over to the FBI, or the FBI never admits to have received it.

So here's the FBI conducting this big bombing investigation, finding my "hideout", and they don't know I've received a death threat with the exact same wording as they've used the week before? I find that very hard to believe. I don't know what this means. I don't know if this means Satterwhite or Stockton Buck or either of them was involved in the last death threat. It's certainly hard to believe that they didn't know about it. The Willits Police says they told them about it.

Language that occurs in the FBI files occurs in the Lord's Avenger's letter, in tips to the Willits News, in death threats to you. You've spent the past four years uncovering these buried links. Finally, what do you think they mean?

JUDI: It raises very serious questions about FBI prior knowledge, about FBI involvement, about police involvement. All of these questions are raised. We don't have the answers yet. I hope we can get them.

Entire Judi Bari interview © New Settler Interview

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Albion Monitor January 13, 1997 (

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