Re: Reno "quote" (was: Re: The Pause that Refreshes)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 13:44:31 MDT

While I tend to suspect the UrbanLegends people to be willing to label anything
they don't like as a legend, there is also a good source, concerning the gun
issue in general called that does a pretty good job of
documenting false 'quotes'.

However this quote does bear a striking resemblance to FBI and HRT documents
released to law enforcement agencies last year in preparation for Y2K, that were
meant to help law enforcement profile potential suspects of any Y2K incidents
that might occur. Those documents have been well researched as being authentic,
and I can imagine that such a release might have a cover statement signed by
Reno that does not contain this verbiage, but is included to endorce the
remainder of the publication. To some people I would imagine that this indicates
her endorsement of those statements that she may or may not have been aware of.
Since she is Louis Freeh's superior, she is, after all, ultimately responsible
for the statements and actions of those departments and individuals under her.

Here is another false quote attributed to Reno:

whic contains the following:
<<The "B'nai B'rith" speech by "Janet Reno"

        "The most effective means of fighting crime in the United States is to
outlaw the possession of any type of firearm by the civilian populace."
                 ---Falsely attributed to Janet Reno, then-state attorney for
Dade County, speech to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida B'nai B'rith gathering, ca.1991.

    This supposed "quote" first got national attention when it appeared in the
April 1995 issue of Soldier of Fortune, as part of an article by Mike Williams
entitled "Citizen Militias: '...Necessary to the Security of a Free State...' "
and was picked up by the New York Times Syndicate as part of their coverage of
the militia movement in the wake of the bombing in Oklahoma City.

    According to editorials by Martin Dyckman, published in the St. Petersburg
Times May 2 and May 28, 1995, the "quote" appears to have originated with an
affidavit written by Fred Diamond of Miami, FL who claimed to have heard Reno
speak in Coral Gables (not Fort Lauderdale) "on or about November 1, 1984".
According to Diamond's affidavit, "Janet Reno told the members of our group
assembled, that waiting periods were only a step, that registration was only a
step, and further that the prohibition of the private ownership of firearms was
the only ultimate solution to controlling crime. I was shocked and appalled to
hear her, an elected public official sworn to uphold and defend the
Constitution, espouse and advocate a position that would effectively repeal the
guarantees of the Second Amendment."

    Early in 1993, after Reno was nominated to be Attorney General, Diamond
talked to Marion Hammer, then the National Rifle Association's Florida lobbyist,
and NRA sent him affidavits to sign. Diamond says he rejected their first draft.
Subsequently, Hammer's newsletter, Florida Firing Line, published an article on
Reno in March 1993, including almost word for word the key passage from
Diamond's affidavit about what Reno allegedly said, but the newsletter put the
speech in 1991, not 1984. Diamond didn't sign the affidavit (with the correct
year) until June 17,
    1993, after Reno had already been confirmed.

    Reno has been questioned about the "quote" and denies having said it, either
in 1991 or 1984. A spokesman for the Justice Department, Bert Brandenburg, told
the New York Times syndicate: "The assertion is untrue and the attorney general
has never made such a statement" (Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 2, 1995). The Reno
"quote" has appeared in print elsewhere, including National Review on May 29,
1995 as part of an article by Alan W. Bock about the militia movement; and was
reprinted in a Guns and Ammo editorial by Ed Moats on concealed carry in October
of 1996. >>

end quoted material....

It seems as though there may be intentional quote forging going on, that is
eerily reminiscent of the forgeries used by anti-semites in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", a pamplet
which was apparently intended as a slur against an Abbey of Sion in Sion,
Switzerland, similar to the treatment of the Templars in an earlier age... These
forgeries were the primary propaganda weapons of Hitler and Goebbels.

"[ Robert-Coyote ]" wrote:
> Thanks Rob, good work
> The fact that it has survived in cyberspace so long is interesting in
> itself.
> This came across as so extreme I had to look it up.
> A quick Google search reveals
> which claims this "quote" has been passed around the net since at least
> 1994;
> and:
> > It's a hoax. According to CBS, Janet Reno did not appear on 60 Minutes in
> > 1994. More to the point, even if she had made such an appearance and even
> > if she did hold this unlikely opinion, the Attorney General would not
> > have dared publicly utter such impolitic words, which essentially
> > consign every practicing Christian in the United States to the status of
> > "cultist" and a "threat" to the society.
> (not that I'd necessarily agree that she wouldn't have "dared publicly
> utter such impolitic words", given her degree of political cluelessness,
> but if she had, I suspect we'd have long since heard the uproar through
> mainstream media. Not that the quote isn't believable.)
> /rs
> * Robert-Coyote " <> [000605 12:09]:
> > Yea .. we need cameras everywhere
> >
> > "A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible
> > and the Second Coming of Christ; who frequently
> > attends Bible studies; who has a high level of
> > financial giving to a Christian cause; who home
> > schools for their children; who has accumulated
> > survival foods and has strong belief in the Second
> > Amendment; and who distrusts big government. Any of
> > these may qualify a person as a cultist but certainly
> > more than one of these would cause us to look at this
> > person as a threat and his family as being in a risk
> > situation that qualifies for government interference."
> >
> > Janet Reno, Attny. General of the United States
> > during an Interview on CBS "60 Minutes" on June 26,
> > 1999.
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________________
> > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at
> --
> Rob Sweeney
> Time is a warning.
> ________________________________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

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