This FBI history article appeared in the July2016 issues of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The article was written by Thomas T. Kubic (FBI 1971-2001) and Gregory Meacham (FBI 1978-2002).
“Grey Sunset”: Freeh’s men versus the Freemen
20th Anniversary of the Surrender
On June 13, 1996, following a dinner with the visiting president of Ireland, President William J. Clinton stepped up to the microphones and said, “I am pleased to announce to you that the long standoff with the Freemen in Montana ended peacefully tonight.” Quieting a round of applause, he continued “And, I want to thank the FBI and the local law enforcement officials. I am very, very proud of them and I know I speak for all the people…”
Earlier that day, the last of sixteen persons surrendered to the FBI following 81 tense days of armed confrontation by an anti-government group known as the Freemen, who were resisting arrest. It was a most significant accomplishment and demonstrated to the American public the capacity, flexibility and ingenuity of the FBI in the pursuit of wanted individuals, who defied the authority of the federal government.
As the on-scene commander, I know that many of the contributions of the Agents, who served at Jordan, MT, were not individually recognized, yet each played a vital part in the successful conclusion of the Freemen standoff. Their actions reflected favorably on the FBI. This is the story of how Freeh’s men bested the Freemen. . . . . (read the article)