Tresspassers Will Be Prosecuted

Ranch Rescue's Jack Foote swears he just wants to mend fences. Is pseudomilitary secrecy, right-wing rhetoric and an armed vigilante militia the best way?

Perhaps he has. Michael Alessio's site obligingly links to an explanatory farewell e-mail that Torre John sent to his co-workers at a company called Scopus Technology in the fall of 1996:

Yes, it's true, I will be leaving Scopus as of 31 October 96. Many different stories as to "Why" have floated around, so let me set the record (and the office gossip) straight:

1. Yes, I met a woman and fell in love.

"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
Greg Houston
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."

2. Yes, she is young and beautiful.

3. Yes, she has money.

4. No, #3 is not the reason for #1, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

5. Yes, she has offered to make me comfortable in a manner to which I should soon become accustomed. (Read: "I can retire")

6. No, I doubt that I will stop working completely, but I will wait until after our 2-week trip to Cancun before looking for work again.

7. I am moving with her to Phoenix, though she has another home in Texas that we may visit.

8. Yes, we are planning to get married. (She surprised the hell out of me when she proposed to me last weekend.)

I hope this clears up any confusion

Houston Press e-mails to Michael Alessio went unreturned. These could be coincidences.

What Jack Foote will say is that he is in his early forties, that he grew up in the South, that he lived for a time in California (where Torre John Foote is documented as having lived) and that he is originally from Tennessee ("…the Volunteer state, so I have a birthright and heritage of volunteerism"). Foote told the Arizona Daily Star that he was a retired U.S. Army infantry captain with four years active duty in the mid-1980s and ten years in the reserves, including a call to active duty during Desert Storm. He tells the Press he was a light infantry officer for 14 years with three years active, working in logistics and personnel, computer support and battle simulation. At one point, discussing Kuwait, he makes reference to "when I got back from that," but later says that he was in Georgia "waiting for the plane" when the end of that conflict was announced. Without a legal name, none of this information is verifiable by the U.S Armed Forces.

"It's not about personality," he says. "I'm not seeking fame. I don't want to be famous. I don't want to create a cult of personality surrounding myself. I'm not ever going to run for public office. This is about these people that are living through this nightmare down on the border. It's not about any one individual."

As to the chances of the Press speaking to other members of Ranch Rescue, Foote is frank: "Quite honestly, Brad, they don't like who you work for. They weren't too terribly happy to find out that I even talked to you. I was kind of taken aback by the response that I got. I'm a pretty fairly middle-of-the-road reasonable person, so I'll talk to just about anybody, but you've got to understand that these folks don't take very kindly to -- how shall I put this delicately? -- alternative lifestyles. So they weren't too happy to hear that I was talking to the Houston Press, and they definitely are not going to want to talk to you."

I don't care if you're black or white or Hispanic. But get one thing straight. If you're from Mexico and you're claiming an indigenous Indian past, that is the ultimate slavery. The cultures down there, quintessentially put a new height on evil, ok? Let's just be clear about that….I'm tired of Mexican food restaurants with the murals of an Aztec cutting a white person's heart out on the side. That irritates me and gets me really mad. And I want you to understand that the bankers, the Ford Foundation, funded and created this liberation theology being hyped, out of control already, and this is just 2001, folks. Wait 'til ten years from now! Wait 'til four years from now when we probably get Hillary Clinton as the next president. The guns, the property, it's all going. -- Alex Jones, on the Alex Jones radio show, January 3, 2000

Another media outlet that Foote doesn't mind talking to -- and one that is perhaps more in line with Ranch Rescue's philosophical underpinnings -- is the Alex Jones radio show, broadcast from Austin. Jones has interviewed Foote twice, in late December and early January, and according to Foote, the response has been tremendous, with calls coming in from all over the country offering help, swelling, at least theoretically, both dues-paying membership and the ranks of "volunteers." It was after Foote's first appearance on the show that members of the once-secessionist Republic of Texas contacted Foote about the possibility of joining forces for future missions to the Texas borderlands.

"There had been no affiliation between their group and ours at all prior to my interview on the Alex Jones radio show in early January," Foote writes in response to a question. "During and after that show, I was contacted by several members of the Republic of Texas Provisional Government. We talked about combining their planned rescue mission to the Texas border area ranches with ours, as a joint rescue effort. Right now, however, talking about it is as far as we have gotten. We will be meeting with some of their group again this weekend, but time is short. It appears that while their private property views and ours are compatible, a joint effort is so far unlikely to happen due to the time remaining. The Republic of Texas' desire to see private property rights upheld is certainly a parallel to that of Ranch Rescue. Beyond that, our goals diverge."

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