Monday, 2 December 2002

Sniper Case - True Lies?

As court records and other documents have become available, a troubling pattern of government willful inaction, suppression of relevant facts, and misleading statements to the media has emerged.

The handling of circumstances around the Bushmaster rifle, alleged to be the sniper weapon, by the ATF and FBI are incomprehensible and inexcusable. Initially there was confusion over a similar Bushmaster rifle Muhammad had purchased from Welcher's Gun Shop in Tacoma, Washington in December of 1999. The rifle was sold back to the gun shop by Muhammad on May 23, 2000; two months after his ex-wife had obtained a restraining order against him. It was his apparent possession of the weapon after the date of the restraining order that was the basis of the arrest warrant issued in Seattle less than 24 hours before his arrest.

There are contradictory explanations of the route of the weapon now alleged to be the sniper rifle. The manufacturer, Bushmaster, says it shipped the rifle to an unnamed distributor in June of 2002. A statement from Bullseye Shooter Supply, the largest gun dealer in Tacoma, said the weapon was received on July 2, but directly from the manufacturer.

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